Melvin: Brewers trusted Braun all along

By John Pesetski
Special to


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mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi">PHOENIX — Ryan Braun knew.

His teammates and organization believed. Milwaukee Brewers fans, they hoped.

And Thursday afternoon everybody learned that the 2011 National League MVP won

his appeal of a 50-game MLB suspension for testing positive for a banned

substance. The All-Star left fielder will be eligible to play on Opening Day.

The news Brewers nation — stretching from Milwaukee to the team’s Arizona

spring training complex — had been longing to hear hit mid-afternoon in

Phoenix, after the players were gone for the day. General manager Doug Melvin, still

at the complex, emerged from an afternoon meeting with a smile on his face.

“As a GM you have to be pretty excited to have him, one of the best

players in the league back, an MVP, back in the lineup,” Melvin said.

“We’re pretty excited.”

While Melvin expressed a deep trust in the 28-year-old slugger, he acknowledged

that the organization had also taken steps to protect the club if the

suspension had been upheld.

“We knew that it would be a possibility,” Melvin said of a

suspension. “And we did make some decisions as a front office with our

ballclub. But we didn’t want to overreact. We probably gambled a bit. But we

trust Ryan. We know how he works and what kind of person he is.”

It was important to the Brewers organization that the issue of Braun’s

eligibility be resolved prior to the team’s first full workout on Saturday.

“It’s very important that we are able to move forward and turn the

page,” Melvin said. “We’ve had a great camp so far with the pitchers

and catchers. … Our players are still confident and they are going to be

excited to know how this decision has gone.”