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Just Sayin': Reaction to Ryan Braun's PED admission

The SportsXchange

The Sports Xchange takes a closer look at the reaction to Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun's admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Here is a sampling of what writers and columnists are Just Sayin' ...

Buster Olney, ESPN

"Like a shoplifter who got caught with a toaster, he surrendered. He has been sentenced and he's currently serving his time, through the rest of this season.

"After initially issuing a statement stunningly void of accountability on the day he was suspended, he issued another statement Thursday evening. He did not step in front of cameras, as he did in his verbal victory lap after winning his appeal in February 2012.

"He did not answer questions Thursday evening, either in person or in writing. He isn't going to make it right by issuing a couple of statements and going back to the batting cage.

"The crafted and polished words issued in his name left a lot of unanswered questions, and if he's not willing to address those -- openly, with his only motive being the telling of truth -- then the statements just become part of the bigger lie."

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN

"I certainly thought there was going to be more than this. He was contrite. He used a lot of the right words -- I'm sorry, I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed -- but we need more specifics than this.

"I really thought that after this he would get in front of a microphone, maybe even take some questions so we could see him up close when he answers the questions, when he delivers this.

"All indication is this might be it until spring training or whenever. At least for the moment, this might be it. It just leaves you wanting quite a bit more."

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN

"Inevitably, as players sit on their fat paychecks, the public debate will continue to swirl around the risk-reward ramifications of PED use. Braun has $117 million still owed him through 2020, and he'll be forfeiting a paltry $3.25 million during his suspension this season.

"But think for a moment about stakes that transcend even money. Ryan Braun is 29 years old and in the prime of his career. He's almost certainly kissed his Cooperstown aspirations goodbye, and he now resides in that netherworld with Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro and other PED cheats who can never reclaim their reputations.

"If Braun struggles at the plate next season, it will be because he's off the juice. If he hits 40 homers and knocks in 120 runs, it will be because he's back on the juice. He's the architect of a no-win scenario strictly of his own making."

Mike Bauman, MLB.com

"The very kindest thing you can say about Ryan Braun at this point is that he's badly advised.

"For all the damage that Braun has done -- to the Brewers organization, to Brewers fans and to the game of baseball -- much more than a prepared statement will be required. That's what we all received on Thursday, though.

"It was apparently intended as an apology and a confession. It comes up short in both areas. As a citizen of the city of Milwaukee and a 20-game-package Brewers season-ticket holder, I find this statement to be inadequate on several levels.

"And I'm being polite when I say that."

David Lengel, The Guardian

"Ryan Braun upset a lot of people along the way to being suspended by Major League Baseball for 65 games, for his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, (PEDs). On Thursday, rather than facing the cameras, the Milwaukee Braves slugger released a 944-word statement.

"It is a tepid start for his bid to resuscitate his reputation -- whatever is left of it. Braun is persona non grata, not just to many baseball fans, but to teammates and opponents and, I'd imagine, probably a few formerly close friends as well.

"You would think by now that he would try to be a little less measured in his actions; that he would try to show a little bit more humanity. Come out, address the media, look directly down the lens, open up -- prove there are emotions there. Show how earnest his apology really is."

Tyler Kepner, New York Times

"Ryan Braun is not especially important to the baseball world anymore, except to those people who work or root for the Milwaukee Brewers.

"As a national figure, Braun is all but ruined. Most people will place him off in a corner of their minds -- in a jail cell with giant syringes for bars, let's say -- with all the other drug cheats.

Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com

"Ryan Braun has apologized, which is nice. He took responsibility, which is nicer still. But it still doesn't feel like quite enough. The Brewers' tainted mega star took a positive first step on the road back. But he still has a long way to go, no doubt about that. ..."On the leader board of baseball scoundrels, Braun currently ranks a distant second to A-Rod, but being a smart guy (though maybe not quite as smart as he thought), he knows he has work to do to separate himself further from baseball's poster boy for steroids."

Albert Chen, Sports Illustrated

"There were no tears. There was no Oprah confessional. There were no surprises. There was only a lengthy statement - nearly 1,000 words! - that began: "Now that the initial investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended. I have no one to blame but myself."

"What did we learn? Not much -- the apology was mostly boilerplate.

"America forgives easily -- in most cases, a disgraced athlete offers the big apology, and everyone moves on. But this case is different. In this case Braun has dug himself into a hole that's just too deep."

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