Two key Milwaukee Brewers players think Ryan Braun will be on good terms with his teammates when he returns from his suspension next year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.
Jonathan Lucroy, one of Braun's closest friends on the team, said the apology Braun issued in a statement on Thursday was a good start.
"I accept it as a teammate," he said, according to the Journal Sentinel. "It's a first step for him. Obviously there's a lot of people out there that are pretty upset about the whole deal, which is understandable. But you've got to understand that people make mistakes, nobody's perfect and we've got to live with the consequences of our actions.
"I think as a team we're going to welcome him back in the spring and hopefully try to get all this stuff behind us and start a new year and turn over a new leaf, really."
John Axford, the Brewers representative on the Players Association, agreed.
"I don't want to talk for everybody, but when Ryan walks around the clubhouse he's not looked down upon; he never has been," Axford told the newspaper. "He's been a great teammate, a great friend, a great person. This course of events that's built up to what's happening right now, obviously that leaves a little bit of a mark.
"But I think people are going to be able to move past it."
Both Lucroy and Axford have spoken to Braun recently.
"Whenever I've talked to him he was very regretful and very sorry," Lucroy said. "I think that's what hurt him the most, is misleading his teammates and the people closest to him - as it would any of us. I think he regrets it very deeply, everything that happened."
"For me, with the conversation I had with Ryan and reading that (statement), I think that's good for me," Axford said. "Knowing Ryan and understanding Ryan, I'm going to be able to move forward and I hope other people will be able to, too."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was satisfied with Ryan Braun's statement.
"I think he explained himself, certainly enough for me," said Roenicke. "There are probably some things he still can't say. This is a nice young man that messed up. He's got a long road ahead of him. He needs to heal some relationships."