Just as we learned that Alex Rodriguez ratted out fellow players and even a teammate in the interest of self-preservation, we also learned that Ryan Braun made some last ditch efforts to round up support while his situation unfolded.
Suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun told stars around baseball before spring training 2012 that the man who collected his urine that tested positive for synthetic testosterone was anti-Semitic and a Chicago Cubs fan in an effort to gather support throughout the game, three sources familiar with the conversations told Yahoo! Sports.”
So what do these players have to say to that report? Tulowitzki tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he did talk to Braun, but nothing like the nature of the talks described in the report.
I talked to him throughout the whole process. It was more as a friend. It wasn’t anything more than that. He never tried to change my opinion on the subject or anything like that. It was more of me saying, ‘Hey, how is this going? Is this taking a toll on you?’”
Of course if Braun actually said what we think he said about the guy being an anti-Semite, Tulo would not likely give that away in an interview. Because let’s be honest, if Braun said it, he probably phrased it a little differently than, “Hey, Troy, I’m just concerned that he might be anti-Semitic…” Anyhow, Tulo was outspoken about the fact that he wants Braun to come out and say why he is suspended. Quotes again from the Denver Post:
I think everybody in baseball wants him to get whatever out that he needs to get out. Hopefully, he does it the right way.”
For Votto’s part, he denies any contact with Braun at all. In fact, his denial was vehement (from John Fay):
As far as a phone call, I have no problem getting AT&T into this if they like…There was never a phone call. It’s so silly to have to comment on this. That was really odd. I heard about it last night and it really bothered me. There was not that phone conversation…I don’t know him well enough.”
Actually, if anybody’s asking me, I would very much like to get AT&T involved. Sad part is, that would be so far from the most absurd thing to happen in the last few weeks when it comes to MLB and its suspected PED users.
Finally, there is Kemp, who famously asked for his 2011 MVP award “back,” or something, and who would seem an odd source of support for Braun to begin with. What does he say to this report? Well, funny you should ask (I cringe as I type that the following comes from TMZ)…
Didn’t take long for the L.A. Dodgers to shake off the sting of defeat after finally losing a game in Philly yesterday … ’cause hours later, the biggest stars on the team flew into Miami AND WENT CLUBBIN’ with LeBron James, TMZ has learned.
Sources inside the club tell TMZ … the 4-some dropped more than $20,000 on Ciroc, Moet, Patron, Belvedere, and fancy champagne.
So maybe Kemp will just have to get back to us?
There is an interesting trend that we continue to see in the reactions from Tulowitzki and Votto: they have no patience for PED users. Tulo wants him to address his suspension and Votto got pretty salty just at the mention of the whole thing. It looks like current players are pretty darn mad that guys are still cheating and they are no longer afraid to be vocal about it. That might be the best development of all in an otherwise ugly situation.