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Ryan Braun PED Bust Clears Path In N.L. Central

ESPN reports that Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, which means he could get a 50-game suspension.

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Test results showed abnormally high levels of synthetic testosterone in Braun's body. A spokesperson for Braun maintains his innocence.

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The use of PEDs is really no laughing matter, but a lot of Pirates fans will be delighted by this news. Bucs fans hate Braun, both because he's a leader of a team that has consistently had the Pirates' number, and because he has stoked conflict between the two teams. (More discerning Pirates fans also object to Braun's crimes against fashion.)

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Beyond that, though, there's also the fact that if Braun is out for 50 games to start the year, the already-murky N.L. Central gets even murkier. Albert Pujols is gone, and Prince Fielder probably will be too, and now there's Braun. Can the Pirates - now with a new ace in Erik Bedard - take advantage and make another run at the pennant? Probably not, but with Braun potentially out of the picture for a third of the season, dreaming about it gets that much easier.

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For more on the Brewers, check out Brew Crew Ball.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.