Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Brewers' Braun suspended for rest of season

NEW YORK — The first star to fall in baseball's latest drug investigation is one of its biggest: Ryan Braun.

The 2011 National League MVP was suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the postseason Monday, the start of sanctions involving players reportedly tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

The Brewers leftfielder accepted the 65-game ban, 15 games more than the one he avoided last year when an arbitrator overturned his positive test for elevated testosterone because the urine sample had been improperly handled.

"I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," he said in a statement.

Braun, injured Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and more than a dozen players were targeted by MLB following a report by Miami New Times in January that they had been connected with Biogenesis of America, a now-closed anti-aging clinic.

Major-league managers supported the suspension.

"It's obviously the right thing to do, and if more of that happens based on good evidence, then I'm all for it," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

"For these guys still to be involved with this stuff just baffles me," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "The education's there and everybody knows what you can and can't take. It baffles me that this continues to be a black cloud over the game.

"I know Major League Baseball's done a great job of cleaning up the game and the testing policy and all that. And it's working. But at the same time, too, it seems like we'll go through a lull and then, bam, here comes another guy that gets suspended. It's got to stop."

Commissioner Bud Selig announced Braun's penalty, citing the outfielder for multiple unspecified "violations" of baseball's drug program and labor contract. The suspension will cost Braun about $3 million of his $8.5 million salary.

Under the agreement reached by MLB and the players' association, the specifics of Braun's admission won't be made public.

Fallout from the suspension made a direct hit into the Yankees' clubhouse, where players who have known Rodriguez longest said they would support him regardless of what may occur.

"I don't know what happened with Alex," closer Mariano Rivera said. "He is my teammate, and I have to support him 100 percent. So I don't know, if something different happens, we need to see. The good thing about this is we are cleaning the game, and that's the way it should be. And I think this is a message for whoever tries to do this again. They are going to be caught."

Braun timeline

Events leading up to Monday's suspension:

. October 2011: Braun tests positive for elevated testosterone levels. The result is not made public.

. December 2011: ESPN reveals Braun's positive test from two months ago. The Brewers slugger faces a 50-game suspension, but is appealing it. His representatives say "there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence."

. February 2012: Braun's suspension is overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenges a drug-related penalty in a grievance. During the hearings, questions are raised about the chain of custody for Braun's urine sample. It was collected on Saturday, Oct. 1, but not sent to the lab until Monday. Braun reports to spring training.

. March 2012: After the sample collector releases a statement defending his actions and saying that he never tampered with the sample, Braun's lawyer criticizes the statement by Dino Laurenzi Jr., saying that Braun was "properly vindicated."

. February 2013: Braun's name appears in records from the Biogenesis of America LLC clinic, a defunct business near Miami that allegedly provided performance-enhancing substances to several players. The original report about the clinic was published by Miami New Times, and Braun's tie to the clinic was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

. June 2013: Braun goes on the disabled list because of a persistent sore right thumb.

. July 2013: After missing 26 games, Braun returns, but is ineffective in three games before accepting a suspension for the rest of the season. He finishes his 2013 year with nine homers, four steals and a .298 average in 61 games.

Comments
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays badly wanted Shohei Ohtani for themselves.From execs to interns, they invested extensive time and money preparing their bid in November, touting advantages they figured would play to both his intense desire to re...
Published: 05/19/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

UPDATE, 6:57: And here is the Angels lineup, with Upton:Cozart 3bTrout cfUpton lfPujols dhSimmons ssKinsler 2bMarte 1bCalhoun rfMaldonado cHeaney pUPDATE, 6:50: Eovaldi came through his Friday rehab start will but will make one more on Wednesday for ...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

ANAHEIM, Calif. —  They're grown men now, making piles of money and getting treated like kings, lavished with top-shelf equipment, designer clothes and first-class accommodations. But it wasn't too long ago that some of the Rays were ...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays put Adeiny Hechavarria on DL, recall RHP Ryne Stanek

Rays put Adeiny Hechavarria on DL, recall RHP Ryne Stanek

The Rays acknowledged what seemed obvious and placed SS Adeiny Hechavarria on the 10-day DL Saturday due to the right hamstring strain he sustained on Thursday.And to take place his place on the roster, they not only didn't call up top prospect INF W...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays make it five in a row as Ramos leads way past Angels

Rays make it five in a row as Ramos leads way past Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. – A little frustrated by an extended skid that followed his streak of hitting in 18 straight games, and a bit irritated over some of the bad swings he had taken, catcher Wilson Ramos went to the cage before Friday's game seeking...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays journal: Good and bad injury news

Rays journal: Good and bad injury news

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays are planning to have 3B Matt Duffy back in the lineup Saturday for the first time since he left Tuesday's game with right hamstring tightness.Which will be good for them since they seem set to be headed toward pl...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18