Roenicke hoping for answers from Braun
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke faced a barrage of Ryan Braun questions on Tuesday, most of which he had no answers for because Braun never told his manager what exactly he was being suspended for.
Instead, Braun spoke to his manager and teammates Monday in vague terms similar to the statement which was released by Major League Baseball, with a reference to “mistakes.” Roenicke said he would like more detailed answers, assuming Braun’s agreement with Major League Baseball and the Players Association — not to mention possible legal ramifications — allow it.
“You guys know me — I always think it’s better to just come out and say what’s going on,” Roenicke said. “There’s times that I can’t, and when I can’t, I usually tell you guys, ‘Hey, that’s something I can’t talk about.’ And I don’t know how much he can talk about. I don’t know the agreement between the [Players] Association, Major League Baseball and himself on what he can say. I would think there’s parameters put in place with what he can say regarding this, how much he can explain things.
“Knowing that, maybe he just can’t do it.”
Of the remaining unknowns, Roenicke said, “I wish we all knew what was going on. I doubt we ever will. I doubt that I’ll ever know what this is all about.”
Representatives from Braun’s agency, CAA Sports, did not respond to calls for comments on Tuesday. Braun’s corner locker at Miller Park was still filled with baseball gear and uniforms, but he remained absent. (For the record: He is not barred from the ballpark.)
So for the second straight day, Brewers uniformed personnel were left in the awkward position of answering for Braun in Braun’s absence.
“If Major League Baseball allows it, you would hope that some of these things would be clarified from [Braun], that he would be able to give you guys answers instead of us having to do it,” Roenicke said. “I think any time players are asked something they are uncomfortable [answering], it’s difficult. These questions are difficult for me, and you guys ask me questions all the time. A player who is not used to answering anything other than the game and what they had done, it becomes a difficult situation.”
Does Roenicke worry about how Braun will re-acclimate to the team when he returns next season, and how his teammates will accept him back?
“I’m hoping that he’s accepted as a player that would be gone for an injury all year,” Roenicke said. “Obviously, this is a different situation than an injury. There’s a lot more meaning to it, and what happened and how it affects these guys and baseball. Knowing that, these guys are pretty forgiving of their teammates. Staff is pretty forgiving of players. That’s our job. Our job is to take whatever 25 men we have here and to try to help them in any way we can.”
Roenicke watched a few minutes of the postgame coverage of Braun’s suspension on national news networks Monday, then turned it off.
It was difficult to watch for a man whose job, by definition, is to manage situations. This is a situation out of his control.
“This is a group that I feel that myself and the coaches are in charge of what goes on out here, and any time something distracts from that or a problem occurs because of one of the players, it’s going to affect us,” Roenicke said. “It’s going to affect me personally. I like Ryan Braun. He’s a very engaging young man. I have a lot of great conversations with him, as I do with a lot of these young players. So any time something happens with one of our guys, I feel it.”
Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy