Ryan Braun was scheduled to appear at the Brewers “fan fest” event this weekend, but owner Mark Attanasio just released a statement announcing that the reigning MVP won’t be there because of concerns about how his attendance could impact the 50-game suspension appeal:
In working through the logistics of this weekend’s Brewers On Deck event in Milwaukee with Ryan Braun–and knowing how much he enjoys interacting candidly with Brewers fans–we came to the conclusion that this is too sensitive of a time in the confidential process for him to attend this year. I speak for everyone at the Brewers, including Ryan, in thanking our fans for their understanding and patience.
Braun attended the Baseball Writers Association of America banquet in New York last week to accept his MVP award and even made a speech, but didn’t directly address his positive test for synthetic testosterone or looming suspension.
Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.
Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.
Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.
Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.
Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.