Earlier this week, Ryan Braun released a statement saying, “When I’m able to, I will speak. I know it’s difficult for everybody but I was not, and am still not legally allowed to say anything yet.” Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated legal analyst, joined The Mike Heller Show yesterday to give light to the legal strings that apply to this investigation and to Braun.
McCann on when Braun will be given the opportunity to speak:
I think he could give a comment that’s pretty generic and largely resembles what he said in the statement, which is “I apologize for mistakes. I made some errors in judgment,” things along that line. The problem for him is if he specifies what he did wrong he could be acknowledging that he broke the law and not only the law of using drugs but if he carried them across state lines there are issues of trafficking drugs he has to be cautious of. Now it’s very unlikely he would be charged with the crime, but I’m sure his lawyer has told him, “Let’s avoid any possibility of criminal charges, and let’s make sure the statute of limitations on any potential criminal charges have expired before you say anything specific.” [That will have to come after the Biogenesis Investigation is done.] It could probably be two years or three
years, [depending on] when he actually did the act.
McCann on Braun’s options until he is legally allowed to talk:
He could say something like, “I’m only here to talk about the future. I’m excited to get back to the Brewers.” He could talk about winning games and say he’s not here to talk about what happened years ago. He could do that and it might work, but I think people will want to know more than that. What he could do is say that although he didn’t test positive, he was involved in behavior that was inappropriate given baseball’s expectations and given the Brewers’ expectations. Even then he has to be careful because if he says too much, the Brewers could say, “Well wait a second. Have you breached the player contract? Could we try to avoid your contract?” Now I recognize that he’s 29 years old, he is an outstanding player and should have many great years ahead of him, but the Brewers are also paying him something like $133 million over the next eight years. At some point the Brewers might be thinking financially that he’s not such a great contract, especially if he isn’t the same player without using these substances.