Ryan Braun Tests Positive for Performance-Enhancing Drugs During MVP Season

Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his MVP season, ESPN reports. The Brewers outfielder reportedly tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. A secondary test was performed on his sample and it was determined the testosterone was synthetic, meaning it came from outside his body.

The urine sample reportedly was provided during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test late October. Braun reportedly has been disputing the positive test, telling people around him that he did not knowingly take any banned substances.

A spokesman for Braun issued a statement Saturday: “There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”

In a February 2009 interview with MLB.com, Braun said he wasn’t interested in using steroids.

“It’s never something that I sought,” Braun said before showing a flash of his sense of humor and his well-documented self-confidence. “I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”

When asked about the revelation that Alex Rodriguez used steroids, Braun said “It will be interesting to see what he has to say. I will say that I think he’s done everything that he should have done [since the story broke] and the best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest. The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”

Braun is facing a 50-game suspension as a first-time offender of MLB’s PED policy. He is 12th MVP associated with PED usage, joining Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens, and Jose Canseco. I still think Matt Kemp was slightly more valuable in the regular season.

Matt Kemp Says NL MVP Snub ‘Just Created a Monster’

Matt Kemp finished second in the 2011 NL MVP voting, losing the award to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. Kemp received 10 first-place votes, 16 second-place votes, and six people had him third on their ballots.

Kemp had more runs (115 to 109), RBIs (126 to 111), home runs (39 to 33), and stolen bases (40 to 33) than Braun. Braun’s OPS was slightly higher (.994 to .986), and his .332 average was slightly higher than Kemp’s .324. We felt both players were deserving of the award, but that Kemp probably should have won because he played in 161 games compared to Braun’s 150.

Most sports writers likely figured that Braun deserved it because he played for a division winner while Kemp’s Dodgers struggled to finish above .500. Dodgers fans who are upset over Kemp losing the award should look at things differently. It appears that Kemp will use the snub as motivation. Shortly after losing the award he tweeted:

“They don’t know who they messin with!!!!! They just created a monster!!Lol. #BEASTMODE don’t care!!”

When Kemp signed his $160 million extension with the Dodgers, I said that signing for so much guaranteed money might result in less motivation. If what Kemp is tweeting is true, that won’t be the case.

Like I said, maybe losing the award is the best thing for Kemp and the Dodgers. Oh yeah, it also enhances my legacy as well: LB is now officially the only blogger on the internet to hold the reigning MVP hitless in high school (yes, 0-for-4 in a Grant vs. Granada Hills 2001 game).

Ryan Braun’s Fall Mocked by Brewers Teammates (Picture)

Ryan Braun took an amazing tumble during Wednesday night’s Brewers-Cardinals game. Braun fell after rounding third and was tagged out, keeping him from recording an inside-the-park home run. On Thursday, Braun’s Brewers teammates decided to mock him during batting practice by taping an outline of his body sprawled out on the grass:

The taped body outline on the grass seems to be a new trend amongst baseball players, but we’re not complaining. If you’re going to have a legendary flop like that one, it has to be memorialized somehow.

Forearm bash to Hot Clicks for the link, Journal Sentinel for the pic

Video: Ryan Braun Falls Rounding Third, Misses Inside-the-Park Home Run

Ryan Braun is one of the most talented players in baseball. He has a good throwing arm, he hits for power, and he has speed on the bases. Unfortunately the speed doesn’t really matter if he can’t stay upright. Witness:

Hey, at least he got an RBI triple out of it, right? Pretty difficult to imagine that’s the same coordinated being who has posted 25 home runs and 31 stolen bases this season.

To see all the other epic fails posted at LBS, go here. You won’t be let down.

UPDATE: Braun’s teammates had some fun with him the following day, as you could imagine

Ryan Braun Credits Brewers Fan Base as Reason for signing in Milwaukee Long-Term

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.

[Read more...]

Ken Macha Felt Rebuffed by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder

It was only 2008 when the Brewers seemed like an up-and-coming team. They reached the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and had their first 90-win season since 1992. Alas, the team lost ace CC Sabathia in free agency despite offering him a big contract, and Ben Sheets later followed. There was optimism in Milwaukee because the team still had franchise players Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, both of whom had become All-Stars and MVP candidates. Though last year’s team was in first place all the way until early July before falling out of the race, this year’s team never had a shot.

The easiest target for blame was the pitching. Yovani Gallardo was good but got hurt and only made 24 starts. Randy Wolf got roughed up to start the year before settling in. The bullpen was a mess aside from the mustached one, and every flier they took flamed out. The other targets were the aforementioned sluggers, Braun and Fielder. Expected to carry the offense, Braun had his worst season as a pro and needed a late surge to post nice season-ending numbers. Fielder was similarly bad, posting his worst season since his rookie year in 2006. While Braun has a long-term deal and Prince is searching for one, manager Ken Macha became the casualty getting let go by the team.

On his way out, Macha made sure he wasn’t the only one carrying the blame. He explained his efforts to reach out to Braun and Fielder that were turned down by the sluggers:

[Read more...]

So Marisa Miller and Ryan Braun Made a Commercial and … Yeah

There’s no doubt you can put a few athletes and big names together in a commercial and have it be a success. That by no means is a rule as we’ve come to find out. Take for instance this highly anticipated, online-only commercial for Remington, featuring super model Marisa Miller and slugger Ryan Braun. You would figure anything featuring Marisa Miller would be hard to screw up, but I think the producers of this commercial managed to do it. Judge for yourself:

I think Jimmy Traina at SI put it best: “First, the spot is 2-plus minutes, a little long for a commercial. Second, the acting, dialogue and double entendre’s is on par with what you’d see in a porno (not that we’d know).” I agree with both points. I would also add that you don’t find out until the last 30 seconds what product is actually being advertised. When you’re putting together a commercial, getting across exactly what you’re advertising would probably be the top priority. Maybe not in this case. And was that my boy Matt Money Smith doing the narrating? I think so!

(video via The Angry T)