Brewers issue statement on Ryan Braun’s PED charge

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Brewers chairman and principal owner Mark Attanasio issued a statement late Saturday night offering the organization’s official stance on the allegations that left fielder Ryan Braun was using synthetic testosterone during the 2011 season.

If you’re not into reading prepared statements, which almost always lack provocativeness, the gist is this: Braun has been an honorable player since he was drafted in 2005 and his side of the story deserves to be heard before people begin to make judgements.

Via MLB.com, here are Attanasio’s words in full:

“Ryan Braun has been a model citizen in every sense of the word, both in the Milwaukee community and for the Brewers.  Since joining our organization in 2005, he has been a person of character and integrity.

MLB has put a confidential testing program into place, which I personally support, that has a specific review process that must be followed before determining whether a player is in violation.  Ryan has issued a statement that there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case that will support his complete innocence and demonstrate that there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program.  We are dealing with an incomplete set of facts and speculation.  Before there is a rush to judgement  Ryan deserves the right to be heard.  We are committed to supporting Ryan to get to the truth of what happened in this unfortunate situation.

As a father, I take the use of prohibited substances seriously, because I know the effects they can have on the body and on a person’s life.  I want the Milwaukee community to know that we support drug testing not only because it is MLB policy but because it is the right thing to do.

I need to acknowledge that at this point the Milwaukee Brewers have not heard from the Office of the Commissioner or any official entity related to the MLB testing programs.  Accordingly we do not have access to any of the facts or knowledge of any of the circumstances that are being circulated in the media with regard to Ryan Braun.  The team will release follow-up statements at the appropriate time.”

Braun is claiming to be “completely innocent” and is currently in arbitration with MLB over the positive test.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.