Jul 22, 2013, 8:09 PM EST
“Ryan Braun should apologize so we can talk about how insincere and self-serving his apologies are.”
–everyone in the next 24 hours.
It’s starting already, of course. Buster Olney wrote something already in which he compared Ryan Braun to Lance Armstrong and listed all of the people to whom Braun should apologize.
It’s probably not going to happen. At least publicly. Braun, if he is a good and decent person in any way probably owes an apology to Dino Laurenzi, Jr., the collector in Braun’s positive drug test last year. Braun’s comments were not exactly libelous — he was noting, correctly, that a compromised sample could result in a positive test — but he did it in a very public and very ham-handed way which gave the clear implication that he thought Laurenzi could’ve tainted his sample. That was a bit much then — most people realized he was making a procedural, not a substantive defense — but now his comments are laid bare as gratuitous and low rent.
But beyond that? I’m sorry, I’m having a hard time getting worked up over the need for Braun to apologize to anyone for anything. At least those not close to him. He owes apologies to his teammates for not being there for them now. He owes apologies to people he’s personally and directly lied to. He owes apologies to his lawyers for putting them in an uncomfortable position back in January when he made them answer for his claim that they consulted with Bosch legally when that didn’t happen. His family, of course.
But Olney mentions Braun’s need to apologize to many more classes of people, and I’m just not seeing it.
The 2011 Diamondbacks are cited because Braun helped the Brewers beat them in the NLDS. I’m having a hard time getting on board with that. For one thing, who’s to say they didn’t have a PED user on their team? But even if they didn’t, we can’t play the “this would’ve happened if not for that” game in baseball, be it with PEDs or anything else. In that way lies madness. Should the 2004 Red Sox apologize? Where do we stop with this?
Apologies to the Brewers owners who gave Braun his big contract? What, they didn’t benefit from all of Braun’s exploits over the past few years? Of course they did. Exploits which are not solely PED-realized anyway, but even if they were, benefits all the same. They gave Braun his money with their eyes open and an awareness of the risks signing any power hitter presents. There is a drug testing and penalty system in place. All teams operate with the knowledge that they could lose any player for 50 games or more at any time. This is the cost of doing business. Business done by sophisticated parties.
But I know where you’re going next: Braun should apologize to the fans. To the kids out there who believed in him. Well: bull.
Athletes don’t owe their personal integrity to the fans or the public at large. We have created a romantic fiction that fans “believe” in superstars, but they mostly don’t. They believe in athletic exploits and winning and the vicarious satisfaction they get when “their team” does well. Brewers fans rooted for the team before Braun played there and they will once he’s gone. They rooted for Braun after last year’s appeal — they may be the only ones — and it’s not a rooting based on “belief” in any real sense. He’s their guy. They defend their guy because he helps their team win.
If there are those who truly believe in Braun — the “say it ain’t so” crowd — well, I’m sorry. They’re deluded. Kids included. Charles Barkley was right: athletes are not role models. They should not be. Parents shouldn’t encourage that. Athletes are like any other people: they’re flawed and often awful.
Maybe that seems harsh, but it’s the way it is. There is so much B.S. surrounding baseball because we can’t seem to let go 19th century modes of interaction with these highly-paid, supremely set-apart professional athletes. They are, for all practical purposes, total strangers to us. Let us not pretend they are not. Let us not pretend that they owe us anything more than that we are owed by other total strangers.
Dec 11, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
A David Price-to-the-Mariners trade just got a lot harder: Just saw David Price’s agent, Bo McKinnis, in lobby. Asked if Price would consider extension with #Mariners. Said no. MORE — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013 Asked McKinnis if Price would consider extensions with other teams. Said yes. Asked which clubs. He declined to answer.…
Dec 11, 2013, 11:19 AM EST
Homer Bailey is one season from free agency and looking at a huge payday, leading to speculation that the Reds might shop him this offseason. Yesterday general manager Walt Jocketty addressed those rumors–and specifically one regarding the Yankees calling him about Bailey–telling Mark Sheldon of MLB.com: I told them we’re not trading him. We’re trying…
Dec 11, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
My second ” . . . for some reason” post of the day: #Marlins have expressed interest in OF Delmon Young….http://t.co/uWJzH6h5pu @Sportsmanias — clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 11, 2013 Well, I suppose you have to have 40 men on a roster, so he’s better than “TBD.” Not much better, though. Young hit .260/.307/.407 with 11…
Dec 11, 2013, 10:47 AM EST
Barry Zito is a free agent for the first time since 2007 after getting a $7 million buyout from the Giants to officially end his seven-year, $126 million contract. He’s also 36 years old and coming off a 5.74 ERA, but Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Zito definitely plans to continue pitching. However, at…
Dec 11, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Eric Nadel, the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, has been named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. The Fick Award is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The fourth time was the charm for Nadel, as he was previously…
Dec 11, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
Don Mattingly is unhappy about the possibility of entering 2014 in the final year of his contract, but the Dodgers manager declined to address the topic yesterday during what Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times called an “awkward” press conference. Two months ago there was speculation that Mattingly might quit if he didn’t get…
Dec 11, 2013, 9:50 AM EST
No one has worn number 6 for the Yankees since Joe Torre left the team. And now, no one will wear it again. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that the Yankees are retiring Joe Torre’s number. The Yankees are not one of those clubs who only retire Hall of Famer numbers — Ron Guidry’s…
Dec 11, 2013, 9:16 AM EST
UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that there are “no legs” to this. Sorry to hear about your legs, Justin Masterson. But you can live a full healthy life without them, I’m sure. 9:16 AM: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Yankees are interested in Justin Masterson. Which makes sense, as the Yankees can use starting…
Dec 11, 2013, 8:57 AM EST
I used to always add “for some reason” to headlines like that, but at this point I figure it is assumed: #rays are casting wide net in search for 1B types. another free agent who interests them is power bat mark reynolds. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2013 Reynolds hit .220/.306/.393 with 21…
Dec 11, 2013, 8:34 AM EST
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated retweeted an interesting story from the UK involving Newcastle United of the Premier League. You can read it here. The upshot: Newcastle has sent around letters to newspapers telling them that they will no longer be able to interview players unless they pay the club for privilege to do so.…
Dec 11, 2013, 7:02 AM EST
At a time when concussions have become the most significant injury on the minds of athletes, coaches, teams and — increasingly — the legal system, baseball will move today to consider abolishing home plate collisions. As Derrick Goold reported this morning, this past weekend, team trainers and medical officials were told in a presentation here in…
Dec 11, 2013, 12:06 AM EST
Bob Elliott cuts to the chase in the Toronto Sun: Colby Rasmus is on the market and has been offered to two teams by the Blue Jays for starting pitching. Toronto probably wants a good, cost-controlled starter in return for the 27-year-old Rasmus, who had an .840 OPS, 22 homers and 66 RBI in 118…
Dec 10, 2013, 11:14 PM EST
The Cardinals got most of their offseason shopping done early this year, but the club still wants to add a right-handed-hitting infielder to provide insurance behind young second baseman Kolten Wong. And there may be a specific target in mind. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cards spoke to the agent…
Dec 10, 2013, 10:17 PM EST
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has the scoop on the Yankees’ reliever search … The #Yankees would love to grab two relievers and have had lots of internal discussions about Joaquin Benoit — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 11, 2013 Benoit registered an exceptional 2.01 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 73/22 K/BB ratio in 67 innings this…
Dec 10, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
From FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi comes word that the Cubs, Pirates, Royals and Braves are among the teams with interest in free agent Jason Hammel. The Giants requested the 31-year-old’s medical records at one point earlier this offseason, but they’ve apparently moved on after signing Tim Hudson and re-upping with Ryan Vogelsong. Hammel, who’s said…
Dec 10, 2013, 8:37 PM EST
Mark Mulder hasn’t pitched in a major league game since 2008 and chronic left shoulder issues robbed him of his ability to effectively retire batters by early 2006, but the veteran southpaw has been working on mechanical changes to his delivery between rounds of golf and he wants to sign with a team this winter…
Dec 10, 2013, 7:55 PM EST
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the story: Let there be no confusion: [Ryan] Zimmerman will remain the Nationals’ everyday third baseman in 2014. But, Zimmerman confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Nationals’ plans for him next season include spot duty at first base. Zimmerman will take some grounders at first base during spring training,…
Dec 10, 2013, 7:08 PM EST
As first reported by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, the Mets have re-signed right-hander Jeremy Hefner to a one-year contract. No word yet on the financials. Hefner was non-tendered by the Mets earlier this month after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in late August. He’s likely to sit out for the entire 2014 season, so this deal…
Dec 10, 2013, 6:43 PM EST
Now that the Diamondbacks have found their coveted power bat in Mark Trumbo, the club’s offseason focus has shifted to starting pitching. David Price of the Rays, Chris Sale of the White Sox and Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs are some of the names that have been frequently suggested, but ESPN’s Buster Olney says the…
Dec 10, 2013, 6:19 PM EST
Pirates lefty Justin Wilson was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2013, posting a 2.08 ERA in 73 2/3 innings while holding left-handed batters to a .200/.266/.235 line. That performance has apparently caught the attention of the rest of the big leagues. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets that the Pirates “have been overwhelmed…
- David Price would not consider an extension with the Mariners if he’s traded there 0
- Media paying for athlete interviews? Not likely. But watch this stuff closely anyway. 14
- Rockies acquire Brett Anderson from A’s 12
- D’backs, Angels, White Sox agree to three-team Mark Trumbo deal 65
- Ranking MLB managers by . . . handsomeness 82
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (113)
- Robinson Cano “didn’t want to play” for Joe Girardi (110)