Milwaukee Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio has insisted that he is not angry with left fielder Ryan Braun about lying regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but rather, very sad and disappointed. As several Major League Baseball players, managers and the Milwaukee fans react harshly to Braun’s 65-game suspension, should Attanasio be furious right beside them?
“I’m sad,” Attanasio said, according to Brewers.com. “When I thought about Milwaukee baseball, this is not what I envisioned. But I recognize also that this organization is bigger than anyone, certainly bigger than me. … I think we will work together to ride through the difficult times so we can enjoy some good times — and there will be good times again.”
If anyone has a reason to be infuriated with Braun, it is Attanasio. The fact is the Brewers owner signed the slugger to a massive contract for a small market team with the purpose to keep Braun in Milwaukee for the entirety of his career. The Brewers reportedly still owe him $130 million over the remainder of his career, which could cause problems if his numbers slump because of the use of PED. With that being said, Attanasio has no intentions of dropping Braun and, as of right now, plans to keep him on the team for the ensuing years.
“You know, he is under contract with us,” Attanasio told Brewers.com. “I know there is a lot of commentary now. Right now, the full expectation is to keep him, and the full expectation is that he is going to do the right things, he is going to say the right things and he is going to put in a lot of hard work to get back into folks’ good graces.
“That is going to take some time. It’s not like we are going to be at Opening Day next year and we’re going to be through this. We are not going to be through this.”
One has to admire the way Attanasio is handling the entire situation in the public eye. Obviously, I am sure he was very angry when he found out how serious the team’s predicament actually was. I have to imagine plenty of yelling was involved. However, the fact that Attanasio is standing by his player, and will continue to do so, is inspiring.
Attanasio understands that Braun will be a big part of the organization going forward, whether that is good or bad remains to be seen. Milwaukee built the team around the All-Star, which will have to continue if they ever want to have success. Saying all of the right things about his star player is the first step in the rebuilding process.