D-backs, others react to Braun news
There were strong sentiments around baseball on Monday about Ryan Braun’s suspension but particularly out of Phoenix, from members of the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks, the team ousted from that year’s postseason by Ryan Braun and the Brewers. Remember that this whole saga began after Game 1 of that series, when Braun was ordered to provide a urine sample for testing. Braun went 9-for-18 in that series with five extra-base hits.
Thanks to Steve Gilbert and some of my other colleagues, here’s what people are saying:
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson:
“What’s happened in the past and how it might have affected us, we’ll never really know. We’re in a pennant race this year and Ryan Braun has to live with Ryan Braun. We take care of ourselves and try to do the right thing, do it the right way and within good ethical codes.
“I’ve got a sour taste because we lost. For me to sit here and say we lost because of Ryan Braun, as far as I know we don’t know that he did do it in that series based upon what was announced today.”
On PED users in general…
“I don’t think they should be in the All-Star Game, I don’t think they should be in the Hall of Fame for sure. Penalties should be more severe. It should be much more of a deterrent. Monetarily things should be more severe, because I think you have to ask why they do it. They would be the best people to answer that question. I think major League Baseball has made great progress.”
Arizona infielder Willie Bloomquist:
“I got a chance to play with Ryan on the USA team and he’s a good dude, a really good guy. But having said that, it’s disappointing. We as players have done the best job we can to clean up the game and rid it of all this sort of thing. Everyone knows the consequences and penalties for it and yet there’s some people that seem like they can sneak by the system without getting caught and what it does is it cheats everybody else. It cheats the game, it cheats the fans it cheats the players they’re playing against.”
On the 2011 playoffs…
“I don’t know what the details of it are, but if you go back to the playoff series that we had with them who knows how that series turns out if we’re playing all on the same level playing field. Does it piss me off? Yeah. We busted our butt that series and left everything out on the field and came up just a little bit short so who knows what might have happened. Maybe there’s a different outcome, maybe there’s not, but it’s frustrating to know that maybe you were cheated on the other side of it a little bit. … Not saying the outcome would have been different, but it leaves you wondering and from a competitor’s standpoint it pisses you off.”
On PED users in general…
“Guys are getting frustrated with, ‘Why are you still thinking you can cheat the system and get away with it?’ Everybody else is playing on the same field and there are guys out there that still think that they can get away with things. From that point it’s very frustrating.”
Does admitting it help?
“Maybe it will help him sleep at night a little better.”
D-backs reliever David Hernandez:
“It’s pointless [thinking back to the '11 postseason]. Who I really feel bad for is the guy’s [the sample collector] whose integrity got questioned.”
D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler:
“It’s frustrating that guys are still trying to beat the system, but it’s also frustrating that he’s essentially accepting responsibility for it now which means that everything he said back at the beginning of 2012 was a lie. You never want to see that out of anybody let alone a fellow ballplayer. It’s frustrating that guys are still trying to beat the system, but the lying and the denials are more the issue for me just from a human being’s perspective.”
On 2011 playoffs…
“Obviously it affected the series because that’s right when the positive test occurred, that’s right when it was highest in his system and he torched us that series, there’s no question about it. We still had opportunities and we can’t put it all on that. it probably definitely effected it, but looking back on it we walked from that series knowing that we should have won it long before we ever heard he had tested positive.
“At least he didn’t get away with it now. There’s nothing they could have done at that time to go back and replay those games or change the outcome.
“That’s the whole point of this drug testing policy is to try and clean the game up. Get guys who are trying to cheat the system make sure they’re punished for it. the numbers obviously are way down from what they were even four or five years ago, but at the same time it’s obviously still not enough deterrent there and guys are still trying to beat the system and we’ll have to see what else comes out in this investigation because it could really shake baseball up a little bit.”
Cubs manager [and former Brewers coach and manager] Dale Sveum:
“It’s unfortunate for baseball, it’s unfortnate for the Brewers organization. I’m just glad it’s kind of finally over. I don’t think he has to deal with it. Now he’s come out and obviously admitted it to the public and apologized. I think it’s the best thing to happen to Braun and the organization. He’ll be able to play Opening Day next year and everything is behind him as well as the organization and the players he let down and [Brewers principal owner Mark] Attanasio and [general manager] Doug Melvin and the fans who have supported him for six years in the organization. At least now it’s finished, it’s over and they can move on.”
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano:
“I think sometimes people don’t realize how good they are. They want to go try something else. I just focus and try to do my job and not pay attention to what happens outside of baseball.”
Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson:
“This is the first domino to fall and obviously there’s a big cloud with the Biogenesis thing over the game right now, and hopefully we can get past this and move on as soon as possible. Hopefully whatever actions are going to happen happen swiftly, that way we don’t have to complain about it next year.
“[Braun] has got a whole team of advisors I’m sure, based on his financial standing and his standing in the game as a superstar player. It’s a big downer to have a guy that’s an MVP have this kind of tag follow him, because you obviously want to root for guys to do well. But this is the punishment that’s necessary for the crime, I guess.”
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