MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was swarmed by a hoard of media members Tuesday at Miller Park, answering questions the best he could without knowing many of the details surrounding Ryan Braun’s suspension.
Roenicke raised the point that Braun’s agreement with Major League Baseball and the players’ association could prevent him from sharing all the details.
“You guys know me, I always think that it’s just better to come out and say what’s going on,” Roenicke said. “There’s times when I can’t and when I can’t, I usually tell you guys that it’s something that I can’t talk about. I don’t know how much he can talk about. I don’t know the agreement between the [player’s] association, Major League Baseball and himself on what he can say.
“I would think that there are parameters put in place about what he can say regarding this and how much he can explain things. Knowing that, maybe he just can’t do it.”
According to MLB.com, Braun is allowed to work out with the Brewers, can take batting practice on game days, but must leave the park before the gates open.
Roenicke did not know the official rules when he met the media Tuesday and wasn’t sure if Braun would be back around the team this season.
“If Major League Baseball allows it, you’d think that some of that would be clarified by (Braun) and he would be able to give you guys answers instead of us having to do it,” Roenicke said. “Any time players are asked something that they’re uncomfortable with it’s difficult. These questions are difficult for me and you guys ask me questions all the time. So, they’re difficult. And a player not used to answering anything other than the game and what they’ve done, it becomes a difficult situation.”
A reporter questioned Roenicke on accountability and where it ranks within a team and to a player’s teammates.
“Accountability is important within the team,” Roenicke said. “This is a good (team) that pulls for each other and are with each other every day. Accountability is important. Hopefully somewhere in there these guys feel that they have enough information that they feel fine with. Whether it was enough yesterday or not — I heard some things that maybe it wasn’t — but I don’t know how much information they need.
“When we talk about the accountability part, I think that they forgive. I do. I think they want to know what goes on. Once they know what goes on, I think they forgive.”
Speaking solely for himself, Roenicke said forgiveness would be easy for him moving forward.
“It’s not an issue with me,” Roenicke said. “With my faith and what I believe in, I know how much I mess up personally. Maybe little things, but I know I mess up. I know I make comments I shouldn’t make, I know I get mad at some people that I shouldn’t. If I’m doing some of these things with my faith and what I believe, everybody is doing them. For me to forgive somebody is pretty easy.
“It will take time, but I think they will get over it and we will move forward and see what kind of team we have and where we can finish at the end of the season. That is going to be their focus. I’ll mention it again, but I’m pretty comfortable in knowing that these guys move on. They moved on last year when we had the big injuries that really hurt and we move on this year when we’ve had the injuries that really hurt. They are pretty good at being focused on what we need to do.”
Roenicke said he heard a lot of commentators’ opinions on Braun and watched some of the news coverage last night because he wanted to hear the overall feeling about the situation.
“That’s always difficult,” Roenicke said. “I feel, myself and the coaches are in charge of what goes on out here and any time that something distracts us from that or a problem occurs because of one of the players, it’s going to affect us. It’s going to affect me personally. I like Ryan Braun. He’s a very engaging young man. I’ve had a lot of great conversations with him, as I have with many of our players. Any time something happens with one of our guys, I feel it.
“I wish we all knew what was going on. I doubt that we ever will. I doubt that I’ll ever know what really this is about.”
Now the Brewers must move on without their best player. Currently 19 games out of first place and seemingly out of the race, Roenicke is confident his team will put this behind them and compete on the field for the rest of the season.
“They are resilient,” Roenicke said. “They deal with injuries all the time. We deal with guys being called up from the minor leagues and we have to move on because anytime you dwell on somebody not being around and how you’re missing that guy in the lineup, you’re not going to perform as well. They know we have to move on.
“For us to win games, we need to concentrate on what we’re doing on the field. Whether it’s having a discussion at the beginning and making sure they know that we still have a job to do and we still have to win ball games, that can come from me, it can from (general manager) Doug (Melvin), it can come from a lot of different resources. But that’s our focus. We’ve got Khris Davis up here now and we’re going to try to win this game. I think when you’re focus is that way from the get-go, from spring training on, you can handle a lot of distractions that happen in the game.”