Although it was a development many have been expecting, the suspension handed to Milwaukee Brewers slugger and former NL MVP Ryan Braun still sent shockwaves through the baseball world.
In early June it was revealed that Braun was at the center of the Biogenesis investigation and was facing a potentially hefty suspension.
That speculation became official on Monday when the suspension was announced by Major League Baseball:
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
Braun had the following to say, via MLB's Twitter account:
"I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions." - Ryan Braun.— MLB (@MLB) July 22, 2013
"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
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal have more details regarding the logistics of the suspension:
Ryan Braun's suspension will be for 65 games.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2013
Braun earning $8.5M this season with Brewers. His suspension is without pay, and will cost him about $3.4M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 22, 2013
Braun, of course, won the MVP award in 2011 after hitting .332 with 33 home runs and 111 RBI. Last year, he finished second to Buster Posey in voting when he hit .319 along with 41 homers and 112 RBI.
Yet, despite that production, he has been an incredibly polarizing figure ever since failing a drug test in 2011 and subsequently successfully escaping a 50-game suspension.
During that entire ordeal, he continually argued for his innocence and even threw several people under the bus in the process. He had this to say, courtesy of the New York Times' Tyler Kepner, shortly before he won his appeal:
''I've always loved and had so much respect for the game...Everything I've done in my career has been done out of respect." Braun in 1/12— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) July 22, 2013
Then, after he won, he made this speech:
Even Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was quick to back up Braun at that time, sending out this tweet in February of 2012:
MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) February 23, 2012
Rodgers also made a regrettable promise to a fan:
As expected, most were quick to call the maligned star out on his lies and deceit following Monday's news, such as the Tacoma News Tribune's Todd Dybas:
In his spiral of deceit, Braun managed to not just lie throughout but also defamed and threatened others along the way.— Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) July 22, 2013
The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham and ESPN's Buster Olney had someone in mind who may be feeling most enthralled about the news:
That sample collector Braun essentially charged with tampering must feel awfully vindicated. Unless he's busy calling a lawyer— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 22, 2013
Hopefully, Ryan Braun has reached out to collector Dino Laurenzi, Jr. and offered his apology for how he cast doubt re Laurenzi's integrity.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2013
Miami Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison simply used this as a time to poke fun at his team's own offensive struggles, per the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer:
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy, meanwhile, wasn't really all that interested in listening to Braun's apology:
"I realize now..." and right there I checked out.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) July 22, 2013
Speaking of the Diamondbacks:
I think I speak for most D-backs fans, when I say: Suck it, Ryan Braun.— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) July 22, 2013
For what it's worth, Braun hit .500 with a home run and four doubles against Arizona in the 2011 National League Division Series, so yeah, it's easy to see why that fanbase doesn't exactly love the guy.
Speaking of non-fans (via Passan):
Already some anger in baseball that Braun got only 65 games: "They gave that piece of (expletive) a deal?" one person said.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2013
What's more, this news could very well open the floodgates for other players named on the Biogenesis report, including New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
ESPN's Jayson Stark and Passan have more details on that:
You have to wonder how many more players on the Biogenesis list will take same route as Ryan Braun - waive an appeal & get this over with— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 22, 2013
Braun suspension of 65 games sets a baseline for coming A-Rod suspension. And one source expects A-Rod's to be even longer.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2013
This is an absolutely massive development in the baseball world, and it will be compelling to see what new details unfold in the coming days, weeks and even months.