The most disturbing, maybe the saddest, thing about the Ryan Braun suspension is that despite everything, he still thinks he can skate through this.
After his suspension was announced he released a statement that had more than a little bit of public relations firm and law firm in it:
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. 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 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."
To start with, there aren’t many people around, in Milwaukee or elsewhere, who ever thought Ryan Braun was perfect. For two years he’s had this shadow hanging over his head and most of us just decided to live with it and realize that our heroes sometimes had feet of clay.
But then he says, "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."
He realizes "NOW" that he made some mistakes? He didn’t realize it when he took performance enhancing drugs? He didn’t realize he was making a mistake when he lied to baseball fans, his teammates and his friends?
He didn’t realize he was making a terrible mistake when he savaged poor Dino Laurenzi, the unfortunate guy who took the sample from Braun and shipped it to the testing lab, albeit a little later than normal?
He didn’t realize that when the topic of the Biogenesis clinic came up and he said that he and his lawyers had just used Anthony Bosch as a consultant on the appeal of his first bad test that he was lying again?
The biggest problem with lying is that once you start, it becomes almost impossible to stop. One lie begets another and then another and so on. Braun got caught up in his lies.
The Brewers signed Braun to a huge contract and were set to make him the face of the franchise for years to come. He would be Ernie Banks. Mr. Brewer.
My guess is that ship has sailed. Even if he pays a visit to the couch with Oprah Winfrey his utter refusal to come clean, even today, won’t make things better for him.
He’s a great baseball player, even if a shot or two helped him along. But as a man and as an example he leaves a lot to be desired. Still.
Until and unless Braun is ready to come clean, and spell out exactly what has happened, we are all just left to shake our heads in wonder over this sudden and drastic fall from grace.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.