Braun stumbles in first step toward rehabilitation

Sports Commentary

If you’re buying what he’s selling, you need to keep better tabs on your wallet.

Ryan Braun issued a statement Thursday about his being suspended 65 games by Major League Baseball for use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

And coming in at 10 paragraphs and more than 1,000 words, I guess that’s why it took more than a month for the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder to say anything. And in the grand tradition if you can’t write well, write long. Well, it was long.

Braun is sorry, he has no one to blame but himself, he was in denial ... blah, blah and more blah.

Braun claims during the latter part of the 2011 season, in which he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, he was suffering from the effects of a nagging injury and he turned to products for a short period of time he says he shouldn’t have used.

For a short period of time. Um, right.

Braun got caught in a test during the 2011 postseason. He failed, but won on appeal on a chain-of-custody claim. And that brought about this infamous on-field diatribe during spring training back in February 2012.

“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say, ‘I did it,’” Braun said then. “By no means am I perfect, but if I’ve ever made any mistakes in my life, I’ve taken responsibility for my actions. I truly believe in my heart, and I would bet my life, that this substance never entered my body at any point.”

When a person can lie to themselves, it’s no problem to lie to everybody else.

On the day he was suspended last month, he bolted from Milwaukee and left the Brewers organization and players to face the media and answer questions about their cheater teammate.

That definitely sounds like someone who is sorry for what he did.

But he’s had a month to think about it and time heals all wounds. Time also apparently gives you time to get your story straight. Or straight enough, anyway.

‘‘(The statement) certainly was enough for me,’’ Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ‘‘I think it’s enough for his teammates. He’s made some calls to his teammates.”

One sentence from Thursday’s statement is particularly bothersome — “I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr.”

According to an ESPN report, Braun, who is Jewish, claimed Laurenzi was anti-Semitic during his appeal. And a Cubs fan, which I guess means Laurenzi had it out for Braun.

But since Braun did say he wanted to “sincerely apologize” we’re supposed to believe him.

Where do we go from here? Braun will be back next spring training and I’m sure he’s already practicing the ol’ “I’ve put the past behind me” answer to the inevitable questions.

What he needs to do is answer questions now, not next spring, and he needs to give the MVP trophy to runner-up Matt Kemp.

Then, maybe, I’ll start to believe Braun when he says he’s sorry.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments