Ryan Braun 'upbeat' while awaiting decision

MILWAUKEE -- A Brewers spokesman who was with Ryan Braun over the weekend described the outfielder as "upbeat" in the face of a possible suspension.

Braun spoke Saturday night in New York while accepting his National League Most Valuable Player Award from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, two days after beginning an appeal for a reported violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Braun spoke of adversity and "viewing every challenge I've ever faced as an opportunity."

"It's a tough position for him to be in because this is a confidential process," Brewers vice president of communications Tyler Barnes said on Monday. "He really can't say anything. I thought he did a terrific job. It was really a neat experience for everyone who was there, to see Ryan up there being recognized for his accomplishments in 2011."

Braun batted .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 33 stolen bases, and the Brewers won the NL Central. They commemorated that crown on Monday morning by hanging a permanent championship banner inside Miller Park.

Because of the confidential nature of Braun's appeal, the Brewers have been given no indication from the Commissioner's Office that their star player, who signed a contract extension last April through at least 2020, faces any suspension. It's unclear when the three-member special panel that heard Braun's appeal will render its decision.

On his Monday morning radio show, commentator Dan Patrick said he'd learned from "somebody involved in this" that Braun may avoid suspension. Patrick was also told that Braun's test, reportedly for a very high level of testosterone, had nothing to do with a personal medical issue.
"Ryan Braun may be exonerated here," Patrick told his audience. "He may be found innocent. And judging from all of the information I was told, there's a good chance that he should be."

No known Major League player has ever taken his case to an appeal and won under the current testing program.

Barnes said Braun intends to be a full participant at "Brewers On Deck" in downtown Milwaukee on Sunday.

"He's excited about it," Barnes said. "We had a great opportunity to spend a little time with him at a reception before the dinner on Saturday. The guy is very upbeat and looking forward to the season."

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