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Stop it: Ryan Braun is not Lance Armstrong

Jul 23, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

braun getty taller

I think I’ve been pretty clear in saying that Braun (a) is a liar; (b) is a cheater; and (c) should count himself lucky that he only got 65 games. On radio spots today I’ve opined that he’s probably some sort of sociopath who I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw. I won’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth for the rest of career. If he says he’s “making some adjustments at the plate” I’m going to assume he’s really selling heroin to school kids.

I don’t think that’s being a Braun “apologist” but then again I don’t think most things I do constitute being an apologist for PED guys even if everyone says I am. I just wanted to be very clear about my feelings about Ryan Braun here, because lots of folks seem to be misinterpreting it.

And they’ll misinterpret it here too, because I’m about to say something that is less than “Ryan Braun is Stalin.”  I’m led to say this after about the tenth column I’ve read today in which the columnist has said that Braun owes an apology to Dino Laurenzi, the man who collected the sample from Braun last year and around whose handling of the sample Braun based his ultimately successful appeal.

Fact: under MLB rules then in place, Laurenzi did mishandle the sample. He didn’t taint it or do anything sinister, but he did, technically speaking under the letter of the rules he was to follow, mishandle it. That gave Braun his opening and he and his lawyers took it. If you dispute that just stop reading because that’s simply a statement of fact. MLB even changed its rules after the fact in order to address it, so they acknowledged a problem too. And if you’re still in doubt about this, ask a former drug testing specimen collector who doesn’t exactly shed tears for Mr. Laurenzi’s plight.

Fact: Braun said a lot of things about how his sample was handled last year at a press conference and in public statements, either from his own mouth or through his handlers. These were gratuitous and unnecessary as he need not have made any public statements at all. They were also, given what we know now, low rent in that they suggested the possibility of contamination brought on by mishandling in such a way that many people construed it as Braun suggesting Laurenzi contaminated it himself. He stopped just short of that, but that was many people’s takeaway from it and Braun either knew better or was so careless about his comments that he shouldn’t have said a damn thing to begin with.

Opinion, but an informed one, and one which I’d be curious to know if anyone with legal training cares to dispute: What Braun said was not actually legally actionable slander. People are insulted all the time, but slander is a different beast and I do not believe that any court would actually entertain a defamation case from Laurenzi on this even if he chose to bring one. The comments were vague and not particularly pointed and related just as much to theoretical possibilities of contamination in general than they did to any malicious accusation of wrongdoing.

I feel like this is important, because I am seeing a race among columnists today to see how evil one can portray Braun’s comments last year. Buster Olney and others have compared Braun to Lance Armstrong. Gregg Doyel, while not going quite to the level of an Armstrong comparison — suggests that some form of reparations — money? college funds for Laurenzi’s kids — are in order. Many have portrayed Laurenzi’s life as a living hell after last year’s comments from Braun. I don’t know that we have any information on that, actually. I’ve called Laurenzi and haven’t heard back from him. I’d be curious to hear his take.

With my above disclaimer about my feelings for Braun in mind, I think the Armstrong comparisons and the increasingly extreme portrayals of what Braun has done to Laurenzi are a bit much.  Lance Armstrong sued people on false grounds in a concerted effort to silence them and run them out of the business. Actually recovered money from them too.  He built a multi-million dollar cancer-fighting empire based on a goodwill borne of statements and a persona millions of time more righteous than anything Braun ever attempted to portray. Armstrong literally harmed people and arguably destroyed people’s lives. Time will tell if he’s done a disservice to cancer patients who have come to rely on an edifice he helped create and which may or may not be harmed by Armstrong being exposed for what he is.

I’m sure Laurenzi had a bad few days last year. I’m sure he wished he was never involved in the Braun mess to begin with. And, as I said yesterday, Braun certainly owes him an apology.  But I feel like people are going out of control in an effort to paint Ryan Braun with a black brush while ignoring the very different orders of degree of his acts as opposed to those of Lance Armstrong.

Maybe that makes people feel better, but I don’t think it helps Dino Laurenzi or anyone else besides the one offering such statements at all.

131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. thebadguyswon - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Give it a rest already Craig.

    • number42is1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Yea Craig… stop doing your gddamn job and just fall in line with everyone elses opinion! how DARE You have an opinion of your own… fascist!

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Maybe he’s a descendent of Mussolini?

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        So we need 18 posts about the same thing? Ok….got it.

      • GoneYickitty - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        I’m pretty sure you meant to type “So we need 18 posts every day about the same thing? Ok….got it.” You’re welcome.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        You ever see Alexei Sayle’s portrayal of Disco Mussolini on The Young Ones? The song he sang would fit right in with a lot of these mostly PFT, PHT and Yahoo Sports blog types who’ve swarmed over here like fruitflies to a fallen and busted jakfruit since yesterday: “I just make stupid noises….”

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        I have not, Gator, but I will add it to the list along with “Human Centipede” , just got finished with “Poultrygeist”.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Hope you can find it amongst all the episodes. You’re in for a treat.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        “Aren’t you Benito Mussolini, conqueror of Abyssinia and former dictator of Italy?” No.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Fascist bullyboy

    • number42is1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      I don’t get it… is there a guy standing behind you with a gun forcing you to read every post on this site? there are so many of you little bitches that just complain about some (all?) of the content on this site as though it is your RIGHT to have only written what makes you happy. if you dont like it dont read it… if you dont like the site at all stay off it. if you are simply jealous that Craig has what is basically a dream job…. well… nothing can really be done about that.

      ” So that’s it Warren? You wanna work in a record store? ”

      • GoneYickitty - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Just fyi … I saw it was written by Craig and it is PEDs related so I didn’t read it. I can still make comments though!

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Yes….There is a guy with a gun behind me.

      • jeffbbf - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        you’re the effin jackwagon here. the site is basically neutered without the comments…good, bad or ugly. We are all entitled to our opinion…except, according to you…those of us who think the non-stop, skewed posts on this subject are over the top and getting rather annoying. According to you, we are supposed to stop visiting the site if we don’t like a particular post. I think Craig would vehemently disagree with your position. Go brow-beat your family or employees if all you want are yes-men.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Lance and Braun lied over and over again to the public and worst of all their lies
      landed on top of innocent people who had nothing to do with PED’s, they are the
      worst of anyone involved with the PED’s.

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        The best part of all of this is how many baseball writers that were gleeful when Braun was “exonerated” last spring. Now, they have to eat crow. Its fun to watch.

      • nightman13 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        Who are the innocent people? If you are saying fans, etc. that’s fine. If you are saying the piss tester that is bogus.

        The tester broke protocol and that is true whether Braun is a cheater or not. He did not do what the rules said to do and he lost his job for it. Very plain and simple.

        The rules have been changed since then, so if anybody owes the guy an apology it’s MLB because they fired him and then acknowledged what they fired him for was a bad rule.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      He is correct though. Ryan Braun isn’t Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong at least won 7 championships.

      Am I right?

  2. Gardenhire's Cat - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Did you seriously compare Ryan Braun to Stalin?

    • number42is1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      sigh…. no he did not…

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      I was thinking more like Chairman Mao, personally.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Pol Pot, maybe. You take a chicken, strangle it, submerge it in lemon grass broth….

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Now that’s a man who knew how to get policy put into place.

        Also, see Ivan the Terrible for how to deal with the rich and powerful, or royals in his case.

        Allow country to implode, accept the job of cleaning it up as long as they give you absolute power, they agree, you agree, first order of business: Kill the royals. Problem solved, temporarily anyways.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Yo Blue – look up – Benito!

    • sabatimus - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      This comment could be impossible to determine on the truth/snark/sarcasm/facetious spectrum. However, given rampant reading comprehension issues, I’m going with truth, and therefore will say READ IT AGAIN.

    • tmohr - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Braun’s five-year plan has certainly not worked out either.

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Meanwhile, the fact that ESPN broke confidentiality by reporting on leaked information regarding Braun’s tainted urine sample gets, as usual, swept under the rug.

    And, yes, it matters, because ESPN turned this “investigation” into the joke that is has become.

    • sabatimus - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      ESPN is a joke and unconscionable in many ways, but I don’t know what that has to do with Braun testing positive and the breach of protocol; they both happened. Unlike, perhaps, the Bernie Fine Syracuse thing.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        It matters in the same way that we should consider the urine collector as having gone through some bad times. He went through those bad times because of ESPN breaking protocol. His bad times are directly related to ESPN. And so far, from what I’ve read, that urine is not the proof that earned Braun his suspension, so that urine has nothing to do with yesterday’s announcement.

  4. Alex K - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    You’re an apologizing apologist. You silly appologizer.

    • Alex K - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      apologizer…damnit. Where is the edit function when you really need it?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        All apologies.

      • nolanwiffle - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        I wish I was like you…..easily amused.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Sorry about the edit function.

      • km9000 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM


      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Good catch on the double entendre.

      • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        We wouldn’t need an edit function if people would just learn how to speel!

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        I’ll take all the blame – I’ll concede from shame

        One of my favorite rock lyrics

  5. Jack Marshall - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Craig is exactly right about the distinction between Armstrong’s despicable attacks on people he knew were telling the truth and what Braun did to Laurenzi.

    However, Armstrong also shows the folly in Craig’;s earlier claim that Braun owes no apologies to fans, and that athletes aren’t role models. Armstrong was the ultimate example of how a successful athlete set out to influence the conduct of others using his heroic status, inspiring virtual worship, linking ethical values to his success, and thoroughly corrupting his defenders, who argued that his epic cheating was “worth it” because of all the good it allowed Armstrong to do for cancer victims.

    Braun isn’t Armstrong, but he still misled fans into admiring him, and abused the historic and unavoidable power that athletic heroes acquire. In that respect, Armstrong is relevant to Braun.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      After so many athletes have proven to be ethically suspect or outright evil, why on Earth are people given a pass for allowing athletes to have this level of power over them? Why do we not fault fans for giving what are, essentially, gladiators or mercenaries, their loyalty and admiration?

      Does caveat emptor not apply anymore?

      • number42is1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        So fans should start with the assumption that all athletes are “ethically suspect and outright evil” and if not it is their fault if they are blindsided by the athlete in question actually being ethically suspect and/or outright evil? That seems like a terrible state of mind for a fan to have doesn’t it? Shouldn’t fans (I’m thinking young kids) be able to look up to athletes and not be ridiculed or blameed for believing their favorite player is actually honest? By stating this, you are basically ridiculing kids for liking Braun and believing his lies, are you not? Sure, educated/grown-up baseball fans are more cynical like you describe, but why is it their (our) fault for admiring these nearly superhuman athletes that do things we will never be able to do in our non-athletic lives?

        Furthermore, you say they are essentially gladiators or mercenaries. That is assinine in that the two are not alike whatsoever. Perhaps athletes are like gladiators, I’ll give you that, but mercenaries have virtually no correlation. Even if you think they are essentiallly gladiators, which is a stretch considering what gladiators did, the fans’ of those gladiators were the same as today’s fans in that they gave them loyalty and admiration. It’s the essence of sport to do this as a fan is it not? Why should you blame them for that? Makes no sense.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        i.e. No. I fail to see how caveat emptor applies here.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        No. They should watch and enjoy them play games on a diamond/court/field/rink/pitch and then go on with their day. If they find that those players did something bad in their lives they should treat them like any other stranger who does something bad.

        “Oh my. That’s awful.”


        “Did you see what he did? Sheesh.”


        “Well, that’s a shame.”

        Then they should get back to their lives rather than act as if they’ve been betrayed.

      • lanflfan - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Somewhere along the line stars of sports and entertainment became role models to people, including, unfortunately, children. Some stars certainly are, giving of their time and money freely and generally being a responsible citizen. However, the vast majority are just ordinary people who have the same faults and vices we all do. They live and work in the public eye, sometimes make spectacular errors, but generally are responsible citizens and decent role models.

        There is a small percentage however, a number that seems to be growing larger by the year, whose low moral character and/or lack of ethics brings down all the others and undermines their very public lives. It is unfortunate that the denizens of this group tend to be the most public and popular, thereby creating a circular event where one bad apple creates five more that keep perpetuating the problem. It is this group that needs to be made accountable for their actions and shown as negative examples of society, someone not to be emulated.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Craig, that is the naive and you know it. C’mon man, you know it’s more than that to fans. Fans have been betrayed have they not? Milwaukee! I’m talking to you! Reality is one thing, your ideal picture of things is another. Tell a six-year-old to get over it already. That’s not what is at issue here. I say he got off light and you seem to agree, so shouldn’t he pay more for this?

        We should be pissed about cheaters cheating in any avenue of life. Just b/c we aren’t directly affected in your view (in my view we are) doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be mad as hell and not taking it anymore.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Fans have been betrayed have they not?

        Yes, but how many times does it have to happen before y’all stop putting these guys up on pedastals? First it was McGwire and Sosa. Then it was Bonds, but no one liked Bonds so people were praying for Arod. Then Arod got busted so people were praying for Pujols.

        How many times do you have to be fooled before you stop caring, and just watch baseball for the awesomely flawed game that it is?

    • nategearhart - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Armstrong also apologized, and a fat lot of good it did anybody.

  6. jaguar0413 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    You’re getting pretty butthurt over this whole thing Craig, and, yet, you’re still missing the point. You are correct that the whole Dino Laurenzi thing is getting overblown (even though Braun was a total douche about the way he painted Laurenzi). Laurenzi will be fine and he is small potatoes anyways.

    The real problem that Braun is going to have is with the player’s union. Michael Weiner already said that they will not defend any players who have the evidence stacked against them. That’s how this deal came about in the first place.

    Braun is the union’s worst nightmare of a player. He is a $100 million guy on a small market team who lied extensively about his PED use over the course of three years now. I’m sure that his ordeal is going to make other small market teams reconsider before pouring such cash into players (especially since teams like the Rays and A’s are making it work with extremely strong scouting and low payrolls). One player who might be directly affected by this is Giancarlo Stanton. Similar numbers, age and with a franchise that has always been risk averse to spending money. It’s a lot easier for the Yankees to blow $30 million a year on A Rod and get no return on the investment. If Braun’s ordeal has an impact on other contracts, you can bet the union is going to be aggressive in pushing for tougher penalties for PED users.

    • sabatimus - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      The point? Craig made HIS point, not yours.

      • jaguar0413 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        I obviously thought his point was off the mark.

  7. El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    “Fact: under MLB rules then in place, Laurenzi did mishandle the sample. He didn’t taint it or do anything sinister, but he did, technically speaking under the letter of the rules he was to follow, mishandle it. That gave Braun his opening and he and his lawyers took it. If you dispute that just stop reading because that’s simply a statement of fact. MLB even changed its rules after the fact in order to address it, so they acknowledged a problem too.”

    Strictly speaking, he mishandled the sample under the strict definition (or lack thereof) of the MLB’s standards for chain of custody. Doesn’t this likely mean that it was a hole in the language that Braun’s attorneys found and likely NOT a true mishanlding of said sample? It sounds like the language was defined well enough so it left ambiguity, which is what Braun took advantage of, not the fact that the piss was actually mishandled in any way.

    • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      *wasn’t defined well enough

      Pie is tasty.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Cake > pie

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM


      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        All Braun was showing is that the urine sample shouldn’t be wholly trusted. Which is the point folks like me are always making. WADA can find the marijuana in the ski jumper’s urine, but it can’t determine if marijuana has aided the ski jumper’s jump. But, according to their rules, they take the ski jumper’s silver medal away.

        We don’t know what Braun took. His statement is purposefully vague. I am sure Bud approached him and suggested that he take the rest of the season off to spend time with his family, and that by the time next season starts, no one will be discussing this.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        That’s all well and good, but I still side with those saying that Braun owes the dude that handled his sample an apology (at minimum) for raking his name over the coals. That is my point. Braun never proved the dude made a mistake, he only proved that the MLB’s language re chain of custody for samples was flawed and nothing more.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        I’m with you, Bravo. Since Brauno accepted the suspension, he should tell us all what the hell is going on. From the urine test to his family issues last Friday. And we, the American, baseball loving public, will sit there and listen to him while we eat lots of pie. Apple pie. Cherry pie. Rhubarb pie. With ice cream.

        No cakes allowed.

      • ltzep75 - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        Here, here!

        /golf clap amidst eating a lovely key lime pie and drinking a mint julep.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Yep…Pie trumps Cake (8) days a week and twice on Sundays.

      • tigersfandan - Jul 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        I don’t know if I like pie or cake better. I want both sides of the argument to keep me supplied with plenty of pies and cakes until I have made my decision.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        Well, well: the cake vs. pie dilemma is back! As always, commonalities should be considered: there’s no such thing as bad cake or pie.

    • mogogo1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      If he’d just taken advantage of the loophole, it’d be a non-issue with me. I’m pretty jaded to all these dirty athletes and I expect them to use technicalities to their advantage. But Braun went WAY beyond that. He insinuated they’d found stuff out about the guy and that there was reason to believe the guy might have tainted the results. Not only does he owe the guy an apology, I’m surprised the guy hasn’t already filed suit for defamation of character and slander.

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Well we’ll see about that suit, but either way, Braun is a douchnozzle.

  8. banpeds - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    You are right on this one CC, He is worse than Lance, becuase unlike Lance, tens of millions more fans follow baseball than cycling. Most kids have no idea who Armstorng is, but thousands wore Brauns jersey and viewed him as their hero. You appear to be not able to help yourslef with these irrational rants, sad very sad testament to your views. BTW, Braun will pay the test collector a few million when all is said and done. Laurenzi has been sitting on a civil suit since for months, all typed and ready to go with Braun target one.

    • number42is1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      you forget all of those gddamn ugly yellow bracelets that all the kids wore a few yrs back? they may not of known WHO is he was… but they knew of his existence and what he stood for.

    • nategearhart - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      So you think Braun’s actions are worse because he’s more popular than Armstrong? Talk about irrational.
      Also, completely insane, if you actually think Ryan Braun is more well known than Lance Armstrong.

    • philsieg - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      …becuase unlike Lance, tens of millions more fans follow baseball than cycling. Most kids have no idea who Armstorng is

      Really? Your US-centric ignorance is showing. For this year’s Tour de France (just completed), over 12 million fans were estimated to have lined the roads of France. Cycling has the largest global fan following of any sport save real football. Lance was a global figure. Ryan Braun is a regional one.

      Number42is1 is correct. Remember the yellow bracelets? Then there’s all the bike shops that owe their existence to middle-aged men in latex (MAMILs) ponying up for the latest Lance kit and Trek Madones. Lance’s global recognition and economic impact dwarfs Braun.

      • mogogo1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        How many national ad campaigns was Braun involved with, even prior to the cheating allegations? That’d be zero. Armstrong had been retired for years and was still in several. He was such a commodity some sponsors stuck with him right up until his confession.

    • nightman13 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      I can’t believe how the bar for new levels of stupidity keeps getting set higher and higher in the wake of the Braun ruling. Or maybe lower and lower?

    • darthicarus - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      You don’t think there were tens of thousands of cancer patients/survivors/family members who bought hook, line, and sinker that Lance Armstrong was an all around good guy that was fighting tooth & nail to prove his innocence by any means necessary? Those same people who believed in this cancer survivor who not only fought a terrible disease but also those people who wanted to label him as a cheater & a liar soon learned that this guy who was dealt a band hand in life with cancer was actually a giant liar and a cheater…who happened to beat cancer and used his “fame” to help build his foundation. Granted what Armstrong has done for cancer awareness is great and those who fight this disease & survive are heroes/role models/etc, but Armstrong the person aside from the foundation is no better than the guy dealing 3-card monte on the subway.

  9. hansob - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Maybe comparing Braun to Armstrong is a bit overboard. I tend to think the comparisons are more based on the basic “denial-denial-denial, often a bit beligerently, until you’re nailed” thing.

    But if I get nothing else from this post, it’s that I can stop apologizing for stuff that I say that falls short of actionable slander. Good to know.

  10. Jonny 5 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    It is very interesting to me that this guy who is now proven to be very self centered and a liar also pushed the Brewers to sign him to a long term deal at a “discount”. Is it that far of a stretch to say Braun knew what was on the horizon and actually pulled the wool over the eyes of Brewers management?

    Journal Sentinel, dateline April, 2011:

    Both sides did so, leading to the announcement Thursday that Braun and the club had agreed to a five-year extension worth $105 million, a historic deal in many ways. The extension, which runs from 2016 though 2020, also includes a mutual option for 2021 worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout.

    As further proof that Braun wants to be a career Brewer, a no-trade provision was included in the deal. To help the club stay competitive and have the financial wherewithal to sign other players, Braun agreed to defer an unspecified amount of the money.

    Braun’s extension pays him salaries of $19 million in 2016, 2017 and 2018; $18 million in 2019; and $16 million in 2020. It also includes a $10 million signing bonus, which in addition to his $4 million salary this year brings his pay more in line with players of his stature and production.

    The $4 million buyout in 2021 brings the total guaranteed value of the extension to $105 million.

    “It was conducted more as a partnership than a negotiation between a player and team,” said [Brewers owner] Attanasio, who traveled from Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, to participate in an afternoon media session at Miller Park.

    “Ryan reached out to us in spring training about wanting to be a Brewer for the rest of his career. That spoke loudly to me and Doug. Also want to thank Doug. This is a major move for the franchise. It’s a very, very exciting day.”

    Braun reached out to THEM, which is kinda backwards if you ask me. It’s strange he would want to avoid becoming a FA and possibly go to a WS contender for more money. Am I wrong to think he scratched this deal out as quickly as he could because he knew he was in more trouble?

  11. thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Time for the next suspension to be handed down. Everything worth saying about Braun has been said in triplicate.

  12. countduku - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Craig, I would like to know what you know for a fact to be the way the sample was too be handled? and why you say it was (as a fact) mishandled? How does the language read in the CBA? I personally don’t know. Anyway, What Ryan Braun has done was destroyed the legacy off the the major league baseball players of this era, because this will now still be known as part of the steroid era, and one of constant denial until proven guilt. If I were a major league pitcher who made it to the big show by good clean honest living and hard work, the first pitch Ryan Braun would see next year by me was a fastball near the chin. The second pitch would be much closer. By the third pitch, i assume he will have issued the ultimate apology to each and every player, fan, and media outlet in the world…..Same would go for the second time i faced him, sans his apology. Btw, he does compare on the same level as Lance Armstrong, he just didn’t have the success on the big stage that Lance did.

  13. pftbillsfan - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    If someone one shoots a person in front of a crowd of people but in a state of shock the arresting officer forgets to read the shooter his/her rights, does it make the shooter any less guilty? The individual is still truly guilty and so technicalities aside the guy should have been suspended the first time, this should be 100 games.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Wrong because there’s a difference between innocent and not guilty. Never mind that your analogy isn’t valid because there wasn’t a crowd that witnessed Braun’s “crime”.

    • American of African Descent - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      It’s also not a valid analogy because the failure to read someone their Miranda rights only makes any subsequent statement inadmissible. It doesn’t bar testimony from all of the witnesses.

      A better question would be if someone is trafficking drugs, and the police bust into the drug trafficker’s home without a warrant and seize evidence illegally, does that make the drug trafficker not a drug trafficker? Of course the answer is “no.” Nevertheless, I’d much prefer the illegally seized evidence get thrown out and the drug trafficker go free, because we cannot encourage bad behavior by those charged with investigating crime.

  14. bronsonshore - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Craig doesn’t even have his own opinions. All he has are judgments about other people’s opinions.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Dumb. Dumber. Dumberer.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        Yo Gator – look back to the top of this comment page you fascist bullyboy you.

    • sabatimus - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      *blinks in astonishment*

  15. wingslax35 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    You and Aaron Rodgers are apologists for Braun. Stop kissing his ass. He got caught……….again.

    • nategearhart - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Reading is hard.

      • mjvincent125 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        true, and comprehension is even harder.

      • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        But swinging at some low hanging troll fruit is remarkably easy. I think a lot of people are just entertaining themselves now.

  16. Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I’d love to see Lance Armstrong in a remake of The Triplets of Belleville.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      With or without subtitles?

  17. Reflex - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    One thing about Armstrong: When the news hit about him I was concerned that his cancer charity would be harmed and thus the one good thing to come out of his career would be destroyed as well. Then I bothered to check out their website. Its a load of pseudo-science, miracle cures, misinformation about ‘chemicals’, vaccine quackery and other garbage.

    I hope Livestrong just goes away. Its doing harm by its very existence.

    • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      Man, that sucks. I didn’t realize that was the case, but can’t be too surprised.

    • eightyraw - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      It sounds like you might’ve checked out Livestrong dot COM not Livestrong dot ORG. Livestrong Foundation sold naming rights to Demand Media, which created a for-profit SEO and ad-revenue-centric site.

      • Reflex - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Ugh, you are correct but I’m not certain how this absolves Livestrong. Their name is associated with all sorts of quackery on every a basic internet search for all sorts of terms(fluoride, vaccines, fake autism treatments, fake cancer remedies, etc etc). It may not be being posted by them, but its their name, their logo, and says right at the top that they are the official partner of…I’m not sure how I’m supposed to take it besides it being affiliated and endorsed by Livestrong.

      • eightyraw - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Yeah I didn’t feel the need to offer an opinion, knowing that you’re smart enough to sort out on your own how this is a troublesome move by a non-profit organisation. This is by no means a quick read, but here is a spectacular piece on the blurry lines of the Livestrong Foundation:

      • Reflex - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        That is an excellent read, thank you for the link.

      • eightyraw - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Happy to share. Your instincts telling you to not blindly trust Livestrong were correct, and I figured the article would be more illuminating than my attempts to regurgitate the main points.

  18. rickdobrydney - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    All this lawyer, legalese crap makes me sick and sicker. This freaking blog is turning into the Peoples Court for Christ’s sake.

    • sabatimus - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      How dare you besmirch Judge Wapner!

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Or Judge Judy.

  19. barrancefong - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Chris, you say that Braun insinuated that the sample was tampered with, but stopped short of accusing Laurenzi, but what about the email that came from Braun’s camp that was sent to a number of baseball reporters (Passan wrote about it on Y!). Short of saying Laurenzi put synthetic testosterone in Braun’s piss, that email essentially called him a fraud. That’s like me saying “well, I saw Joe with some bolt cutters, then he went around the corner to where the jewelery store was, and then the next day he had a new watch. But I’m not saying he’s the one that broke into the store”.

    Ultimately, he ruined an innocent man’s reputation and tossed his world upside down. Whether it’s one or many, it’s just as despicable.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Have a link for the story?

      • barrancefong - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Here you go… relevant part is at the very end.–lied-and-cared-only-for-himself-050550708.html#more-id

  20. jayscarpa - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    So “What Braun said was not actually legally actionable slander” is the criteria. ” Your standards are piss poor.

    “Laurenzi had a bad few days last year”. Way to minimize and demean the victim.

    Are you looking for a spot on the Braun legal team?

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Craig’s right. L’affaire Laurenzi had nothing whatsoever to do with the episodes that led to Braun’s suspension. Laurenzi was found responsible for messing up by decision of the arbitrators, not by Braun’s comments – which were sufficiently oblique as to be not actionable, or Laurenzi would have been able to sue him already. He didn’t because he had no actionable grounds. What Braun did was morally repugnant but not tortious. Sorry, that’s just how it is. You can try to sue someone for something because they got nailed for something else, but you’re gonna waste a lot of money on lawyers.

  21. 0fahrvergnugen - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    The clean athletes are the people most affected by these goddamn cheats. The clean athlete who competes in the farm system and never quite makes it while they’re leapfrogged by these thieves. Someone who may have had a 2, 3 or 4 year career and made some real money in the bigs if they’d been competing on a level playing field and not against a bunch of juiced up fuktards. The penalties being handed out are lame at best. These PED users are not only liars and cheats but they’re THIEVES. In most cases, like Braun, they probably never earned their contracts….. They will be suspended a few games and continue to possibly collect millions and millions for years and who knows if they’ll ever perform even remotely close to their previous numbers. Illegal substance abusers, cheats, liars and THIEVES. Scum taking the food off of the plates of honest families. Suspend them, tear up contracts and turn them over to the authorities. I also approve of whoever suggested deporting players who are here on work visas who cheat and are engaging in illegal activities. End this nonsense.

  22. armadaservices - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Livestrong saved lives. I don’t care if it was started by Hitler; it saved lives.

    It is beyond ridiculous if you’re trying to sell me that Braun was not trying to assassinate the character and integrity of Laurenzi to try and retain his image and standing. Ridiculous. That Braun has an attorney who could have advised how to toe the line legally doesn’t remove the intent. Disgusting to defend any actions of Braun.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Who is defending any actions of Braun? All I see in your comments is another straw man. All Craig and others here have pointed out is that Laurenzi has no legal recourse against Braun. No one is asserting that Braun’s behavior was okay – except, of course, those who come on here to misrepresent what Craig has written just so they could become indignant about it, like one of those little Australian lizards splaying its frill at its own afternoon shadow.

  23. leess75 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Fact: under MLB rules then in place, Laurenzi did mishandle the sample.

    I don’t think that’s a clear cut fact. The drug agreement allows for temporary storage of the sample by Laurenzi. In fact, he’s done it before and he’s trained to do so. IIRC, I think there is some gray area and interpretation in the rules which specify when he is allowed to temporarily store the sample. To state this as a black and white isn’t fair to Laurenzi.

  24. abudanroman - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I’m shocked by Craig’s take on all this. Didn’t see it coming.

  25. abudanroman - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I’m shocked by Craigs take on all this. Didn’t see it coming.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      The first time – you didn’t see it coming – fine – but then you still didn’t see it coming?

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