The short answer to the question posed in the headline is very simple: Because he plays in Milwaukee.

So why write an entire opinion piece on the subject? Because Ryan Braun should be a superstar.

Ryan Braun does everything you want a superstar to do. Does he hit for average? .312 career, .332 this season. Does he hit for power? More than 30 homers a season every year except 2010, when he hit 25. His career OPS is .933; did you just read that? .933!

Do you know who has a lower career OPS than Braun? Jason Giambi, Ryan Howard, Carlos Delgado, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr., Joe Mauer and even his more-famous teammate Prince Fielder.

But Fernando, you might say, I don’t like your old school “Joe Morgan” stats. What’s his WAR?

In 2011: a preposterous 7.8 WAR. He’s averaged five WAR in his career. The kid is freaking good.

So why isn’t he on the cover of any baseball video games? Why doesn’t he have a lucrative paper towel endorsement? Come on, the Braun-y paper towel guy? This stuff writes itself.

He’s even got a cool nickname (according to Wikipedia): The Hebrew Hammer. Fear his mighty hammer, and his, er, Judaism? Anyway, awesome nickname!

Braun also isn’t the Darryl Strawberry type. He doesn’t get into any trouble, no drug problems, or DUIs or arrests (that we know of). He’s got those wholesome good looks, and he appears to be a nice guy; in April, a female fan made a marriage proposal to Braun via a stadium sign, even including her phone number. Even though Braun has a girlfriend, he called the number and tried to leave a voicemail, but the mailbox was full.

What more do you want from him?!

The East Coast bias in sports coverage is obvious to everyone who lives west of the Mississippi. ESPN refuses to acknowledge any team outside the East Coast (except for the Dallas Cowboys), so our sports knowledge suffers. Can you even name three players on the Indiana Pacers? I know they have Danny Granger, and…um…I’ll get back to you on that.

If Braun played for the Red Sox or Yankees, you’d be sick and tired of him. You’d hear his name 10 times a day, every day, and Buster Olney or Ken Rosenthal would be writing sonnets professing their love for the mighty Braun.

Instead, Braun’s not even the most famous guy on his own team. Instead it’s Fielder and his enormous waistline that get all the publicity.

In fact, the only people who seem to give Braun any attention are the employees in Milwaukee’s front office—because he got paid.

Milwaukee was facing a tough decision a few years ago: You have two offensive monsters (Braun and Fielder), both in their 20s, but you can’t possibly afford them both. So who do you choose? You choose the Hebrew Hammer.

So first the Brewers signed Braun to a $45 million extension in 2008. Then they saw that Braun continued to hit a baseball really, really far, and now he’s signed through 2020 for about $145 million. That will buy you a lot of beer and brats.

Milwaukee clearly understands the kind of superstar it has on the roster—so why don’t you, America? 

Fernando Gallo promises he is not a publicist for Ryan Braun. Find more foolish analysis, along with the occasional witty comment, on his  Follow <span class= feed.

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