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Tips for Ryan Braun’s upcoming rehabilitation tour

Aug 21, 2013, 11:32 AM EST

ryan braun getty Getty Images

As I said the other day, I feel like Ryan Braun is in a situation where no matter what he does and no matter what he says he will still be a pariah. Mark McGwire showed us that, as has every other publicly disgraced person who gets in front of a camera in an effort to come clean.

Sometimes they are less than forthcoming, true, but sometimes they say absolutely everything that can conceivably be said about the matter and they’re still slammed for evading or not being remorseful or whatever. The secret here is that most people really don’t want answers or explanations from these people. They’ve made up their minds and won’t listen. They just want the thrill of seeing someone squirm and the satisfaction of saying, after the fact, that the person is still a piece of garbage.  I feel like Braun will get this treatment in spades.

But others aren’t as cynical as me. Bob Wolfley of the Journal-Sentinel spoke with some experts and P.R. professionals about what Braun could say or do to actually get on the road to redemption.  It’s a fascinating and, actually, quite excellent article that covers just about every angle of the matter.

This from former commissioner Fay Vincent was the first insight:

One is, he should see that the problem is a very serious problem for baseball, not think that the Ryan Braun case is about Ryan Braun … secondly he should, in my view, go to somebody like the commissioner and say what can I do to go around and make it clear to fans and to people in baseball that we’ve got to do something to keep these drugs from infecting the rest of the game?”

Nice, but if you don’t think the response to that would be (1) “Braun is not taking personal responsibility, he’s blaming ‘the game'”; and (2) yeah, sure, look at his cynical P.R. efforts, just like A-Rod working for the Hooton Foundation!” you’re crazy, Fay.

The stuff from a P.R. expert is way better: a full confession and apology with no “buts” in the comments, anonymous charity work and an eschewing of the limelight. I feel, however, that a lot of that would be construed as “Braun has gone away to hide.”  Other P.R. people in the column talk about how it’s too late and how Braun can never redeem his reputation.  I suspect they may be right.  Former Mets pitcher Ron Darling is not so pessimistic and believes that there is a chance for Braun.

I know that Braun’s reputation is not the concern of people outside of Braun himself, but I find it a fascinating sidelight to this grand opera.

  1. roanboon - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    America’s hungry for more A-Rod news.

  2. sdelmonte - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Still would love to see:

    1) I got stupid. The monry was too good. (The Jayne Cobb approach)

    or

    2) I think the whole “steroids are cheating” thing is bull, and I refuse to pretend that I am less moral for using them. I have no regrets in trying.

    Neither will ever happen. But it would be fun.

    • apmn - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      The image he needs to rehab is that of “arrogant lying liar”. He can address the PED stuff at a later date.

      • sdelmonte - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        I am not at all bothered by him being arrogant or a liar. I almost expect that from public figures by now. I don’t approve, but I also don’t get upset.

      • skids003 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        If he cries some, acts contrite, etc then comes back and playes good, all will be forgiven/.

    • biasedhomer - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Well he brought this all on himself. If had just admitted to those positive tests being accurate, he wouldn’t be in this situation.

      Instead, Bruan piled lies upon lies, and now he expects the public to accept his “apology”, which is most likely a lie.

  3. brewcitybummer - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Who does he really need to rehab his image with? He will likely spend the next five years playing on the most remote outskirts of major league baseball. The Brewers are a small market team that is easy for casual baseball fans across the country to forget about if they aren’t competitive. The Brewers have a laughably bad farm system and an even worse TV contract. Fans will get to mock Braun when their team plays the Brewers and that’s about it. And with the Brewers crawling into a non-competitive hole, Wisconsinites will go back to talking Packers by June. If he played somewhere else I could see the need for an image rehab, but honestly why would a casual baseball fan in Texas or California or New York even need to bother rethinking their opinion of Ryan Braun?

  4. gpack22 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    First and foremost the main, and possibly only, fanbase he needs to worry about is the Brewers. Apologize or whatever you want to do but the only thing that will heal his rep is going out next year and putting together a line of at least .320,35+,100+ and 25+ stolen bases…while winning games. Yes, he’ll be scrutinized but winning tends to be the ultimate healer. The boos will start to change over to cheers and as long as he doesn’t end up back in the PED news or suspended again he’ll be just fine.

  5. pftalk - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Tip for Craig: Stop writing about PED users and maybe spend some time on the guys actually playing.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      But you don’t comment on those articles. They just disappear without notice. I actually keep writing about PEDs because you, personally, keep showing up to comment on them.

      Am I misconstruing things here? Heavens.

      • pftalk - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        Thanks for the reply. Now I know why you do what you do. I can see your universe revolves around me and that gives me a warm feeling inside. Cheers.

  6. granadafan - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    The problem is that Braun was so vehement in his denials, destroyed another man’s reputation, accused him of anti-Semitism, lied to his teammates, business partners, coaches, etc. Heck, even his “apology” was written by his lawyer, and Braun didn’t even have the guts to go in front of the camera and apologize WITHOUT an insincere carefully prepared statement. He has to throw himself at the mercy of a hardnosed reporter on camera WITHOUT his lawyer or PR team and truly apologize. No, he didn’t make “mistakes”. They were calculated actions to cheat and lie. Even Michael Vick has been somewhat rehabilitated because he came across as sincere and truly repentent. Braun is just like Lance Armstrong, a combative and not apologetic jerk.

  7. ctony1216 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    The point is to eliminate PEDs from the game. Maybe Braun can help the league do that somehow.

    Braun failed a drug test in 2012, I believe, but he may have been able to pass the test on prior occasions. If that’s the case, he could explain how he did that and work with MLB to improve their testing capability. And/or perhaps he could help the league develop an outreach program for players to discourage PED use.

    • vanmorrissey - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Like this one. Lance Armstrong never failed either. There”s a process developed to beat the tests so if they cooperate with MLB then I’ll believe the contrition. That and if they give up some of their fat contracts(hahhahaha) then they are redeemed, alleluia. Never happen as players union would cry about it but it seems the union previously cared more about users than non-users but now that the other side is speaking up maybe the union will listen. Put it in their contracts, I dare them. Positive tests and/or findings with suspension causes voiding the contract. You got those fat contracts based on false numbers financed by public $$$ from the fans, you owe something back to us.

  8. chiadam - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    He should start by accusing everyone of refusing to accept his fake apology because he’s Jewish, then tell jokes about Dino Laurenzi Jr’s mom.

  9. rayburns - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I don’t think as many people are mad/disgusted/fill-in-the-blank at Braun for the PED use as much as they’re (insert appropriate vitriol-filled word here) at his arrogance and seeming sense of entitlement.

  10. jcmeyer10 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Wash the feet of the fans whom he lied to.

  11. muskyhunter2542 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    He should start by giving a million dollars to Dino the pee collector. Then go on from there. And Im a die hard Brewer fan.

  12. Old Gator - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    If Braun really wants to embark on a rehabilitation tour, he could benefit by watching some video footage of Jan and Dean’s Dead Man’s Curve nostalgia tour. He could certainly pick up a few pointers on eliciting sympathy from Jan Barry.

  13. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    The task is tough for him, no doubt, and it may not work. But if he really works at it, he can rehabilitate his image to some extent.

    Rule number 1 in PR- get everything out, no matter how bad it looks, no matter what the consequence, get it all out. Then he will need to do some sort of good work, IMO in an area other than PED type talks. That is too crass, and really, who is he to talk. He had no change of heart, he just got caught, so stay awy from a tour of going to HS and giving “just say no” talks. Get in involve in a charity, get people to mention your name in something that does not involve baseball or PEDs.

    I agree lots of people will always hate him no matter what, but if he really works hard, he will be better off image wise than he is now. But he has his work cut out, that is for sure. And he may well fail at this. It’s like the 36 year old pitcher and rotator cuff surgery. A comeback is possible, but it will take a lot of work.

  14. chacochicken - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    He needs to go Mickey Abbot…
    “Wait a second, wait a second, you got me all wrong. It was all because of the kid. The kid was growing. He shot up two and a half inches in a month. I woulda’ lost my job. Any one of you would have done the same. You got no right! I’m Mickey Abbott! I stood in for Punky Brewster when all of you was nothing. (seeing the crowd still doesn’t agree with what he did, he points at Kramer) It’s all his fault. It was his idea.

    Just replace Kramer with Arod.

  15. mrpinkca - Aug 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    In the midst of the 30 A-Rod lawsuits that will be going during the beginning of next season will anybody even remember he was suspended?

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