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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

Ryan Braun reportedly calling Brewers season ticket holders to apologize

Ryan BraunMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has a long road to forgiveness ahead. After repeatedly lying about his history of performance-enhancing drug use, the 29-year-old was eventually outed as a cheater and fraud. He threw urine collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. under the bus and attacked the collector’s character. Now, Braun is trying to do what he can to make amends with those he has wronged.

That includes the fans. Chris Patterson of CBS 58 in Milwaukee reported on Thursday that Braun has been personally calling Brewers season ticket holders to apologize. Pat Guenther, owner of Kelly’s Bleachers bar and restaurant, told Patterson that he got a call earlier this week from someone he initially thought was screwing with him.

“Hey Pat this is Ryan Braun,” Guenther recalled the voice saying. “Right then and there I knew it was his voice based on interviews I’ve seen on TV. I knew damn well it was his voice.

“I said what can I do for you? He said, I messed up, in a nutshell, I messed up. I just want to reach out and say I’m sorry. I cut him off right there. I said you know Ryan, I think you’re an amazing athlete and this speaks volumes to your character to reach out to a small business owner like myself and let us know that you are going to do better.”

Guenther has been a season ticket holder for more than 20 years, and his bar is popular among Brewers fans. He described Braun as “humble” and said he is willing to forgive and forget.

“Who hasn’t made a mistake?” Guenther asked. “People move forward. I think that’s what Ryan is trying to do. He’s moving forward. He has no other option. Be better, help his ballclub win games and win the hearts of Brewers fans like he has for many, many years.”

The Brewers have tried to come up with their own cheesy ways of apologizing to the fans, but none of it is going to matter. As we have learned countless times in the world of sports, on-field performance is all that matters. If Braun returns, stays clean and produces, the fans will adore him again in no time. If he can’t hit without juicing, he’ll remain a villain.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Friend says Ryan Braun cheated on fiancee Larisa Frasier, all his girlfriends

Ryan Braun BrewersRyan Braun cheated the game of baseball, cheated throughout his academic career, and cheated on all his girlfriends, if the words of a former close friend are to be believed.

We mentioned last week that Braun’s longtime friend Ralph Sasson is suing the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder for defamation. Sasson alleges in his lawsuit that he was asked by Braun’s agent to assist in providing background information regarding urine sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. following Braun’s positive drug test in 2011. Sasson says the information he dug up — including the part about Laurenzi Jr. failing to follow proper collection protocol — helped Braun win his appeal with MLB.

Sasson, who is a law student, says he was supposed to be paid $5,000 for helping Braun win the case, but he was not paid the money. He alleges that he and Braun had a falling out over the money he was owed, and that he was only paid by Braun’s agent after threatening to sue for breach of contract. Sasson says Braun then defamed him to many of their common friends, which is why he’s suing. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a full copy of the complaint at their site.

The really juicy stuff does not come from the defamation complaint, but in Sasson’s request for admissions (PDF link).

In a request for admissions filed with the court, Sasson submitted 48 items that he wants Braun to address under oath. Many of the items seem to be secrets that only someone like Sasson would know about Braun and, by filing them publicly, he is forcing Braun to publicly confront issues he would most likely rather keep quiet. Sasson, in essence, is really putting the screws to the former MVP and using the request for admissions to pressure Braun into a possible settlement.

Among other items, Sasson wants Braun to admit that he:

[Read more...]

Ryan Braun allegedly accused urine collector of being Cubs fan, anti-Semite

Ryan BraunRyan Braun accused urine sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. of being an anti-Semite and Chicago Cubs fan out to get him, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports.

Olney says the suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder made the accusations while talking with several veteran baseball players over the phone. Braun reportedly anticipated losing his appeal of a positive drug test and was trying to drum up support from fellow players. In the process, he supposedly accused Laurenzi of being a Cubs fan and anti-Semite (Braun is Jewish).

Braun surprisingly won his appeal because the arbitrator ruled that Laurenzi did not follow proper protocol with the specimen collection process. In his victory speech, Braun specifically attacked Laurenzi, implying that the collector tampered with his sample.

Though Braun avoided punishment in 2012, he was implicated in the Biogenesis scandal and accepted a 65-game suspension from MLB in July. Braun admitted making mistakes, but he never admitted he used PEDs and lied multiple times.

[Related: All the lies Ryan Braun told about his PED use]

Famous athletes like Matt Kemp and Aaron Rodgers went to bat for Braun, and both have expressed their disappointment with the outfielder for lying to them. Ex-Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke said Braun would use people more the closer he was to them.

Braun hired friend Ralph Sasson to conduct background research on Laurenzi. Sasson is currently suing Braun for defamation.

Kirk Gibson rips Ryan Braun

Ryan BraunArizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has always been one of the most outspoken people in baseball when it comes to performance-enhancing drug use. He is an advocate for harsher penalties against steroid users, and, as you might expect, he is not a huge fan of Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.

Gibson is bothered not only by Braun’s decision to cheat, but also the way he has refused to take responsibility for his poor decisions.

“I said this a long time ago: I think that people should have an opportunity to ask him some questions and have him answer them unrehearsed,” Gibson said, via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “Something tells me he’s getting really prepared for just about anything that they could throw at him.”

Gibson believes Braun owes it to the game of baseball to explain himself.

“I’m not surprised he hasn’t addressed people. He probably doesn’t give a (expletive) about me,” he said. “He’s got it really good. I was one of the guys who went through many things – work stoppages, etc. – so that he could do that. I would hope that he respects me and everybody who stood up for him before he played the game. Everybody looks at it differently, but if he thinks he’s giving back to the game, he has a different idea of how to give back than I do.”

In 2011, the year Braun tested positive for PEDs during his MVP run and consistently lied about it, the Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. Braun was 9-for-18 with four doubles and a home run in the series, which obviously bothers Gibson.

“Everybody listened to his line of (expletive), so you take him at face value,” Gibson said. “All things considered, we should have won the game. All things considered, the last game, we tied it up and we had a chance to win it. There were other times in my career when I did overcome cheaters. We had our chance.”

Plenty of people feel the way Gibson feels about Braun, they just won’t share their thoughts. The former MLB All-Star has never been shy about speaking his mind, so his stance on Braun isn’t exactly a surprise.