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Ryan Braun confident in abilities heading into 2014

Jan 26, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

Ryan Braun Getty Getty Images

At the same time the Brewers were finalizing their deal with starter Matt Garza, outfielder Ryan Braun was making the rounds with the media and fans at the “Brewers on Deck” event at the Wisconsin Center earlier today. He was asked about a variety of topics, but mostly about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Braun, of course, had his 2013 season was cut short in late July when he accepted a 65-game suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis. As Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel details, Braun was apologetic, even mentioning that he had made personal phone calls to suite owners and season ticket holders.

Braun is also confident in his abilities in 2014 and beyond:

If Braun is unsure whether he’ll be able to put up numbers without the ‘extra edge’ he had previously, as one questioner put it, he certainly isn’t letting on.

“I think I’ll be better than I’ve ever been,” he said. “Very confident in that.”

Prior to his suspension last season, Braun had been dealing with some neck problems and a nerve injury in his right hand, resulting in a month-long DL stint. The hand injury sapped him of his power. In his final 31 games, between May 11 and July 21, Braun hit just one home run.

Braun turned 30 years old in November and he still has $24 million in salary remaining between 2014-15 before his five-year, $105 million extension kicks in. Obviously, the Brewers have a lot invested in Braun’s ability to both stay productive and out of trouble.

  1. themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    I don’t believe it matters if Braun is PED free or not. No matter what he does, he’ll be accused of drug use. He’ll probably be roundly castigated for continued steroid use even if he never tests positive for anything ever again.

    If he breaks down? PEDs.

    If he puts up monster numbers? PEDs.

    If he’s average? PEDs.

    At this point the ‘roid-ragers have played the PEDs Card so often for so many situations that they are little more than noise.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      If only there were some way he could have controlled his own actions that led to his besmirched reputation.

      But I guess that’s just his cross to bear, ya know?

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:55 PM

        he certainly was a dick when he first got caught. If only he’d later admitted what he did, attempted to make amends with those whom he actually hurt, and wishes to go forward with his life without having to lie. It is a cross to bear, indeed.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:22 AM

        Sorry but it just looks funny to see the phrase “his cross to bear” used about a Jewish guy. :-)

      • sportsfan18 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Yep, his cross to bear all the way to the bank, buying homes, vacations etc…

        He doesn’t have to worry about food on the table, heat, his kid’s education, healthcare and on and on…

        These guys, not just Braun, STILL get SO much money for the boost it gives them.

        When they are done playing the game and life goes on, they STILL have tens of millions of dollars. I don’t think Braun will care what people think of him in 2049 and 2057 etc…

        He’ll live an easy life until his death (most likely) and his family will continue to be well taken care of (provided they aren’t greedy idiots and blow it all).

    • braddavery - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      And? lol he brought it all on himself. He’s lying in the bed he made. Stop making excuses for him.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        And? lol who are you to criticize? That’s all I ever see out of you. Your opinion of yourself is surpassed only by your ignorance

      • braddavery - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:05 AM

        Could you be ANY more defensive? lol COULD YOU??? Why don’t you make excuses for ME? You used to love me. Is it because… Ryan makes more money than I do? That’s it, isn’t it.

      • 78mu - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        And when he got his first suspension overturned he cast aspersions on the sample collector – all the while knowing he was guilty.

    • jeffbbf - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      sigh. Poor Ryan Braun. Such a victim.

    • paperlions - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      Not only that, roid ragers only care about PED use if the player is good. Crappy and mediocre players get to leave their positive tests in the past with people rarely or never bringing them up….but make a lot of money or actually be a good baseball player and they’ll never let it go.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        Most of the roid ragers certainly seem to enjoy quite the opinion of themselves. Only because people like Braun make their mistakes in public do they come in for this kind of abuse. All of us, myself included, have done as much or worse. I’m not throwing stones at a guy who’s no worse than me.

      • paperlions - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:58 AM

        Yep, loud voices of condemnation by default must be from hypocrites, because everyone makes mistakes or does things worst than take PEDs thinking it will make you play baseball better. Hell, many people do worse things than that within the context of their job to try to make themselves look better or co-workers look worse…the power of rationalization is strong.

        The PED thing is especially funny and convenient to criticize, since most of those that are critical don’t live in the public eye and most also take or will take drugs to enhance their own performance in their daily lives, but no one cares that they do it….because everyone does it, and it is okay unless you play a competitive sport….as if all of life isn’t somehow, a competition.

      • braddavery - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:12 AM

        Guy gets paid millions upon millions to play baseball in stadiums which hold thousands upon thousands of people, is on TV in front of millions… morons come out of the woodwork and act like he should be treated like some guy who works at Wendy’s for $7 an hour.


      • paperlions - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:38 AM

        You’re an idiot. None of that has anything to do with my comment. The point is that people like you are willfully ignorant, hypocritical, petty, and inconsistent. There are 100s of guys that have tested positive, if taking steroids was such an evil thing then all would be persecuted equally, but you ignore all but a few people.

        You also continue to act like if someone has a skill no one else has they should somehow be held to a higher standard than unremarkable individuals, which is stupid.

        You also continue to act like taking steroids are the acme of cheating with dangerous drugs, when all information shows that amphetamines are far more dangerous and likely to help one play baseball more. Smoking cigarettes is worse for your health than taking steroids.

      • braddavery - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Oh, you thought I was responding to YOU? Who’s the idiot.

    • mtr75 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Whose fault is that? And not only did he cheat – repeatedly – but he lied about it – repeatedly. In fact, it’s hard to say which he did more prolifically, cheating or lying. I don’t feel too bad for the guy.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        Quite the high opinion of yourself you got there.

    • braddavery - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      Exactly. Braun is a lying, cheating, scumbag douche with general disregard for other human beings, and he’s just like you. The only difference between you and Braun is, you work at McDonald’s and he works for the Brewers. You should BOTH be left alone. I really wish people would stop talking bad about you both. It’s simply unkind… and unfair to you. People need to just let scum be scum and never judge them, especially when they are not in the public eye like Ryan and yourself. Leave themanytoolsofignorance and Ryan Braun ALONE, people!

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:56 AM

        Man. Look at all that ill tempered ranting. I used to think you were just some sort of ignorant tool. Common as a garden leaf. I am forced to conclude you are actually more troubled than that. Get help. I am not a doctor so I don’t know what kind of help you need, but just go get some from somewhere. Lord love a duck…

  2. minnesotamirage - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    He’s a cheating basterd. All the assholes that are caught cheating should be given the Pete Rose ban.

    • hlang - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      It’s funny. Quentin Tarantino intentionally misspelled the word bastards and it was probably the first time you ever saw it written so that’s the way you spell it. That how all your thinking and learning go? Seems like.

    • Old Gator - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Then you’d be watching little league games and bellyaching about the use of Ovaltine.

      • craigssideburns - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Its the Big League Chew use that is really ruining the game.

    • cohnjusack - Jan 26, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      All the assholes that are caught cheating should be given the Pete Rose ban

      Damn, that’s going to be quite the long list of players who are banned for life.
      Let’s see:

      –Greenies, though illegal under federal law for a looong time, were formally banned by MLB in 1971. Yet Mike Schmidt admitted to using them. Mike’s quote: “”here were a few times in my career when I felt I needed help to get in there. I’m a victim; I admit to it. I’m not incriminating myself or players I played with to say we were on amphetamines our entire careers. I just wanted to see what they would do. It was a lack of willpower. You had an impressionable young kid, and someone says, ‘Man you want to feel good?’ If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn’t do it. You can’t put a 56-year-old head on a 28-year-old kid.” — New York Times

      Sounds like cheating to me, so Mike Schmidt is banned. And anyone who used greenies after 1971, which sounds like a hell of a lot of people.

      –Gaylord Perry…that goes without saying. Ditto Don “Black and Decker” Sutton and other pitchers known for doctoring the ball.

      –Whitey Ford and Elston Howard. They were well known for working in tandem to doctor baseballs, which is certainly cheating. Hell, that’s a downright conspiracy!

      –Graig Nettles, Chris Sabo and everyone else who has been caught using a corked bat are out.

      I’m just saying, “cheating” is a pretty loose term and would likely envelope a lot of players that you would not support banning.

      • cohnjusack - Jan 26, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Fun PED fact:

        A player admitted using a PED after struggling in the first half of the season. The player hit just .231/.303/.451 in the first 79 games.

        The player’s 2nd half, after beginning to use the PED, he hit .346/.406/.547

        That guy should totally be banned, right?

        Gold star for whomever can guess who this player is.

      • flamethrower101 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        I’m just going to take a guess here. Melky Cabrera?

      • mtr75 - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Greenies absolutely were not banned by MLB in 1971.

        Nor are they illegal, for that matter.

      • paperlions - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        Yes, greenies were illegal. MLB has a rule that any controlled substance is banned, and has had that rule even before they could test for anything. It was was actually designed for drugs of abuse, not PEDs, because no one cared about PEDs even though guys had been taking them for over a decade already.

        Amphetamines because a schedule II controlled substance in 1971, making possession of them without a valid prescription illegal and a banned substance in MLB. In contrast, steroids were not made a controlled substance (schedule III) until 1990, at which point the immediately became a banned substance in MLB, whether there was the ability to test for them or not.

        Really, if you can’t be bothered to know that by now, you really haven’t been paying attention.

      • paperlions - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        I’ll guess Jeter, because….why not….now, who was it?

      • cohnjusack - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:03 AM

        PED Fact answer?

        Hank Aaron, who admitted to using greenies in 1968 after a slow start to the season.

      • cohnjusack - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        Hey mtr,

        Yep, greenies weren’t formally banned until 1971.

        Here’s a fun quote on that: “Greenies, though illegal under federal law for a looong time, were formally banned by MLB in 1971.”

        That line comes from me, in the post you responded to! Also, yes, amphetamines were illegal under federal law prior to 1971 anyway. And umm…yes…the amphetmines used by players in the 60s and 70s are and were absolutely illegal.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        It certainly seems that some people make up realities to suit themselves then vehemently defend their creations as thought they were fact. Its like they expect that if they are obnoxious dicks about their garbage long enough and loud enough the rest of us will have to buy into it, too.

        Whatever happened to looking stuff up before committing yourself to it? Google’s free to use. The history and common side effects of amphetamines are easy to research and easy for anyone to understand. I just don’t get this “make stuff up and shout about it” approach some people use. How do they get along in life?

      • cohnjusack - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Also, yes, amphetamines were illegal under federal law prior to 1971 anyway

        …and I am dead wrong. They became illegal under federal law IN 1971.

        Which, in case you haven’t noticed, is still before the start of Mike Schmidt’s playing career.

      • cohnjusack - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        Nevermind, I’m not wrong.

        ” in 1965 the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) banned Benzedrine inhalers, and limited amphetamine to prescription use” —

        So yes, amphetamines have been illegal since 1965.

        But just keep thumbing down the responses instead of admitting you were dead wrong.

    • anxovies - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      History’s Greatest Basterd!

  3. mantastic54 - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    If he was capable if playing at his pre suspension level without peds, he would have never taken them

  4. greej1938l - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Go Brew Crew!

  5. huskerguy - Jan 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    I’m hoping Braun does well. The only cheaters no one likes are the ones caught. Everyone else gets away with it.

    Yeah, I was ticked when he lied… I believe in 2nd chances. He paid his time, now let’s play ball.

    Go Brewers!

    • mtr75 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Second? He’s at least on chance number 3.

  6. missingdiz - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    My comment just disappeared into the ether–I guess it was because I spelled an Anglo-Saxon word for excrement in the way that Scots pronounce it. Whatever, which Braun is a piece of. Lots of people have cheated in baseball, one way or another, but Braun’s lying is really exceptional. Did he care about the poor guy whose job it was to convey his urine? How much do urine-carriers make, compared to star baseball players? Does that mean Braun can treat working people like aforementioned bit of excrement? He lied to teammates face-to-face. Why not just wait to see what this narcissist does after the season starts, and just not interview him now. Let him be nobody for a while. Because, when it comes to character, that’s what he is.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      He cheated and lied and has been punished and has apologized, including to the man he’d wronged, who has forgiven him. He didn’t kill or maim or rape anyone, nor drive drunk at 200 mph in a school zone at 3 pm. I suspect he’ll be drug tested with some regularity. If you lighten up a little, you’ll feel better.

  7. gibbyfan - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Braun turned 30 years old in November and he still has $24 million in salary remaining between 2014-15 before his five-year, $105 million extension kicks in.

    Does anyone really think that Ryan Braun really cares about what the fans think. Now if that contract were in jeopardy it would be a major crisis but as things stand my guess would be he doesnt spend a lot of time reading our comments or worrying about his fans. Not saying he doesnt care at all but doubt he losing too much sleep over it.

    • flamethrower101 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      I don’t think he does. He has never really addressed the issue other than with tired cliches (“I made some mistakes. I realize I was wrong.”) without ever getting specific. He not only took his case public but he also had the nerve to blast the testing system and the sample collector, but then has the balls to release a written statement when he is caught and suspended.

      Now he’s faced with a tougher task of having to get back into the fans’ good grace. With the Brewers owing him so much money they better hope he can. If he performs well – even to what he did last year – fans will be accepting. Not loving, but accepting. But if he gets off to a slow start the boo birds will come. That will be the ultimate test of his mettle.

  8. zackd2 - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    That’s a rough contract, oof. Tulo too.

  9. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Note to players, including Braun: don’t make predictions about your performance. Just say you’ll try your best and work as hard as you can and see where that takes you.

  10. yordo - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    He also said Garza has been one of the best pitchers in the game. No sheet.

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