Brewers’ Melvin: ‘Happy this is over’
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin just spoke to the media:
“From the ballclub’s standpoint, I know a decision has finally been made in regards to Ryan,” Melvin said. “As the general manager of the ballclub, we’re happy that decision has come to and end and we support the Commissioner’s drug program. The Commissioner’s Office, Ryan, the Union have all got together and finally put an end to this so we as a ballclub can move forward and concentrate on the 25 players on the field and move forward and try to win as many games as we can.
“I don’t have a lot of answers to some of the questions you’re going to have, so I hope you respect that. But as the general manager, I’m somewhat happy that this is over with so we can move forward.”
Melvin said he spoke with Braun late Monday afternoon and learned for the first time of the suspension. Braun has been removed from the Brewers’ 40-man roster, and will be replaced on the 25-man, active roster for Tuesday’s game against the Padres.
Melvin also said Braun addressed his teammates in the clubhouse.
“Our focus will be on the field starting with tonight’s game,” Melvin said.
Will he stand behind Braun through the remainder of a contract that runs through at least 2020?
“The decision has been made — he’s suspended without pay,” Melvin said. “He’s a Milwaukee Brewer. He’s wearing a uniform next year, and his focus is to get ready for next year.”
Is Melvin disappointed?
“Yeah, I’m disappointed,” he said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed. He’s a very important player to our organization and to the ballclub and to our performance on the field.”
What was the tone of his conversation with Braun?
“That was between Ryan and I,” Melvin said.
Was Braun apologetic?
“I think that conversation was between Ryan and I,” Melvin said.
Was this the best case scenario in terms of wiping the slate clean and starting over in 2014?
“Yeah, I think it’s very important. We can move forward starting tonight,” Melvin said. “We’ll have someone else here tomorrow and we’ll try to win as many games as we can. It’s been a disappointing year for Ryan with his injuries, but with this behind us now, I think it gives us a much better focus for the offseason and what we can do.”
What reaction does Melvin expect from the Brewers’ fan base?
“I guess we’ll find that out when you guys are all done doing your jobs,” he said.
Does he think Braun should answer questions in a more detailed fashion?
“I think that’s Ryan’s decision,” Melvin said.
On the challenge the Biogenesis saga has presented the Brewers: “Every year is challenging, but this has always been a cloud over the ballclub, not knowing what’s going to happen. There was a lot of speculation out there; you read about it, you hear about it. I didn’t have any idea what was going on. I only knew what I read in the paper the next day. So you move forward and you play each day as it comes. I am glad, and I think as an organization we are happy that Ryan, the union and the Commissioners Office have all put their heads together and made a wise decision for baseball and for us, the organization.”
Melvin has always been supportive of Braun — did he report for work on Monday morning believing in his heart that Braun never took a PED?
“I’m not going to answer that question,” Melvin said.
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