Attanasio saddened by Braun’s deception
Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio gathered reporters in the back of the Miller Park press box tonight, and here are the highlights:
On what he’s been thinking the last two days…
“Well, there’s a lot of thoughts the last two days. I worked very hard on the statement I released to the press, which expressed my disappointment in Ryan. I accepted his apology. He apologized to me again today. But I also expressed the need for him to redeem himself, and it’s going to take some time and take some work.”
What does he think should be Braun’s next step?
“I think he has to get to the point where he can actually speak about this. Major League Baseball is in the midst of an ongoing investigation. He is obviously now cooperating with baseball [by remaining quiet until the league has doled out other suspensions and closed the Biogenesis matter]. … He is cooperating in such a way that he is going to let them conclude or get further into the investigation before he talks.”
[Major clarification: This does not mean Braun is cooperating with investigations into other players, Attanasio said. Merely that he is staying quiet for now until MLB finishes its work.]
Did Attanasio get a full accounting from Braun of the violations he’s admitting to?
“I don’t have a full accounting on that because given what I just said about the investigation and where he stands in it, I don’t even myself have all the details of what he’s going to say or what actually happened.”
How does this affect the franchise?
“I’m going to answer that in two ways. I’m going to start by saying I’m reminded in times like this that we’re an organization of 25-plus players. The two players who were All-Stars this year were Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez, and we’ve got a bunch of guys out there tonight working really hard to win a game. It kind of makes me proud for what the organization is and who plays for the organization.
“That said, Ryan obviously was the best player on our team, so we miss him.”
How does the team’s best player restore credibility after a year and a half of lying about being associated with PEDs?
“This is a unique circumstance here. I don’t think there is a roadmap for that, but as you point out, there was a year and a half between when this all started and now, so this is going to take time. I told Ryan that this is going to take time. No matter now open, honest, truthful, sincere he is in the next press conference, that is one step in what is going to be [many]. It is going to take time. Everyone will know when, if he gets over that threshold, that he has gotten over it, because the community will be in a position that they can embrace him again.”
Braun is being described as a “pariah” and he is the Brewers’ franchise player. How does Attanasio reconcile that?
“Well, the media uses a lot of provactive terms, and pariah is a provocative term. ‘Face of the Franchise’ is a [provocative] term, too. You know, we never really use that term here. If you look at our media guide, we’ve got a lot of faces on the media guide this year, and Ryan was No. 2 in the MVP voting last year. We’ve never really looked at him that way, so I’d rather not use specific terms like that. Id’ rather deal with Ryan redeeming himself, what it’s going to take, how long it’s going to take, qualitatively what he needs to do.”
Can he redeem himself?
“We’ll see,” Attanasio said.
[Attanasio met with Braun in person on Wednesday morning in Milwaukee but was not sure about Braun's plan moving forward. Attanasio was also not sure whether Braun would be around the team for any of the remainder of this season, as he is allowed to do as long as he's off the field before gates open to the public.]
“This community trusted Ryan,” Attanasio said. “So I understand how this community is reacting as negatively as [it is] … because it was so trusting, and it’s had its trust betrayed. We’ll all feel it together when it’s working again.”
Will the community hear from Braun any time soon?
“I don’t know what the plan is for that. I think he does want to come forward, but I don’t know when that will be.”
Personally, how does Attanasio feel about this?
“I issued a statement that I was disappointed, and that is for sure the case. I’m sad. When I thought about Milwaukee baseball, this is not what I envisioned. But I recognize also that this organization is bigger than anyone, certainly bigger than me. … I think we will work together to ride through the difficult times so we can enjoy some good times — and there will be good times again.”
Will the Brewers keep Braun?
“You know, he is under contract with us. I know there is a lot of commentary now. Right now, the full expectation is to keep him, and the full expectation is that he is going to do the right things, he is going to say the right things, and he he is going to put in a lot of hard work to get back into folks’ good graces.
“That is going to take some time. It’s not like we are going to be at Opening Day next year and we’re going to be through this. We are not going to be through this.”
Attanasio intends to help with that public relations effort.
“I’ve told Ryan that I would like to take a more active role in talking to him going forward, and he is very accepting of that,” Attanasio said. “He wants to do the right thing at this point going forward. This was a first step, by coming forward and agreeing to a penalty and being the first player to do that. That is a first step, and it is a baby step, but it is a step in the right direction.”
Does this tarnish the Brewers’ 2011 playoff run?
“That team had so many great players. Yeah, Ryan was great, but Prince Fielder was pretty damn great. Ax and K-Rod were great. Even Craig Counsell was on that team, and Rickie [Weeks] had a great season [before his injury]. A lot of guys got us to the finish line in 2011.”
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