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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. boscoesworld - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Braun could stand on his head and fart quarters at this point and it wouldn’t be enough for most. Funny how he is skewered and Aroid is still playing and actually getting some love. Small market, Big market. Enough said.

    • El Bravo - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      That’s an interesting definition of love you have…Also, if Braun farts quarters, I’m back on his side in a heartbeat.

      • missthemexpos - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        If you are going to go to the trouble of farting quarters, why not go all the way and fart silver dollars.

      • Old Gator - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Because that hurts. For every dollar you fart, you will pay back a dollar and a quarter in deductibles on your prescription hemorrhoid ointment.

        Frankly, I was perfectly satisfied with Braun’s apology. I didn’t see it and it caused no distraction from my work.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Is it even considered farting when something comes out? I’d say he’d be pooping out quarters actually.

      • Gamera the Brave - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        I believe we have plumbed the bowels of this thread, gentlemen…

      • cur68 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Well, since we’re getting to the bottom of things, I do believe that the condition would be known as “quarting”: a combination of “quarter” + “farting”.

        Anyhow, do carry on with this fascinating debate gentlemen. I believe we’ve established what Braun is, now we’re settling on the fee for his re-instatement as ‘respected athlete’.

    • fm31970 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Who’s giving A-Rod love? Not even Yankees fans are, so not sure who you think is cheering for him.

      I agree that Braun’s paper apology comes off as less genuine than one done in person, but I don’t see any benefit for him to go into detail about exactly what he took and when, and he came out and did the right thing by apologizing, even if it was a bit impersonal.

      I’m sure there will be an in0depth interview with some journalist this winter, providing more details, but at this point, he accepted his punishment, admitted he was wrong, and apologized for his actions. We won’t forget what he did, but it’s time to move forward.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Define “love.” I think MLB is railroading him, I think the Yankees’ handling of him has been sketchy at best and I’m rooting for him to do well because it will help my team in their quest to make the playoffs. Does cheering for him under those circumstances qualify as giving him love? Because I’d say that describes the feelings of a large number of Yankee fans, who cheer for him despite realizing he’s pretty shady in his own right.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        What Kevin S said!

  2. alexo0 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    “And that sometimes the story doesn’t end with the bad person learning a lesson and a group hug.”

    That’s not what watching Full House taught me.

    • heyblueyoustink - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      ” Tight, Tight, Tight! ” commentary right there.

    • conjecture101 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      I don’t know what you were watching but it was usually just Danny Tanner and one of his children.

  3. losangelesfan - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I can’t wait to see how he hits unmedicated. .245/.298/.599 would be awesome.

    • El Bravo - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      I’d expect much of the same assuming he’s fully healthy. He’s a great hitter and a lozenge didn’t make that happen. He used, as most athletes do, to recover from fatigue and/or injury, not to hit balls farther. What I’m saying is, steal him in the third round of your fantasy draft next season and it will pay off greatly.

      • missthemexpos - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Look no further than Melky Cabrera for the Blue Jays this year.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Everybody predicted this for A-Rod, too. How’s .281/.379/.421 tasting, motherfuckers? Obviously not his previous MVP-level highs or anything living up to the contract, but about what we could reasonably expect for a former great in his decline phase whose body is breaking down but still retains the skills to be a productive baseball player. Guess what, he’s more than just the contents of a syringe. And no, I really doubt he’s juicing right now. With everything that’s going on with him, and the mad fight to save as much of his money as possible, the one thing that could completely undo all of that is if he gets caught using again. He’d be absolutely insane to risk it.

    • kidpresentable - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Braun is mad that he got caught. He’s mad that there are guys around the league criticizing him who are likely on stuff (*cough* Matt Kemp). He’s getting criticized by Kirk Gibson who without the aid of cortisone and pain killers to enhance his ability to perform, he wouldn’t have hit his famous home run. Cortisone is legal, but testosterone lozenges are not because of some arbitrary line that was drawn saying one is okay and the other is not.

      He’s probably mad at how hypocritical sports writers and sports fans are as he’s being lambasted for doing something many others do. He’s probably mad that tonight millions will tune in to preseason football between the Seattle Seahawks with Richard Sherman who beat his failed test on a technicality to go up against the Packers with Mike Neal who was suspended for a failed test, yet nobody will boo Mike Neal. If people boo Sherman, it’s because he’s an insufferable loudmouth who likes being the heel, not because of Adderall – the NFL player’s go-to defense when he fails a test because the league won’t say why a test was failed. Nobody cares that NFL guys use.

      Braun has every right to look around his team, look around the league, look around the world of sports and ask “what the #@!*?” He wouldn’t be wrong, and he’s not sorry, because no one else is, and no one else has to be.

    • cw2121 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Wait… you expect getting off steroids to increase his slugging, but decrease the amount he walks?

  4. sdelmonte - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I say this as someone who felt Braun owed the public nothing: that statement felt a bit fishy. I really think he would have been better off not saying anything.

    BTW, did you see the article in the NYTimes that says a study WADA commissioned about PED use in track and field was quashed because it shows much more PED use than WADA’s seemingly perfect testing was finding? Not sure what this means, other than WADA isn’t above fudging the data after all.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      You should check out the story prior to this :)

  5. jdanknich - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    If Ryan Braun told me that the sun rose in the East and set in the West, I’d have to confirm it on my own. I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. I’m also hoping the guy drug testing dude wil go after Braun for referring to the tester as an anti-Semite Cubs fan.

    • geoknows - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Well, we don’t have those words from Braun’s mouth, only from hearsay.

      What Laurenzi should really go after him for is losing his job. The man was fired over this.

      • kidpresentable - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        I don’t think Laurenzi was fired (I could be wrong). Braun owed him an apology for implying that the test was tampered with, but Laurenzi did not follow protocol. That’s why the test was overturned. That’s why MLB closed clarified its collecting policy immediately after. If Laurenzi was fired for not following protocol, that’s on him, not Braun (again, I think he’s still employed).

      • kidpresentable - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        I’m not sure why it says “closed clarified” Stupid lack of an edit button

  6. saints97 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Seeing as how he took as much advantage of the situation to make excuses as he did to apologize, how would you expect people to react? And I am also not buying the limited nature in which he claims to have used. That was just PR garbage, and something that was completely unnecessary.

    If anything, he should apologize to the sample taker that he skewered way back when.

    I still don’t understand why these guys feel it necessary to make these qualified apologies. You got caught. Take your medicine and come back and play clean.

    All of these apologies lends credibility to the blowhards that scream about how taking PEDs is somehow so heinous that people deserve public ridicule (all the while explaining away the use of PEDs by their childhood idles).

    Oh Lordy, just think of the poor kids. You know, kids with lazy parents, which seems to be prevalent these days, are emulating these “heroes” and taking PEDs at young ages so they can be like ARod and Ryan Braun.

    What a crock. Kids take these things for the same reason that pro ball players do – to gain an advantage and to get better and to win. Hell, I’d bet most high school kids who take these things are having them bought by their moronic, enabling fathers who then go on to write columns about how ARod should be a more responsible role model.

  7. jarathen - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Apologies are not about the people who make them. They’re a tool of extraction of pride from those who are wrong, a way for the “wronged” (this term is pretty loose here, since I doubt most people lost a job to Ryan Braun any time recently) to feel superior and that the offender has sufficiently groveled, which of course they can never do short of spilling blood or beating themselves like the Christians of old to pay for their terrible sins.

    Apologies are largely meaningless. People don’t change and the apology is usually a form of payment to try to pay their way out of shame or exclusion.

  8. papacrick - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    It’s pathetic the way this article is defending this fraud. People aren’t happy because he is still lying. He was using before 2011 and after his positive test in 2012 which he fails to mention. Nobody that juices uses lozenges either. That is a load of crap as well. Admit you’ve been injecting testosterone like 99.9% of other ped users on this planet, baseball player or not, and quit trying to downplay it like you were eating candy. This guy is a complete loser and nothing he says can be taken at face value

    • Taz - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      What positive test in 2012?

      • papacrick - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        After the positive test in 2011 when his name appeared in the 2012 records of Biogenesis. Serial cheater and filthy piece of human garbage

      • Taz - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        1. That’s not a positive test.

        2. I asked this in another reply: what documents from spring 2012? I know Olney brought it up, but as far as I saw none of the documents had dates on them. This is a serious question, and it would be helpful if you could show me where it was reported or shown that documents with Braun’s name were dated in 2012.

  9. biasedhomer - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    People aren’t fools to forgive a liar and slanderer after he states a few words.

  10. eshine76 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    I’ll give you that Buster’s question isn’t the best, but some of the other questions he poses are better, especially this one:

    “Your statement of Thursday night addresses PED use from 2011. Why, then, was your name in Biogenesis documents from the spring of 2012?”

    I’ll give you that he was damned no matter what he chose, but for a guy who is claiming to be sorry and wanting to come clean, he sees to be doing the bare minimum in his attempt.

    • Taz - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I don’t quite get what Buster is referring to. As far as I remember, none of the documents with his name had dates.

  11. flamethrower101 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    The statement didn’t really bother me as much as the fact that it was actually a statement. If he had said everything word-for-word in front of cameras at a press conference, I would’ve respected him more. He was willing to open his mouth and blast the system (and the urine collector) on camera but not apologize and admit his mistakes on camera?

    I always expected that only so many of my questions would be answered. I just hoped that he would be man enough to do it on camera.

  12. jgillmeister - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    To El Bravo –
    You certainly are a trusting soul. He didn’t know what was in the substances he was using, he used them for injury recovery; since you appear to be buying those lines, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you might be interested in.

    In this day and age, with the possible penalties, ignorance just doesn’t fly as an excuse. As to the injury thing, there have been rumors that he’s been juicing going back to college at Miami. I’d see a doctor for an injury that lingers that long.

    Truth is, we don’t know if he’s a great player or a Frankenstein’s monster, a creature of a secret lab. My guess – .229/.279/.340 is his slash line in 2014.

    • paperlions - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      If he is healthy next year, I will bet you $100 that Braun comes closer to his career averages than to that….I’ll even give you 2 to 1 odds.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Truth is, we don’t know if he’s a great player or a Frankenstein’s monster, a creature of a secret lab. My guess – .229/.279/.340 is his slash line in 2014.

      $20 says he breaks all of those marks

    • peymax1693 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Why do you assume that all of Braun’s ability came from PED use? I am not saying it didn’t contribute to an improvement in his performance, but to say he would go from being one of the best power hitters in the game to hitting like Reid Brignac off PEDs is completely off the wall.

    • cw2121 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      .229/.279/.340 is his slash line in 2014.

      Juan Pierre’s career slugging is .361 – do you really think he will be a worse hitter than Juan Pierre upon returning?

  13. paperlions - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Braun probably shouldn’t have said anything, what’s the point?

    It is possible (not likely, but possible) that his statement is 100% truthful and contains everything he actually knows and all of his PED use throughout his career, but no one would believe it if it was true.

    It really doesn’t matter what he said, people would say he was lying or hiding things or should have said more. Lucky for all of them, including those that masquerade as public figures (e.g. Olney) but really aren’t, that none of their private lives are on display with hordes following them around judging their mid-deeds….they get to lie and cheat in anonymity, like the rest of us.

    The only thing that would satisfy those people would be some statement like, “I have used PEDs throughout my entire career, starting in HS, throughout college, and the pros. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the major leagues and probably would have gone undrafted. I am retiring from baseball effective immediately.”….and even then the moralizing masses would probably find something to be unsatisfied about….probably start bitching that his statement would lead to HS players using steroids.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 24, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      You’re forgetting the people who post statement that he has stolen all the money he has been paid as well as his MVP trophy. For them, immediate retirement would still not be enough–he’d have to return everything he owns, and become a monk. Of course, there are still some then who will continue to go on about doing that for show and being too cowardly to speak in person.

      There is literally nothing he can do, so he should just get used to being a pariah if he is going to keep playing ball.

      • paperlions - Aug 24, 2013 at 7:54 AM

        Yes, right. Man, apologizing is hard.

  14. Taz - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Serious question:

    Doesn’t MLB have something on him? Documents, Bosch’s testimony, etc. Olney claims he showed up in documents from 2012, but I didn’t see that reported anywhere. None of the documents he was on had dates, as far as I recall. But let’s say MLB does have something with dates on it.

    If Braun is lying now in his statement, couldn’t MLB step in and call BS on the whole thing?

    Braun stated explicitly what he used and when he used it. If he was lying again, wouldn’t MLB already have the proof to do him in?

  15. amuccigr - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Shocker: it bothers people when other people make public statements that are lies and half truths. Just say nothing at all. This post is really garbage. Congrats, Craig, you were right that people wouldn’t be satisfied with Braun’s statement.

    “There is literally nothing Braun could have said that would have had people go “wow, good job, Ryan. Now let’s move on.””

    Then why does he say anything at all. It’s definitely worse to say what he said than to have said nothing.

  16. chip56 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I have no problem with Braun’s statement. What he was on is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. And of course his words were carefully crafted (by his representatives); would Buster have been more satisfied if his statement read poorly as if Braun (no wordsmythe) had written it himself?

    The bottom line is that Braun apologized to the people he needed to apologize to and that’s that. Do I buy the whole “I was in denial and truly think I did nothing wrong” stuff? Nope, but if that’s what helps him get through the night, what do I care?

    I very much want to see PED users punished to whatever extent MLB can punish them. But once that punishment is handed down and served I hold no grudge against them.

  17. cohnjusack - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Meh, I don’t see much point in any public apology really. If you’re a celebrity/politician/athlete and you fuck you, you are considering an asshole for not apologizing and a phony asshole for apologizing. Just say what you really want outraged public: the complete and utter ruin of the person who did wrong.

  18. rdillon99 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I think that people (read: the media and fans in general) would have been much more forgiving of Braun had he not so vehemently denied using PED’s in 2011 and all but publicly accused the poor guy who had handled his test-samples in 2011 of tampering. He established at that time that he is willing to say or do anything if he feels that it is to his advanatage. It is the fact that he had shown such willingness to publicly lie and throw an inncoent guy under the bus which has left the bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, and makes it so difficult for anyone to accept whatever half-hearted apology his publicist suggested that he should make at this time…. I’m not one of those people who thinks that PED users should be tarred and feathered, but I also don’t have a problem with those who doubt the sincerity of Braun’s apology.

  19. geoknows - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    “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.”

    Nailed it!!!

    He’s not sorry; he’s sorry he got caught.

  20. chiadam - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Braun did not “say” anything. Someone wrote a statement and someone else released it. He did squat. If that pile of crap apology is considered blood, then it’s the sort of blood one gets from a paper cut. We wanted blood because that lying prick deserves to bleed.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      What, pray tell, could Ryan Braun have said that would have appeased you?

  21. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    I blame sports movies. Life doesn’t always end with the good guys winning the pennant after learning a life lesson about friendship and honesty. People cheat. And they lie and steal. And sometimes if we are lucky, they get caught and punished. That’s all we can ask for in this life. Because, get ready for it….Life isn’t fair.

    Personally, I didn’t care what he said, but I didn’t care for the way he said it. A prepared statement comes off as weak sauce. Be a man, stand up and do your thing face to face, live, in front of cameras. My grandpa always taught me that if I was going to apologize, I should do so looking the other person in the eye.

    Though, to be honest, I would have had a lot of respect if he came out and was fully honest. “Look, I cheated, and I got caught. I regret that I got caught. But you better believe I don’t regret cheating. Let’s all be honest here, I’m a baseball player, and my job is to be on the field and entertain and win ball games and I was willing to do whatever it took to do so. Stop treating me like some humanitarian tasked with solving world hunger.”

  22. robbyrob2 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    After what he did to Dino Laurenzi, Jr, that was all he had to say to him……”sorry bout that?”

    Braun is a gutless clown.

  23. sdemp - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Who cares what he used, who cares how he got whatever it was he used. . . he can explain that to his family, MLB, the Brewers. He doesn’t have to tell anyone anything; half the people aren’t going to believe him and the the other half don’t care.

    Why not get answers from the other players suspended. . . What makes Braun better or worse?

    He cheated, he lied, end of story.

  24. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    The only thing that bothers me about his apology is every pundit and any former player someone can get a mocrophone in front of is going to say how much the whole thing is B.S. The best part being all the former players who used that never got caught calling him the biggest scumbag ever.

  25. CyclePower - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    No Craig. Neither Olney nor myself nor any other critic of Braun want a “chemical breakdown” of the “lozenge” he allegedly took. We’re just smart enough to recognize boilerplate PR press releases finely crafted by a team of lawyers and publicists to strike just the right tone but not reveal much, concede as little as possible, continue to obfuscate and basically try in an obviously stilted way to manipulate public opinion.

    The thing that irritates me the most about these guys – Braun and Arod – is that I even have be subjected to press releases by PR organizations. There’s now two competitive games being played concurrently: there’s basesball, and then there’s the legal/PR game that involves “teams” battling it out in the media, the latter of which you seem to particularly delight in following and reporting.

    When a player first cheats me (out of watching baseball played fairly), steals from me ( the pleasure as a fan of seeing Matt Kemp get an MVP award), lies to me (by issuing false public denials), publicly destroys others in the process (the guy who collected that pee sample), and then issues a public statement – doesn’t even speak – but “releases” an obviously cynical PR triangulation designed to manipulate me – I tend not to like the guy. I dunno, I guess that makes a bad person or something. Good thing Craig is on the job to tirelessly set us simpletons straight.

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      Craig just likes to make himself feel superior to everyone else. His entire job is based on pooh-poohing other sports writers’ work from his ivory tower. And what’s even more pathetic is his band of loyal lapdogs on here who try to bully anyone who has the gall to call him on his BS.

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