Aaron Rodgers: Ryan Braun lied to me

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one of the most vocal defenders of Ryan Braun during his drug test/appeal drama last year. Rodgers blasted anyone who doubted Braun at the time, saying  “MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man” and that they “Picked the wrong guy to mess with.” There was also some “Truth will set u free #exonerated” stuff and a lot of other tweets which suggested, in no uncertain terms, that Rodgers thought it was an impossibility that Braun took any PEDs.

After this week’s events it was pretty obvious that some microphones were going to be put in Rodgers’ face. And it was also pretty obvious that Rodgers would either have to offer up a “no comment” or say what seems pretty clear: Braun lied to his face.  He took the latter tack:

“I was shocked, I really was, just like many of you were … I was backing up a friend. He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true. So, it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend, but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, really baseball fans. It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that and I’m disappointed in the way it all went down.”

Rodgers is business partners with Braun too, and they’re supposed to open a restaurant soon. He said the fate of that project is  “yet to be determined.”  He clearly seemed hurt by Braun based on his comments.

As I said the other day, the people Braun knew and lied to personally are among those who have a right to be really angry here and are the folks who are owed an apology.  Putting Rodgers in that position and relying on his good name and good will when he knew he had lied to the guy is pretty awful.

Rob Manfred to get a five-year contract extension today

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The owners meetings are going on down in Atlanta this week. Unlike a lot of gatherings of baseball dignitaries, we tend not to get much news out of them, however. We know the owners do things like light cigars with $100 bills and, I dunno, play games of chess on human-sized chess boards with lower-level front office employees as the game pieces, but otherwise they tend to be quiet events.

There will be some news out of Atlanta later this morning, though: Commissioner Rob Manfred will be given a five-year contract extension. The vote, Bob Nightengale reports, is expected to be unanimous.

Manfred, 60, has held the job since January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure and his team landed a very owner-friendly Collective Bargaining Agreement on his watch. In light of that there was zero question that he was going to be re-upped.