Victorino: Braun situation 'unfortunate for game'

Victorino: Braun situation 'unfortunate for game'
July 22, 2013, 11:45 pm
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BOSTON -- When Ryan Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone levels in 2012, Shane Victorino defended him.

At the time, it looked as if Victorino had made the right decision, because Braun successfully appealed his 50-game suspension and he was not suspended after it was ruled the collector of his urine sample did not follow protocol.

But Braun was suspended without pay for the rest of the 2013 season, on Monday, for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, given his involvement with Tony Bosch's Biogenesis clinic.

After the Red Sox' 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, Victorino answered questions about Braun's suspension, the same player he defended one year ago.

"It's unfortunate for the game," said Victorino.

He continued, "It's a very unfortunate situation for the game of baseball. But again, for the most part, we, as baseball players have got to just keep going and understand that things like this happen. It's individuals that have to take care of the situation, and understand the consequences that come with that, when they do things like that."

Victorino said he has a personal relationship with Braun after twice being teammates in the World Baseball Classic.

"It's a cloud for the game," said Victorino. "Especially when it's one of the elite players in the game, more people are going to say, 'Well, that's why he was elite, because he cheated.' He's still a good player, no matter what. But again, it's very unfortunate.

"I've known Brauny. I've known him personally. It's a sad situation. The first time it happened, I put my support behind him. Now, looking back on it, it's kind of like, 'Wow.' But again, you support your guys that you played with, you support your guys that you know. And again, it's a situation there that's unfortunate. Again, knowing him from a personal standpoint, I don't ever want to knock a guy down. But again, that's his situation to handle.

"He obviously got caught, and he'll face the consequences," added Victorino. "But you know, the game of baseball will still go on."