PHOENIX -- If what happened at the Dodgers’ spring-training home on Friday was any indication, Ryan Braun will be booed when the Milwaukee Brewers visit Dodger Stadium in May.
But Braun said Friday that the thought hasn’t crossed his mind.
“No, not really, to be honest with you,” Braun said. “It’s one of my favorite places to play, growing up in L.A. and being a Dodger fan. I don’t even know when we go back to Dodger Stadium. It’s always a place I look forward to going to play.”
Braun, who attended Granada Hills High, failed a drug test during the playoffs last year. His 50-game suspension was overturned last month.
Told that there are probably fans in Los Angeles who remain skeptical of him and think he stole the most valuable player award from the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp last year, Braun replied: “I don’t think about any of those things. None of those things factor into my thought process in any way. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. It’s unfortunate and disappointing that people would make judgments or form an opinion without knowing what actually happened.”
But Braun hasn’t explained what happened. Nor does he intend to.
“It’s over now,” he said. “I’m not going back into it. It’s not good for baseball; it’s not good for us; it’s not good for me; it’s not good for anybody.”
He said he doesn’t feel that he has to be exonerated by a skeptical public.
“I’ve already been exonerated,” he said. “Nobody else’s opinion matters to me; I’ve got to be honest with you. The people that are close to me, my friends, my family, they know the truth. Beyond that, people are always going to have an opinion.”
Kemp has reached out to Braun a few times over the last couple of months to lend his support.
“It definitely means a lot to me; it really does,” Braun said.
“He’s just a friend of mine,” Kemp said. “I’m doing the right thing, man. See if he’s OK, see how he’s doing.”
Kemp dismissed the idea that Braun stole the MVP from him.
“He didn’t steal it,” Kemp said. “He earned it.”