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ryan braun maskRyan Bruan was the latest MLB star to release his apology after being caught (twice) for taking a banned substance.

I, for one, am sick of hearing/reading them. They’re often times written by lawyers (no offense to Brett) who know how get a point across while tugging at the emotional side. They want you to feel bad for their client. They want you to believe that their client is truly sorry for what he did – that he’s turned himself around. And they do this by creating carefully constructed prose.

“By coming forward when I did and waiving my right to appeal any sanctions that were going to be imposed, I knew I was making the correct decision and taking the first step in the right direction. It was important to me to begin my suspension immediately to minimize the burden on everyone I had so negatively affected — my teammates, the entire Brewers organization, the fans and all of MLB.”

Braun wants you to think he did you a favor by “waving his right to an appeal.” He wants you to know he was “taking the first step in the right direction.”

Thanks, dude. Appreciate it. You really turned yourself around and did the right thing after getting caught (twice). No biggie on this end. We’re good.

But these “apologies” aren’t apologies. They’re PR strategies aimed at getting clients out of hot water with the public. But they don’t work. People are still mad after these. Why not be more open if you know you’re not going to turn people’s minds? I want more honesty out of these. An apology isn’t meant to “save face.” It’s meant to admit guilt and own up to your mistakes. You’re supposed to look like an idiot when you apologize. That’s not what Ryan Braun did.

Here’s how Ryan Braun could have done his:

Dear MLB Fans,

I blew it. Like really blew it.

I was caught (again) for taking a banned substance.

Selfishness is where this all stemmed from. I didn’t do it to help the team. I didn’t do it to help my family. I did to appear better than I really am for my own wellbeing. This led to an enormous contract, which I do not deserve. It also lead to hitting pitchers better than I should have, perhaps damaging a chance to get a big contract of their own.

I am a cheater. Cheaters never should win. But I was winning until I got caught. And I would have continued to cheat until I got caught. Because of this, I’m going to donate a portion of my contract to charity. This won’t fix it, but it will make me seem like less of a douche.

I know there are those who will hate me forever and boo me when I enter your favorite team’s stadiums. You deserve to do so.  You deserve to boo me. For I am currently the king of douches (which by the way, I’ll be putting on the back of my jersey for the 2014 season: “King of Douches.” Hopefully that will make up for some of this too).

Also, I truly do love baseball. And I know that I’ve ruined it a bit for some. I’ve also put other good hitters in a tough spot. For when anyone starts to do well (Chris Davis) they will be scrutinized because of what I and others have done.

I’m sorry, guys. I really am. I don’t deserve some of the things that I currently have. I’ll do whatever I can to make this up to you.

Love always,

Ryan Braun

Didn’t that seem more human? Okay, perhaps some of it unrealistic. But I want to read something that I know the cheater wrote, not some hot shot lawyer from Harvard.

I’m sick of the whole thing. Braun. Steroids. All of it. There are too many awesome things going on in the MLB right now not to like. The AL East race between Boston and the Rays is crazy right now. Chris Davis of the Orioles is playing out of his mind. And everyone in LA still has Puig fever. Can we focus on this stuff? Like the actual game of baseball?

Thanks.

  • MichiganGoat

    I’d like to hear him say:
    “Yeah I excepted the suspension because I make more money next year and didn’t want to lose any of that money so SUCK IT”

  • HCS

    Well said, Myles. Thanks.

  • Blublud

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Miles. I felt the same way the moment I read that sorry excuse for an apology. I just wish he had been banned for life, and not just 60 something games.

  • Larry Bittner

    “Love Always, Ryan”. Holy Shit, that made me laugh

  • Jon

    Ryan Braun didn’t write his apology, his lawyers did.

    • Myles

      Exactly.

  • ETS

    I would like braun if he said, “Matt Kemp deserves my MVP.”

    • Blublud

      That only works until Matt Kemp gets caught.

      • ETS

        If matt kemp were juicing, he’d have recovered better from that injury last year.

        • On The Farm

          Or maybe he is providing the perfect cover for not coming back? Still getting paid, no real rush with his team doing so well, he can play it off.

          **tinfoil hat disclaimer**

        • Myles

          I tend to agree with this too. Although we have no way of knowing at this point.

        • Blublud

          It was more of a joke. I don’t know whether Kemp is juicing or not, but it a shame that guys like braun has kill the benefit of the doubt for others.

        • JM

          Based on absolute no evidence whatsoever, I’m convinced that some players that have taken steroids actually have their bodies break down over time.

          Recovery time taking much longer than it normally would.

  • Jon

    Truth be told, even if Braun wanted to release a heart felt apology, he probably never would be allowed to. In theory, it’s hart warming, but not really practical or possible.

    • Jon

      “Heart Warming” Sorry, I got Corey Hart on my mind.

      • ETS

        The outfielder or the singer?

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Would it really be all that bad for baseball if PED’s helped Matt Harvey get back to the game faster?

    • Jon

      Really?

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Really. PED’s are so overrated, as if its the greatest evil in history. Yet no one cares about greenies or even Adderall prescriptions.
        What’s a cortisone shot, if not a PED? It’s a drug administered with a needle to allow players to play through pain!

        Big fat YAWN to PED’s.

        • mjhurdle

          greatest logic ever!

          What is Gatorade, if not a PED? a fluid, that when ingested, allows a player to re hydrate themselves and play in tougher conditions than they otherwise would have!

          • On The Farm

            Don’t even get me started on Pepto, which when taken, allows players to tough out nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea

          • ETS

            [img]http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/steroids.png[/img]

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Comparing a drug only accessible by a doctor and administered by a needle to gatorade. OK.
            Please MJHurdle…give me your definition of a PED.

            • mjhurdle

              well, i thought it was rather self-explanatory, but…
              my definition of a PED is a drug that enhances the performance of an athlete,
              The difference between your cortisone example, or my gatorade, or On The Farm’s Pepto Bismol and what Braun used is the fact that some of those are allowed, while others are prohibited.
              So while that may be “one big yawn” to you, to others it is important to follow rules.
              If i have a headache, i can take Tylenol. Or i can go out and score some prescription drugs from someone to use without a prescription.
              Your logic says “whats the difference? they are both pills that MJHurdle is taking to relieve his headache. big YAWN’.
              but that won’t fly if i get arrested (or ticketed, not sure what the punishment is) for possessing controlled medicines without a prescription.

        • Myles

          Career Leaders in HR’s: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, A Rod, Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa, Frank Robinson, and Mark McGwire.

          I count 4 people on that list that have had help with PED’s. 40% of the top 10 isn’t great for the record books, baseball, or fans.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Bonds
            Aaron
            Mays
            Arod
            Sammy
            F. Robinson
            McGwire

            I count 7

  • MoneyBoy

    Thank you Myles. That was perfect!!

    PS … I *did* throw up a little in my mouth at your “Love always” … hee hee!

  • Frank

    Myles,
    Take a deep breath. You know deep down Braun made an honest mistake, because he thought he grabbed something for hemorrhoids. It’s an easy mistake as you can see below.

    As you can see, he surely was thinking about getting quality/younger hemorrhoids.

    -ster
    suffix
    suffix: -ster
    1.
    denoting a person engaged in or associated with a particular activity or thing.
    “gangster”
    2.
    denoting a person having a particular quality.
    “youngster”

    roid; short for hemorrhoids.

    So, is all forgiven?

    • Myles

      Ha nice.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    I really don’t care that much about steroids. Some people feel like they have personally been slapped in the face by whatever player is caught or suspected of taking steroids.

    Up until 2005 (i think it was), the MLB did not enforce any rules that pertained to taking steroids. They know what was going on, but didn’t do anything about it. So any player that took steroids before the MLB started enforcing their drug policy, i could really care less. They should be in the Hall of Fame, their records should count.

    But once the MLB decided to enforce their drug policy… that is where i can side with the MLB in fairly punishing people who are breaking rules.

    But the whole moral outrage that sports writers and fans do is kind of stupid. They didn’t rob you or anything.

    • mjhurdle

      i imagine this is the same logic that those people that fly down my residential street going 20 mph over the speed limit use.
      “sure, there are rules for how fast i can drive on this street, but if they really wanted me to follow it, there would be a cop here watching all the time.”

  • Funn Dave

    Seriously great article. One thing I’d like to add is that Braun, like almost all steroid user that gets caught, blamed it on a lozenge and ointment that he used once after an injury. That is absolute bullshit, and sites like ESPN always take them at their word. I would bet a month’s salary that Braun took steroids more than once, and that he did it to make himself a better player, not just to recover from an injury. I think Brett cast a little bit of doubt on Braun’s statement regarding that point in his original post, and I appreciate his skepticism. I also appreciate this article.

  • MoistassAlou

    Well done Myles…..”Classic”!!!!

  • ThereWillBeCubs

    Myles, your writing style is reminiscent of reading the Red Eye and makes me want to gauge my eyeballs out. Why so many “jokes” and pop-lingo? It seems like you’re trying too hard (i.e. style over substance).

    We get it… you think Braun is a douchebag. This is pretty much the national sentiment.
    In my opinion, your editorial is a thinly veiled attempt to get in a bunch of cheap jabs. Do you really think a guy who makes nine figures (and has an ego to match) is going to publicly call himself a douchebag or otherwise deprecate himself and his brand in any way? Isn’t this why the PR staff exists to begin with? To protect players from themselves?

    Unfortunately, the lawyer rhetoric is what we have to deal with in delicate situations such as this. To quote Mr. Show, “We’ve got a saying around here… get used to it Hitler.”

    • gocatsgo2003

      Because this is, I don’t know, a blog on the internet instead of the Wall Street Journal?

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        gocats, you’re right in that this isn’t the WSJ.

        But speaking for myself and probably many others, this site is more than just a “blog.”

      • Some Guy

        I’ll also point out the piece contained numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors, another indication that this is indeed not the Wall Street Journal.

        “This lead to an enormous contract for which I do not deserve.”

        The inclusion of “for” is not merely superfluous, it’s also wrong.

        Also, “led” is the past form of the verb “to lead”. “Lead” is pronounced the same as “led”, but only when the word refers to element with 82 protons.

        • Myles

          A lot of editors today on BN.

          • mjhurdle

            im sure they are all successfully published authors as well.

            i hope you are taking notes :)

        • Funn Dave

          I’m trying to reply to Some Guy here, but the site doesn’t seem to want to let me. We’ll see if it works.

          Anyway, as long as we’re correcting things, your third sentence–including the quotation–is also wrong. You need to include the word “but” — “The inclusion of ‘for’ is not merely superfluous, but also wrong.” If you don’t want to use “but,” I believe a semicolon would also work.

          –BN Grammar Douche

    • Myles

      ThereWillBeCubs (funny that you wouldn’t use your real name here),

      I’m sorry you find my writing to be simplistic for your standards. The point of the article isn’t to provide a lot of baseball analytics or analysis. It’s supposed to be an over-the-top/comical view of PED apologies. Of course Ryan Bruan or any other player wouldn’t call himself a “douche” to the public. Of course the teams PR staff is in place to handle issues such as this. And of course this will never change. I (and I hope everyone else reading) recognizes that. The point was that I wish it wasn’t that way. To be able to hear players as people would be refreshing. I try to get this point across in a funny way. It was lost on you it seems.

      I understand you may not agree with that. However to personally attack me in a way that insults my intelligence and writing is unfair. Brett and Luke do an excellent job with the in depth baseball coverage. I focus more on my opinion with certain matter. You will not always agree, but it will be entertaining.

      Feel free to drop me a line via twitter and we can set up an offline conversation if you so choose.

      Also, make sure to use a comma before a name in your future writing. Ex: Instead of, “…get used to it Hitler.” Use “…get used to it, Hitler.” It will confuse your readers otherwise.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        Myles, I hope you spend as much care writing your next piece as you did in crafting your response.

        Love,
        Andy

        • Myles

          Sure thing, Andy. Any other advice for me that you have is always welcome. Again, if you’d like to set up a chance to talk further off the boards, please let me know.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Seriously? You’re still sticking to your guns on this one?

          Myles clearly made a conscious decision to adopt a more casual tone in the “faux apology” portion of his piece and even explained his reasoning: “Didn’t that seem more human? Okay, perhaps some of it unrealistic. But I want to read something that I know the cheater wrote, not some hot shot lawyer from Harvard.”

          • Some Guy

            As a “hot shot guy from Harvard” myself, I do take offense to the gratuitous shots at the lawyers. They’re just doing their jobs. It’s meathead Ryan Braun and the angry, meathead fans at fault here.

            If some PEDs do not demonstrate the same health hazards as anabolic steroids do, I do not find sufficient reason to be outraged at their use. Legalize those specific PEDs and let all players use them.

            Some successful creative people have used hard (even harmful) drugs to drive insight, while others have used Adderall to focus for extended periods. Others (like me) do not turn to chemical enhancement. No one expresses farcical outrage at those “PEDs”.

            • DarthHater

              Attention, citizens of Bleacher Nation. We now have a hot shot guy from Harvard among us. Please take care in the future to temper your anti-elitist sentiments. Also, since this guy even knows the atomic number of lead, I assume he is capable of reading the periodic table of elements. Accordingly, you would be well-advised to exercise caution in making any future chemistry-related remarks. Thank you.

              • Some Guy

                “Denizens” would have been a far better word. It invokes an image of a plethora of anti-elitists crawling out of unremarkable crevices to huddle together in protest of Gatsby-like success.

                • DarthHater

                  I’d love to spend the afternoon making an ass out of myself by engaging in a prolonged exchange of barbs laced with contextually pretentious vocabulary, literary references, and atomic numbers, but I actually have a hot-shot lawyer job to get back to.

                  • Some Guy

                    I’ve seen you on here before and know that you’ve made an ass out of yourself often in the past, on this very platform.

                    I never would have imagined you had a hot-shot lawyer job to get back to.

                    • DarthHater

                      What you undoubtedly have seen in the past is me making an ass of myself by having a little foolish but good-natured fun. Some people don’t like it, but life is like that.

                      What you have not seen and hopefully will not see is me making an ass of myself by being an overbearingly pretentious, Harvard-name-dropping narcissist.

                      As for the scope of your imagination, I have no factual basis for forming much of an opinion, but I’m not surprised to learn that it’s limited.

                  • C. Steadman

                    Darth, i think you pissed off Anne’s husband

                    • On The Farm

                      Well played Mr. Steadman, well played.

                  • Annie

                    ZZZZZZZ

                    • DarthHater

                      The quality of your contributions to the site is really improving there.

                    • TWC

                      This sort of person-specific trolling is a combination of bizarre, creepy, and embarrassing.

                    • DarthHater

                      Don’t say that, man. I’ll have to stop trolling Die hard!

                    • TWC

                      Die hard doesn’t count. It’s in the BN bylaws. We cool.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  If I run this place, but am a *former* hot shot lawyer, does that make me part of the elite or the masses? Masses, right?

                  And, for the record, Myles’ digs were ultimately at the players involved, not the lawyers. I suppose, to some extent, inferring that requires “hearing” Myles’ tone, which not everyone knows well just yet. Which is not to say either he or you are wrong. It’s just the nature of the written beast.

                  I like these dialogs when they don’t get too nasty.

                  • hansman1982

                    I’d say you would not be in the 2% anymore but not in the 46% which would put you in the 52%.

                    Now, 46%ers, GO GET THE NOT QUITE ELITE BUT NOT PEON LEVEL PERSON!!!!!

                  • Some Guy

                    With that admission, your elite license has now been formally revoked.

                    I’m just venting, BN. I’ve listened to radio show hosts blather on for hours about PEDs in baseball, but they never spend a minute talking about the actual sport. Same with ESPN. Same with other National outlets.

                    This has been going on for years. The most commented baseball articles on ESPN pertain to PEDs. Why? It’s as if they all show up only to mockingly feign outrage at a sport they don’t even watch.

              • mjhurdle

                [img]http://s18.postimg.org/tcfp02h0p/6321809322_792d102839_z.jpg[/img]

            • mjhurdle

              “If some PEDs do not demonstrate the same health hazards as anabolic steroids do, I do not find sufficient reason to be outraged at their use.”

              That is your opinion, and that is fine.
              However, you seem to be missing the idea that, even though you yourself could care less, other people place value in doing things correctly and staying within the rules and regulations established by your employer.

              • Some Guy

                I am among those “other people” who “place value in doing things correctly”.

                My point is that if qualified doctors can oversee the safe use of some recent PEDs, such that there are no long-term ramifications, the employer should change the rules and regulations accordingly.

                • mjhurdle

                  Interesting.
                  The correct way to go about expressing that idea would be to not begin by expressing disbelief that people are upset when baseball players get caught breaking the rules.

                  You see, that really has nothing to do with the health consequences of PEDs, nor of MLB’s reaction to said health concerns.

                  A better attempt to convey your thought would have been something like:
                  “I understand why people get upset at players who break the rules, but i think that MLB should consider changing the rules in light of new scientific evidence (insert research here).”

                  • Some Guy

                    No, there was no “correct way” for me to express my opinion that I find the outrage annoying. I didn’t need to preface the expression of that opinion with an entire backstory so that it would seem appropriate to you.

                    It’s simple. I’m sick of people crying about PEDs in baseball. As Myles himself notes, cover the damn sport that I love. If you feel so upset over the actions of PED users, don’t write OpEd or satirical pieces giving the overexposed topic even more coverage.

                    • Patrick W.

                      There may not be a “correct” way, but there may be a “better” way, no? I mean this is a very salient point:

                      “My point is that if qualified doctors can oversee the safe use of some recent PEDs, such that there are no long-term ramifications, the employer should change the rules and regulations accordingly.”

                      I happen to agree with that point. If a player has trouble with his eyes, he gets Lasik surgery. Bo Jackson played 3 seasons after getting his hip replaced. You can get a waiver to take Adderall. Why couldn’t the MLB certify doctors for specific treatments that could assess the needs of players and prescribe whatever legal drug they see fit? Many steroid and HGH users have said the biggest benefit is faster recover time for injuries. What’s wrong with that?

                    • mjhurdle

                      Im sick about people crying about people crying about PEDs in baseball.

                    • chrisfchi

                      There’s no crying in baseball!

      • mjhurdle

        I wouldn’t take writing style criticism too seriously when it comes from someone who seems to not understand the difference between ‘Gauge’ and ‘Gouge’. unless “Gauge out my eyes” is some new pop-lingo reference that i have never heard about…

  • Some Guy

    Who gives a shit about PEDs? I don’t know why only baseball fans become so high and moral about them, when NFL fans continue to consume their product without feigning moral outrage over issues that do not concern them.

    • DarthHater

      A few thousand athletes who have been punished for doping in sports other than baseball just called and asked me to tell you that this comment is stupid.

      • Some Guy

        Eh. Meh.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Who was really the “greatest” of all times matters to just about every sports fan and is the pinnacle of debate in sports. Is it Jordan or Lebron. Hank Aron or Babe Ruth (or Barry Bonds – cheat). I Rodgers better than Brady.

      When I, as a fan, assume that they are busting their asses to perform without using illegal boosting chemicals, and then one day I discover that one needed to juice to get there…yeah, I get pretty pissed off because it damages something that I valued so highly…work, excellence, integrity. They damaged the game, screwed the record books, and stole opportunity from someone else that wasn’t juicing. Yeah, it matters a lot.

      • Some Guy

        Yet MLB history is littered with players using less-than-savory means to gain an edge on the competition. The most deliriously angry fans seem to be the least informed about that.

        Cross-era comparisons are not going to be objective. Raw numbers, in any sport, will not provide a definitive judgment between two players who lived even 30 years apart.

        The league Michael Jordan played in is vastly different from the league Wilt played in or the one LeBron currently plays in.

  • The Other Matt

    How about also “…I in no way regret that I did cheat, even though I have now been caught, as I am now rich beyond my wildest dreams…”

  • Some Guy

    I will add this, though. I know Myles and you all on BN are die-hard (not the poster) baseball fans. You are free to be outraged as you wish about your favorite sport.

    ESPN is what really rankles me. The only respite that station takes from year-long, boring NFL coverage is to air 5-hour incendiary pieces on PED use in baseball.

    It just gets all the meathead NFL fans riled up about a sport they don’t even watch. I’m annoyed at that contingent of fans, not actual baseball fans.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Appreciate the thoughts.

      Candidly, I get riled up when I see that NFL fans *don’t* get riled up about guys testing positive.

      • Funn Dave

        I don’t really get how they don’t get riled up, either. Then again, it is in line with other common sentiments among modern NFL fans, such as the notion that increased safety always comes with a loss of the game’s integrity and excitement (and is less important than the latter).

  • jt

    just don’t rile up Aaron Hernandez
    picture a road to roids filled with rage
    I’m sure we could get a doctor to supervise it safely.

    • Funn Dave

      That actually brings up a great point that’s often overshadowed by the debate over having an unfair edge over the competition. I hate the generalize, but professional athletes in the most popular American sports already have a propensity for being somewhat unstable people, on and off the field. Many steroids are known to be mood destabilizers and certainly exacerbate these issues.

      • Funn Dave

        *to generalize.

  • Jon

    Question, total hypothetical , but lets say the Brewers are tired of Brauns act, and became willing to get rid of him for pennies on the dollar , do you think Epstein would bite? Considering they are both Jewish?

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