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.


  • Ashley

    I am shocked by this!! Just proved no one is clean and has me thinking more about who else could pop positive.

    • TWC

      Koyie Hill.

      Mark my words.

      • Mayor1969

        Well played, sir.

  • ferrets_bueller

    LMFAO. Bet they’re regretting not giving Kemp the MVP now, like they should have in the first place.
    Brewers might be in some trouble for 1/3 of the season…the central just keeps getting more and more wide open.

    • Dean

      The central may be getting more and more wide open…but for the Reds to take over. The Cubs have taken a step back too (Aramis Ramirez replaced by Ian Stewart). Its sad to say but just by staying put and making NO moves this offseason, the Reds may be the odds on favorite to win the central, but I’m still betting the Cardinals are going to make a run. The Cubs on the other hand…its not to early to start thinking about 2013.

      • ferrets_bueller

        I’m not entirely sure thats a downgrade…
        Stewart plays vastly better defense at 3B than Aramis, and is a better baserunner by an extremely large margin. Aramis was a total liability in two phases of the game, and his bat was beginning to slow down as well.

  • Oswego Chris

    isn’t  that guy in the picture the guy who played Kevin in the American Pie movies…

    this sucks for the game


  • Dave

    Is he wearing Affliction in that picture?  That alone is worth a 100 game ban.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Yep. As if we didn’t already have proof that he’s a total D-bag, he clinches it with that.

    • chris margetis

      Amen Dave!

  • Tyler31

    Is there anyway he can get his MVP taken away because thats what should happen,  their is no excuse to take PED’s.

    • Katie

      It’s a Writers Assoc award, not MLB so who knows?

    • Brett

      Would be up to the Baseball Writers – they award the MVP.

    • chris margetis

      Sure there’s an excuse. So you can win an MVP and make $21 million per year.

  • Caleb

    They’re testing Ryan Braun but NOT Lance “I get my paycheck AND a senior discount at McDonalds!” Berkman?

    And yeah, sad.

  • Kyle

    So the other day I thought to myself “Well, that Albert Pujols signing with Anaheim thing is the best intra-division schadenfreude I’ll get all offseason.”

    Oh man was I wrong.


  • Goatbusters

    Do you think this puts any suspicion on prince and if so will this affect any deal he gets?

  • jandersonjr81

    Wow. Now that this mean they may be forced to raise there offer to Prince, which is a bad thing. With Braun out for 50, they really can’t afford to let prince walk.

    SN: Maybe Ian Stewart and Lahair and Soto can take some, each hit 40 hrs and not get caught until after we win the WS next year. Just saying.

  • Oswego Chris

    the only thing Prince’s blood will test positive for is grease and gravy

    • Dave


    • Katie


      • Dave

        I think I’m the only person alive who finds gravy overrated.  Its the Derek Jeter of foodstuffs.

        • BPaoni

          No sir not the only one, I absolutely hate gravy!

    • Alex

      C’mon, I think people are being a bit too hard on Fielder. How can he have grease and gravy in his blood when he is a strict vegetari…. HA HA HA.. I almost made it through that sentence without laughing..

      HOO BOY..

      • farmerjon

        I think they are being to hard on gravy…they ain’t nothin wrong with gravy 😉

  • Oswego Chris

    Do you think they even bother to test Cub guys? Like Barney… I mean wouldn’t it be more embarassing to baseball if he put up last years numbers while juicing?


    I am sure Braun bought something at GNC (they still have those?) and didn’t know it was banned

    • Luke

      It wasn’t that long ago that some people were questioning if Ryan Theriot was using.

      If Barney hits two home runs on Opening Day, I guarantee someone will insinuate he’s juicing.

      That person won’t be a Cubs fan, though. We’ll be in shock that Barney hit two home runs.

  • Edgar

    What about fieder? This just makes me not to want fielder anymore. Theo should test him if he signs just in case

    • Brett

      Eh. I think it’s a stretch to indict Fielder based on a teammate (though, obviously these things do sometimes happen on a clubhouse-wide basis, if Canseco is to be believed (and time kind of proved that he should be)).

      • Edgar

        If I remember sammy and nefty perez were both accused of using peds. Dont remember if they were on the same cubs team. Maybe these news lower the price on fielder. I think that there is,going to be more intrigue about his looks now

  • OlderStyle

    Ha. Now Braun and Manny can sit around for 50 games and compare notes. Maybe Brew will invite Ramirez to ST. haha

  • chris margetis

    I’m not in favor necessarily, and I don’t think it would be knee jerk because Theo and Co have to be thinking heavily on Prince, but I’d make the play now.

  • BFM

    Well, if it is true, then it is a sad state of affairs for the Brew crew.

    If it is true, he shouldn’t be able to play for the full 50 games.

    But maybe he can have the job of the Brewers mascot who goes down the slide after a homer in Miller Park?

  • Cheryl

    What effect will it have on his contract? Milwaukee could void it I suppose and other teams would be hesitant to even touch him. As for Fielder, it makes me even less inclined to take a chance on him and I’m sure that other teams if they do continue their interest will lower their bids. I know, you shouldn’t judge him by what Braun did but its bound to have an effect on Fielder.

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m a little concerned that every interview Sveum does from here on out will include questions about this, unnecessary drama

    • Caleb

      I’m a little concerning that there’s a lack of BAD ASS MUSTACHES on the team.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Sveum needs to grow one. Effective immediately. Has this been brought to his attention yet?

        • Brett

          As long as it’s totally natural.

          • Camiata2


  • Clark Addison

    The biggest celebration right now has to be in Cincinnati.

    • Tyler31

      What about the Cardinals (I know its the cards and I hate them to), they just won the world series.

      • BPaoni

        And lost Pujols, Cinncy was in third place last year and the two teams ahead of them have taken huge hits this off season.

  • OlderStyle

    Looks like Milwaukee just lost some leverage in negotiating with Aramis.

  • Justin Jabs

    Good, I hate Braun. One of the few players I can say I legitimately hate.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I’m going to love seeing them have to over pay for Aramis now because of this.

  • MightyBear

    A few thoughts about the post and the comments:

    1. Brett is right it is sad for baseball. Braun was a bright young star in baseball and now he’s tainted. Just when all this BS seemed to be behind baseball, it rears its ugly head again.

    2. Braun although very talented is very arrogant aka Clemens. It doesn’t surprise me that he tried to get away with this and is in denial.

    3. This does open things up for Theo and the boys to go after that division THIS year. The division is wide open now, even more so than last year. This could change their approach and they may go after some guys they might not have because they think they can win now.

    4. There is no way in the world Prince Fielder is on steroids. If he is, those are the worst f-ing steroids in the world. Someone said he’s deceptive because alot of his body is muscle. BS! He’s a fat bastard that can hit a baseball.

    Brett or anybody, if Braun is in violation, is there a clause in MLB players’ contracts that nullifys them and the Brewers don’t have to pay Braun if he’s suspended?

    • Luke

      Completely agree on 1 and 4. I don’t pay enough attention to the Brewers to have an opinion on 2, and I’m not sure this changes enough for 3 to be the case. St. Louis still looks like the team to beat, in my opinion, and they will still be a tough hurdle to get over even without Pujols there.

      But the biggest effect is on baseball. I hate seeing anyone test positive because it just renews the negative connotations connected to baseball in the public consciousness. Baseball deserves better than this.

      Edit: Actually, thinking about 4….

      Maybe we are comparing Fielder to the wrong people when we try to project how he will perform over the next five seasons. Instead of looking primarily at Cecil Fielder and Mo Vaughn (the cautionary tales), maybe we should consider another fat guy who could mash a baseball. Babe Ruth. Prince is no where near as good as Ruth was, but if his physical deterioration follows the same course as Ruth’s, then an 8-10 year deal may not be such a bad thing.

  • MightyBear

    Hey they said Kendrys Morales would be tendered a contract but then mlbtraderumors mentioned this:

    Our projections have Morales earning $2.975MM in 2012 following his second trip through arbitration this winter. There has been some speculation that the Angels would non-tender him after landing Pujols, but they should be able to finding some trade interest. A number of teams could use a switch-hitting power hitter at first base (or DH), including the Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Brewers, Pirates, and Rangers.

    How come they don’t mention the Cubs as a potential trade partner? Does anybody know? We certainly could use a switch-hitting power hitter at first base.

    • Brett


  • OlderStyle

    As a long-time pro cycling fan I have a few thoughts. Peds are rampant in pro sports, it starts in high school and college. Simply because the Commissioner makes assuring statements about how rigorous the testing is now is simply a smokescreen. Any of you with the scientific background will know that as soon as a test is developed to detect peds there are other newer peds coming out to bypass that detection. Baseball is a billion dollar sport and the risk/reward for athletes is there to get any kind of competitive edge. The Balco/Congressional Hearings/Mitchell Report occurrences have merely served to drive the doping further “underground”, instead of reporters openly seeing substances in McGuire’s locker or Sosa joking about Flintstones vitamins.
    If you believe it’s only minor leaguers or fringe guys then you’d probably believe Lance Armstrong is innocent too.

  • ty

    an endocrinologist with some long standing lab values per Mr Braun might be helpful but my guess is for him to kiss his adrenal glands goodbye.

  • Dumpman

    Ok.. We’re down Pujols, Braun and perhaps Fielder next season. Maybe Votto sees an exit from the NL Central next?

  • Toosh

    I’m old enough to remember when a person was considered innocent until proven guilty.

    • Internet Random

      That’s cool.

      But back to this topic, Braun has been proved guilty. The test for steroids is not like the urinalysis tox screen for marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines, which does (or did anyway) frequently yield false positives.

      Barring very unusual circumstances, the steroid test is far, far more likely to yield a false negative than a false positive.

      It’s scantly possible that Braun is innocent, but it’s highly unlikely.  He’s going to lose his appeal and sit out his 50 games.

  • die hard

    Why isnt anyone getting near to the real question of what Sveum knew and when did he know it?

  • hogie

    Agreed diehard, this should be as impactful to the Cubs as Braun’s suspention.

  • die hard

    Let me rephrase the question…As batting coach, didnt Sveum have an obligation to report Braun to the GM if he knew or suspected something was amiss and if he didnt know or suspect should he have known if he was doing his job as batting coach? Doesnt this reflect on Sveum’s fitness as a mgr? And then doesnt this say anything about Theo’s due diligence in vetting Sveum? Anybody out there?