In first public appearance Braun expresses remorse

Making his first public comments since he was suspended in July, Ryan Braun on Wednesday expressed contrition in person for his “huge mistake” but offered no more details about his specific transgressions.

Instead, his mere appearance, bundled up for a food drive outside frigid Miller Park the day before Thanksgiving, was the latest step in what Braun himself says will be a long, difficult bid to repair his reputation.

“I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently,” Braun said. “Unfortunately, I can’t do that. All I can do is move on, try to do everything in my power to earn people’s trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate winning back everybody’s support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that. I won’t stop trying.”

Before he faced a bank of microphones on Wednesday, most of Braun’s efforts had been small-scale. In August, he apologized over the phone to Brewers coaches and teammates and sent letters to a variety of baseball officials, including Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig. In September, Braun personally called some Brewers season seatholders to apologize, and visited the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, one of the nonprofits with which he had worked extensively.

On Tuesday, Braun and fiancée Larisa Fraser had dinner at the home of Dino Laurenzi Jr., the sample collector whom Braun blasted in a February 2012 press conference, after Braun had successfully appealed a 50-game suspension.

“We had some really good conversations,” said Braun, who said he made no payments to Laurenzi. “We’ve made amends, and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”

Asked what possessed him to go after Laurenzi in the first place, Braun said, “I’m not really going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it, and a lot of the things that I said that day.

“But again, all I can do is move forward, and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, for the team, for the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward, I’m not going to discuss that subject.”

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