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Ryan Braun's apology as hollow as his character

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

Far as I can tell, Ryan Braun's apology doesn't even come close to covering the ground he needs to cover. Starting with his urine collector.

Are you kidding me?

Braun demonizes the poor guy who collected his polluted piss while the stained slugger desperately worked to wiggle out of a suspension two winters ago. He is positively Nixonian in telling one brazen, unadulterated lie after another.

And this is what we get when the greasy Braun slithers off under the rock he deserves after cutting a plea-bargain deal Monday with MLB?

"I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed," reads Braun's statement, "all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization and my teammates."

May have disappointed?

MAY have disappointed?

This guy Braun. What a piece of work.

Colleague Danny Knobler did a very nice job crushing Braun right here.

But the more I digest this, the angrier I get.

Yes, I spent 23 minutes under the warm Arizona sun two Februaries ago listening to Braun earnestly, arrogantly and pointedly proclaim his innocence, blaming the man who collected his urine for "chain of custody" issues. That's how he beat the rap, on a technicality that he would never admit while professing his innocence.

That day, I listened to him say that upon learning he tested positive for testosterone at "three times higher than any number in the history of drug testing" on Oct. 19, 2011, he said he told the players association: "I promise you on anything that's ever meant anything to me in my life, the morals, the virtues, the values by which I've lived in my 28 years on this planet, I did not do this."

Monday, I watched Braun accept a suspension without pay for the rest of this season, 65 games and about $3.5 million worth, and lamely say, "As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes."

Fine time to get religion, isn't it? With his Brewers in last place, 18½ games out? Cutting a deal when he's making a mere $8.5 million this summer, before his salary increases to $10 million next year, $12 million the year after that and then leaps to $19 million in 2016?

What we already suspected, but sadly learned beyond reasonable doubt the minute he signed off on this deal, is that Braun is a phony and a liar. And he is the worst kind of liar: the kind who stares straight into your eyes as he's lying to you.

No, his apology needs to start with Mr. Dino Laurenzi Jr., the Comprehensive Drug Testing employee who was simply doing his job before Braun tossed him to the sharks.

No, Braun never mentioned Laurenzi's name. But when he said on that Arizona day that "there were a lot of things we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened" … well then, it was off to the races.

What kind of crazed lunatic was this pee collector, anyway? What dastardly things did he do?

Oh. Nothing.

How about the Arizona Diamondbacks? They're in line for an apology. It was the Snakes who were fatally bitten by a snake -- oh, the reptilian humanity -- losing a 3-2, 10-inning Game 5 heartbreaker in a 2011 Division Series.

Braun batted .500 with a staggering 1.460 OPS in that series, slamming a homer and collecting four RBI. While, as we know now, he was ingesting testosterone like a teenager inhaling Red Bull.

Where's the apology to not only "my teammates" but to his fellow players throughout the league who he's been cheating?

What's that you say, there are other cheaters right alongside him? Yes, and the Biogenesis investigation will deal with them soon enough. But what about the hundreds of players who are clean?

The most significant change in the players' union over the past decade is this: Today's players are fully behind a comprehensive performance-enhancing drug testing program. Union chief Michael Weiner spoke this spring of the many players who have approached him and asked for a stronger drug-testing program.

A decade ago, the players sat silent as Don Fehr refused to even think about consenting to testing and dinosaurs like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire terrorized the earth.

So today's enlightened players deserve a lot of credit for attempting to root out the cheats and clean up the game, too.

OK. So that's the pee collector, the Diamondbacks and every single clean player not playing for the Brewers who failed to get an apology from Braun.

Who else?

The Cardinals. The Cardinals? Sure. Yes, they wound up eliminating the Brewers in a six-game NL Championship Series in 2011, and they wound up winning the World Series that year. No thanks to a clean Braun.

And let's not forget the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who, it turns out two years too late, rightfully should have won the 2011 NL MVP award instead of Braun. Because all evidence points to Kemp's tests consistently coming back clean.

"The situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization," read another part of Braun's statement, and I repeat:

You have got to be freaking kidding me.

Not only does Braun offer an apology so crappy it is still emitting steam, he also sets himself up as a victim in the Big Lie?

Can we talk about carrying his suspension over through all of 2014, too?

Or, at least, until this PED-laced donkey at least produces a proper apology?

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