O! Ryan Braun!

Despite being the sixth most valuable position player in the National League (per WAR) this year, the third most outfielder, and, easily, the most valuable left-fielder, Ryan Braun is only starting the All-Star game tomorrow night because of Matt Kemp’s injury.

Also, even with Mr. Kemp being injured, Ryan Braun was not invited to participate in the Spanks & Taters Contest tonight, despite being the NL leader in Spanks/Taters with 24 (Carlos Beltran is second with 20).

Brauny was not included in any All-Star Game promo or other official MLB promo this year, and I guess it’s pretty obvious why. But the fact of the matter is, whatever “happened” in 2011 and before, Braun is almost certainly not using PEDs now (he’d have to be an idiot to do so), and even in the face of incessant taunting of opposing fans and a cold shoulder from MLB, Braun is putting up another MVP-caliber season.

Despite all this, Ryan Braun is still a star. In Milwaukee, amidst a disappointing season that will probably not see a 2011 division title defended, Braun is much more than a star — he’s a constellation.

Thus I present, Orion Braun:

“And his bright junk shall guide us…”-Homer

Hire Robert J. Baumann to live-blog your next birthday party, family reunion, or corporate event. You will not want to forget it soon.

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One of the better NotGraphs pieces lately.