Braun maintains innocence despite new report
Former MVP among about 20 players who could be suspended
MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun remained defiant about his innocence on Tuesday night, hours after an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report raised new concerns that the Brewers' star left fielder could face a suspension in the coming weeks.
ESPN's story broke minutes before the Brewers took the field against the A's, and indicated that Anthony Bosch, the former head of the anti-aging clinic accused of providing banned substances to a number of high-profile players, had agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball's ongoing probe. According to the report, MLB will seek to suspend some 20 players connected to the clinic, including Braun, based on Bosch's testimony.
After the Brewers' 10-inning, 4-3 victory, Braun faced a crowd of cameras and microphones at his locker.
"A lot of people here," he said. "I assume I know why everybody is here. I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in Spring Training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I've already addressed it, I've already commented on it, and I'll say nothing further about it."
The truth, Braun has maintained, is that his lawyers consulted with Bosch during Braun's successful appeal of a 50-game suspension during the 2011-12 offseason. Those consultations, Braun said, explain why his name appears in notebooks attributed to Bosch and published first in February by Yahoo! Sports.
Bosch backed that explanation in his only interview since the Biogenesis story was originally reported in the Miami New Times, telling ESPN he had no knowledge of performance-enhancing drugs and that he merely "answered a few questions from [Braun's] legal team, not from Braun or any other ballplayer." But in the latest ESPN report, sources indicated Bosch "is expected to tell MLB he did provide the Milwaukee star with drugs."
Was the threat of a suspension on Braun's mind during the game?
"No, of course not," said Braun, who was 1-for-5 including a bloop single in the sixth inning and a groundout with the tying runner at third and nobody out in the eighth. "I've dealt with this off and on for the last year and a half, I guess. I think I'm pretty good at avoiding distractions."
He said he was informed about the story by a member of the club's public relations department after the game, and "I haven't read the story or heard any specifics about it. ... I have nothing else to say about any of that stuff tonight.
"We all deal with challenges in life," Braun said. "I think for all of us as baseball players there's distractions, whether it's your family situation, relationship situation ... there's all kinds of things that come up throughout the course of the season. For all of us, we have a job to do regardless of what those distractions are. Obviously, this hasn't been fun. It's not easy. It's not something I enjoy. But regardless, I have a job to do and I do my best to do my job every day."