Friday, August 16, 2013

Ryan Braun to Speak Monday

Tuesday August 20th: Joey Votto and Troy Tulowitzki have both come out and confirmed that they had never either received calls from Ryan Braun nor have they heard him suggest that Dino Laurenzi Jr. is anti-Semite or a biased Cubs fan.

In other words, ESPN jumps the gun yet again. And, Jeff Passan and his "four sources" are still a morons.

If you want a really good inside look at what a defamation case is, read this article over on the Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball blog. 

Monday August 19th: According to sources of Buster Olney and others, Ryan Braun called veteran players (Joey Votto, Matt Kemp, and Troy Tulowitzki) privately at that time of his appeal for their support. Braun told other players that in the preparation for his appeal, information had surfaced about the collector of his urine sample, Dino Laurenzi Jr., that he was a Cubs fan. He tried to imply that Dino might work against him, who played for a division rival of the Chicago Cubs.

Ryan Braun, who is Jewish, also told these select players that he had been told the collector was an anti-Semite.

The sources indicate that when Ryan made his pleas for support to the players, he did so in anticipation of the probability that he would lose his appeal and be suspended. Instead, Braun became the first player to win an appeal.

Braun is set to speak soon, even as early as today.

Friday August 16th: Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting, along with ESPN, that Ryan Braun will speak publicly on Monday for the first time since being given his 65-game suspension. He will admit to PED use and why he did it, admit to his lies in 2011, admit guilt, and will apologize to Bud Selig, the sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr., the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the players, and to the thousands of fans like you and I.

I've stayed rather quiet about all of this Braun stuff since the suspension was handed out. I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that my level of disappointment was so high that I honestly couldn't even put my thoughts into word on the keyboard. But, with the light seemingly at the end of the tunnel with Ryan Braun being set to speak, I think it's time to finally write about. 

If there is one shining light in all of this, it's that Braun is taking a different path than Alex Rodriguez, who continues to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole.

Now granted, if he wouldn't have taken the PEDs in the first place, he wouldn't be in this predicament. But that's neither here nor there. The deed is done There's nothing he can do now but ask for forgiveness.

But, how believable will he be? What should we believe? What will we believe? I know a lot of people, in their own right, won't believe anything he says and will have the "too little, too late" reaction. And that's fine and expected. But here's how I think Braun should handle himself to get himself on the right track again. Braun has a long road ahead of him as he will be playing baseball for a very long time after this is all over.

First of all, as odd as this may sound, he needs to make the truth sound even more believable than the lies he told in Spring Training 2011. He needs to get into detail. He needs to touch on the who, what, where, when, and why. It needs to be the full truth as well. Pre-2011 use, if there was. He needs to address the Ralph Sasson lawsuit. He needs to address every single thing that is surrounding him in this situation.

He then needs to apologize. I'm not going to go over the list of everyone he needs to say sorry to. We all know who it is. He's going to be sincere about these apologies. But it will need to be because he did wrong and not because he got caught. He's already started to call teammates and coaches (Jonathan Lucroy and Ron Roenicke) as well as major league officials to personally apologize. Most importantly, he needs to directly apologize to Doug Melvin, Mark Attanasio, his parents, his teammates and the fans. For me personally, I could care less about who else he apologizes to after that. Aaron Rodgers isn't important. That's a personal issue that can be addressed elsewhere. I'm sure he'll apologize to Bud Selig and Dino Laurenzi Jr., which I understand.

After the apologies are handed out, Braun could really take a step in the right direction by doing something that I don't think many expect to happen. I think it would be wise from Braun to close everything after the apologies and say "What can I do to fix this?". If that means public speaking regarding drugs, attending charity events, etc., so be it. Returning the MVP award from 2011, do it. Whatever it takes. He's got to start somewhere. But, just like his apology, his actions have to be sincere and not because he was caught. If he truly wants to go in the other direction than Alex Rodriguez, this is what he needs to do.

Until next time, Beer, Brats, and Championships.

- Andrew Vrchota (@AndrewVrchota)

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