Ryan Braun was swarmed by the media at Miller Park following tonight’s 4-3, extra innings victory over the white-hot Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night at Miller Park. But it wasn’t because Braun scored the game-winning run or drove that run in. It wasn’t because Braun secured a victory with a stellar defensive play in left field.
No, instead the media descended on the corner locker of Milwaukee’s slugger and resident superstar because people just can’t let things go. If you haven’t read the ESPN article, it’s linked later in the piece, but for now let me say that ESPN has learned that the Biogenesis situation hasn’t gone anywhere just yet.
Here is what Braun had to say (personally transcribed off of the FSWisconsin airing) before I give you my thoughts.
“I addressed it in Spring Training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don’t know the specifics of the story that came out today but I’ve already addressed it. I’ve already commented on it and I’ll say nothing more about it. I hope that you guys can respect that as I said in Spring Training. Thanks.”
“Other than that, (I’m) glad we won. Happy to answer questions about the game or anything else.”
He was asked if this was on his mind during the game.
“No, of course not. I’ve dealt with this for two years. I’ve dealt with it off and on for the last year and half, I guess. I’m pretty good at avoiding distractions.”
Asked whether he knew about the article while he was on the field tonight:
“I found out afterward. Our PR department made me aware, but I haven’t read the story or heard any of the specifics about it but they told me after the game.”
Asked how he stays mentally tough throughout all of these off-the-field distractions:
“We all deal with challenges in life. For all of us as baseball players, there’s distractions whether it’s your family situation, relationship situations, there’s all kinds of things that come up throughout the course of the season and for all of us we have a job to do regardless of what those distractions are. Obviously this hasn’t been fun, it’s not easy, it’s not something I enjoy but regardless I have a job to do and I do my best to do that job every day.”
Braun was asked about the continued fan support he receives:
“I’ve always appreciated everybody’s support. It’s something that means a lot to me and as I’ve said many times, when you deal with adversity you find out who’s really in your corner. Certainly I appreciate everybody’s support.”
So there you have them. Ryan Braun’s comments after the game about the latest in “journalism“ from ESPN’s Outside The Lines.
Now for what I’m sure is the real reason you clicked, my thoughts.
If you haven’t read the OTL article, it basically states that MLB “will seek to suspend” somewhere around 20 players in connection with the Biogenesis investigation. And their key witness? Apparently it’s Tony Bosch, the same guy who owned the shuttered clinic, has claimed to not know anything about PEDs, and has already publicly corroborated Braun’s assertion that the only connection he had with anything related to Braun was contact to Braun’s attorneys (never Braun directly) for the purposes of consultation while preparing their successful arbitration appeal in 2012.
Bosch has been facing legal pressure and all of a sudden decides to cooperate with MLB? Furthermore, despite reports of his eventual cooperation, Bosch hasn’t yet met with MLB investigators. That right, ESPN, you have no idea about which players Bosch supposedly “will meet with MLB officials in New York Friday to begin sharing information and materials.”
Bosch is “expected to meet with lawyers and investigators for several days.” Then the article says that ” The announcement of suspensions could follow within two weeks.”
Here’s the rub about that. Unless they’re suspending them for something other than a violation of the JDA, no announcements will be made by MLB until after the appeals process has been worked through for each of the players MLB seeks to suspend. And for crying out loud, if it took over four months for Braun’s appeal to be heard and decided when he was apparently the only player going through the same at the time, during the off-season, when people’s schedules are free…….
Yeah, this is going to take a while.
Do I think Braun is innocent? Do I think that anything has developed in this case to change minds? I’ve answered those questions before and my answers have not changed.
Could Braun be suspended? I suppose he could be, but it won’t be without a ridiculous sense of aggrandizement on the part of MLB and a furious defense of all involved by the Major League Baseball Players Association lawyers.
They, meaning MLB, are so concerned with how this looks rather than actually solving the problem. They want to look tough rather that act wisely. They want to save face and fricassee their own product instead of getting something right regarding PEDs in their game.
But without getting too long-winded, let’s just keep in mind two key things:
- The burden of proof is still the accuser’s and in that MLB might find itself lacking. One man’s sworn statement who only agreed to talk when he was put under extreme duress, even when coupled with documents that had to be purchased from someone who is supposedly a former Biogenesis employee, don’t hold up under legal challenge.
- Nothing has truly changed in this situation. By that I mean that there hasn’t been new evidence. There haven’t been new names. There really hasn’t been a change in what MLB has been trying to accomplish either. They’ve been wanting to suspend these players for a while now and haven’t been able to accomplish it. Is Bosch enough to at least file the suspensions? We’ll see, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s enough of an addition to their case to have anything stick.
I love the Brewers and I love the game of baseball but I certainly am nonplussed by the governing entity thereof.
It’s just another round of stuff to sift through and for the media to dissect until they’re blue in the face.