Braun reportedly to be suspended again
MILWAUKEE - Major League Baseball will reportedly try to suspend Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and 19 other players, after the man suspected of selling them performance-enhancing drugs made a deal to escape a lawsuit.
ESPN reported last night that former Miami anti-aging clinic operator Tony Bosch has agreed to talk with baseball officials about his involvement with the players. In exchange, baseball would drop its lawsuit against Bosch, and officials would put in a good word with prosecutors if criminal charges against him become a possibility. Two reports during the off-season appeared to link Braun financially with Bosch. Braun has insisted that his lawyers only used Bosch as a consultant when they successfully appealed his 50-game drug suspension handed down in late 2011.
National pundits questioned Braun's contention, and downplayed Bosch as a reliable expert. But earlier this year, Bosch himself confirmed Braun's story in a TV interview. After last night's Brewers' win over Oakland, Braun again maintained his innocence and said his position on the matter has not changed. ESPN says Bosch will meet with baseball investigators within a week, and officials will then review the evidence and decisions will then be made on suspensions. The report says the suspensions could either be for 50-or-100 games.
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a walk-off double in the 10th inning last night, to give the Brewers a 4-3 home win over Oakland. The A's led 3-nothing until the Crew tied the game in the eighth. Jean Segura belted a two-run triple, and Aramis Ramirez tied the score with a bloop RBI-single. In the 10th, Ramirez hit a one-out single. Carlos Gomez grounded into a fielder's choice. And then Betancourt hit a shot into the gap in right-center which scored Gomez. Madison native Pat Neshek pitched the 10th and took the loss for the A's. He's now 1-1. John Axford got the win after working around a walk in the top of the 10th. Axford's now 2-and-3. Ramirez and Gomez each had two hits, as Milwaukee ended a five-game home losing streak. Yoenis Cespedes homered twice to provide all of Oakland's runs. The A's lost for only the third time in their last 18 games. The Brewers and Oakland will close out their Interleague series this afternoon at Miller Park. Yovani Gallardo faces A's veteran Bartolo Colon.
The Brewers are scrambling to come up with starters for their home series with Philadelphia this weekend. Manager Ron Roenicke says reliever Alfredo Figaro will start on Friday night in place of Mike Fiers, who was sent down to the minors again on Monday. Marco Estrada was supposed to start on Saturday. But that's all but ruled out, after Estrada strained a hamstring on Monday night. Estrada is still holding out hope that he can go but he said last night, quote, "It doesn't look very good right now." Roenicke is expected to announce today what he'll do. It's possible that the Brewers will bring up a minor league hurler for a spot start, like they did a year ago when Tyler Thornburg made his big league debut. This time, the candidates include Johnny Hellweg, who was obtained in last year's Zack Greinke trade - or Double-"A" pitchers Jimmy Nelson or Ariel Pena.