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SBD/July 24, 2013/Franchises
Brewers Face Potential Alienation Of Fans, Sponsors Following Braun Suspension
Published July 24, 2013
A DIFFICULT SITUATION: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt in a front-page piece writes the entire Brewers organization is "in a difficult spot with a player who became the face of the franchise two years ago." Even with the $3.4M in salary that Braun "forfeits while on suspension," the Brewers "owe him approximately" $130M over the remainder of his contract. Braun is "basically an untradeable player." The Brewers are "in the awkward position of having to support their best player as well as the MLB drug policy" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/24). In N.Y., Pat Borzi notes many Brewers fans viewed Braun "as the current link in a succession of franchise stars that included" Baseball HOFers Hank Aaron and Robin Yount (N.Y. TIMES, 7/24).
TIME TO GO? A MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL editorial states the Brewers "should end their relationship with Braun," as Attanasio has an "opportunity to make the most powerful statement any owner has ever made about what the game of baseball should be and what it should not be." There has been "a lot of talk about 'moving on'" from Braun's situation from players, GM Doug Melvin and Attanasio in the past 24 hours that indicates "they still don't get it." Only by cutting Braun "can the organization 'move on.'" His drug use "taints the team's National League Central Division championship in 2011 and its victory over Arizona in the playoffs that fall." Attanasio has a "chance to make the Milwaukee Brewers franchise an example for the rest of professional sports: He can do that by getting rid of Ryan Braun" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/24).