Braun suspended for the rest of 2013
Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun walks back to the dugout after the 4th inning against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 at Miller Park. Image by Mark Felix/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE - "He flat out lied to me," former player and ESPN announcer Rick Sutcliffe couldn't be more clear about how he feels about the Ryan Braun situation.
Major League Baseball has announced that Braun will miss the rest of this season for multiple "violations" of baseball's drug program and labor contract.
Journal Sentinel Brewers writer and 620WTMJ Brewers 360 contributor Tom Haudricourt first broke the story about the suspension.
"The drumbeats were getting louder and louder," said Haudricourt on TODAY'S TMJ4's Live at 5 Monday afternoon. "You could see him heading down this highway."
"We didn't think it would be today, but you could see it coming."
Reaction is pouring in.
ESPN reporter T.J. Quinn outlines the recent events which he says led to the suspension:
#Braun had first meeting w MLB June 29. He took 5th, but clear from q's MLB had extensive evidence. Sought 2nd meeting to strike deal. (1)— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 23, 2013
Evidence showed Braun used sophisticated doping regimen for extended period. (3)— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 23, 2013
More suspensions are coming, but MLB wanted to start Braun suspension ASAP, so announced ahead of others. (4)— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 23, 2013
It initially appeared that there was a negotiation between the sides, but Haudricourt reports there it was rather quick.
I am told the "negotiating" part of Ryan Braun's suspension has been overstated. He was given that 65-game suspension and accepted it.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 23, 2013
MLB released a statement from Braun.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," said Braun.
I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.
"This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country.
"Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”
“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” said Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President, Economics & League Affairs for Major League Baseball in a statement.
"We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field.”
Brewers GM Doug Melvin tells MLB.com's Adam McCalvy: “As the general manager of the ballclub, we’re happy that decision has come to and end and we support the Commissioner’s drug program...we as a ballclub can move forward and concentrate on the 25 players on the field and move forward and try to win as many games as we can."
Braun has been under suspicion of performance-enhancing drug use since 2011, as he allegedly failed a test during the 2011 MLB playoffs.
Those reports involved the shut-down firm Biogenesis out of Miami, which allegedly offered performance-enhancing drugs to numerous MLB players including Braun.
Until Monday, Braun had maintained his lack of guilt when it came to PED use.
"I truly believe in my heart...that this substance never entered my body at any point," said Braun in a 2012 news conference.
"He was so vehement...but some people are already comparing him to Lance Armstrong, someone who so stridently proclaimed 'I'm innocent.' That's something he's going to have to deal with," said Haudricourt.
Haudricourt said that with the Brewers' season essentially lost in terms of playoff possibilities and the injured thumb that has bothered Braun for the last month, it may not be the worst time if a suspension had to come.
"He's got a bad thumb anyway. Rather than have this drag into next year...this makes sense for all parties involved."
Fans are reacting as well. WTMJ's Gene Mueller took calls from fans on Wisconsin's Morning News.