BREWERS ROUNDUP: Braun admits to PED use during the 2011 season
After being silent for about a month, Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun issued a written statement last night in which he finally admitted taking a banned substance in 2011. He said he took a cream and a lozenge to help him get over a nagging injury. Braun missed the 2011 All-Star Game with an inflamed tendon injury behind his left knee. He dealt with calf problems for the rest of the year. His statement did mention the drug he used. He did not use the words “performance-enhancing drugs” in his apology – and he made no mention of the Bio-Genesis clinic which reportedly put him on a P-E-D program that included synthetic testosterone. Braun was the first of 14 players who received suspensions after Major League Baseball’s investigation of the now-closed Miami clinic. He’s out until next year. Braun successfully appealed a 50-game suspension early in 2012, after which he blamed drug sampler Dino Laurenzi for mishandling his test. Braun now says he “deeply regrets” much of what he said in a news conference after that appeal in which he called baseball’s drug policy “fatally flawed.” After that, Braun made constant denials of using P-E-D’s. In his statement, Braun said he thought for the longest time he did nothing wrong – and he now regrets being in denial like that. He issued a separate letter of apology to fans who get Brewers’ e-mails. General manager Doug Melvin says the most important thing will be Braun’s actions when he returns next season. In Melvin’s words, “He’s one of 25 players on the team, and he has to come back and perform like he did in the past.”
The Brewers will open a weekend series at Cincinnati tonight. The Brewers are only 1-and-5 this season at Great American Ball Park. The Crew split a four-game home series against the Reds last weekend. Last Sunday, Homer Bailey gave up just three hits to Milwaukee in eight innings of a 9-to-1 Cincinnati win. Bailey will start tonight against Brewers’ right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo improved to 9-and-9 last Saturday, after he threw six-and-a-third scoreless innings against Cincy.