Back to baseball for Braun, Brewers

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun began what he called the process of restoring his reputation on Saturday when he took part in the team’s first full-squad workout, marking an official start to his 2012 season and the end of his tumultuous winter.

He was greeted on a sunny day at Maryvale Baseball Park by a much larger than usual contingent of fans, who cheered Braun as he took the field and then were rewarded a few hours later with an autograph. Braun spent more than 30 minutes signing for everyone who could get within arm’s length of the National League MVP.

“I didn’t get to all of them, but I tried to,” Braun said.

Braun said he didn’t know what to expect Saturday, two days after winning his appeal of a 50-game suspension and a day after Braun returned to the public eye.

Turns out, it was back to baseball.

“I had a lot of fun today,” he said. “Just being around my teammates, being on the baseball field was nice.”

Said pitcher Chris Narveson, the Brewers’ union representative: “We’re ready to move on. I think we’re all relieved that it’s over with.”

Braun met following the workout with reporters, who were asked to limit the questions to baseball. We’re told that he will not be available for a period of time after today.

We’ll see if he continues to sign autographs like he did on Saturday, when he lingered long after the rest of his teammates outside Maryvale Baseball Park. Braun cited the fan support as “one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to make it through this challenging situation.” He called the throng, “really cool.”

“I certainly appreciate people who support me,” he said. “When you go through something like this, you see who truly supports you. You see who your real friends are, and you see how people really feel about you.”

Look for some video of Braun’s return to action later today on


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