Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 comments Jay Mariotti Quickly Jumps on the "Ryan Braun's Apology Wasn't Enough" Train and Takes a Ride

I've written a couple of posts about Ryan Braun as it related to his 2011 positive drug test that was eventually overturned. I wrote Braun should not have his 2011 MVP stripped from him. I covered a Mike Lupica article where he basically accused Bud Selig of overturning the 2011 positive drug test because Braun played for the Brewers. Where's Mike at these days with that veiled accusation now that Selig has hit Braun with a 65 game suspension? All I hear is crickets. So Ryan Braun got busted, got a 65 game suspension and sportswriters everywhere got up in arms about how Braun needed to apologize because of "the kids" and how he cheated everyone with his lies and deception. Then Braun apologized in a public statement that was released. Then, in a shocking turn of events, this still wasn't enough for the sportswriters who originally wanted an apology and now they want more details and a better apology. It's now not sufficient that Braun has apologized in a statement, he needs to do more. Presumably if Braun did more and released the details surrounding his PED use this still wouldn't be enough. Jay Mariotti is one of these writers who finds it is never enough to get the apology that was requested and in a fit of writing brilliance has dubbed Braun "Lyin' Braun," which is clever and creative because his name is Ryan Braun and "Ryan" rhymes with "Lyin'."

It might have helped if he’d rented a hotel ballroom, invited every reporter and TV network in America, stood in front of a microphone and spoke to the people — the fans, the baseball industry, the human mechanism that generates the remaining $127 million still owed him — he so farcically has let down.
But I doubt it.

I think this sums it up best. Sportswriters desperately want an apology, but even that's not going to end up being enough for them. They want blood. They want to see Ryan Braun crawl and beg forgiveness from the fans, and even more importantly, beg forgiveness from the sportswriters who cover Braun. An apology is the first step to the public shaming of Ryan Braun. Braun apologizes, but sportswriters want a better apology. It's a never-ending need to convict Braun for lying and cheating.

If Ryan Braun couldn’t explain in 943 written words what we needed to hear, then he wouldn’t have had the guts to muster the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in a news conference, where his “apology” should have happened, where we could have looked him in the eyeballs and decided if he was contrite and genuine or simply, as I suspect, full of b.s.

This is the bullshit part of Jay's column (well, it's all bullshit, but I feel like this is the introductory bullshit part of the column). The media doesn't want an apology. They want to be able to serve as the jury as to whether Ryan Braun is truly contrite or not. It's not about the apology, it is about publicly shaming Braun and it is ridiculous. Just accept his apology, which at least Braun made one, and let's all move on. It's not like Braun murdered a member of Jay Mariotti's family, so I don't know why he feels the needs to be the one to stand in judgment of Braun. But any sportswriter who says it is about the apology is most likely lying. The sportswriter doesn't want an apology, he/she wants to look into Braun's eyes and judge Braun's ability to tell the truth about being sorry. I bet if these sportswriters could look into Braun's eyes they would judge that he is indeed not truly sorry.

Oh, he tried hard to make good with his family, his friends, his teammates, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise, the fans, his agents and advisors. “I have disappointed the people closest to me — the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong,” he wrote in his public letter, which we’ve impatiently awaited since he accepted his 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball.

It's not enough. He's not begging for forgiveness and allowing the media to stand in complete judgment of him while spilling all of the details of his PED use.

And sure, he tried to look like he was beating himself up. As if sitting on an analyst’s couch, he described himself as “self-righteous” and having “a lot of unjustified anger” two years ago while lying

It all depends on your point of view and whether you want to accept Braun's apology. I think that's the key point to be made here. If you want to believe Braun and want to believe he is truly sorry then his apology may not seem sincere, but you believe he is sorry. Of course Braun is probably the most sorriest that he got caught, but that's beside the point. If you don't want to believe Braun and probably aren't ever inclined to believe Braun then this statement won't seem sincere, but seem like a PR move on his part. Of course it was a PR move on his part, but these people probably won't ever believe Braun even if he did make a public apology on television like Tiger Woods did. Even then, I believe these people would only want to judge the sorriness of Braun and still wouldn't think he was truly contrite.

“I’m deeply ashamed,” Ryan Braun said.
Too bad he isn’t deeply forthcoming.

He's apologizing, but he's just not giving enough information. In the words of The Cure, it's never enough. Writers like Mariotti wanted an apology, they got the apology, and now they want details. It's not that they "want" details really, it's they believe themselves to be entitled to details. No story is too sordid and no confession is contrite enough without the proper amount of private details to sell the authenticity of the confession.

Cowardly as it is to hide behind an agency-crafted news release somewhere in southern California, Braun’s biggest strategic error was failing to provide specifics.

I wish Braun had said,

"I'm specifically deeply ashamed."

"I specifically have disappointed a lot of people..."

"I specifically was self-righteous and specifically had a lot of unjustified anger..."

If the five basic questions of what remains of journalism are who, what, when, where and why, I’m not certain he has answered any.

Ryan Braun isn't a journalist so he isn't required to provide the answers to who, what, when, where and why simply because these are the answers that Jay Mariotti wants. These are the questions Jay wants answered, but Braun doesn't have to answer these questions. So suck it.

Was this merely about the short-term use of a cream and lozenge? Or is that, too, a lie?

Do I really believe that Jay Mariotti would believe any answer Ryan Braun gave to this question if Braun had answered this question? No. I think Mariotti still wouldn't believe Braun's answer.

If that’s his only wrongdoing, it wouldn’t seem to have warranted a major coverup attempt that has led to a defamation lawsuit against Braun by a former friend; the smearing of a urine collector who also might want to consider legal action; 

I think the major coverup was to prevent Braun from being found out to have used PED's more than anything else. So in itself, having used PED's does warrant the major coverup.

The words “cream” and “lozenge” soften what anti-PED experts would describe as power and confidence, especially when presented with Braun’s numbers down the stretch that season:

It was a PR statement and "cream" and "lozenge" are often terms used to describe the use of certain PED's.

He won the MVP award and was hailed as one of the great hitters in the game, a future Hall of Famer, blessed with business acumen, good looks, considerable popularity and a power stroke that belied a slender build.

Belied, as in lie.

This is sports journalism at it's finest.

Finest, as in it would be a lie to call this writing the finest.

What we require from Braun now is an explanation. What were the precise names of the banned substances?

Previously an apology was required. Jay Mariotti got the apology and now he wants more details. If Jay Mariotti gets the additional details he feels entitled to, then he will want even more details. It never ends and Mariotti's sense of entitlement to stand in judgment of Braun doesn't end either.

Was he aware at the time that Biogenesis was a well-known marketplace for PEDs,

Yes, he probably was.

with 13 players suspended after MLB’s massive investigation of the clinic and founder Tony Bosch?

No, he probably did not or else he would have chosen to go to another clinic to get his PED's.

Why would he stand there and lie at spring training last year, assailing MLB’s testing system as “absolutely fatally flawed” when he was the one with the fatal flaw?

Because he had been cheating and didn't want anyone to know that MLB's testing system was not fatally flawed and that it had busted him red-handed. If Braun had said, "Man, that MLB testing system sure is pretty good" then I'm guessing it would have been fairly obvious to everyone that Braun knew he got busted and it wouldn't make much sense for him to be appealing the first positive drug test. I realize Jay has the brain of a donkey, but part of Braun being in denial and trying to beat the system had to do with Braun stating the system was no good in order to make himself look more credible. I don't need Braun to explain this to me, I can figure this out for myself.

Why would a gifted and accomplished multi-millionaire risk it all to smear some creme on a sore spot and swallow a lozenge? Forgive me for thinking we’re only reading bits and pieces of the truth, not the entirety.

I'm guessing he did it because he thought it would make him better at baseball. That's my thought about why Braun did it. Again, I'm not sure how much more detail I need.

Based on the language in his statement, Braun is trying to warm-and-fuzzy us. No one is in the mood to read it anymore,

Right, because I don't care about nor do I require an apology. I'm not one of those people who feels like he deserves an apology because a player got busted for using PED's. 

Nowhere in his statement does Braun address the most damning claims about him — that he asked his longtime friend, Ralph Sasson, to investigate and smear Laurenzi Jr. and participate in a prank against two ESPN reporters investigating Braun’s failed test.

Part of the reason Braun didn't comment on this is because any statement he makes could be used in a court of law should Sasson choose to sue Braun. So it actually makes a lot of sense he didn't comment on these claims. More importantly, anyone who expects Braun to publicly comment on these claims is an absolute moron. Just like Jay Mariotti couldn't comment on the claims about his legal issues with his ex-girlfriend, Braun can't comment on his potential legal issues with Ralph Sasson.

Didn't Jay just give us a re-introduction to himself where he says he understood athletes better because of all he had gone through over the past couple of years? Here's his first chance to prove it, by acknowledging Braun wouldn't be advised to comment on a potential legal issue, yet Jay acts like Braun had a responsibility to publicly comment against the (most likely) better advice of his attorney. 

According to ESPN, Braun, who is Jewish, went so far to spread word that Laurenzi Jr. was anti-Semitic. 

All Braun did in the statement was scrape the surface on those issues. “I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr.,” wrote Braun, who should have devoted more words to Dino.

Again, someone who has been through legal issues recently should understand why Braun didn't comment further. Should Braun get sued, the collector will probably try to use a long, drawn-out public apology against Braun during the court case. Use your head, Mariotti. It doesn't take a genius to understand why Braun would not publicly comment on Dino Laurenzi, Jr. Braun also told friends that Laurenzi was a Cubs fan, which is also an accusation that could merit a lawsuit.

As we’ve seen with Alex Rodriguez in his continuing lone-wolf fight against MLB (not to mention his very superiors with the Yankees), teammates still will rally around a PED-troubled player if he produces on the field. If Braun rakes, the Brewers will take him back, even if Milwaukee fans are disgusted.

We should have known in Braun’s previous statement, after he won a reprieve from the positive test, that he protested a bit too vigorously to be believed.

It doesn't matter if he is believed or not, three independent arbitrators ruled the chain of custody was broken, which meant the positive drug test had to be thrown out. Sure, Braun was lying at the time, but if he really had not been using PED's I imagine Braun would have a vehement defense rather than just meekly deny the claims. If Braun had meekly denied the claims then sportswriters like Jay Mariotti would have stated that Braun was guilty because he didn't deny the claims and failed drug test vigorously enough.

Including his claim that Laurenzi Jr. supposedly is a Cubs fan, which Braun also used in trying to woo Brewers teammates to his side. You might have to go back to Richard Nixon to find a public figure who finagled and stretched like Lyin’ Ryan.

The "Lyin' Ryan" moniker is somehow getting dumber. It rhymes though!

“At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance,” Braun tried to explain in his statement. “I think a combination of feeling self-righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. I am beyond embarrassed that I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality. I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret. There is no excuse for any of this.”

More details! In what ways do you regret it? When you say "wronged" give specific examples. This apology means nothing without expansion on the idea of how Braun's clouded vision of reality. Tell us more, Ryan. Do you believe dinosaurs never existed? Is that a part of your clouded vision of reality? Your apologies mean nothing without a discussion of your beliefs on the existence of dinosaurs. Otherwise, the apology is just empty words. 

He is trying to be the anti-A-Rod, the ‘rowdier who fesses up and apologizes. But all he has done with this statement, I’m afraid, is make me think a 65-game ban wasn’t tough enough. 

Yes, that's right, by apologizing like the media wanted him to do this has resulted in idiot sportswriters suggesting because Braun apologized he should get a stiffer sentence. I imagine if Braun had offered up more details in his statement then Jay would have stated the details were so terrible that Braun should get a 265-game ban. You can sort of see why Braun didn't go into further detail. This further detail would only further outrage the sportswriting media (the same ones who insisted Braun should apologize) into suggesting Braun deserves a longer ban. Sometimes more details are not required.

It seems Lyin’ Ryan Braun copped a plea from the commissioner so he can return and collect his $127 million.

When he does show his face next spring, his nose might be longer than his bat.

Like Pinocchio!

Also, is stating that Braun's nose could be longer than his bat a slur against Braun because he is Jewish? I always figured Mariotti for an anti-Semite.


jacktotherack said...

I thought ol' "Naughty Mariotti" knew all about "The System" (available on Amazon E-Book, btw) after roughing up his ladyfriend...

Anonymous said...

"If you haven’t noticed, sports journalism is diseased and dying, swallowed up by conflicted corporate interests at major TV networks and watered down by reporters so busy promoting themselves and politicizing their way into positions at those networks that they forget their professional purpose.
That is, to report.
And to investigate.
And to at least try, in the face of lockdown resistance that makes it more difficult than ever to penetrate the hermetically sealed cocoons of professional and college sports, to uncover the wrongs and make them right."

This was a quote from a Mariotti article from Sept. 16. (I'm a little bit upset you provided a link that proves he's back in the business, but I'm bored at work so I thought I'd check it out.) What amazes me is that he can say this, and then spew out all of this idiocy about Braun without doing one ounce of investigative research for himself, including the name of the PEDs involved.
It's not really baffling or upsetting anymore, I just want his computer beaten to shit and thrown in a river so he can never write again.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, he knows all about "The System" and that's why he is a new person that is also the same person he used to be.

BJ, maybe if you put the face of one of Jay's ex-girlfriends on his computer then he would beat it to shit.

I'm sorry for providing the link. I figure the least I can do when I rip these writers is provide a link so context can be provided if someone thinks I'm misconstruing or cherry-picking sentences. Part of the "new" Jay is talking about other people doing the investigative work while he doesn't change how he writes one little bit. Everyone else doesn't do the research and it's his job to write, not do research.