Posted August 23, 2013

Ryan Braun confesses, apologizes in statement, but the hole is too deep to dig out of

Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun
Braun admitted to using an unspecified cream and lozenge during his 2011 MVP season. (Morry Gash/AP)

Braun admitted to taking an unspecified cream and lozenge during his 2011 MVP season. (Morry Gash/AP)

The wait is over. Ryan Braun has spoken. Sort of. Eighteen months after he went on the attack during his infamous spring training press conference, and a month after he received a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, Braun issued a statement Thursday admitting that he took performance-enhancing drugs.

There were no tears. There was no Oprah confessional. There were no surprises. There was only a lengthy statement — nearly 1,000 words! — that began: “Now that the initial investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended. I have no one to blame but myself.”

What did we learn? Not much — the apology was mostly boilerplate. The Brewers outfielder explained that he took an unspecified cream and lozenge during his 2011 MVP season in attempts to accelerate his recovery from injuries. This was, according to Braun, a slip in judgement, an isolated incident in a seven-year major league career. He apologized to “those who put their necks out for me [who] have been embarrassed by my behavior.” He  apologized to commissioner Bud Selig, to executive vice president Rob Manfred, to MLBPA chief Michael Weiner and to test collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. Of his teammates, he said, “One of my primary goals is to make amends with them.”

This was the necessary and inevitable first step for Braun, but the All-Star outfielder still faces a long, treacherous road ahead. When he comes back next spring and returns to his team with the $117-million contract still owed to him, there will be a spring training media circus waiting. There will also be ballpark boos, Brewers fans and teammates to win over and more demands for him to go further in explaining himself. There will also still be the defamation lawsuit filed by a former friend alleging that Braun was using PEDs in college at Miami, that he violated NCAA rules by taking cash payments and that he cheated on his fiancée. There are so many questions for Braun to answer, particularly regarding Laurenzi, the man who collected the urine sample from Braun that tested positive for a synthetic testosterone in 2011. In his statement, Braun didn’t address reports of a smear campaign against Laurenzi — Braun reportedly told other players that Laurenzi was an anti-Semite who rooted for the rival Cubs — saying only, “I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr.”

America forgives easily — in most cases, a disgraced athlete offers the big apology, and everyone moves on. But this case is different. In this case Braun has dug himself into a hole that’s just too deep.

The text of Braun’s full statement is below:

“Now that the initial MLB investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended. I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards.

I have disappointed the people closest to me – the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong.

It is important that people understand that I did not share details of what happened with anyone until recently. My family, my teammates, the Brewers organization, my friends, agents, and advisors had no knowledge of these facts, and no one should be blamed but me. Those who put their necks out for me have been embarrassed by my behavior. I don’t have the words to express how sorry I am for that.

Here is what happened. During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.

I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance. I think a combination of feeling self-righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. I am beyond embarrassed that I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality. I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret. There is no excuse for any of this.

For too long during this process, I convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong. After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth. I was never presented with baseball’s evidence against me, but I didn’t need to be, because I knew what I had done. I realized the magnitude of my poor decisions and finally focused on dealing with the realities of – and the punishment for – my actions.

I requested a second meeting with Baseball to acknowledge my violation of the drug policy and to engage in discussions about appropriate punishment for my actions. By coming forward when I did and waiving my right to appeal any sanctions that were going to be imposed, I knew I was making the correct decision and taking the first step in the right direction. It was important to me to begin my suspension immediately to minimize the burden on everyone I had so negatively affected – my teammates, the entire Brewers organization, the fans and all of MLB. There has been plenty of rumor and speculation about my situation, and I am aware that my admission may result in additional attacks and accusations from others.

I love the great game of baseball and I am very sorry for any damage done to the game. I have privately expressed my apologies to Commissioner Selig and Rob Manfred of MLB and to Michael Weiner and his staff at the Players’ Association. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from them. I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi Jr. I feel terrible that I put my teammates in a position where they were asked some very difficult and uncomfortable questions. One of my primary goals is to make amends with them.

I understand it’s a blessing and a tremendous honor to play this game at the Major League level. I also understand the intensity of the disappointment from teammates, fans, and other players. When it comes to both my actions and my words, I made some very serious mistakes and I can only ask for the forgiveness of everyone I let down. I will never make the same errors again and I intend to share the lessons I learned with others so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Moving forward, I want to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem.

I support baseball’s Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program and the importance of cleaning up the game. What I did goes against everything I have always valued – achieving through hard work and dedication, and being honest both on and off the field. I also understand that I will now have to work very, very hard to begin to earn back people’s trust and support. I am dedicated to making amends and to earning back the trust of my teammates, the fans, the entire Brewers’ organization, my sponsors, advisors and from MLB. I am hopeful that I can earn back the trust from those who I have disappointed and those who are willing to give me the opportunity. I am deeply sorry for my actions, and I apologize to everyone who has been adversely affected by them.”

89 comments
bsa4ever
bsa4ever

If you don't like the sport anymore and don't like Braun or anyone else that is now suspended or will be suspended  than don't worry about everyone else.  Just worry about yourself.

bsa4ever
bsa4ever

By the way, his teammates and coaches are accepting his apology.  Why can't everyone else.

bsa4ever
bsa4ever

william 27 your the moron.  Did you ever hear of forgiveness.  Did you pay $60,000 so some people could go to a game.  Braun did.  Give a second chance.  Everybody forgets the A-Rod is still playing and earning money. Poor guy.  He is the one laughing.  At least Braun has admitted it and finally told the truth.  Don't forget there are other players that are suspended also and does anybody say anything about them?  They used PED's also.  So it's okay for them but not for anyone else.  Wonder how many others are using and getting away with it.  Everybody should be a Christian and forgive and forget.   

EvanKutcheid
EvanKutcheid

Wow the title of this article isn't biased at all! *heavy sarcasm* . True I was duped into beleving him, but backed into a corner like he was, who wouldn't do the same. I'm willing to give him a second chance.

JamieBreslow
JamieBreslow

I sincerely regret being a fellow sports fan with the likes of people who actually consider his 'apology' legit. You want to apologize for lying to the world, throwing innocent people under a bus, making some look like racists just because it might help sway the public opinion towards you? Great...do it. Not on paper, because it's entirely unlikely that he wrote it himself, but in person, on TV with no note and no lawyer by your side. Apologize like a man. Then time will take less to heal the wounds you made.

John Hayes
John Hayes

Instead of sending these guys off on suspensions away from the team require them to stick around and prior to each game let them bring out the line-up card for their team ... give fans across the league the opportunity to express to the player their displeasure.

Also lets bring the asterisk back to baseball ... only this time for any player who's been busted for using PED put a red asterisk on the back of their jersey either next to their number or their name.  They wear that for the rest of their career as an ongoing reminder to fans that they cheated.

bsa4ever
bsa4ever

No not the mind of a 12 year old. Thank you very much.  I guess now baseball, football, basketball, etc should all stop.  They all make too much money anyway.  Maybe some kids that don't have any food could use all that money.  It's really sad because there are MANY people in this world who use drugs and they don't get caught and they lie too.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

Incredible..I wanted to believe this guy so bad..what an insult to everybody involved.. and how devastating is this news to Dino Laurenzi? I don't know how Braun could ever show his face in baseball again. 

bsa4ever
bsa4ever

Have you ever lied and been forgiven?  Why don't you look at your family and friends and see who is so PERFECT.  Let Braun play the game he loves after he pays his dues.  

INTEGRITYSPORTS
INTEGRITYSPORTS

Braun is pathetic little liar and cheat.  2 years ago used drugs.  He knew he cheated to win the MVP,  yet when he tested positive he lied, he appealed, he whined, and he beat the system due to a bogus technicality.  He lied then and ever since.  He knew Matt Kemp deserved the MVP, yet he lied.  Braun cares nothing for else but for himself.  He does not care for the game of baseball, the fans, his teammates, or does he care how he cheats to win.  Braun is a bum and should be banned for life, because he was been caught not once, but twice.  The integrity of baseball suffers because of this little, selfish, weak, weasel, punk Braun.  He is a disgusting piece of dirt.   

MattEm
MattEm

Some of you guys crack me up.  Can you name one athlete--heck, one human being--who's admitted to something before they were caught?  Did Nixon call a press conference a week after the Watergate break-in and confess about ordering a cover up?  Did Clinton call a press conference a week after he got some and say, "Let me tell you about this intern named Monica"?  Did Ted Bundy call a press conference in Seattle and say, "I've been killing all these co-eds"?  Did Miguel Cabrera call a press conference a week before his DUI and say, "I'm drinking again"?  Did one single athlete admit to PED use right out of the blue?  (Oh wait, Robert Fick did, but no one cared, he ain't chasing Willie Mays on the all-time homer list.)  The 13-year-old kid fesses up to smoking after his parents find a pack in his bookbag, not before.  Did you really expect Braun to call a press conference out of the blue in September of 2011 and say, "I'm using PEDs"?  How many you of handed in a test, then walked up to the teacher the next day and said, "I cheated"?  How many of you went to the police station on a Sunday morning and said, "Officer, I must confess, I drove drunk last night"?  Some of you won't be satisfied until Braun calls a press conference, pulls out a handgun, and shoots himself (and meanwhile, you worship the 'roided up Super Steelers of the '70s).  I swear, people who comment under Internet stories should run the world--they are the most perfect human beings on the face of the earth, never did one single thing wrong. (Just admit it: Braun is rich and famous and plays baseball for a living, you don't, and you're pissed.)

Joe R2
Joe R2

So.... Is that Fedex driver still an incompetent,  "anti-semitic Cub fan"?  

x72
x72

Braunie the bug eyed weasel basturd.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

Any ACTIVE player caught using PED's should have their contracts VOIDED. Suspensions ALONE isn't good enough in my book.

RCH
RCH

When he comes back next spring and returns to his team with the $117-million contract still owed to him"    you could have stopped right there. Every thing else doesn't mean crap. 

I would take 117 million right now and take all the verbal abuse 100,000 fans could dish out. 

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

VERY STRANGE....  Braun was in front of the cameras telling us how innocent he was and now he releases a statement of apology ... NOT ACCEPTED !!! ... You should be apologizing to the urine collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. for calling him an anti-semite and even worse a cub's fan..  Braun if you really want us to forgive you, you can start by running into traffic eyes closed and if you survive we will think about it.....

Bobby Hull
Bobby Hull

What an apology to Dino Laurenzi Jr, A couple of words, oh by the way, i messed up your life, impugned your integrity, got you fired but all I can say is "i apologize to the collector"? Not enough fo rme!


JeffreyAzevedo
JeffreyAzevedo

If someone used steroids to get back to work lets say building cars...so he could take care of his family would that be cheating?Steroids dont make regular people professionals ....If its cheating than how many college and NFL players are cheating?If you go to a DIV 1 school to play football they have you on a (PROGRAM)before you make your bed for the first time. Bud Selig and the rest of baseball not only condoned this they encouraged it. Baseball was dead after the 94 strike steriods saved baseball. CHICKS DIG THE LONGBALL.!!!!!

Steve F
Steve F

Translation: I got caught so I'm apologizing for what they have on me so far. 

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

His career is beyond repair at this point. He threw people under the bus to protect himself, and now that he was backed into a corner, he had no choice but to fess up. Braun is just like the rest of the PED users. Deny, deny, deny, until they finally have no choice but to come clean after the evidence stacks up. 

I think we will all be old and gray (or even dead) by the time Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and others who denied PED use will finally admit it. 


effeweall
effeweall

Work the system Braun.  Cheat and win MVP and 123 million.  get 1 nice vacation and all that money left on yoru contract!!!  cheating pays under Selig.

William27
William27

people like Braun rely on fools like you

he has played you for  a fool

he has over A $100 million contract waiting for him, gotten through unethical means. puts out a fools apology for fools like you to eat up and he is laughing ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK

William27
William27

@bsa4ever WHAT A MORON YOU ARE

he cheated to get to this point and he is not sorry to be sure

when he gives back $100 million I will believe him

until then only poor fools like you believe him

Lufts
Lufts

@bsa4ever A lozenge?  You think that's an apology?  When you lie AGAIN during your so called apology, that pretty much eliminates any positives.  It's as bad as Pettite saying he got Hgh from his father.

rampantbombedrat
rampantbombedrat

@bsa4ever Yeah, right. It's all ok, since he apologized.

Do you have kids? Would you want them in sports? What would you tell them about PEDs? That they should take them, and risk permanent damage to their health, because everybody else is doing it? That if they want to make the team, they'll have to take PEDs to compete? That it's only wrong to cheat if you get caught, and even then it is ok, because you only have to say that you are sorry?

rampantbombedrat
rampantbombedrat

@MattEm No, but after this aszclown got caught and let off the hook on a technicality, he could have at least had the sense to stop cheating from there on. He didn't even do that.


JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@ineedataxi That is the most logical post that you have written in quite some time.  All that hard work is paying off.  Well done!

LetsGoYanks
LetsGoYanks

@Wisconsin Death Trip you see that's just silly, if yo'ure in the final year of a contract, or on a rookie one, what do u care?   now if the player had to pay back the entire contract, i'm willing to bet a lot more guys shape up real fast.......

rampantbombedrat
rampantbombedrat

@JeffreyAzevedo Because building cars is not directly based on competition. Players like Braun cheat, so other players are faced with the difficult choice of cheating as well, or riding the pine / being cut. What do we tell our children? Don't go into sports, because you'll have to either sit on the bench, or risk permanent damage to your body in order to keep up with the cheaters?


David G
David G

@JeffreyAzevedo Not buying what you are selling.  He cheated, Lied and Lied some more.  His weak "sorry I got caught" is not going to restore his rep and restore the friends he lost due to his lies.  Take care of his family?  Really?  He is and always will be a liar and user.  

MattEm
MattEm

@rampantbombedrat @MattEm You're right, he got off on a technicality.  He could have stopped there.  But he didn't even do that.

So here we are.  It's August of 2013.  Unless he gets behind the wheel of Doc Brown's Delorean, he can't go back and undo what he did.   So what's he supposed to do now?  What would satisfy you?  Should he take out a knife and slice off a pound of flesh?  Obviously his statement didn't satisfy you.  So what would satisfy you?

JeffreyAzevedo
JeffreyAzevedo

@rampantbombedrat @JeffreyAzevedo By the time my children are my age HGH will be as main stream as milk....and used properly are 100% beneficial for your body!!!! This is not Narcotic`s these are things doctors prescribe  thousands of times a day in this country..Babe Ruth  played drunk..if he had played sober he very possibly would have been just another guy!!! was he a cheater...I dont see any difference it`s called liquid confidence.

bounce580
bounce580

@rampantbombedrat @bsa4ever All that the sport once stood for?  PEDs in some way, shape or form, have been linked to the game since back in the early 1900s.  Babe Ruth admitted to injecting himself with testosterone.  Steroid use was rampant in all sports in the 60s and beyond.  The only difference now is, MLB is...

A) Equipped with better testing procedures

B) Acting like they care and are trying to stop it


Your sacred game has been tainted since the beginning, it's only the spread of social media and up to the second news that has brought it to the forefront.  

RD
RD

@rampantbombedrat @bsa4ever I agree with you all the way.  Braun is laughing all the way to the bank.  He's got his 'dirty' mvp and 'dirty' multimillion dollar contract. He should be banned and his contract voided.

rampantbombedrat
rampantbombedrat

@bsa4ever @rampantbombedrat Paying the price should include being banned from the game.

Not just Braun, all of the players they catch, where it is clear that it was PEDs, and not just an accidental positive from some over-the-counter medication.

This has nothing to do with whether I am perfect or not. Do you have the mind of a 12 year old? It's not so bad that little Ryan stole candy from the store, because Billy did too, and after all, he said "sorry"?

These cheats are the ruination of sport, and all that sport once stood for.