Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’
First and foremost, I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m always open to answering questions directly on Twitter, Facebook, or via email. When someone takes the time to seek out my opinion, they deserve a response…even if I don’t know. But, in a way to give thanks to my followers and friends I put out a call for questions so I could answer them here on the blog. This not only will hopefully advertise that I’m always willing to chat Brewers, but it’s also a little tip of the cap to give members of the Brewer Nation some pub too along with giving longer-form responses than Twitter allows.
If I don’t answer your question here (or some similar variation of it), I will respond to you via the social media forum you posed it in.
— Packman (@Packman1265) November 29, 2013
Over the past few seasons, the Brewers have emphasized competing now over planning for the long-term future. Bringing in veteran free agents, trading top prospects for rental pitchers, eschewing development for experience in many cases. This past season was ultimately an exception but more due to circumstance than design. The Brewers were structured to compete in 2013 and it was a long run of unfortunate events that wound up costing them a shot at a wild card berth.
Now, all that said, to the question: The Brewers appear like they’re preparing to take one final shot with this core group of big leaguers. They may resign Corey Hart on a one-year deal. They may give Rickie Weeks one more chance to sink or swim in 2014. They’ll give it a go for April, and probably May. If they’re in it, this is their “near future” chance. They don’t have a ready replacement at third base when Aramis Ramirez likely departs after 2014. They are light in impact prospects to fill any position over the next couple of seasons. Should the Brewers fail in 2014 (and even if they play well, they need a lot of other teams to falter), they’re next likeliest window is at least a couple of years down the road.
@BrewerNation How should the Brewers pitch to Kottaras?
— Jαmie Krueger (@jamielkrueger) November 29, 2013
Four outside and take your base. (Editor’s note…which is also me: Kottaras was recently acquired by the Chicago Cubs.)
@BrewerNation Would Aoki have more value as a trade chip, or a 4th OF/Lefty bat off the bench?
— Aaron McCabe (@acmccabe) November 29, 2013
This would be assuming the Brewers would move Ryan Braun to right field and start Khris Davis on a regular basis in left. If that’s the case, Norichika Aoki would be very valuable as a pinch-hitter, especially when you simply need a ball put in play. He is capable of defending at all three defensive positions as well.
However, the Brewers already have a much better defender to back up all three spots in Logan Schafer and as a fifth outfielder, Caleb Gindl has shown a little bit of pop. Couple that he’s ultimately expendable with his extremely affordable 2014 contract, and Aoki could fetch the Brewers a decent return despite turning 32 before the season. In my opinion, the better value is in moving him.
@BrewerNation Is anyone on the management or coaching side of the organization on the hot seat this year? Melvin, Ash, Roeneke?
— Dylan Wendt (@BeerBratBrewers) November 29, 2013
If there was to be a change during or after the 2014 season (because they would have made changes by now if they were going to before it), it would likely be a second-tier change like a coach or some scouts. It can’t be ignored though that Mark Attanasio inherited Doug Melvin when his group bought the team and the principal owner went directly against the suggestion of his GM when he made the call to sign Kyle Lohse. It didn’t feel all season like it was the beginning of any dissension, but ultimately you never know.
@BrewerNation what do you see as a viable first base solution if Hart is not resigned?
— Earl Barker (@ebarker111) November 29, 2013
First of all, I don’t see them not resigning Hart. He wants to be here and I given the injury risk I can’t see someone else giving him a ton of guaranteed money instead of the kind of “modest base salary with a lot of incentives” contract I reported that the Brewers were preparing a couple of weeks ago.
If that somehow falls apart though and Hart plays elsewhere in 2014 I think the Brewers would be best served committing to someone capable of handling the position for the entire season. No converting shortstops or relying on the Yuniesky Betancourts of the league. I also think that Hunter Morris would benefit from a bit more time in Nashville before getting the full-time gig in Milwaukee. If the Brewers want to compete though, they can’t afford a offensive black hole like in 2013 or even to platoon the position.
@BrewerNation Even though he’s against it, would moving Braun back to 3B make sense to make room for Davis with Ramirez possibly gone?
— Jake Smith (@jksmth) November 29, 2013
No. If a player is against something like that, especially when those adverse feelings come from experience, it’s likely to be a bad situation. Ryan Braun was terrible defensively at third base, so much so that it almost cost him the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Award. In 2015, when Ramirez is likely gone, hopefully someone will have stepped up to fill the void at third base, be that Taylor Green or maybe as a bridge to one of the low-level minor leaguers with a high ceiling, or otherwise.
@BrewerNation will scooter gennett be the opening day starting second baseman, if so where does rickie weeks end up.
— Matt (@mje_96) November 29, 2013
In his season-ending press conference, Doug Melvin mentioned specifically that Gennett probably had a leg up in the second baseman’s competition entering 2014. It will be a closely monitored situation all spring training long. So many variables are at work. Gennett played solid defense and hit right-handed pitchers very well, two shortcomings of Weeks’ game at this point. Gennett also couldn’t hit southpaws to save his life, or possibly his job as an everyday option. Then again, Weeks is coming off of a serious leg injury (and successful surgical repair) and his ability to play everyday will be scrutinized as well. A platoon feels like a viable option as we stand today on the last day of November, but Weeks is a veteran who gets out of slumps in the batter’s box. The team could also benefit from Weeks regaining some trade value if they do decide to go with Gennett, which could lead to early at-bats for Weeks.
Should Gennett win the outright starting job for one reason or another early enough in camp, expect Weeks to be featured often in Cactus League play in an effort to get him moved elsewhere. The Rays had interest a year ago around this time and the Royals at least were reportedly sniffing around before the trading deadline. There could be options, but it takes two to tango, as they say.
@BrewerNation if you were GM, would you deal Braun for lottery tickets? Or try to win now while he’s still in his prime?
— Will Hsu (@wphsu) November 29, 2013
There’s no way I’d try to trade Braun right now. I wouldn’t be able to get proper return on the value because he’s seen as somewhat of an unknown right now. Teams think he’ll perform when on the field but the question is how healthy he’ll be able to stay. Even if I were going to look to trade Braun at some point in his contract, it couldn’t be until he has a typical 2014 season and I’d be able to ask for and get a package of high-ceiling, can’t-miss, solid-gold prospects.
@BrewerNation I would like to see the crew get a lefty starter. Anyone available?
— Tom Neises (@NeisesTom) November 29, 2013
Several available, but how good do you want that starter to be? Free agent Chris Narveson is drawing some interest after pitching well in the Caribbean this off-season. He’s certainly familiar with the organization and they with him. But some of the other names available aren’t exactly exciting given their circumstances. You’d be looking at a fifth starter with most of the arms out there and is that worth denying the youth a chance?
And now from Facebook:
“Steven Linkins: Any idea how big a player the brewers plan to be in free agency? they don’t have many holes but it would sure be nice to have a contender again”
Doug Melvin is taking things slowly this off-season as he tends to do. Despite a flurry of activity elsewhere in the league, the Brewers are biding their time while they wait for Corey Hart to receive his medical clearance, expected to come on December 3rd. He is their primary target this winter. Should that fall through, the Brewers would have a need at first base and at least some money to spend.
“Carlo Marinello: Do you think the rumor of Aoki being traded and Braun playing RF is a high probability?”
I think the latter half of that is likely. The only reason it wouldn’t happen is if Braun is completely uncomfortable and they want to make sure he can focus on his offense in 2014. Whether Aoki gets traded or falls into a platoon of sorts in left field with Khris Davis will depend on how strong the offers are which Melvin will certainly field between now and March 31st.
“Ryan Hewitt: If Aoki isn’t traded, do you think he would be okay with being a 4th OF?”
Any competitive athlete wants to be on the field as much as possible but Aoki has proven to be a quality teammate in every respect. He didn’t join the Brewers in 2012 as a starter and if he fell into a platoon or fourth outfielder role to begin 2014, I’m sure he’d continue to play hard to earn his playing time back.
“John Suess: why not Braun at first; you have three other qualified outfielders ready now (plus others in the minors). Braun has played infield and he can also then sub in the outfield. I’d never get rid of Aoki – he does too many things right.”
Braun is an above average outfielder, one who gives you an advantage offensively as well. There’s no reason to force him to first base at this point of his career. He may well one day be better off there but for now he can run, defend, and still hit well above average as an outfielder. His bat doesn’t profile with as much premium at first base either.
“Scott Underwood: Are the Brewers better off resigning Corey Hart or moving on?”
Much better off resigning him. He’s the best bat available at first base on the market that doesn’t come with the loss of a draft pick, he’ll come much cheaper for 2014 than they will anyway, they don’t have a ready option in-house, and if he fails they can justifiably move on in 2015.
“Robert Boese: Any Chances Of The Brewers Changing Logo Or Uniforms For Next Year?”
Other Than What Seems To Be A Special “Japanese” Uniform Day Coming The Weekend Of The Aoki Bobblehead, They’re Sticking And Staying With What They’ve Currently Got.
“T.m. Ryan III: You may know the answer any reason why #17 hasnt been retired or ever used since Gumby had it. If memory serves me correctly hes the last to have it”
The Brewers have only retired five numbers in franchise history, and all of the players for whom they’ve done so are members of the Hall of Fame. They haven’t issued #17 since Jim Gantner last wore it in 1992, true, likely out of respect for what he meant to the franchise. It’s more of a “soft” retirement if anything.
“Adam Mrozek: Are the Brewers really shopping Ryan Braun? If so, my Brewer cap is getting burned.”
Your cap is safe. Braun is not being shopped.
“David Hannes: Could Rickie Weeks or Aramis Ramirez play first base this year?”
Ramirez would be well-served to move to first base if he wants to extend his career much longer, but this doesn’t seem to be the season for it. He’ll rightfully want to enter his what could be his final free agency as a third baseman.
Weeks has hard hands, is a small target, isn’t particularly flexible to stretch for balls, and wouldn’t make much of a first baseman…especially if his offensive woes continue.
“Terry Fraser: Are the Brewer looking at Garrett Jones? Perfect bench player for us- power off the bench, plays 1B, LF, RF, lefty bat vs closers.”
Jones is certainly versatile and would be a welcomed addition to the bench in Milwaukee, in my opinion, at the right price. However, other teams that could use his skills will be able to offer him much more than the Brewers would (or really should). Sean Halton can provide similar defensive coverage and some of the offensive ability for a fraction of Jones’ cost. Taylor Green covers you at even more spots than Halton does and also hits left-handed.
Robinson Cano. Short of that, would Hart and O’Flaherty work?
So that wraps it up for the first edition of Brewer Nation Q&A. I hope you enjoyed the format and will participate in the future if you didn’t this time.
As always, I’m available on social media for questions as I stated earlier. Find the links at the top.
Do you have a follow up question or something else you’d like to know? Disagree with my answers? There’s a wonderful comments section right here on the blog. Put it to work!
As promised, here is the transcript of today’s Ryan Braun audio.
I’ve paraphrased most of the questions, but Braun’s answers are verbatim (except for some removal of unnecessary “I mean”, “you know”, “um” words). I’ll try to find time to fully transcribe the questions later but wanted to get this posted.
If you’d rather hear Braun say these words, I refer to you this post with the audio: Ryan Braun Spoke to Media at Miller Park
The first question was basically asking why Braun lied, and Braun used his response to it as sort of an opening remark.
“I got into a lot of details at that point and I’m not really gonna go into any further details. I’m deeply remorseful for what happened. I wish that I had the ability to go back, change things and do things a lot differently but unfortunatley I can’t do that. All I can do is move on, try to do everything in my power to earn back people’s trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate being able to earn back everybody’s support but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that and I won’t stop trying.”
What do you have to say to the little leaguers who really have worshipped the ground that you walk on?
“I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. I made a mistake, a huge mistake, a mistake that has obviously been extremely difficult to deal with and will continue to be difficult to deal with. And all I can say is in making mistakes, as I’ve stated previously we all deal with adversity, we all deal with challenges in life, and any challenge you face you have an opportunity to view either as an obstacle or as an opportunity to grow from, to learn from, to help other people avoid making that same mistake. And that’s what I intend to do.”
Bigger sin: Doing the PEDs or lying about it later?
“As I stated, I think the goal for me is just being able to move forward. I’m not really going to get into too many specifics about what happened other than saying that I’m extremely remorseful. I wish that I could go back and change things but I don’t have that opportunity to do that. So, I’m just going to do everything in my power to move forward.”
Have you apologized to Dino Laurenzi or made any payments to him?
“I have not made any payments to him. I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancee Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night and we had some really good conversation. We’ve made amends and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”
Have you said any words to Bud Selig?
“I did. I wrote Bud a letter but other than that I’m not really going to get into too many specifics.”
Knowing that you got away with a PED positive test, what possessed you to go to Maryvale that day and say all of those things you said? Lie so much and then throw Dino Laurenzi under the bus as well. What possessed you to do that?
“I’m not really, again, going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it and a lot of the things that I said that day. But again, all I can do is move forward and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, for the team, for the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward I’m not going to discuss that stuff any further.”
What do expect as the fans’ response on Opening Day?
“Everywhere I’ve been, people have been incredibly supportive and I’m extremely appreciative of that. I don’t really know what to expect but, again, everybody’s been extremely supportive and I really appreciate that.”
Why wait so long to talk?
“I’ve actually been in town a few times. I don’t do the Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff to alert everybody that I’m here. I think today was just kind of an opportunity that obviously we understood there would be some media here so I wanted the opportunity to speak to you guys. It wasn’t about waiting or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve been here a few times. This was just the first time that everybody’s been aware I was here.”
Other players talked right away, you took off and your teammates all had to answer for you, why?
“I think because it was an ongoing investigation I wasn’t really allowed to say very much at that time. And basically based on what I had learned from both MLB and the MLBPA it wasn’t in anybody’s best interest for me to make any statements at that time.”
Any positive in this?
“I think there’s something positive that can come from everything. I think at all times I always try to see the good in everything. Things aren’t always good but I do see the good in everything. And it’s an opportunity for me to use my experience and mistakes that I’ve made to help other people avoid making the same mistakes. I certainly have plans to do everything in my power to turn this bad situation into a good thing, into a positive, and to help other people along the way avoid making these mistakes.”
All-Star Game in future?
“I really haven’t thought about that kind of stuff. My goal is always to go and be the best player that I can be. I’m not motivated by individual accolades. I certainly intend to go out there and be the same player I’ve been. Hopefully I continue to get better and if that opportunity presents itself it’d be great but I guess my whole focus is just on doing everything I can to come back next year and be a great player.”
Will you ever make the Hall of Fame?
“I haven’t even thought that far ahead and I think it’s almost disrespectful to even discuss the Hall of Fame. I’ve only played in the league for less than seven years. At some point down the line we could have that conversation but I don’t think we even should have that conversation now.”
What was the injury you took the products for?
“Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics and continue to go backward. I’m moving forward and not going to get into too many of the specifics about that.”
Don’t you owe it to us to get into some specifics?
“I completely understand, respect where you guys are coming from and the fact that a part of your job is to ask those questions, but I hope that you guys can also understand and respect the fact that in an effort to move forward I’m just not going to continue to discuss that stuff.”
What do you make of the response of other MLB players and Aaron Rodgers?
“I actually haven’t really read, paid attention, or watched anything, but I understand people being disappointed, people being upset, people reacting emotionally. I don’t fault anybody for being upset. Again, I don’t know specifically what many people said but I don’t fault anybody for being upset or being disappointed.”
How is your relationship with Rodgers?
“I’m not going to get into our specific relationship other than to say that he’d been a great friend of mine for a long time. He’s a great person. I hope that he gets back on the field soon and can help those guys win some games.”
Will you be able to play at same level as before your suspension?
“Yeah, I think I’ll be better. I should be better.”
What about 2011 MVP? Do you think this revelation invalidates that award?
“Like I said, I’m just continuing to move forward. I think that’s all I can do. I’m not going go back and continue to discuss the things that have happened in the past. I feel like, in an effort to do that, I’m not going to discuss that stuff.”
Brewers gave you huge contract in part on being face of franchise, are you willing to reopen your contract and renegotiate at a lower pay since your value as poster boy has been diminished?
“The Brewers have been incredibly supportive, the entire organization, my teammates, everybody’s been incredibly supportive. I can’t think Mark Attanasio enough for his support. I fully intend to do everything in my power to be the best player and person that I can be moving forward.”
Is the drug testing policy still “fatally flawed” as you claimed in February of last year?
“Like I said, I greatly regret having done that press conference at all and my opinion on a lot of those things has definitely changed.”
Is that your biggest regret? What do you regret the most?
“Obviously the whole thing is a huge regret. It was a huge mistake. I wish that I hadn’t done it. I wish I could go back and do a lot of things different. I don’t think I can specifically pinpoint one thing that I regret more than anything else. I regret all of it. I wish I could go back and change it, but like I said, I can’t do that.”
Did you get enough support from the Players’ Association?
“Yeah, the Player’s Association was definitely very supportive.”
How has this affeced your reputation/stature within the game?
“I don’t think about those things. I really don’t. I’m getting married here really soon. My focus is on that and doing everything I can to come back next year and be the best player I can be.”
You don’t care about what people think?
“I always care what people think but I only have control over so many things. So I focus on the things that I can control. And that’s continuing to try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be, and put myself in the best position to come back next year and have a great year.”
Following recent trade rumors, would you welcome a fresh start somewhere else? Or do you want to play here?
“No, I absolutely want to stay here. I made the long-term committment because the city’s been amazing to me, the fans have been amazing to me, the organization’s been incredibly supportive of me and I fully intend to stay here. Obviously it’s flattering that people would be interested. I actually had lunch with Doug Melvin, Ron, and Mark Attanasio last week. I’ve seen Mark a lot and I don’t think there’s any truth to those rumors, but my goal and my intention is certainly to stay here.”
What would you say to Robin Yount?
“Robin and I have had a great relationship. I enjoy our conversations with him, and I don’t think that our relationship would change much.”
Apologized to Yount?
“I look forward to seeing him. I’ll definitely see him in Spring Training. I think he’s out in Arizona quite often. I look forward to having an opportunity to have some conversations with him.”
Hard to watch games while suspended? How many games did you watch?
“It was extremely difficult, extremely challenging, and it wasn’t something I enjoyed in any way. I didn’t watch many games. I kind of paid attention to what was going on but aside from that I didn’t really watch many games.”
What do you think your relationship with teammates will be like?
“I think it’ll be great. I’ve been back here a couple times after the suspension. Everybody was incredibly supportive and I don’t anticipate any issues there.”
Experienced hostile reactions in 2012. Will next year be worse than 2012 around the league? What about here in Milwaukee?
“I don’t think about things like that. I don’t really have any expectations. I have dealt with it in the past and I’ll just do the best I can to continue to be the best player that I can be. I think we all deal with adversity, we all deal with distractions, there’s always something going on and my focus will be on being the best player I can be.”
Can you tell us more about Laurenzi dinner?
“I’m not going to really get into too many details other than to say that it was an incredible experience, extremely gracious and kind of them. They’re really special people and I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to go to their house and to have a conversation in person.”
This was with Dino himself and not his dad?
Did meeting with him make you feel worse about Feb ’12 comments?
“Yeah. I wish I could change it. I wish I never had said anything about him. I wish I knew more at the time that I had said what I said, but he was really a special person. His family is really a special group of people.”
What would you say to fans, especially kids?
“I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. I would say I made a mistake, a huge mistake, and that all I can intend to do is try to find some positives to come from a difficult situation.”
Thoughts on Alex Rodriguez?
“I try to stay away from all of that stuff. I don’t really know the specifics of what’s going with him so I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment on a situation I don’t know too much about.”
Thoughts on the closing of his restaurants, business relationships, etc?
“Obviously there was a lot of fallout from everything that I’ve been through. I have a really good relationship with the SURG group, with Omar and Mikey. They’re great guys. Our relationship won’t be changed but obviously in light of everything that occurred there was definitely some fallout.”
What would you say to kids about cheating to get ahead?
“I hope that people can recognize what I’ve been through and not want to go through that same experience. It’s been a lot. It’s been really difficult. It’s been really challenging. I would never wish this situation upon anybody and I hope that people can view my situation as a learning experience and something they should try to avoid.”
If you hit next season, people will say you’re still on PEDs. What do you say to doubters who say your ability is all chemicals?
“Again, I focus on the things that I can control. I’m going to continue to try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be. I fully intend to be at least as good as I’ve been to this point in my career. Hopefully I continue to get better, but I only focus on the things that I can control. I can’t control what people say or think. This is my fault. I’ve taken full responsibility for my actions. I’ve put myself in this position. People have the opportunity say whatever they want but I’ll just focus on the things I can control.”
Anything to say to fans?
“As I said earlier, I have been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. The fans have been unbelievably supportive of me and I fully intend to do everything in my power to earn back their trust, their respect, their support. I don’t think I’ll earn back that from every fan but I fully intend to try.”
How stressful has all this been on Larisa (Braun’s fiancée)?
“I think my relationships with all my friends and family have actually gotten stronger. I don’t think that it’s been overly stressful (on us). Dealing with the wedding has been far more stressful than dealing with this situation.”
When is the wedding?
“Soon, real soon.”
Thoughts on today’s Hunger Task Force event?
“It’s great. Obviously the Hunger Task Force does some amazing things in this state and I’m happy to be able to do my small part to contribute. It’s an incredible time for all of us to be thankful and appreciative of everything we have as Thanksgiving approaches, so: happy to be here.”
What do you think about potentially playing right field?
“Possibly. We’ve discussed it. I’m not opposed to it. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen but it’s definitely a possibility. 100%, I’ll play wherever they want except third base. That didn’t go well. But I’ll do whatever we want. It’s not something set in stone but it’s something we’ve discussed.”
Ryan Braun made himself available to media today at a Hunger Task Force charity event outside Miller Park. He was asked a flurry of pointed and direct questions, nary a softball among them.
Hear his comments for yourself right here:
I’ll be transcribing the dialogue later today if you prefer to read.
Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.
Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.
November 3, 2013
Dear Brewers Fans:
On behalf of everyone at the Brewers organization, from players and coaches to the front office staff, I want to thank you for your unwavering support this year. In spite of the disappointing season, you once again demonstrated why you make up the most loyal fan base in all of baseball. More than 2.5 million fans attended games at Miller Park in 2013–a number that gave us our seventh straight season of reaching that milestone, one that was not achieved by five of the teams participating in this year’s Postseason.
The 2013 season was a challenge for all of us, both on and off the field. As I stated when my ownership group purchased the Brewers in 2005, one of our primary objectives was to raise expectations for the entire club. In recent years, the team has played meaningful games late in the season, but this year we obviously fell short of that goal.
We started the spring with significant promise, with an intact lineup–one that had led the National League in runs scored in 2012–as well as a returning core of the pitching staff, fueled by the addition of free agent Kyle Lohse. However, this was not our year. We struggled through injuries, a difficult month of May, and then the disappointment of Ryan Braun’s suspension. Yet the team refused to quit. We welcomed an influx of young talent from our Minor League system and played our best baseball after the All Star Break by winning games at a .529 clip. Our starting pitchers recorded baseball’s fourth-best ERA over the final 81 games, and our offense featured key contributions from a mix of youth and veterans. While these are among the reasons we believe that 2014 holds promise, none of us is content to define success by second-half performance.
We are undergoing a thorough review of our baseball operations and will continue to incorporate new methods and strategies in evaluating and developing talent. There are many paths to improvement and success, and we plan vigorously to pursue all of them. We know we need to do better. At the same time, we believe that many of the pieces are already in place to field a competitive team in 2014. With the emergence of Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura as All Stars, the arrival of young players with high talent ceilings, and healthy seasons from key veterans, our returning offense shows real promise. The resurgent pitching staff was bolstered by a much-improved bullpen and a stable rotation. Finally, we were delighted to see Carlos Gomez become the Brewers’ first Gold Glove honoree since Robin Yount won the award in 1982.
Off the field, we continue to focus on delivering the best fan experience in all of baseball while working to give back to the community that has given so much to us. Among our achievements, we include a participation level of 100% of players in Brewers Community Foundation (BCF) outreach efforts. In 2013, BCF raised a total of $2.8 million, which benefited 200 not-for-profit organizations in the State of Wisconsin. Additionally, we distributed $10 food-and-beverage vouchers to all fans in August and offered many promotions throughout the year. We recognize that we have an ongoing obligation to provide you with an organization that always puts the fans first.
When I reread some of my letters to you from the end of prior seasons, the one constant promise I made was to deliver an organization that works daily to earn your respect. When we don’t meet our own or your expectations, we redouble our efforts. We are already hard at work preparing for exciting baseball at Miller Park throughout the 2014 season.
Chairman and Principal Owner
The business of baseball has no off-season.
This was evidenced once again today when the Los Angeles Dodgers made a trade with, of all teams, the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the same Boston Red Sox who are about to take the field for Game 1 of the 2013 World Series.
The Brewers are keeping busy as well, outrighting three players off of the 40-man roster today. As with any outright assignment, the players were first designated for assignment, thereby being exposed to waivers. All three cleared waivers and were assigned outright to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. It was the first DFA for Manzanillo and Ravin so there was no stickiness with regards to rights of refusal for them, but Jesus Sanchez has been outrighted once before (Phillies, 2010) so he could still declare himself a minor-league free agent.
The three players removed are all right-handed pitchers. Santo Manzanillo was added to the 40-man roster before the 2012 season but missed almost the entire year due to injuries suffered in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic. Jesus Sanchez, a converted catcher, was added to the 40-man before this past season. He pitched well at Nashville in 2013, though not as well as in 2012. Still, he has shown promise. The third player, Josh Ravin, was just acquired by the Brewers off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds organization earlier this month. Ravin was first added to the 40-man roster of the Reds following the 2012 season as well.
It’s basically a paperwork only move as all three pitchers, assuming health, will likely be pitching at Maryvale in Spring Training with the Brewers.
The biggest immediate impact these moves have is clearing space on the Brewers 40-man roster. The roster stands at 35 today with two spots spoken for already and the other three probably already earmarked as well.
Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks will take two spots when they are respectively reinstated. Miguel De Los Santos might take one if he ever comes off of the restricted list. And, among many others to be considered, the Brewers’ last two Minor League Players of the Year — Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers — both require protection from the Rule V Draft for the first time this off-season.
The Brewers should get two more openings when free agents declare, by way of Michael Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt, but Corey Hart may take a spot if he is resigned. In other words, there is still much flux to be unfluxed before the season begins.
Letter to the fans of the Milwaukee Brewers:
I have always been very grateful for the privilege of playing baseball in the great city of Milwaukee. I am so sorry for letting you down by being in denial for so long and not telling the whole truth about what happened. I am ashamed and extremely embarrassed by the decisions I made. There are no excuses for what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to all Brewers fans for disappointing you.
I came forward because I knew it was time for me to tell the truth and accept my punishment. I understand I have abused your trust and that of our great owner Mark Attanasio and the entire Brewers organization. Admitting my mistakes and asking for your forgiveness are the first steps in what I know will be a lengthy process to prove myself to you again.
It is an honor to represent the people of Wisconsin by wearing a Brewers uniform. I want all of you to know how much I have appreciated the support I’ve received from so many of you throughout my years with the organization. I will continue to work on improving myself and making amends for what I have done. I am deeply sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone I have let down. I am committed to doing everything I can to earn back your trust and support.
Statement from Ryan Braun
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.
Today, Major League Baseball will release the rest of the names on their list of suspensions of players having involvement with the infamous Biogenesis “wellness” clinic late of Miami, Florida. Well, the names are already out.
I guess I’m relieved, even though I’m not surprised, to be able to tell you that there are no other members of the Milwaukee Brewers organization among those names listed.
Of course these announcements do come on the heels of Brewers All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun’s acceptance of a 65-game suspension; the count being what remained of the 2013 regular season at the time. Braun’s suspension, complete with tacit admission of and acceptance of punishment for some “mistakes”, was seen as a major turning point with what would become the fallout of this investigation. If Braun appealed others could certainly follow in his wake. That Braun decided to put this behind him from at least the standpoint of league anger over not originally “getting” their man likely directly contributed to many players just realizing that biting the bullet now could be the best thing for them too.
Interestingly enough though is that players mentioned in Tony Bosch’s records who have already served a regular old 50-game suspension for a JDA violation were not suspended again. They reportedly include Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón, Yasmani Grandal. Makes one wonder…
The other report I found amusing was the one where A-Rod apparently feels he deserves fewer games than Braun.
Regardless, here then is the list of names and their associated length of suspension for all those suspended as a result of the Biogenesis mess.
Major League Players
Álex Rodríguez – 211 games (rest of 2013 season effective 8/8/13, pending appeal)
Braun – 65 games (rest of 2013 season)
Antonio Bastardo – 50 games
Everth Cabrera – 50 games
Francisco Cervelli – 50 games
Nelson Cruz – 50 games
Sergio Escalona – 50 games
Jesús Montero – 50 games
Jhonny Peralta – 50 games
Jordany Valdespin – 50 games
And non-major leaguers…
Fautino de los Sántos (briefly a Brewers farmhand after being acquired in trade for George Kottaras in 2012)