Over the weekend, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson made headlines when he talked about his desire to talk to suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.
“If I get a chance to see Braun, I’ve got a question for him right to his face, you know?” Gibson was quoted saying Sunday before the D-backs squared off with the Pittsburgh Pirates. “Is he about rehearsed by now, you think? About ready to come out? He’s probably practicing at the theater school somewhere. Just you look at how things like that can influence people’s opportunities and an opportunity to do something like that.”
Given an opportunity to elaborate on what, exactly, he would ask the disgraced Braun, Gibson was not exactly forthcoming.
“Well, when I get the chance to talk to him I’ll keep that personal between us,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “I may never get the chance but, you know, if it happens it will be done tastefully and I’ll address him directly.
“I’ll be interested to hear what he has to say. If I don’t get a chance to do it, the game will go on.”
Gibson and his Diamondbacks have a bit more invested in the Braun saga than most, as the Brewer’s offensive onslaught in the 2011 National League Divisional Series (.500 batting average, one home run, four RBI) directly led to Arizona’s ouster from the postseason.
The skipper, who is currently trying to navigate his team through a tough stretch that has seen them fall to the outside of the 2013 playoff picture after leading the NL West for the bulk of the season, finds it most troubling that Braun lied to everyone when he was first accused of using performance enhancing drugs.
“When he had the big thing in Maryvale,” Gibson said. “Supposedly he tested positive, he went to Maryvale in Spring Training, gave this big, rehearsed speech to everybody, and now it turns out it’s a lie.”
Gibson was offended by the fact that Braun continued to lie in other settings, which is why he would like to chat with the 29-year-old. And, the outfielder may have cost someone a shot at a career-defining moment.
“I think many players that he’s played against have been maybe, possibly denied that moment,” Gibson said.
Moment or not, Gibson added that Braun did not cost the Diamondbacks that playoff series.
“We had our chances, and we’ve overcome things like that in the past,” he said. “That night, we didn’t overcome it.”