Gibson has a question for suspended Braun
D-backs manager wants to hear 'unrehearsed' answers from Brewers outfielder
PITTSBURGH -- Multiple reports recently indicate that suspended Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has begun reaching out to people within baseball to explain why he accepted a 65-game suspension last month for violations of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson knows he's probably not on that list, but he does hope that he gets a chance to talk to Braun at some point in the future.
Gibson said he was discussing the subject with his wife recently.
"I told her that if I get a chance to see Braun, I've got a question for him, right to his face," Gibson said. "Is he about rehearsed by now, do you think? He about ready to come out? He's probably been practicing at the theater school somewhere."
Gibson declined to say what the question was he would like to ask Braun.
Gibson listened to what Braun had to say during his press conference in Spring Training of 2012 after he had his suspension overturned by an arbitrator, and Gibson also was in attendance at the Baseball Writers' Association of American dinner that winter when Braun received his 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Award and heard him speak that night.
"I remember everything he said very vividly, and it will be interesting to see what he has to say," Gibson said. "I said this a long time ago, I think people should have an opportunity to ask him some questions and have him answer it unrehearsed. Something tells me he's getting really prepared for just about anything that they could throw at him."
When he accepted his MVP award in December 2011, Braun said, "I've always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball. Everything I've done in my career has been done with that respect and appreciation in mind. And that is why I'm so grateful and humbled to accept this award tonight."
"Everybody looks at it differently," Gibson said. "If he thinks he's given back to the game, he has a different idea of how to give back than I do. He probably doesn't give a [darn] about me, but he's got it really good and I was one of the guys that went through many things, work stoppages, etc., so he could do that. So I would hope that he respects me and everybody that stood up for him before he played the game."
Of course, Gibson and the D-backs have more than just a passing interest in Braun's positive test from 2011, as it came following Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the D-backs and Brewers.
Braun went 9-for-18 with four doubles, a home run and four RBIs in that series as the Brewers beat the D-backs with a walk-off hit in the 10th inning of Game 5 after Arizona tied the game in the ninth.
"All things considered, we should have won the game," Gibson said. "All things considered, the last game we tied them up, we had a chance to win it. But there were other times in my career that I did overcome cheaters. We had a chance."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.