Two days ago, I asked how to combine “Brewers” and “schadenfreude” in response to the unfortunate acceptance of arbitration by setup man Francisco Rodriguez, which could cost the Brewers $13 million or more. You came up with Brewenfreude.

But that wasn’t Brewenfreude. This is Brewenfreude.

Today, ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ is reporting National League MVP and Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during the 2011 MLB playoffs, and is facing a 50-game suspension. The suspension has not yet been announced because Braun is appealing the decision.

Braun, 28, helped the Brewers to the playoffs, and himself to the MVP award, on the strength of a career-best .332/.397/.597 season, in which he hit 33 homers. During those playoffs, Braun was given a urine test, which revealed an elevated testosterone level – and the testosterone was synthetic. To confirm the results, MLB reached out to the World Anti-Doping Agency for their review.

After the second review, Braun was informed of the results in late October. The Brewers say they haven’t heard anything about it from the Commissioner’s Office. Ostensibly, they’re just learning about it now.

A spokesman for Braun issued a statement in response to the report:

“There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”

Hmm. See that word “intentional” in there? That’s lawyer-speak for, “yeah, well, maybe he did it, but he didn’t mean to do it!” When your spokesman is already saying things like that, it doesn’t look good.

You know what else doesn’t look good?

ESPN adds the following discussion and previous quotes (now cringe-worthy quotes) from Braun:

Asked if he were surprised that Rodriguez had been exposed as a steroid user, Braun was quoted saying, “I don’t know if I would say I was surprised. I feel like it was so rampant, so prevalent, in baseball during that time period that not much surprises me anymore. If anything, I was surprised he got caught, that it came out this long after he supposedly did it.”

On whether he had ever been tempted to try performance-enhancing drugs, Braun said, “It’s never something that I sought.” wrote that Braun then showed “a flash of his sense of humor and his well-documented self-confidence” by adding, “I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”

Braun was speaking to the website prior to the news conference at which Rodriguez admitted his use.

“… The best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest,” Braun said. “The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”

Yikes. This is ugly, not only for Braun and the Brewers, but also for baseball. We don’t need the highest of high profile players ONCE AGAIN coming under a cloud of suspicion. As much as I joke about “schadenfreude,” I’m truly saddened and disappointed about this. And, if the Brewers are genuinely learning about this for the first time right now, I feel bad for them. Their offseason plans would have undoubtedly been different if they knew this was looming. Now, it’s probably too late.

But then I remember that the Cubs have to compete with the Brewers. And then I remember that the Brewers signed Ryan Braun through 2020 on a contract that will pay him more than $100 million from 2016 to 2020.


  • Cheryl

    If Braun is already suspended 50 games it may have gone beyond the innocent part that Toosh rightly points out. Unfortunately anybody associated with Milwaukee will be asked the same quiestion – Who else is involved? Who knew about it? Its a shame this has happened. It would be great if Braun was cleared but as Brett says – “It doesn’t look good.”

    • die hard

      To carry your thought further, shouldnt the hitting coach, mgr and GM be suspended too? They are just as culpable..if the rule is to have teeth everyone up the food chain needs to be punished…

      • njriv

        I hope you realize their hitting coach at the time was Dale Sveum a.k.a. the Cubs new manager

        • die hard

          Really….didnt know that…thanks for info

        • NL_Cubs

          And your point is?

      • mb1.0.2

        By that logic, then you must incarcerate the parents, teachers, and anyone else who directly interacted with a felon when he or she is convicted of a crime. That doesn’t make sense.

        Baseball doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You can’t simply give ludicrous suggestions without actually thinking about real-world implications. At least I can’t.

        But you’re a fun read, nonetheless.

        • die hard

          what if during Theo’s grueling leave no stone unturned interview he asked Sveum about steroids….what reply then will be sufficient now to keep Theo from firing him immediately?….and if Theo didnt touch subject, why not?…doesnt anybody care how this looks for Cubs even more so than Brewers…only thing worse wouldve been if Braun was a free agent and Cubs signed him a month ago…Cubs did next worse thing and hired his hitting coach…At very least, Theo has some splaining to do as to why he hired Sveum..

          • Jeff


            Do us all a favor and go hang out in the White Suxs forums and stop posting this nonsense.

            • die hard

              Youre naive to think that there is no meeting scheduled at Clark and Addison for first thing Monday for the purpose of discussing how to best handle this…Get your head out of the sand..this needs to be addressed head on … the Commish cant sweep this under the rug and will have to appoint a nuetral who will go full bore to handle investigation as he has/had ties to Brewers…A Criminal case can result from this (Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds)…and subpoenas can go out to anyone and everyone who should have known (Sveum)..why didnt Theo see this coming before hiring Sveum?

              • http://Bleachernation Bric

                Die Hard, given the fact that Theo was running the Red Sox when Manny and big Poppi were both producing similar numbers to Braun’s with an almost identical swing and approach (mostly arms and bat speed) I would imagine Monday’s meeting with Sveum is going to be more about not getting caught then wondering which Cubs might be juiced.

            • bacboris

              Jeff, I suggest ignoring the comments section. This place is still my first stop for Cubs articles (tip of the cap to Brett). However, the comments have quickly gone the way of Bleed Cubbie Blue and CCO (after Aaron and RipSnorter).

              If you’re looking for an interesting comment site, look at Cubs Den. I don’t post there, but its still small enough that the nonsense-spouters and bickerers haven’t made it there yet.

              • Jeff

                Yeah Thanks Bacboris,

                I’m replying to Die Hard to pass the time as my insomnia rages…lol

                I’m always amazed at what some people spew out that is lacking in any knowledge or common sense.

                Everybody is an expert from the armchair of their couch. Last year I predicted the Pena signing, this year I was looking at Stewart and we traded for him. I’m two for two, might be ready to play the lottery soon..ha ha

                I think that we might as well rebuild this club, but that doesn’t mean we need to trade everyone that has any value or the ones with the most value.

                Hold onto Garza, Castro, Stewart, Jackson, and leave the bullpen alone with the exception of Marmol. Trade the veterans in July when their stock will be the highest.

                If you have a good player, you never trade him, unless your going to lose him. If you have two players at the same position, you always trade the one you think isn’t or won’t be as good.

                I guess Die Hard doesn’t realize we don’t have another decent SS prospect in the system.

  • Rev. Bud Green

    Can’t we all just get a bong?

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  • Edwin

    What really saddens me is the impact this has on the city of Milwaukee. Being a Cubs fan living in Milwaukee, the Brewers/Cubs rivalry has always meant more to me. But as much as I love taking the Brewers down a peg, it was at least nice to see how excited Milwaukee was when they made the playoffs. Losing Braun, Fielder, and not having much of an exciting offseason will probably kill baseball in this town again, which is bad for everyone. I think more than hurting the Brewers, this hurts the city and in way all of baseball.

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      I wouldn’t write them off just yet. The still have a better pitching staff overall then the Cubs presently have. But I expect drop offs from both Giardo and Greinke. It’s harder and more stressful to start when you don’t have the luxary of a line that can put up 5 or 6 runs a game. Just ask Garza and Dempster.

  • justajphx

    I can’t believe that I am not hearing more outrage that this story even got leaked. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? It’s important to remember, Braun is APPEALING the process. Under the MLB guidelines, only AFTER the final outcome is determined should this be put out there to the public. This is meant to preserve the player’s right of APPEAL. Don’t you find it totally unacceptable how ESPN puts out their stories, and what is contained in them? I surely can’t be the only one who feels ESPN is grossly negligent in their reporting of things. How often have they included inaccurate information. They are total buttheads as far as I am concerned. They lack regard for the truth. Also, I find it HIGHLY suspect on the timing of their information leak (almost sounds like they are trying to change the outcome of certain trade rumors, etc.) This is smelling like how they are handling the timing and release of information they have on the Penn State and Syracuse matters. If you don’t think they had this information longer than they appear to have, you really need to take a look in the mirror, Don’t you consider that ESPN should hold part of the blame in allowing these things to continue. Totally unethic practices.

    • Brett

      Maybe. But, for me, the news is that he tested positive and stands to be suspended for 50 games, not that he’s guilty. In my mind, I can separate those two things. I’ll wait on the appeal to “judge” him. Until then, it’s huge news that he tested positive, and stands to be suspended for 50 games.

  • CubSouth

    Edwin, I really don’t understand how it can kill a town for baseball when they weren’t heavy in the Winter Meetings and lost a player to FA and another to PEDs. If ur a true sports fan then u love ur team unconditionally and root for them anyways. That’s like down here in Jacksonville, where they say the Jags need to win in order to keep the team here. Heck, if u have to win to keep fans coming to the game, then its not the right city for u.
    Another thing, I can’t stand to hear lawyers or agents say “he had no previous history or priors”… of course not! You can’t have a history until you’ve done it once and now, here are ur priors. So the next time, when Braun is wanting to do some PEDs, maybe he will remember he has “priors” now and will just say NO!