Major League Baseball Suspends Ryan Braun for Remainder of 2013 Season
BREAKING: Ryan Braun suspended without pay for remainder of 2013 season for violations of Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.— MLB (@MLB) July 22, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, July 25, at 5:03 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Todd Rosiak provides an update on Braun's status:
More Ryan Braun: "I know it was difficult for everybody, but I was not, and am still not, legally allowed to say anything yet." #Brewers— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) July 25, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Thursday, July 25, at 10:40 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
The Boston Herald via The Associated Press has the latest on Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers:
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is committed to keeping Ryan Braun on the team and knows the suspended slugger has a lot of work to do to repair his image...
'Right now, the full expectation is to keep him, and the full expectation is that he is going to do the right things, he is going to say the right things, and he is going to put in a lot of hard work to get back into folks' good graces,' Attanasio said.
'That is going to take some time. It's not like we are going to be at opening day next year and we're going to be through this.'
Attanasio is not yet aware of all the details of the case, saying Braun could not provide additional details due to the ongoing investigation.
But Attanasio reiterated that he was disappointed by Braun's actions and said he told Braun he wanted to be involved in helping him overcome the damage done by his suspension.
'I've told Ryan that I would like to take a more active role in talking to him going forward and he is very accepting of that,' Attanasio said. 'He wants to do the right thing at this point going forward. This was a first step, by coming forward and agreeing to a penalty and being the first player to do that. That is a first step, and it is a baby step, but it is a step in the right direction.'
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 24, at 11:20 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
ESPN's T.J. Quinn has the latest on Braun:
Sources tell OTL Braun's relationship w Bosch began summer '11, months before testing positive. RB was on PED regimen for high-end clients.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 24, 2013
That regimen included special "troches," gummy bear-like concoctions w testosterone Bosch ordered through compounding pharmacies.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 24, 2013
Here's a Biogenesis document sources say written by Bosch that lists PEDs for clients like Braun & A-Rod. pic.twitter.com/XqsmTVsfEq— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 24, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 23, at 11:05 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan has the latest out of the Brewers' clubhouse:
Word out of the Brewers clubhouse almost universal: They were glad Ryan Braun got suspended. He straight-up lied to teammates. They're mad.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 23, 2013
Two springs ago, before his big speech, Braun asked teammates for support and told them he didn't do it. Now, this. Lots of fences to mend.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 23, 2013
---End of update---
Braun issued a brief statement on Monday's news via the MLB on Twitter:
"I wish to apologize to ... all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates."-Braun— MLB (@MLB) July 22, 2013
He also issued a full statement via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin didn't know of the suspension until today, so any roster move to replace Braun will have to wait until tomorrow per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
DMelvin did not know about the suspension until Braun told him this afternoon, so #Brewers will play a man short tonight. Roster move tmro.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 22, 2013
"For one thing, I don’t know that he lied to me about anything," Roenicke said after the 5-3 loss to San Diego at Miller Park. "I don’t know what this is about. All I know is the conversations I’ve had with him. I don’t know that Ryan lied to me about anything. I can’t answer that because I really don’t know what’s going on with the investigation. I never knew anything about what was going on. Even in the conversations I had with him, he never got specific."
T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish of ESPN first provided information on the looming suspension. They reported MLB was able to bolster its case against Braun and the players involved in the Biogenesis case after Tony Bosch decided to cooperate with investigators looking into the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs:
Bosch's attorneys have met repeatedly with MLB officials over the past month, turning over numerous documents to substantiate his connection to the players named in company documents, sources have said.
While sources would not detail what Bosch has turned over, he was expected to provide phone, text, email and other records.
By banning such a high-profile player in connection to a single alleged source of PEDs, the league is making a strong statement about its willingness to do whatever it takes to clean up the sport. It's an ongoing battle for commissioner Bud Selig.
Another group with a major stake in the process is the Major League Baseball Players Association. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick spoke with union executive director Michael Weiner, who discussed the different factors in play:
There's no question, we have two things we're trying to accomplish here. On the one hand, we're defending players who have a defense. On the other hand, we have an obligation to enforce the joint drug program. If we have evidence that a player violated the program, then we have to do something about it. Is that a conflict? I could imagine circumstances where it could be a conflict. But that's what a union does all the time, and that's what we're doing here. It's not much different than what we've done in the past. It's just higher-profile, I guess.
The league is going to make its case for the suspension based on the evidence collected in hopes of continuing to clean up its image after prior struggles with PEDs. It isn't going to back down from one of the biggest issues facing the game.
Major League Baseball took the first step by officially handing down this suspension. Braun will finish the season batting .298 with nine home runs and 38 RBI.
Braun won the 2011 National League MVP and the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year. The Brewers slugger is a five-time All-Star and led the NL in home runs in 2012. MLB had previously suspended Braun for 50 games after testing positive for performance enhancers in 2011, but he appealed and the punishment was overturned.
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