CBS 58 in Milwaukee reported earlier this week that Ryan Braun, the former National League Most Valuable Player for the Milwaukee Brewers who is sitting out the final 65 games of this season after being suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, is calling Brewers’ season-ticket holders to apologize.
Pat Guenther, the owner of Milwaukee’s Kelly’s Bleachers sports bar, said he thought someone was playing a prank when he was told he had Braun on the phone.
“[He said], ‘Hey, Pat. This is Ryan Braun,’” Guenther told CBS 58. “Right then and there I knew it was his voice based on interviews I’ve seen on TV. I knew damn well it was his voice.”
Guenther’s bar is popular among Brewers fans and Guenther said he’s been a season ticket holder for more than two decades.
“He said, ‘I messed up, in a nutshell, I messed up. I just want to reach out and say I’m sorry,’” Guenther said. “I cut him off right there. I said, ‘You know, Ryan, I think you’re an amazing athlete and this speaks volumes to your character to reach out to a small business owner like myself and let us know that you are going to do better.’”
The Brewers confirmed they had provided Braun with contact information for some season ticket holders at Braun’s request.
Braun issued a lengthy apology through the Brewers’ media relations staff in August, but has not addressed the media—a step many think is necessary as he attempts to rebuild his image in the wake of the suspension and the admission that came after more than a year or vehement denials and a successful appeal of a 50-game suspension after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone in 2011.
The group said it will keep Ryan Braun’s Graffito in Milwaukee open until the end of this year and it will change the name of the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in Brookfield – named for the uniform number of former Most Valuable Players Braun and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers – and for the planned 8-Twelve restaurant at the Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.
“We’ve appreciated the relationship we had with Ryan over the last several years and the entire SURG family wishes him success in the future,” said Michael Polaski, CEO and co-owner of SURG Restaurant Group.
In a press release, Braun said he supported the decision and wished the best of luck to the group.
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