Braun admits to using PEDs, out for 2013

July 23, 2013

RECAP

> The Brewers lost to the Padres last night, 5-3. Tom Gorzelanny was cruising for the most part up until the sixth inning, when he gave up a game-tying double to Carlos Quentin and what would be the game-winning hit to Jesus Guzman. Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy hit back-to-back doubles in the first inning to give the Brewers an early 2-0 lead, but that was about the only damage done to Padres starter Andrew Cashner.

BRAUN GONE

> But last night’s loss almost didn’t feel like anything following the news that was reported earlier in the day. I think we all knew it was coming, but I was surprised at the circumstances. Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of 2013 season (a total of 65 games). He will also miss the postseason should the Brewers make it. (We all know that won’t happen, but that was an official condition of the suspension.)

From a logical standpoint, this isn’t that big of a deal, to be honest. This is a lost season in which Braun wasn’t contributing to already, so not much changes from here on out. I’d rather he miss the rest of this season than the first half of next season. He can come back and have a fresh start.

But I know I speak for a lot of Brewers fans when I say I don’t know what to feel emotionally. Braun has been my favorite player ever since his call-up in 2007, and it was amazing watching what could have been a Hall of Fame career develop during his first few years in Milwaukee.

Yesterday, though, Braun admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. That changes everything. It means he’s been lying for the better part of the last two years. I almost don’t want to believe it. If you’ll recall, the day after his exoneration in March of 2012, he made a speech at the Brewers’ Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. It was a great speech, in my opinion, and he was so defiant about not having taken PEDs that I wouldn’t have believed for a second that he did it.

But apparently he did. Like I said, the suspension works out well for the Brewers from a logical standpoint, but I don’t think the emotional toll that this takes on the Brewers fan base that has tried to support and defend him through all of this will ever go away.

For me, at least, the worst part of this will be the way other teams’ fans will treat Brewers fans (and the team as well). After the news broke yesterday, I could hardly look at my timeline on Twitter (following Cardinals fans certainly comes back to bite you in situations like these).

Oh well. We all knew it was coming, and now this fanbase is in tatters. But we won’t be the only ones.

> One thing I strongly disagree with, however, is everyone saying Braun should apologize to certain parties, Dino Laurenzi Jr. in particular. The fact that Braun is getting suspended now doesn’t mean he did his job right. In fact, you could argue that it’s even worse. None of this changes the fact that Laurenzi kept Braun’s urine in a refrigerator in his basement overnight. Had Braun been suspended back in early 2012, then sure, maybe apologize to Laurenzi (but that’s assuming he would have done the job correctly). The whole reason Braun didn’t get suspended until now is because of his error.

Braun also doesn’t need to apologize to the Arizona players who feel “cheated” from losing the NLDS in 2011. Because it’s given that ALL of their players were clean at the time, right?

> And my last note on this subject: it’s irritating that MLB went out of its way to isolate Braun from the rest of the pack, meaning everyone else related to the Biogenesis clinic. Those hundreds of players across professional baseball are just as guilty as Braun and have been lying all along as well. I don’t see any reason to go after Braun specifically.

But, with Braun out of the way, MLB is going to stop at nothing to suspend everyone related to the Biogenesis clinic. Alex Rodriguez is going to get absolutely hammered. Yasmani Grandal, Jhonny Peralta, and Melky Cabrera are just a few other names that were on that list. Other fan bases are about to be crushed along with us.

Ryan-Braun

THE NEWS

> Three Brewers relievers have been drawing interest recently: John Axford, Jim Henderson, and Francisco Rodriguez. The Tigers, Dodgers, and Red Sox have reportedly been heavily scouting the Brewers’ relievers recently.

> Yovani Gallardo remains a trade target, but since it was reported that the Diamondbacks and Rockies were interested in him, there haven’t been many rumors surrounding him.

> The Brewers play the second game of this four-gamer with the Padres tonight at 7:10 PM CT. Donovan Hand (0-1, 3.27 ERA) will go for the Brewers and be opposed by spot starter Tyson Ross (0-4, 3.60 ERA).

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Braun’s lawyer retaliates to collector

March 2, 2012

> I was hoping this would happen.

Earlier today, Ryan Braun’s attorney, David Cornwell, countered the statement issued two days ago by Dino Laurenzi Jr., who claimed that he did nothing to Braun’s drug test. Here is some of Cornwell’s statement:

“Ryan Braun presented a winning defense in the forum that counted. The landmark decision in Ryan’s favor was based on the evidence and the plain meaning of the words in baseball’s Joint Drug Program. The collector’s attempt to relitigate his conduct is inappropriate, and his efforts will only be persuasive to those who do not understand the evidence or the rules. Ryan Braun was properly vindicated. Both Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association should be applauded because their Joint Program worked.”

This isn’t exactly the point I was trying to make yesterday, but this is also true. Laurenzi’s statement was only going to make things worse, so it’s a good thing Braun and Co. countered quickly. (Link to article on statement)

> Speaking of this topic, I read an article today via Bleacher Report that said “80-90%” of players don’t agree with the fact that Braun’s suspension was overturned. I don’t see why, since it’s a case in which the Players’ Union won, so you think the members of it- the players- would be happy about it.

But, let’s remember it was from Bleacher Report. And, it doesn’t help that ESPN reported it. ESPN must really hate Braun, since they first leaked the news that he tested positive, and now, even when they look stupid for being proved wrong, they’ve still trying to make him look bad.

So here’s what I have to say to them- go back to covering the NBA, you dolts. (Link to article on Braun)

> Before I move on to the other topics of the day, remember last night when I was talking about how I didn’t want the baseball postseason to expand too much, because then it would become like the NBA? Well, Chipper Jones took the words out of my mouth earlier today. Good to see someone else agrees with me. (Link to article on Braves’ thoughts on extended postseason)

> This was a very ugly scene. Earlier today, during a bunting drill, AJ Burnett bunted a ball off his face. During the clip I saw, after the ball hit his face, Burnett looked down for a few seconds, then blood started dripping onto the ground. If you haven’t seen it yet, I don’t recommend you watch it- it’s pretty grotesque.

Anyway, it turns out Burnett has an orbital fracture, and he’ll be having surgery tomorrow. He definitely won’t be ready by opening day for the Pirates, but they still have five starters capable of making up a solid rotation. (Link to article on Burnett)

> Shaun Marcum is once again nursing a “tender throwing shoulder.” I’m not too worried about this, though, since it happens to him almost every spring. I was actually at the Spring Training game last year in which he had to leave after just three innings with a stiff shoulder. (And, if I recall correctly, he had yet to give up a hit against the White Sox.)

Anyway, Marcum should be good to go soon, and shouldn’t miss a Spring Training start, like he had to last year. (link to article on Marcum)

> And that’s about it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Braun’s collector denies blame

February 29, 2012

> I guess things aren’t quite over yet.

Earlier today, the collector of Ryan Braun’s drug test, Dino Laurenzi Jr., denied to take blame for Braun’s positive drug test. Laurenzi wouldn’t comment much on the matter, but did say that it’s “taken an emotional toll on him” and his family. Here’s the only quote he released:

“The situation has caused great emotional distress for me and my family. I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have don so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated.”

He also explained why he didn’t deliver the drug test to Montreal on time. He said it was a “late hour” and that there weren’t any FedEx offices within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship on that day or the following day, which was a Sunday. At first, I questioned that fact, because I live within 50 miles of Miller Park, and I can name at least a few different FedEx locations. I thought they delivered any day of the week, but I guess I wouldn’t know.

In any case, that is a valid argument. But, this doesn’t change the fact that there was a third person who got to see the sample- Laurenzi’s 22-year old son. That goes against the rules of collecting a drug test.

But we’ll see what happens with this. I can’t imagine that they’ll end up giving Braun the 50-game suspension anyway, but that would be unfair to the Brewers, since they were told he was let off the hook and Braun is already in Spring Training. (Link to article on Laurenzi)

> Left-handed pitching prospect Jed Bradley is going to take Spring Training a little slower for the time being, as he’s been dealing with groin issues, which is never a fun time. At least this is somewhat of a minor injury, and hopefully it doesn’t foreshadow more injuries to come. If you’ll recall, last year in Spring Training, every one of the Brewers starting players got injured in some way. The only two who ended up missing time were Zack Greinke and Jonathan Lucroy, so we got lucky there. But hopefully we don’t have to go through any of that again. (Link to article on Bradley)

> And that’s about it. Aside fromthe somewhat shocking news regarding the Braun case, it was another pretty slow day. But, Spring Training games start next week, so there will be news to cover. Baseball season is finally coming back…

Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.