Braun not likely to answer media questions in his “coming clean” session. It hardly matters.

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There was a report over the weekend that Ryan Bruan would soon be “coming clean” about his PED use, lies and all the rest. Tom Haudricourt reports, however, that he may not be answering any questions:

Word has circulated that Braun was preparing to make a public apology and admission of guilt in using PEDs any day now. But the indication was that it might be in the form of a prepared statement instead of a media session.

This will be way less satisfying for many than seeing Braun get grilled in a Q&A session, but I think we also need to ask ourselves whether anything would satisfy people at this point.  Mark McGwire sat for a Q&A and people talked about all of the things left unsaid and unanswered. In any situation involving a figure in a scandal you can be 100% positive that people will say they dodged hard questions or showed no remorse. I defy anyone to find a press conference or interview involving an infamous person where, after it was over, people said “Well, good. He finally talked. We’re all satisfied and should now move on.”  It never, ever happens.

Right or wrong, Braun can’t rehabilitate himself in any way no matter what he says.  The small number of people who still support him always will.  Everyone who thinks poorly of him will always think poorly about him. People who truly hate him and who demand answers from him have already decided that no answers he gives will ever be enough.  They will complain loudly that Braun is ducking questions but the questions and his answers wouldn’t matter to them. That is the nature of these things.

In other news: Yahoo! reports that a couple of the players who it reported Braun spoke to and to whom he smeared sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. — Joey Votto and Troy Tulowitzki — denied that he ever spoke to them.  Yahoo! and ESPN both stand by their overall report — that Braun did smear Laurenzi — but the breadth of the smear job may be smaller than first suggested.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.