A quiet day off turned into a big news day late yesterday afternoon as Ryan Braun issued his long-awaited written statement while the rest of the Brewers were traveling to Cincinnati, then followed it up with an email to Brewer fans. You can read the full text of both the email and statement at the link above, but Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com hit a key point in our Tweet of the Day:
Things you want to know about Ryan Braun's apology: 945 words. Apologize = 3; Sorry = 3; Wrong = 4 #Brewers— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) August 23, 2013
Of course, we've got much more on the statement:
- Doug Melvin spoke with reporters in response to Braun, and emphasized that how Braun responds when he's back with the team next season will matter more than anything he could do or say now.
- Braun's claims that he only used performance enhancing drugs to recover from injury in 2011 were met with some skepticism, but @hangingsliders notes that Braun's attorneys almost certainly wouldn't let him lie in a statement while federal prosecutors are pursuing witnesses for their Biogenesis investigation.
- Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post dissected Braun's statement and rewrote it with the list of things he wanted Braun to say. In a related note, Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation has the PED apology he's waiting to hear.
- As you might expect, no single statement from Braun is going to make everyone happy. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk laments that fact, while @JaymesL notes that the impossibility of pleasing everyone doesn't mean Braun couldn't have done better.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo has a perfect example of Calcaterra's point, as he uses the occasion of Braun's apology to re-write the list of grievances against Braun, both real and perceived.
- Over at Cream City Cables, Nathan Petrashek also has what amounts to an acknowledgement that nothing Braun could have said would have made him happy.
- Flip Flop Fly Ball edited down the statement to an approximation of what many fans probably heard.
- As I previously mentioned, Braun waited to issue his statement until the Brewers were in the air on their way to Cincinnati. That means most of the team was unavailable for immediate response and will wait until today to answer questions about it. Adam McCalvy got a text from Jonathan Lucroy, but that's about it.
- McCalvy also noted on Twitter that the decision to issue a written statement meant various TV outlets had no video to use for their stories, so they went back to the 2012 Maryvale press conference footage.
- MLB is not planning on issuing any response to Braun's comments. (h/t @Haudricourt)
- @AndrewGruman notes that we'll probably go through all of this again next spring when Braun reports to Maryvale.
Back on the field, the Brewers are in Cincinnati this morning and will open a three game series with the Reds tonight. Yovani Gallardo takes on Homer Bailey in the opener, and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave the matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale.
Tonight's game will feature the underperforming team Doug Melvin assembled against Walt Jocketty's playoff contender. Adam McCalvy talked to Melvin about his friendship with the longtime NL Central GM.
Aramis Ramirez will likely be back in the lineup batting cleanup and playing third base tonight, and he's coming off two home runs in three days in the Cardinals series. @MikeVassallo13 notes that his next home run will be the 350th of his career.
Ramirez will probably bat one spot behind Jonathan Lucroy, who has been batting third when catching most days recently. Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Lucroy's quick transition from rookie catcher to clubhouse leader.
Scooter Gennett is also likely to be in the lineup at second base. Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin has a great story today on how the diminutive second baseman has always used his doubters as motivation. @MikeVassallo13 notes that Gennett's .392 batting average since July 23 is the best in all of baseball. Khris Davis is second at .370.
Elsewhere in surprising contributions, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs credits Tom Gorzelanny with being one of the best relievers signed to a multi-year contract last winter. The post is mostly a cautionary tale against giving expensive long-term deals to unreliable bullpen arms.
He's been out of sight and out of mind for most of the year, but Taylor Green continues to work to get ready to compete for a spot on this roster in 2014, @Todd_Rosiak notes that he was back in Milwaukee recently for a checkup and everything is going well in his recovery from hip surgery.
If Green wears a Brewer uniform next season, he'll have to deal with some debate about whether or not it's awful. Earlier this week I mentioned that Paul Lukas of Uni Watch ranked the Brewers' uniforms 26th in all of baseball, but this morning Will Leitch of Sports on Earth posted his own rankings and has the Brewers 18th.
In the minors:
- For once there's encouraging news regarding the potential future of baseball in Nashville, as momentum appears to be building for a new stadium for the Sounds. A lot of hurdles still need to be cleared but it's possible a new park could be open as soon as 2015. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
- Meanwhile, the affiliates went 3-2 last night and Brooks Hall pitched five scoreless innings in Huntsville's 2-1 win over Pensacola. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has notes from Wisconsin's 8-5 win over Clinton.
- Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a profile of Wisconsin second baseman Chris McFarland.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a look back at the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft and the first full professional season for players selected, including Clint Coulter and Victor Roache.
Looking back a day, Wednesday's FS Wisconsin off day left many of us turning to alternatives to see the game. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker took the non-advisable route of watching the Cardinals broadcast and offers a review.
Athletics: Are believed to have acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Nationals for a minor league pitcher.
Giants: Placed outfielder Andres Torres on the DL with a strained Achilles.
Mets: Signed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to a major league deal.
Rays: Signed outfielder Delmon Young to a minor league deal.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Pirates rode a seven-run fifth inning to a 10-5 win over the Giants last night. Andrew McCutchen was on base four times with two singles and two walks in the victory.
- The Cardinals kept pace in the division race with a 6-2 win over the Braves. Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holiday combined for six hits, including four doubles.
- The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to eke out a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Shin-Soo Choo scored both Cincinnati runs.
- The Cubs scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings but lost 5-4 to the Nationals in 13. Chad Tracy's RBI groundout was the difference.
- The Brewers were off Thursday.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Pirates||75||52||--||@ SFG||9:15p||Charlie Morton v Madison Bumgarner|
|Cardinals||74||53||1||v ATL||7:15p||Adam Wainwright v Kris Medlen|
|Reds||73||55||2.5||v MIL||6:10p||Homer Bailey v Yovani Gallardo|
|Cubs||54||73||21||@ SDP||9:10p||Edwin Jackson v Edinson Volquez|
Today in former Brewers: Carlos Villanueva threw a 57 mph eephus pitch to Jayson Werth of the Nationals yesterday.
Meanwhile, yesterday's best news across baseball may have come from Los Angeles, where Vin Scully announced he'll be returning for his 65th season as the voice of the Dodgers in 2014.
If you've been to a game at Miller Park this season then you're probably familiar with the "Find Ticket Oak" promotion, where one fan is given a camera and 30 seconds to give us all motion sickness while searching for the talking tree in the crowd. Apparently this isn't an original idea: Faith and Fear in Flushing has a post on the Mets' "Find Cuppy" game at Citi Field.
Today In Brewer History was off this morning, but we do have some bits of history:
- nullacct has a look at Robin Yount as the face of the 1982 Brewers.
- Today is 1997 Brewer Julio Franco's 55th birthday and Plunk Everyone notes that his 38 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on August 23.
Now, if you'll excuse me, someone has found my collection.