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Did Ryan Braun taunt Phillies fans after big hit? (GIF)

Ryan-Braun-taunts-PhilliePhiladelphia Phillies fans have been giving it to Ryan Braun over the past two days, and it is not bothering the Milwaukee Brewers slugger one bit. On Tuesday, Braun belted three home runs and drove in seven in a 10-4 win over Philadelphia. He then had a two-run triple in the eighth inning on Wednesday night that put the Phillies away.

Some are claiming Braun taunted the crowd at Citizens Bank Park after his latest timely hit. When he reached third, the scorned slugger made a gesture in the direction of the Brewers’ dugout. He claims he was simply acknowledging his teammates.

“No [it was directed] to our dugout, we always do that when we get big hits,” Braun said with a smirk, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. “We’ve done that forever, we just haven’t had an opportunity to play too many good games, close games, exciting games.”

If Braun was making the motion across the diamond, that would be easier to believe. Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but his hands started pretty high up when he made the gesture. He then pointed them down toward the dugout. Also, Braun is a liar.

H/T The 700 Level
GIF via gfycat.com

Ryan Braun hits three home runs against Phillies (Video)

After last season’s suspension, many wondered what type of production we would see from Ryan Braun in 2014. Would it be up to the level we became accustomed to from 2008-2012?

ryan-braun-3-hrThere’s still a long way to go, but during the Milwaukee Brewers’ 10-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Braun was in a serious groove.

In the third inning, Braun reached down to send a pitch over the wall in left field for a three-run shot. In the fourth, he drove a ball in the middle of the plate to right for a solo home run. The eighth inning saw the 2011 National League MVP leave the yard for the third time on the day, another of the three-run variety.

Not bad, considering Ryan Braun has been dealing with an injury to his right thumb that has caused numbness.

Ryan Braun considering surgery for thumb nerve problem

Ryan Braun BrewersThe thumb nerve problem that plagued Ryan Braun prior to his suspension last year has returned, and the slugger knows that surgery is one of his options.

Braun has a problematic nerve between the thumb and forefinger on his right hand that has led to numbness. Because he can’t feel that area, he has bruises and blisters. That led the Milwaukee Brewers to have him DH instead of play the field Friday against the Boston Red Sox. The hope was that not having to throw would help it heal somewhat.

Ultimately, the big question will be whether Braun can continue this way.

Braun batted .298 with 9 home runs in 61 games last season prior to his suspension. From April 27 until his suspension, he only hit two home runs, and that’s probably because of the thumb nerve problem.

Braun had five months off to rest his hand and entered spring training hitting well. But the problem returned and the slugger will have to see how he can manage things.

Though Brew Beat says Braun knows surgery is an option, they say he did not have an operation because there are no guarantees it will work. Another issue is that the amount of time a procedure would keep him out could be great.

Regardless of what Braun decides to do, it’s looking like this season may be a struggle for him.

Ryan Braun gets standing ovation in return (Video)

Ryan Braun was given a hero’s welcome in his return to the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup for Opening Day on Monday. A few boos could be heard from the fans at Miller Park, but the overwhelming majority gave Braun a standing ovation in his first at-bat.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. For the most part, baseball fans just want to see production. Braun is the Brewers’ best player and Milwaukee was a far less exciting team to watch after he was suspended for the final 65 games of the 2013 season. The fans cheered even louder later in the game when he picked up his first hit of the year.

Ryan-Braun-standing-ovation

You could argue that Braun is worse than most steroid users. Not only did he cheat, but he also let his lying get to the point where he almost cost innocent people their careers. He lied repeatedly to protect his name at the expense of others, and Monday was yet another example of how most baseball fans ultimately care about one thing — the long ball.

Ryan Braun: ‘I’ll just let my work speak for itself, as every artist should’

Ryan BraunRyan Braun could spend the rest of his life apologizing for all the lies he has told and all the people he has hurt in the process, but he can never be completely forgiven. Braun didn’t just cheat at the game of baseball, he also put the careers of people like urine sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. in jeopardy just to protect his name.

In any event, Braun’s MLB career is going to continue. He has no choice but to move on. One thing he probably should work on doing is not making himself sound like such an egomaniac during interviews.

“I’m one of the league leaders in confidence,” Braun told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale earlier this week. “If I perform like I’ve always done, I’ll be one of the best players in this game. I don’t need any added motivation of drama at work.

“I’ll just let my work speak for itself, as every artist should.”

Maybe take it down a notch or two, chief. It’s one thing to accept your mistakes and try to move forward. Talking about how cocky you are and calling yourself an “artist” is never going to appeal to the public — not that Braun seems to care.

“This doesn’t bother me,” he said. “People may have something new to yell now, but it’s really no different than anything I’ve gone though. I’ve never gone to Chicago and had them cheer for me. I’ve never gone to St. Louis and had them say, ‘I hope you do great.’ Nobody’s fans have ever cheered for the opposing team’s best player.”

Braun is 30 years old and has made millions of dollars throughout his career. If using performance-enhancing drugs has helped him make all that money and honeymoon with his wife in Bora Bora, he’s the type of guy who isn’t going to feel that much remorse over it. He practically admitted that to Nightengale.

“I’m enjoying life as much as I’ve ever enjoyed life,” Braun said. “I’m not saying there won’t be some moments that are annoying this year, but come on, who hasn’t dealt with drama at work one time or another? I’m in a good place.”

For most people, drama at work means getting drunk at a Christmas party and having to face your coworkers the following Monday. Braun certainly isn’t most people.

H/T Hardball Talk

Report: Mets have had discussions about trading for Ryan Braun

Ryan BraunRyan Braun may be coming off a suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, but that has not made him unappealing to some teams. According to Mets Blog, the New York Mets have had discussions about trading for the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder.

Mets Blog’s Matthew Cerrone said on Wednesday that the “Mets have had internal talks about Braun, but that’s all so far.”

Brewers GM Doug Melvin recently mentioned that the two teams could be a potential match for an Ike Davis trade, but he did not say anything about Braun. Plus, teams can talk about trying to acquire a player, but that does not necessarily mean the player is available.

New York Daily News reporter Andy Martino later poured some cold water on the rumor. Martino says the Brewers are not looking to trade Braun right now, but he “could become an interesting trade candidate at some point.”

Braun is signed through 2020 and has an option with the Brewers for 2021. The team seemed like it planned to continue building around Braun as the franchise player despite the suspension, but their thoughts may have changed after the big PR hit the former MVP took during the PED scandal.

Though it does not look like Braun will be traded any time soon, it’s interesting to note that there might be some teams interested in him, and that the Mets are one of them.

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t received apology phone call from Ryan Braun

Aaron Rodgers Ryan BraunAaron Rodgers says he still has not received an apology phone call from former friend and business partner Ryan Braun.

Braun has been calling Milwaukee Brewers season ticket holders in an effort to apologize for using steroids and repeatedly lying about it, and to rehab his image. The Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback says he hasn’t received one of the apology calls.

“I haven’t gotten one of those calls,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM.

Rodgers also said he wasn’t disappointed about not getting a call, but he didn’t sound sincere when he said that.

Rodgers and Braun entered business together last year and opened a superstar restaurant called “8*twelve” in Milwaukee. The restaurant dropped Braun following his steroids/lying scandal.

Rodgers joked that he could replace Braun with Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders, who also wears jersey number eight.

Rodgers and Braun developed a friendship around their similarities. Both are California-born star athletes who became league MVPs for Milwaukee sports teams. They supported each other in their respective sports and went into business together. When Braun first tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, nobody defended him more vigorously than Rodgers. When Braun won his appeal, Rodgers celebrated more than anyone else. It’s no surprise that Rodgers was crushed after Braun turned out to be lying, and it’s no surprise that Braun has yet to call him.

H/T Packers Blog