Braun withdraws from FanFest

January 27, 2012

> Yesterday, Ryan Braun, in the midst of the whole drug story, decided to back out of the Brewers On Deck that takes place this weekend. This was sort of expected; I can only imagine the tension he’s feeling right now waiting for the arbitrators to decide his fate.

He claimed he withdrew from the fest to avoid questions about the matter. But, if you’re a true Brewers fan, hopefully you wouldn’t have questioned him about it. I would have expected him to get a standing ovation just for how well he’s dealt with this situation, but I guess we won’t know what would have happened now.

The appeal process appears to be almost finished. Braun appealed in front of three arbitrators on January 19, two days before he accepted his MVP award at a dinner in New York. However, he’d reportedly been trying to get an appeal ever since ESPN first leaked the news (that we shouldn’t know about) back in December.

I’ve already said this multiple times, but, if (when, hopefully) Braun isn’t guilty of taking PEDs, I hope ESPN receives a severe punishment, and I mean severe. ESPN doesn’t give a crap about baseball in the first place, but of course when there’s something that makes the sport look bad, they jump right on it. Skip Bayless better be fired, at the least- and I wouldn’t mind a few of their other irritants leaving either.

If it were up to me, I would have ESPN shut down for this; if Braun is innocent, this will be my last straw for them.

But we all know that isn’t going to happen.

> Two Brewers Minor Leaguers made’s Top 100 Prospect List, created by Jonathan Mayo. Both were starters- Wily Peralta got 49th, and recently drafted Jed Bradley got 97th.

Peralta is just 22, and is showing some signs maturity. He went a combined 11-7 with a 3.17 ERA at Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville. In Nashville, he went 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA. Peralta will probably reach the Majors at some point in 2012, whether it’s as a spot starter or long reliever.

My only issue with Peralta is what I saw from him in Spring Training 2011. He seemed fine against Minor League teams. But, when pitching against Major League teams in Spring Training, he seemed to lose all of his command. If I recall correctly, he gave up five runs and five walks in just a third of an inning against the Rockies. I assume that was just him getting his nerves out, but hopefully he’s over that and can pitch in the Majors this year.

Bradley was one of two first round picks the Brewers received in 2011, the other being Taylor Jungmann (but he promptly got injured… the Brewers have the best luck with young pitchers). I saw Bradley pitch in the Rising Stars game (or some game in the AFL that was broadcasted on MLB Network), and he looked great, striking out two in what would have been a perfect inning; I believe whoever was playing shortstop made an error.

Anyway, I think Bradley could soon make the Majors. And, if he doesn’t stay a starter, I could definitely see him being a lefty specialist; although that’s probably not what he’s interested in.

> And that’s about it. I was going to write a post for Reviewing the Brew tonight, but I’ll have to once again procrastinate that- I haven’t thought of a topic yet. But I probably will have by tomorrow night.

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

Lucroy defends Braun, bashes ESPN

January 8, 2012

> This is the kind of thing I love to see players do for their teammates.

>Yesterday, on the 620-AM WTMJ radio station (the Brewers flagship station), Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy gave a strong defense of Ryan Braun, in the midst of this whole “drug story.” He said he would be extremely surprised if Braun truly did use a banned substance on purpose. Here were some of his exact words:

“I feel for him, I really do. Let me tell you something for everybody that’s listening: I’ve seen this guy in the weight room every single day work his butt off. There is no one on this team that works as hard as he does. I’ve never witnessed him do anything that I would think or anyone else would think is illegal. I honestly think it was some kind of screw-up. I don’t know what happened. I would be very, very, very shocked if he actually took something knowingly. This guy is way too smart to do something like that. That’s the first thing I said, the first thing that people I’ve talked to who know him said: There’s no way. He doesn’t need to take that stuff to be as good as he is, and everybody who knows him, knows that.”

That’s about as true as it gets. And, Lucroy bashed ESPN, who first leaked the news back in December.

“Absolutely, it ticked me off becausae it’s not anybody else’s business. There’s a lot of guys, not that I know personally, but everybody that has had this happen to before, I don’t know if that stuff has leaked or not. I don’t think it’s anybody’s business until it’s proven one way or another. I think everybody is going to paint Braun with a broad brush and be like, ‘Oh, he’s a cheater.’ The thing that bothers me is that if he’s proven innocent, he is going to have this stigma the rest of his life. That’s what bothers me. He doesn’t deserve it. My personal opinion is he doesn’t deserve it. I really have faith in the fact that the right decision is going to be made, and hopefully people can admit their mistakes, and hopefully we come out of this clean. Because I tell you what, we need him. We need him as a teammate and we need him as an icon for our organization.”

It’s great to see a professional sports player bashing ESPN. Because he’s completely right- nobody has the right to judge him before the case is proven true, if it’s ever proven true. But that’s what ESPN does. They’re basketball-biased probably at least 85% of the time, but, when something negative happens in another sport, they jump on it immediately.

If it’s proven that Braun isn’t guilty, I would love to see ESPN get killed by the media for giving him gas about something that isn’t true. But what I’d love even more is for Skip Bayless- the reporter who has bashed Braun the most about this, even saying that his MVP should be stripped- get fired.

> Anyway, it’s getting late. I’ll update this more tomorrow, but,  until then, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

Braun reportedly tests positive for PEDs

December 11, 2011

> Well, this is just wonderful.

> According to a few sources via Twitter, Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The news has yet to officially released by the MLB because Braun is apparently appealing the tests.

Aside from that, I don’t know much about it yet. But, I’ll have updates as the night goes on, so stay tuned to see whether or not this is real…

UPDATE: Just heard Braun is still disputing that he did anything wrong. However, if he fails the second PED test, then he’ll receive a 50-game suspension to begin the 2012 season. Exactly what the the Brewers don’t need…

UPDATE 2: According to ESPN, Braun already knew that he could be facing a 50-game suspension possibly weeks before he was named NL MVP. But, he did come out and say this:

“I would never do steroids because if I did, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”

Which is probably true. Being a loyal Brewer fan, I’m not going to jump to judge him right away, because we don’t even know if it’s true yet. But, there’s already been a ton of negative feedback to this piece of news, unfortunately.

UPDATE 3: Just heard that no player has ever successfully appealed a drug test. That doesn’t stand well for Braun, but hey, there’s a first time for everything… Hopefully.

UPDATE 4: Braun has only tested above the “normal ratio” for testosterone, but is still appealing. It isn’t steroid positive, though. But Braun is still going to have to face that 50-game suspension if all this doesn’t work out.

UPDATE 5: Apparently there are some “highly unusual circumstances” surrounding this whole thing, and spokespeople of Braun are saying that it will prove his innocence. Can’t wait to hear what it may be.

UPDATE 6: This will probably be my last update of the night, I’ll have a wrap-up on this whole thing tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m my sources so far have really been conflicting each other. According to El Maquino (@El_Maquino), a St. Louis source has said that it’s going to be announced tomorrow morning that Braun is going to receive the suspension; they’re just announcing it tonight, but it’s already decided.

Meanwhile, the spokespeople surrounding Braun are still insisting that the “unusual circumstances” are going to prevent him from getting suspended. You can read more about that here, but, I’m going to believe the spokespeople around Braun.

But we may not even here a decision from the arbitrator for awhile, so probably not tomorrow.

It feels like I’m the only still supporting Braun. I’ve noticed that everyone around me (in other words, reading the statuses on Facebook) is already bashing him and saying the baseball is going to be dead in Milwaukee.

Are you kidding me?

I really wish ESPN hadn’t let that news out, because it’s got people jumping to conclusions too early. But that’s ESPN for you. They’ve never impressed me, and, especially if it’s proven that Braun didn’t do the drugs, it’s going to be the last straw. All of those losers over there- especially Skip Bayless, who has been bashing Braun the most through all this- should be laid off for spreading lies. Is that what they’re paid to do? Oh yeah, it’s ESPN- so probably.

I know saying that is going to make me look stupid if Braun actually did do the drugs. But I’ve got his back, even if no one else does. And, until the news comes out, I’m believing that he didn’t.

UPDATE 7: I know I said that I wasn’t going to update this post anymore, but, if you’ve got the time, please read this. I’m becoming more and more confident that Braun is truly innocent…