ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Drew Olson
By DREW OLSON
Here is the securty video from the tussle that left Bucks forward Larry Sanders with a thumb injury and a couple of municipal ordinance violations.
Photo/Associated Press via ESPN
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun met with reporters Wednesday outside Miller Park.
By DREW OLSON
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun addressed reporters Wednesday morning for the first time since serving a 65-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Braun was helping with a food drive coordinated by the team and the Hunger Task Force. Here is a transcript of the proceedings:
Why did you lie?
"Obviously I’ve been through a lot and as I expressed in my statement that I felt was pretty lengthy and specific, I got into a lot of details at that point. I’m not really going to go into any further details. I’m deeply remorseful about what happened. I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently, but unfortunately I can’t do that. All I can do is move on and try to do everything in my power to earn back peoples’ trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate being able to earn back everybody’s support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that and I won’t stop trying."
What do you have to say to the kids who have looked up to you?
"I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. I made a mistake – a huge mistake that has obviously been extremely difficult to deal with and will continue to be difficult to deal with. All I can say is in making mistakes, as I’ve stated previously, we all deal with adversity. We all deal with challenges in life. Any challenge you face, you have an opportunity to view as either an obstacle or as an opportunity to grow from, to learn from and to help other people avoid making that same mistake, and that’s what I intend to do."
What was worse in your opinion, using PEDs or lying about it after the fact?
"As I’ve stated, the goal for me is just being able to move forward. I’m not going to get into too many specifics about what happened other than saying I’m extremely remorseful. I wish that I could go back and change things but I don’t have that opportunity to do that, so I’m just going to do everything in my power to move forward."
Have you apologized to Dino Laurenzi, Jr., or made any payments to him?
"I have not made any payments to him. I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancée Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night, and we had some really good conversation. We’ve made amends and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us."
Have you had anything to say to Bud Selig?
"I did. I wrote Bud a letter. But other than that, I’m not really going to get into too many specifics."
Knowing you got away with a positive test, why did you have that news conference in Maryvale where you lied and essentially threw Laurenzi under the bus?
"I’m not really, again, going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it, and a lot of the things that I said that day. But again, all I can do is move forward, and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, the team, the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward, I’m not going to discuss that subject."
What kind of response do you expect to receive from the fans on opening day?
"Everywhere I’ve been, people have been incredibly supportive and I’ve been incredibly appreciative of that. I don’t really know what to expect, but everybody has been extremely supportive and I really appreciate that."
Why have you waited so long to come forward and talk?
"I’ve actually been in town a few times. I don’t do the Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff to alert anybody that I’m here. I think today was just kind of an opportunity that we understood there would be some media here, so I wanted the opportunity to speak to you guys. It wasn’t about waiting or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve been here a few times. I think this is the first time that everybody’s been aware that I’m here."
That’s understood. But when suspensions were handed out, other players spoke and had news conferences. You didn’t. Why did it take you this long to come forward?
"I think because it was an ongoing investigation I wasn’t allowed to say very much at that time. Basically based on what I had learned from both Major League Baseball and the Players Association it wasn’t in anybody’s best interest for me to make any statements at that time."
Did anything positive come out of this?
"I think there’s something positive that can come from everything. At all times I always try to see the good in everything. Things aren’t always good, but I do see the good in everything, and it’s an opportunity for me to use my experience and the mistakes that I’ve made to help other people avoid making the same mistakes. I certainly have plans to do everything in my power to turn this bad situation into a good thing, into a positive, and to help other people along the way making these mistakes."
Do you think you'll be elected to another All-Star team?
"I really haven’t thought about that kind stuff. My goal is always to go and be the best player that I can be. I’m not motivated by individual accolades. I certainly intend to go out there and be the same player that I’ve been. Hopefully I continue to get better, and if that opportunity presents itself it’d be great. But I guess my whole focus is just on doing everything I can to come back next year and be a great player."
Is the Hall of Fame out of the question?
"I haven't even thought that far ahead, and I think it's almost disrespectful to even discuss the Hall of Fame. I've only played in the league for less than seven years. At some point down the line we can have that conversation, but I don't thing we can even have that conversation now."
What was the injury that you referred to in the statement?
"Again, I'm not going to get into the specifics and continue to go backward. I'm moving forward and I'm not going to get into too many specifics on that."
Don't you think you owe everybody to talk about the specifics?
"Yeah, I completely understand where you guys are coming from and a part of your job is to ask those questions, but I hope that you guys can understand and respect that in an effort to move forward that I'm just not going to continue to discuss that stuff."
What did you think of the response from fellow MLB players and Aaron Rodgers?
"I actually haven't really read, paid attention or watched anything. But I understand people being disappointed, people being upset and people reacting emotionally. I don't fault anybody for being upset. I don't know specifically what many people said, but I don't fault anybody for being upset or disappointed."
What has this done to your relationship with Aaron Rodgers?
"I'm not going to get into our specific relationship other than to say that he had been a great friend of mine for a long time. He's a great person, and I hope he gets back on the field soon so he can help those guys win."
Will you be able to play at the same level as you were?
"Yeah, I think I will be better. I should be better."
What about the 2011 NL MVP award? Does this revelation invalidate that award?
"Like I said, I'm continuing to move forward. I think that's all I can do. I'm not going to go back and discuss the things that have happened in the past. In an effort to do that, I'm not going to discuss that."
The Brewers gave you that huge contract extension in 2011. Will you now take a pay cut?
"The Brewers have been incredibly supportive, the entire organization. My teammates, everyone has been incredibly supportive. I can't thank Mark Attanasio enough for his support. I fully intend to do everything in my power to be the best player and person that I can be moving forward."
Two years ago you said you thought the drug testing policy was fatally flawed. Do you still feel that way now?
"Like I said, I greatly regret having done that press conference at all. My opinion on a lot of those things has definitely changed."
What do you regret the most?
"Obviously the whole thing is a huge regret. It was a huge mistake. I wish that I hadn't done it. I wish I could go back and do a lot of things different. I don't think I could specifically pinpoint one thing that I regret more than anything else, I regret all of it. I wish I could go back and change it but I can't do that."
Has the Players Association supported you as much as you would like?
"Yeah, the Players association was definitely very supportive."
What do you think this has done to your reputation and stature around the game?
"I don't think about those things, I really don't. I'm getting married here soon. My focus is on that and doing everything that I can to come back next year to be the best player I can be."
You don't care about what people think of you in the game?
"I always care about what people think, but I only have control over so many things. I focus on the things that I can control and that's being the best person I can be, best player I can be and put myself in position to come back and have a great year."
Teams were apparently interested in trading for you, according to reports. General manager Doug Melvin said he has no plans to trade you. Would you welcome a fresh start or do you want to play here?
"Absolutely I want to stay here. I made the long-term commitment because the city has been amazing to me, the fans have been amazing to me, the organization has been incredibly supportive of me, and I fully intend to stay here. Obviously it's flattering that people would be interested. I actually had dinner with Doug Melvin, Ron and Mark Attanasio this week. I've seen Mark a lot, and I don't think there's any truth to those rumors. My goal and attention is to say here."
What would you say to Robin Yount?
"Robin and I have had a great relationship. I enjoy my conversations with him and I don't think that our relationship would change much."
Did you apologize to him?
"I look forward to seeing him. I think I'll definitely see him in spring training, I think he's out in Arizona quite often. I look forward to having some conversations with him."
How many games did you watch, and how hard was that during the suspension?
"It was extremely challenging and not something I enjoyed in any way. I didn't watch many games. I think I paid attention to what was going on but aside from that I didn't really watch many games."
How do you think your relationship will be with your teammates?
"I think it will be great. I've been back here a couple of times since the suspension and everyone has been incredibly supportive. I don't anticipate any issues there."
What are your expectations with regard to fan reaction -- especially on the road?
"I don't think about things like that. I don't really have any expectations. I have dealt with it in the past and I'll do the best I can to be the best player I can be. We all deal with adversity, we all deal with distractions. There's always something going on. My focus will be on being the best player I can be."
Can you share more about your dinner with Dino Laurenzi, Jr.?
"I'm not going to get into too many details other than to say it was an incredible experience. It was extremely kind and gracious of them. They're really special people and I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to go to their house and have a conversation in person. I wish that I could change it. I wish that I hadn't said anything about him. I wish I knew more at the time I said what I said. But he was really a special person and his family was a special group of people."
What do you have to say to the fans?
"I've always been incredibly appreciative of everybody's support. I'd say I made a mistake and that all I can intend to do is find some positives to come from a difficult situation."
Do you have any opinion on the Alex Rodriguez situation?
"I try to stay away from all of that stuff. I don't really know the specifics of what's going on with him so I don't think it's fair to comment on the situation."
What can you say about your restaurants closing and your relationship with Rodgers?
"Obviously, there's been a lot of fallout from everything I've been through. I've had a really good relationship with the SURG group, with Omar and Mikey. They're great guys. Our relationship will be changed but obviously in light of everything that's occurred, there's definitely fallout."
What do you say to kids about cheating?
"I hope that people recognize what I've been through and not want to go through this experience. It's been a lot. It's been really difficult, really challenging. I would never wish this situation on anybody. I hope people can view my situation as a learning experience and something they should try to avoid."
If you return and put up big numbers again, do you think you'll be accused of still using PEDs?
"I focus on the things I can control. I'm going to continue to try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be. I fully intend to be at least as good as I've been to this point in my career. Hopefully, I can get better. But I only focus on the things I can control. I can't control what people say or think. This is my fault. I've taken full responsibility for my actions. I put myself in this position and people will have the opportunity to say whatever they want. I'll just focus on things I can control. I've been incredibly appreciate of everyone's support. The fans have been unbelievably supportive of me. I fully intend to do everything in my power to try to earn back their trust, their respect, their support. I don't think I will earn that back from every fan, but I will try."
How is your relationship with your fiancee?
"I think my relationships with all my friends and family have actually gotten stronger. I don't think it's been overly stressful. Dealing with the wedding has been far more stressful than this situation. So, we're doing well."
Is there a chance you'll move to right field this season?
"Possibly. We've discussed it. I'm not opposed to it. I don't know exactly what's going to happen but it's definitely a possibility. 100%, I'll play wherever they want except third base. That didn't go well. But I'll do whatever we want. It's not something set in stone but it's something we've discussed."
I was checking out the interwebs the other day and came across a cool photo gallery from Jim Biever, the official photographer of the Packers. It features behind-the-scenes shots of the game Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Check it out here
Bucks forward Larry Sanders is sidelined by a thumb injury suffered in an altercation at a nightclub. (David Bernacchi photo)
By DREW OLSON
We were setting the table for dinner a few nights ago, watching my D-List partner Dan Needles' sportscast on WISN 12, when my 13-year-old daughter -- aka "The Sprout" -- asked a simple question:
How are the Bucks doing this year?
The question is simple. The answer, anything but.
To truly assess the current condition of the Bucks, you need to look at ownership, the arena situation, the "no-man's land" that exists between being "competitive" -- earning a No. 7- or No. 8-seeding in the playoffs -- and "tanking" in order to get a draft pick. You could talk about injuries in the context of the current blueprint and building around young players like John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Any of those things would have made the Sprout's eyes glaze over, so I decided to keep it simple:
"Not great right now. They're in last place."
She replied: "I heard their best player got hurt in a fight at a bar or something...."
"That's right," I said, marveling at her grasp of a sport that she doesn't follow closely, if at all. "That isn't helping the situation."
A couple days later, my friend -- veteran photographer David Bernacchi -- sent me this photo that sums up the current state of the Bucks. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Check out Dave's work at onwisconsinsports.com.
Steve "The Homer" True was released from the hospital Friday, two days after being injured in a severe traffic accident. (ESPN Wisconsin photo)
UPDATE ON STEVE "THE HOMER" TRUE
Steve “The Homer” True, injured in a traffic accident Wednesday morning, was released from a local hospital on Friday afternoon and is recovering at home. On behalf of Homer and his family, ESPN Wisconsin would like to thank fans for their outpouring of support in this difficult time. We look forward to providing more positive updates in the coming days.
UPDATE ON STEVE "THE HOMER" TRUE
ESPN Wisconsin radio personality Steve “The Homer” True, who was injured in an automobile accident Wednesday morning in Milwaukee, has been upgraded from critical to stable condition at a local hospital.
“I’ve spoken to Homer and he is very alert and, not surprisingly, very talkative,” said Craig Karmazin, Founder and CEO of Good Karma Broadcasting.
“Homer and his wife, Nancy, and their family are deeply appreciative and humbled by the outpouring of prayers and support. We are amazed at Homer’s courage and resiliency and hope to deliver more positive updates in the coming days.”
There are no games scheduled for today.