Ryan Braun is a certified jerk, for lack of a better word.
First, during the playoff run in the 2011 season, he got caught using performance enhancing drugs of some sort. That enacted an automatic 50-game suspension for the first offense. It should be noted, however, that his National League MVP award was not stripped from him by the voters.
But instead of taking the suspension and that being that, he fought it and used the smallest of technicalities. He got off because the tester wasn’t able to ship the sample off in time and thus overturning the suspension. And instead of coming clean, Braun exalted the ruling as the truth saying he never did steroids or anything of the nature.
Then comes this season and now Braun is serving a 65-game ban, basically the rest of the season, because it was found that he was using performance enhancing drugs from the now infamous clinic, Biogenesis. And now, Braun looks like a complete and utter fool for what he said after his appeal a couple years ago, much to the chagrin of those who doubted him back then.
But, to Braun’s credit, he is trying to repair his ways. There were reports that Braun went around the clubhouse apologizing and this morning For the Win, part of the USA Today Sports’ online presence, is reporting that Braun is calling Brewers fans and apologizing to them.
Now of course there’s a lot to look at with this. He could easily be reading from a script, emotionless and not really meaning it just to get some positive PR. He could also be considered to just be doing this only because he got caught and really does it mean it when he says, “I’m sorry.”
But as much as I dislike this guy, and it’s quite a lot to be honest, I have to at least respect this move by Braun. I do think he’s being sincere. While he certainly has a lot of time on his hands with the ban, not a lot of people would actually take the time to call fans of their team and apologize. The more efficient form would be to mail letters to season ticket holders and what not.
This is also pretty much unprecedented. I don’t recall any other player doing what Braun is doing. I don’t know what I would do if I were one of the fans receiving a call from him.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a strong disdain for Braun. What he did was dirty and cheap. But unlike others, yes I’m looking at you A-Rod, he’s now taken his penalty and trying to make amends for it and this latest action at least has to be respected no matter what side of the issue you fall on.
And while this won’t completely fill in the canyon he’s created between himself and the average baseball fan, it’s at least something.