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.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.