Brewers' owner trying to do damage control

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by Andrew Coughlin

Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio is publicly trying to get out in front of the Ryan Braun PED train wreck.

Milwaukee Brewers' principal owner, Mark Attanasio, was out and about during the third game of the Brewers/Padres series at Miller Park.  He first appeared in the announcers booth, answering questions from Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder during the sixth inning of the game.  He then made himself available to reporters after the game.

It was interesting to hear his comments concerning the Ryan Braun doping scandal and subsequent embarrassing fallout/PR nightmare surrounding his star player and the entire ball club.

"Damage control" has to be an understatement as Attanasio tries to create some semblance of normalcy for his team, which is also in the midst of an awful season on the field.

Due to the MLB collective bargaining agreement, Attanasio revealed that he and management were pretty much kept in the dark about the PED investigation on Braun.  When asked if he'd been communicating with his All-Star left-fielder about the process of the investigation since the story broke a few months ago, he said, "We pretty much found out about this maybe an hour before everybody else did, maybe."

It seemed like the Brewers' owner was a bit desperate and was trying to get out in front of this debacle having only found out the details less than a week ago.  He is proverbally 'taking one for the team' on this one, drawing the media towards himself and away from his players and coaches.

Attanasio has been a great owner since taking over for the Seliegs.  And he's showing exactly who he is and what kind of owner he is by sticking his head right in the line of fire while this team goes through its worst public relations crisis maybe ever.

No owner wants their star player to be the focus of a scandal, but Attanasio is doing and saying the right things.  When speaking to reporters after the game, he appeared completely genuine in his concern for the fans of Milwaukee and for the well-being of the rest of the team; placing the onus and responsibility on Braun for his actions and earning everyone's' trust back.

"I expect him, at some point, when he's able to speak with more detail, to apologize more directly to the community", he said.  But Attanasio also iterated that the healing for the fans and the club and restoring Braun's credibility will not happen overnight.

"This is going to take time," he stated.  "I told Ryan that this is going to take time and this is not something, no matter how open, honest, truthful, sincere he is in the next press conference or meeting like this . . . that it's going to take time."

Attanasio understands the negative response Brewers' fans have had.  What's happening in Milwaukee right now is simply not pleasant.  The community was invested in their star player and to have that investment damaged by a scandal of this magnitude, so abruptly, can be devastating.

He also knows that, when time allows it, Braun will have to apologize directly to his fans/former fans, in order for the healing process to begin.

 

 Send emails to acoughlin@cbs58.com.

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