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Shocker: people aren’t satisfied with Ryan Braun’s apology

Aug 23, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

braun getty Getty Images

Wow, I’m gobsmacked. I really and truly thought that, after Ryan Braun‘s apology last night, people would embrace him and say that he addressed every concern they had and now we could move on. Imagine my shock and horror this morning when I read multiple takes from the usual suspects about how Braun left questions unanswered and didn’t go far enough.

I mean, Buster Olney does have a good point here, right?

The crafted and polished words issued in his name left a lot of unanswered questions … Questions such as: Explain the process that you got PEDS in the summer of 2011. What “products” did you use?

Well, if you look right at his statement he says “The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation.” Does Olney want a chemical breakdown of the substances? Does he think Braun even knows? Go read “Game of Shadows” and the BALCO grand jury testimony to see how naive and willfully ignorant ballplayers are about what they use. Braun probably doesn’t know. Heck, even if he does what difference would it make? Show me one instance where baseball writers have made meaningful distinctions between anabolic steroids, HGH, testosterone and other things. They all treat them like magic pills which bestow super powers, so Braun not breaking them down here makes zero difference.

This reaction from Olney and many reactions from others was wholly predictable. Indeed, I predicted it the other day. They want blood. But if blood were given it still wouldn’t be enough. There is literally nothing Braun could have said that would have had people go “wow, good job, Ryan. Now let’s move on.”

None of which is to say that Braun isn’t a liar and a cheater and a pretty miserable guy. He seems like he is. I’m just truly puzzled why, if that is the case, anyone expects him to say magic words to make it all better.

Here’s a crazy possibility: Braun isn’t, in reality, all that regretful about his PED use or anything else and he’s doing this simply to try to appease people because that’s what’s expected of him. In which case maybe we shouldn’t be judging this on the merits in the first place. Maybe we should just be content that he got caught and realize that sometimes bad people do bad things. And that sometimes the story doesn’t end with the bad person learning a lesson and a group hug.

  1. notsofast10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    He missed a very important apology! He stole from Matt Kemp, not just a liar but a thief! In fact not only apologize, but fedex the trophy over night to LA you, RB, do not deserve to have that MVP trophy in your possession for one more second! You were not clean when you won it!

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

  2. Gamera the Brave - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I have to say that some of the outrage does, in fact, crack me up.
    Braun made a gambling decision, to take PEDs so that he could play baseball more, and better. Then, when confronted, he lied about it, until he couldn’t get away with it.

    Does this make him a “gutless clown”, or a “lying prick”, or “filthy piece of human garbage”, though?

    Maybe I am burned out on the topic, but I can help but feel two things:
    1. Glass houses, people – have you never lied, cheated, took a gamble and lost? Gotten yourself in a jam due to stupid choices, and bullshitted your way out of it?
    2. Let’s get some perspective here – he’s a baseball player. He’s not the president, nor your minister/priest/spiritual guide/accountant – does his desire to play more baseball, and be sneaky and defensive about the PED usage really make him the devil?

    Let’s some of us assume the lotus position, please.

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      This is the best comment I’ve read today.

    • ewyorksockexchange - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      I agree with everything you said except that Braun gambled and lost. He gambled and won. The hammer didn’t come down until after he signed his megadeal. Financially, he made out much better than if he hadnt taken a banned substance. Braun gamed the system, and won. Any lost endorsement deals that come from his PR hit are probably dwarfed by the money he’ll make off of his contract. Especially given the small market of Milwaukee. Unless baseball negotiates a way to void contracts and instill earlier lifetime bans, any player with a solid head on his shoulders and questionable integrity will do what Braun did.

    • notsofast10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      So in a desire to have more money to make my life easier I decide to “gamble” and devise a very astute method to rob a bank! My “gambling decision” makes me $500K, woohoo, the easy life, until the FBI roles up at my door and confronts me. I deny it and deny it, have a great alibi until the FBI presents me all the evidence they have and now I confess and the gig is up! Now I have to go to jail and pay back all the money! My “gambling decision” and getting caught has severe consequences as should Ryan Braun’s. The outrage you are hearing are from people that understand that he decided to “gamble” which means he made a consious decision to cheat and defraud the system. 65 games rest then back at it is pathetic. Basically what Braun did is white collar crime not gambling.

    • pesky99 - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Well, you obviously don’t have a real respect for the game of baseball at all. And it sounds like you don’t have an issue with players not being accountable or moral.
      Ahh, that new age “progressive” thinking, how’s that working out for society nowadays???

  3. rayburns - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    If anyone thinks that Braun came within 25 feet of a computer or typewriter (if he’s old school) to craft this message, I have a bridge to sell you.

    As CyclePower said, this was a message that was carefully crafted by Braun’s PR people and as equally vetted through Braun’s lawyers to be as appealing as possible without saying anything.

    I think that they released it this way instead of having Braun read the statement in front of people because even Braun couldn’t get through the statement without rolling his eyes.

    • Barb Caffrey - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      It does read like Braun’s speech, so my guess is that Braun dictated most of it (especially the letter to Brewers fans) to a personal assistant. As Braun isn’t a professional writer and editor (I am, which is why I feel qualified to make this particular assessment), that’s the best he could do.

      Otherwise, I agree 100% with Craig’s article. For some of these baseball writers and critics, there is literally nothing Braun could do, including dropping dead of shame, that would improve the situation. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

  4. boltfansmith - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Someone gave him the shocker???

  5. jm91rs - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I think the apology is pretty decent as far as those things go. People are never going to forget, the best he can do is answer all the questions he’s asked and eventually some people will move on. The only big question I would still have is if he claims he was busted for a cream in 2011, how does Biogenesis fit in? He certainly was implying that he made a one time mistake, but the pieces don’t quite fit for that story.

    • philsieg - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      I would agree. Like Craig has said, there wasn’t anything he could say that would satisfy the PED warriors. I am a little disturbed that so many want to conclude that Braun is just a bad person with no apparent chance for redemption. Jeez, the kid is only 29. He’s got a lot of life ahead and if this is the worst thing he ever does, he’s got a pretty good chance of living a worthwhile life. Maybe it’s because I’m turning 65 in a little over three weeks from now, but between the age he is now and when he gets to my age, there’s room for a lot of recovery and positive contribution. But I’m just an old bleeding heart liberal, so what do I know?

  6. bougin89 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    What? I was assuming everyone thought he was still a great guy that just made one honest mistake.


  7. ramrene - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    2 words…

    “KIll Him”

  8. erbaodai - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I would be partially satisfied if he decides to tell the BBWAA to strip his MVP and give it to Matt Kemp.

    • antaresrex - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      And yet not only does no one ever say Brian Cushing should give back his Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, the AP voted on it again after the fact and still gave Cushing the award.

      It’s very hard to take this kind of talk seriously about baseball when no one asks remotely the same of football or basketball.

      • notsofast10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Wrong forum.

      • antaresrex - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        That’s weird. I thought this might be the perfect place to make a point about the glaring double standard in effect, regarding the respective levels of outrage about PED use in each sports league.

  9. granadafan - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    You know why people aren’t buying this statement? A) His lawyer wrote it, B) He STILL won’t go in front of the camera to sincerely apologize, C) He’s STILL lying and using ye olde injury excuse. He *claimed* to have taken some lozanges. How stupid does he think we are?

    He cheated to get the huge contract and should have his contract voided.

  10. rtp295 - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    While Brauns statement wasn’t perfect, I think it was a good first step in working his way back to forgiveness, which for some will be a long process, and others will never happen. If he truly only took it in 2011 to recover from an injury, than I can forgive him, in time, of course.

    However what people need to realize is he will come back the same player, in 2012 he hit more home runs than 2011 and was being tested constantly.

  11. glennsyank13 - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    People want him to apologize to the sample collector? That is a bit ironic since the collector got himself fired over it. Fact is that he improperly stored the sample, and that is why Braun got off in the first place. Had the collector followed protocol, Braun would never have been able to make his infamous denial speech as he’d have lost his appeal and there’d be no apology now.

    • herkulease - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Sure, the sample collector messed up. No doubt that gave Braun an opening. But Braun went even further than saying collector failed to follow protocol. Braun started claiming the dude was anti-Semitic when chances are he probably had zero clue or even care Braun is Jewish. That is what people want the apology for.

      • glennsyank13 - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Sure, he needs to apologize for what he said about the collector. But many are saying Braun needs to apologize for getting the guy fired and to somehow get his job back. But he got himself fired.

      • glennsyank13 - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        he needs to apologize for what he said about the collector. But many are saying Braun needs to apologize for getting the guy fired and to somehow get his job back. But he got himself fired.

      • cw2121 - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Where did Braun say the collector was anti-Semitic? I have only seen one report, which has since been discredited at least in part, that claimed this. Nothing really reliable has confirmed it as far as I know.

  12. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Hook these a$$wipes up to a lie detector when they decide to ‘confess’, with these type of lame excuses. Make them take sodium pentothal also (

    If they ring the liar bell one time, they void their contract and work the rest of their life to pay back the money they have already made from PEDs.

    Then, when they have satisfied the payback, guillotine their heads off on Pay Per View, and give the money to the Sisters of the Poor, the homeless, starving children in Africa, and Donald Trump for a haircut. This may actually turn the economic tide in America.

  13. stercuilus65 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM


  14. zippythesquirrel - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    When I was 16 and monkeying around with the school bus and accidentally drove it into a ravine the school wouldn’t accept my apology either. Some people you just can’t please!

  15. sillec28 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    People don’t “want blood.” But they do figure that since he spent a fair amount of time on TV denying that he used PEDs, he might spend the same amount of time on TV answering questions. Reading a statement written by his PR people doesn’t quite cut it.

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