Major League Baseball announced that Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season without pay on Monday, a 65-game ban and the first tied to the Biogenesis investigation.
The suspension proved that MLB and the commissioner’s office could suspend a player without a current positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.
MLB included a statement from Braun in the press release, where he acknowledged … something. We are led to believe that he acknowledged using PEDs, and lying about it since the 2011 postseason.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun said in the statement. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”
As a lifetime fan of the Milwaukee Brewers I deserve more than this, more than a statement drafted by a lawyer on Ryan Braun’s behalf.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect.”
Did I miss this moment or revelation? Was it televised, was it tweeted?
What I do remember is that Braun stood before the press and fans and made a statement after his 50-game suspension was rightfully overturned by an MLB arbitrator.
“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it. I would bet my life this substance never entered my body.”
Braun led us to believe that his morals and integrity were intact, that his positive test was a mistake and he was exonerated. We wanted to believe him. Close friend and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wanted to believe him.
Has his lapse in judgement marked his entire professional career or just a recent transgression? We deserve to know as fans, and we require it to completely understand the situation and move on.
How many of those hits are real, how many games were stolen, how many memories that we have as fans were a lie?
“This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family.”
This is the statement that has enraged many fans and supporters. Braun chose himself instead of first apologizing to the franchise, his teammates, and most importantly the fans.
Braun has been called a liar nonpareil, a serial doper, a raging narcissist by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Narcissist aligns well. Does the statement reveal that the 2011 NL MVP is only concerned with self-preservation and hasn’t hit bottom yet? Are we staring into the eyes of MLB’s equivalent of Lance Armstrong or is Ryan Braun truly sorry for his transgressions?
“I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed.”
I really wish Braun’s statement would have started here. As a season ticket holder I would like a refund for the entire charade. As a fan, some of my greatest memories and moments have involved Ryan Braun; powering the Brewers into 2011 playoffs with a three-run home run, winning the 2011 NL MVP, and helping to resurrect a failing franchise.
If Braun wants to acknowledge his mistakes he should start by apologizing to Dino Laurenzi, the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks, 2011 NL MVP runner-up Matt Kemp, and the hundreds of thousands of fans that cheered him on through his enhanced performance.
He has done more than injected something illegal into his system, he has stolen memories from Milwaukee fans and has disappointed anyone that has ever looked up to him.
The Milwaukee Brewers need our support. Perhaps without Braun on the field we can come together to cheer the team and heal together. The franchise faces a losing season, and the timing couldn’t have been better from that perspective. While I believe Braun should find time with the media to apologize for what he has done, the silence could give us months to move forward.
Ryan Braun you are a disgrace to Milwaukee and all of baseball. You have lied to all of us. For a small-market team that desperately needs to win you were the face of the franchise. The team chose you over the equally talented Prince Fielder.
We’ve tried to support you through the entire ordeal that secretly begun during the 2011 MLB postseason. We wanted to believe you. Instead we were duped. You are a cheater, a liar and full of hubris.
You will not get a standing ovation from me when you return on Opening Day 2014, and I truly hope all fans decide to sit quietly when you approach the plate for your first at bat.
You can hope we forgive you in time, and maybe some fans will. But know this, your weak apology does not deserve support or empathy.
While we have begun to find closure on the Biogenesis investigation, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise will invest another $133 million in you through the 2020 season. For the next seven years you should do everything in your power to reconnect with the community and prove that your natural talent can still power the team.