Jun 3, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun reacts after being called out by umpire Greg Gibson on a close play at first base during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

My letter to Ryan Braun

If you haven’t already read staff writer Justin Schultz’s open letter, click here to check it out.

Ryan Braun has said he will formally announce his usage of PEDs soon. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Braun,

I don’t know where to begin this letter, so I’ll just start.

What is wrong with you? Why did you feel the need to do what you did? To not only lie and cheat the system, but start an attack against Dino Laurenzi Jr., who you’re now supposedly calling an “anti-Semite”, what a coward you are. Do you feel good about it too? I hope you don’t.

Maybe I was foolish from when you first came up to think you were one of baseball’s next heroes, heck, even legends. I looked up to you as a player and yeah, perhaps putting players on a pedestal isn’t something we should do as fans, but that’s beside the point. You lied.

You lied and man, I can hardly tell if you really even care. I’m sure you might, but you definitely proved how selfish you were. Do you even know how badly you hurt your teammates? Friends? Family? To do you what you did, beat your chest and proudly boast that you were clean, only to get tangled in the mess you’re in now? I don’t know that I can forgive you, but I damn well know any respect I had for you is long gone.

I felt so bad watching Quick Pitch a few days after the news broke. Why you may ask? Because I saw your teammate, your friend, Jonathan Lucroy who defended you to the death, looking as if he was holding back tears as they interviewed him. Then there’s your friend and business partner Aaron Rodgers, who publicly defended you on Twitter and now he’s at a loss for words.

I don’t doubt, or at least I try not to, that you have some sort of conscious that makes you feel awful. Had you just said “yeah, I did PEDs” when it all came out for the first time, yes we wouldn’t have been happy, but we would have moved on. Instead you hid behind the shadows, wrongly pursued and accused a man and now have completely disgraced a franchise, a city and even a sport that respected and loved you.

Like Justin said in his letter, I don’t expect or want an apology from you. I’m not your target audience in this, your teammates are. Your friends and family should be your focus and the entire city of Milwaukee deserves an apology as well.

Braun single-handedly destroyed his legacy in Major League Baseball. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know what’s to come next in this saga and frankly, I’m getting to the point where I just don’t flat out care anymore. This media circus swirling around you is becoming very tiring and as a fan, I’m done with it. Whatever you have to say, I suggest you say it now or forever hold your peace because there is no coming back from this.

However, you are a Milwaukee Brewer and you are a part of this team I vehemently support. Will I cheer you? Not as an individual. Will I defend you? Not as an individual. You lost that right and it’s one I don’t think you’ll ever be getting back from me. I think I speak for the majority of Milwaukee Brewers’ fans when I say you disappointed me in a way I never thought imaginable.

I will admit cases like fans wanting you to give back your MVP or Kirk Gibson ripping you a new one are a bit out there. That said, I can’t blame them (though I do not support them) because you brought this upon yourself Ryan.

Whatever happens from here Ryan, happens. You’ve tarnished your legacy and there is no hope of redemption for you. Had this just been a case where you tested positive for PEDs, I feel the consequences of those actions wouldn’t have been as grave as they are now. The direction you took and the way you acted about with this whole situation earns you no brownie points in my book.

Will there be a time where I can finally say “well, I guess I forgive him”? Maybe, maybe not. That’s why I felt so bad for Lucroy who said he forgives you. I wonder if you truly know what this meant to him or Rodgers or anyone else who ardently stood behind you in support. I guess I fall into that category too which is why I feel so torn about this. I wish I could forgive you, but I can’t right now. Maybe someday I can, but it’s going to take a long time.

So like I said, whatever you have to say at your upcoming press conference, say it. Even then, will I be able to tell whether it’s a lie or not? Guess I’ll find out.

-Benjamin Orr

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