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Braun calling ticket holders to apologize

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Suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been calling season ticket holders to apologize for using performance-enhancing drugs, according to CBS58.com.

The Brewers told the Milwaukee TV station that Braun requested contact information for some of the ticket holders.

Kelly's Bleachers owner Pat Guenther said he received a call from Braun on Thursday afternoon.

"Hey Pat, this is Ryan Braun," Guenther recalled. "Right then and there I knew it was his voice based on interviews I've seen on TV. I knew damn well it was his voice. ...

"I said, 'what can I do for you?' He said, I messed up, in a nutshell, I messed up. 'I just want to reach out and say I'm sorry.' I cut him off right there. I said, 'you know Ryan, I think you're an amazing athlete and this speaks volumes to your character to reach out to a small business owner like myself and let us know that you are going to do better.' "

Guenther's bar is considered a popular hangout for Brewers fans. The owner has been a season ticket holder for more than 20 years.

"Who hasn't made a mistake?" he said. "People move forward. I think that's what Ryan is trying to do. He's moving forward. He has no other option. Be better, help his ballclub win games and win the hearts of Brewers fans like he has for many, many years."

Guenther said Braun was very humble in their phone conversation.

"He wanted to reach out, and for him to do this is an act of kindness," he said. "He wants the people of Wisconsin to support the Brewers and him."

But not everyone has been so forgiving.

The SURG restaurant group is cutting off ties with Braun by changing the name of the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. The "8" refers to Braun's jersey number. "Twelve" is worn by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Braun and Rodgers were friends and business associates, but Rodgers recently said he felt betrayed by Braun's previous denial that he used PEDs.

Michael Polaski, the restaurant group's co-owner, said in a statement that he appreciated the relationship with Braun and wished him success.

Rodgers plans to continue his relationship with the restaurant group.

Another restaurant owned by SURG, Ryan Braun's Graffito, will stay open the rest of the year "to honor its pre-existing obligations to its customers and employees" before closing.

In a statement, Braun said, "best of luck to the SURG Restaurant Group as it continues to grow."

Braun was suspended 65 games by Major League Baseball earlier this year.
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