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Manager defends Braun's character

The SportsXchange

Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke went to bat for outfielder Ryan Braun at baseball's winter meetings, calling the outfielder a good young man who made a mistake.

Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball for the final 65 games of the regular season in 2013 because of ties to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in south Florida and performance-enhancing drugs.

Since the suspension, Braun admitted his mistake. He originally challenged a failed drug test after the 2011 season and won his arbitration case. That season, he was named the National League MVP.

"If you are OK with people making mistakes -- which I certainly am -- you've got to look at what kind of person this guy is," Roenicke said. "This is a good guy.

"Everybody knows he did some things he shouldn't have done and we move on."

Braun has served his suspension and will return to the Brewers next season. He is expected to move to right field.

"I don't think it will be an issue with the players," Roenicke said. "But I'm wondering what will happen with the fans. I've said this many times -- you guys have heard me say it -- this is a really good young man. He made a mistake, but this is a really good young man."

The 30-year-old Braun has refused to discuss specifics of his involvement with Biogenesis or PEDs.

"There are some things that I don't know if we know completely what happened and why he made comments," Roenicke said. "And to be honest, I really don't need to know. He made a mistake. That's all I need to know is how is he going to be when he comes back? How is he going to go about his relationship with players, fans, management? I know he's going to be physically ready to go after it. He's a hard worker."

In 225 at-bats last season before the suspension, Braun batted .298 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. The previous year, Braun led the National League in home runs with 41.
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