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.

Friend Ralph Sasson suing Ryan Braun, claims Braun doped in college

Ryan BraunRalph Sasson, a longtime friend of Ryan Braun, is suing the suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder for defamation, according to ESPN.

Sasson, 29, claims that he assisted in Braun’s successful appeal of a 2011 positive test for elevated levels of testosterone. According to ESPN, Sasson accuses Braun of doping while in college at the University of Miami, committing academic fraud, and accepting money.

Sasson says he was asked by Braun’s agent, Nez Balelo, to conduct background research on Braun’s urine sample collector, Dino Laurenzi Jr. The 29-year-old says he had to threaten Balelo with a lawsuit in order to get paid the $5,000 he was owed. Sasson also says that he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to get paid. Sasson claims the non-disclosure agreement was violated when Braun allegedly made defamatory statements about him. Sasson also alleges that Braun wanted him to prank call ESPN reporters T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who were working on their initial report of Braun’s positive test. Sasson is seeking unspecified damages.

Court filings found by Larry Brown Sports show that the case was filed in Milwaukee County court on July 31. Braun’s attorney Howard Weitzman believes the suit will be dismissed.

Sasson, who currently lives in Milwaukee, grew up with Braun in Granada Hills, Calif. The two later attended the University of Miami. Sasson is currently studying at Taft Law School, which is an online program.

Sasson was also a plaintiff in a 2011 lawsuit brought against Absolute Technology Law Group. In the case, Sasson alleged that he was not paid overtime wages for work done for the company in Aug. 2011. He claimed he was fired when he demanded payment for overtime. At the time, Sasson stated he was unemployed, had no assets, and a bank account balance of -73.31 dollars. The case was dismissed after the parties reached a settlement.

Sasson declined comment to LBS when reached via email.

Report: Alex Rodriguez leaked info implicating Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli

Alex Rodriguez YankeesJust when we thought the Alex Rodriguez saga could not get any more interesting, a report from “60 Minutes” comes along that indicates A-Rod’s inner circle may be responsible for Ryan Braun and New York Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli being outed for their involvement with Biogenesis.

Back in January, the Miami New Times published a report that included a spreadsheet which showed Rodriguez and other players’ alleged involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. The hand-written documents came straight from Biogenesis boss Anthony Bosch, but Braun and Cervelli’s names were redacted.

Just days later, Yahoo! Sports followed up with a report that included unredacted versions of the documents. Both Braun and Cervelli were mentioned in the second report. Two sources with “direct knowledge” of the matter reportedly told “60 Minutes” that Rodriguez’s camp leaked the unredacted documents to Yahoo! Sports. A-Rod’s lawyer David Cornwell denied the claim.

“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game,” Cornwell said in a statement. “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”

[Related: A-Rod says this is the calmest he has felt in his career since Seattle]

Why would A-Rod be so adamant about bringing others down with him? The logical explanation would be that it would take some of the attention off himself, with another superstar like Braun also being tied to Biogenesis. The confusing thing is Rodriguez’s name was listed alongside Braun and other players in the documents, yet he is reportedly fighting to have his entire suspension wiped clean while the other players have accepted their punishment.

The popular belief is that A-Rod was given a longer suspension for interfering with MLB’s investigation. If his camp is found to have leaked documents while the investigation was ongoing, that would not look good for Rodriguez.

H/T Sports Illustrated

Nike reportedly drops Ryan Braun

ryan-braunMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun stands to make plenty of money when he returns to the field in 2014, but his sources of income off the baseball diamond are dwindling. The scorned slugger lost what was likely his biggest endorsement deal on Friday when Nike reportedly parted ways with him.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins acknowledged that the sneaker and apparel juggernaut no longer has a relationship with Braun. Braun has used Nike products throughout his entire MLB career, and his deal had recently included sales of T-shirts with “Big Bat Like Braun” and “Braun Owns Milwaukee” written across the front of them.

As Rovell pointed out, Braun has now lost almost all of his endorsement deals since his name first became associated with performance-enhancing drugs two years ago. Earlier this month, he was dropped by a large chain of convenience stores called Kwik Trip. His deal with Muscle Milk was not renewed last year and Braun’s name no longer appears on Wilson’s website, though the sporting goods company has not said if they have dropped him.

There is still a restaurant in Milwaukee called Ryan Braun’s Graffito which is named after Braun. The restaurant’s owner, Omar Shaikh, said he could not comment on the establishment’s relationship with Braun at this time. Braun was also supposed to open a restaurant with Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers recently said he is not sure if that will still happen after Braun lied to him on numerous occasions.

Nike has proven in recent years that it will not tolerate clients who have admitted to PED use. The company cut ties with Lance Armstrong in May and track coach Trevor Graham in 2006 because of their association with doping, but stuck with Tiger Woods throughout his infamous sex scandal. As expected, things are getting worse for Braun before they get better.