Braun stands by fellow UM alum A-Rod
Hours before Alex Rodriguez was to face a media throng in Tampa, Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was standing by his fellow University of Miami alum from more than 2,000 miles away.
While expressing regret for what he called Rodriguez’s “mistakes,” Braun refused to denounce the fallen Yankees star.
“Everybody makes mistakes, and I’m not the type of person that’s going to change my opinion about who he is just because he made a mistake,” Braun said. “I wouldn’t just disassociate myself with somebody just because he made a mistake. I don’t think anybody is perfect, and I don’t think he’s ever pretended to be perfect.”
Braun first met Rodriguez on a recruiting trip to Miami in 2001, the same year that Rodriguez, according to his in his first interview on the subject, began taking banned substances. The story that Rodriguez allegedly tested positive for steroids broke via SI.com on Feb. 7, but New York reporters did not get their first opportunity to grill Rodriguez on the subject until Tuesday.
Because Brewers hitters took the field at 11:30 MT for batting and fielding work, just as Rodriguez stepped behind the microphone, Braun would have to wait to see the exchange in replay.
“It doesn’t do me much good to say anything bad about anybody,” Braun said earlier in the morning. “It will be interesting to see what he has to say. I will say that I think he’s done everything that he should have done [since the story broke] and the best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest. The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”
Was he surprised by events of the past two weeks?
“I don’t know if I would say I was surprised,” Braun said. “I feel like it was so rampant, so prevalent, in baseball during that time period that not much surprises me anymore. If anything, I was surprised he got caught, that it came out this long after he supposedly did it.”
For the record, Braun said he has never been tempted to use performance-enhancing drugs.
“It’s never something that I sought,” Braun said before showing a flash of his sense of humor and his well-documented self-confidence. “I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”