Ryan Braun met the media Wednesday morning for first time since serving his 65-game suspension for his association with Biogenesis and performance-enhancing drugs. He seemed heavy on remorse and light on details as he schmoozed the press outside of Miller Park while helping with a Thanksgiving food drive.
Braun's biggest revelation, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: He dined and "made amends" with Dino Laurenzi Jr., the urine sample collector whose reputation Braun tried to soil in an effort to cover up a positive drug test. Braun called the dinner and meeting "an incredible experience."
Good for them; the reaction to how much Braun actually "hurt" Laurenzi always has been one of the overblown parts of this case. Not only was Laurenzi not fired as many have assumed, but his mistake in handling Braun's urine sample contributed to the entire episode becoming a farce. And yet, the cold-blooded way in which Braun went about trying to make Laurenzi look bad was telling about his own character. Don't ever get on Braun's bad side.
Another amusing tidbit: Braun is getting married, an event much bigger than whatever happens to him on a baseball field or a courtroom:
"I think my relationships with all my friends and family have actually gotten stronger. I don't think it's been overly stressful. Dealing with the wedding has been far more stressful than this situation. So, we're doing well."
No kidding, planning a wedding is stressful. You can't just leave it all to the bride! Pro tip: Elope at all costs.
Braun's comment probably will give PED moralists another reason to dislike him. "See?! The suspension has no punitive effect on him. He just said a wedding gives him more stress. How else should we try to punish Ryan Braun?"
— Patrick Paolantonio (@ppaolantonio) November 27, 2013
Braun probably did feel some stress about being suspended, about being caught in a big lie, about losing friends and business opportunities. But it's good that he won't give people who don't think he's been punished enough the satisfaction. He shouldn't care what they think. Nobody should. Like Braun said about 15 times in the press conference. He's sorry, he's moving on. We should too.
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- Ryan Braun