Ryan Braun Sees Positive Response From Fans In First Public Appearance Since Suspension
Brewers LF Ryan Braun yesterday made his first public appearance since being suspended for PED use, and "received a standing ovation as he made his way to the Hollywood Squares prop that was part of the entertainment portion" of the team's On Deck offseason fan event, according to Michael Hunt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. It was a "big day for the Brewers," and Owner Mark Attanasio "marveled at the 14,138 people who showed up in the deep freeze." Excitement at the Wisconsin Center "was palpable." Braun greeted a "loyal/skeptical public that seemed more on his side than not." He "went out of his way to regain trust by personally calling suite holders and season-ticket holders during the off-season." He said that "only one call became contentious." No one has "ever accused Braun of lacking confidence." Attanasio said, "So far, so good. He's mindful, and I'm always careful to remind him, that this is an ongoing process. He needs to take steps to have the support of the community he once enjoyed" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/27). ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg said of Braun, “It is time to move on. There is nothing left to be said, go out and play. It is never going to be fully behind you. But just go out and play, stop talking about it, stop apologizing for it, get on. ... He's not doing himself any favors by talking.” ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic: “He needed to do this, though. He needed to say all those things whether you believe them or not. You know what works now, your actions” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 1/27).
BACK TO LIVIN' FLORIDAYS? In Milwaukee, Todd Rosiak notes while Attanasio said that there "haven't been any recent discussions that he was aware of," he "would be open to moving" the Brewers' spring-training HQs from Maryvale, Ariz. to Florida. It had been "assumed that because of the proximity" to Attanasio's L.A. home, the "chances the Brewers could look to move to Florida were slim to none." The Brewers in '13 signed a 10-year extension with the City of Phoenix that after '15 "allows the team the option of leaving each year with one year's notice" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/27).