Fantasy baseball players forgetting Ryan Braun's ego

      March 6, 2014 @ 08:25:44 PDT

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Recently I talked about some of the mental negatives that can complicate a baseball player's performance.

It's also hard not to consider some positives -- in this case, ego, which is competition fuel for athletes driven by testosterone (naturally or not). Even class-oozing Derek Jeter, one of my baseball heroes, knows he's kind of a big deal. (I bet his apartment smells of rich mahogany. Maybe we should ask one of Jete's legions of gift-bag recipients.)

And even with the much less glamorous fanfare of his forced mea culpa last summer, also as evidenced by his torrid start to spring training, Ryan Braun's self-worth still pumps furiously.

I'll clarify that having an ego doesn't always constitute being a bad person; we all need self-confidence here and there. But for better or worse, self-guided or directed by his legal team, we saw a significant glimpse of how Braun's may influence his behavior at his infamous press conference in 2012. He simultaneously put on a self-pity party while lying through his teeth and deriding a test collector to save his own skin.

But a negative view of someone's attitude or theatrics can't blindly dictate how to judge someone's performance. It's hard to say with 100 percent conviction that Braun has received performance enhancement throughout his career. The only instances of proof come from 2011. He had numerous elite seasons before that, tracing back to 2007.

Until you show me concrete evidence from those seasons, I'm counting his skills as real, albeit somewhat exaggerated recently.

He's not Alex Sanchez. Braun passes the eye test. (That phrase can never tell the whole story, but it matters, stubborn stat freaks. Deal with it.)

What lies ahead....

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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