Three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun is signed with the Milwaukee Brewers through 2020. Three years ago Braun signed an eight-year contract with the team that ran through 2015. Both sides decided to extend that deal with a five-year $105 million contract last month that surprised many people. At the deal’s peak, Braun will only be making $19 million annually. Sluggers like Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Howard are all making more on an annual basis this year, so it’s fair to say Braun is potentially sacrificing more money on an annual basis by signing with Milwaukee long-term. So why did he do it? He explained his decision on Jim Rome is Burning.
“I think the biggest thing is the fan base,” Braun told Rome. “The fans have been incredibly supportive, not only of me but of our entire team and our entire organization. It’s truly a special place to play. The more time I’ve spent here the more I’ve enjoyed it, and the more time I’ve spent in other cities I think the more I appreciate it here.”
“I’ve really enjoyed my experience here to this point, and moving forward I just really believe in the direction of the organization. I’m excited about being a part of a group of guys who’s trying to change the culture, trying to change the environment where we’re perceived as a winning franchise and a winning organization.”
Rome followed up by asking about the chances Fielder also signs with the Brewers long-term. It was a difficult question, but Braun handled it perfectly.
“I think the better year we have the higher likelihood there is of that happening,” Braun reasoned. “I think if we get to the postseason it certainly increases our chances of being able to afford Prince. He’s one of the best players in the game and he deserves to be paid like it, and hopefully it ends up being here but again that remains to be seen.”
Rome had put Braun on the spot with a tough question but Ryan gave a perfect answer. He was able to deflect it by relating it towards the success of the season. In essence, he defended both his teammate and organization with his answer which is not an easy trick to pull off.
The point here is that you don’t see too many big-time athletes turn down mega money from the large-market teams in order to remain with a smaller market team, especially when you’re more likely to have success elsewhere. Braun credited the fans for making him want to stay in Milwaukee. They’re the ones who support him, support the team, and pay the money that helps the team afford its payroll. For a guy who’s been in trouble at times for speaking his mind, he sure gets an A+ when it comes to public relations for that response. Funny thing is I don’t think he was fibbing either; you don’t sign with a team for 10 years unless you really love the organization. Braun definitely does and it is a credit to the fans.Google+