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Ten Foot Mailbag: Braun's Apology Means Nothing

By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Ryan Braun is an oozing abscess of gelled up hair and bad t-shirts.

Oh, yeah, he apologized Thursday for cheating and lying and trying to ruin other people's lives in order to never have to admit to cheating and lying. The apology was fairly standard in some parts. Blame himself while trying to justify why he was a huge dbag for years.

"I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong."

Emphasize that this is not the true person he is.

"What I did goes against everything I have always valued achieving through hard work and dedication, and being honest both on and off the field."

And a bunch of other things that probably aren't genuine.

Notice that Braun chose to issue a statement—not written by him but by PR pros—rather than face the media and public. That is because he is still a coward and a really bad person, and while I wasn't going to believe a word of his apology no matter if it was in an email or in interpretive dance, he further proved what he really is by hiding behind a press release.

And at no point either did he acknowledge the accusations of anti-Semitism and anti-Brewerdom he reportedly used to try to cover his own ass. Well, Braun certainly showed his ass again Thursday.

Weekend. Back to school.

On to your correspondence.

He actually ranks 391st in OBP at the moment (tied with Ron Santo). Ichiro is going to be a Hall of Famer, which would be synonymous with elite, no? In Japan he consistently posted seasons with .400+ OBP. Yes, that's a different league, but it isn't as if this has been a lifelong fault of his. And I know it's tempting to look at a stat like that to measure a non-power hitter, but it hardly tells the tale of one of the best hitters of my lifetime.

Since joining the Seattle Mariners to 2011, "…Ichiro has accumulated 53 WAR. Among all players from their 27th birthday and beyond, he has accumulated the 72nd-highest total — putting him above hall-of-famers Duke Snider (77th), Joe DiMaggio (78th), Reggie Jackson (86th) and Robin Yount (89th). Some notable players within 1 WAR of him are Sammy Sosa, Jim Edmonds, Barry Larkin, Jim Thome, Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray. Some people would consider all these players to be hall-of-fame material. Of course, some are in the hall. Still, his production level — using WAR — doesn't compare to what you might consider to be a sure-fire HoFer."

He's obviously added to all that in years since.

Ichiro also has a career BABIP of .345, which doesn't necessarily have to do with his WAR, but I just like to point that out because it is insane.

Is Ichiro overrated? I'd say a handful of highlight reel defensive plays and exotic allure might give most people a higher opinion of him than he deserves. But remember that he'll likely enter the BASEBALL Hall of Fame, not the MLB Hall of Fame. His Japanese work gets factored in to his enshrinement, and rightly so. 4,000 hits at any level is impressive.

I don't hate it. The network has certainly seemed to understand what ESPN gets the most complaints about and then has tried to avoid that. I can't say I've seen much forced product placement played off as necessary analysis or taking the rare tasteful feature story about a kid with cancer and instead making it part of the highlight package show at least once a week.

Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole have had a lot of success in Canada, and I hope their sense of humor will catch on here and be better than the parody Sportscenter has become. Integrating Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson, who are gorgeous but not merely eye candy—they're both seasoned sports talkers, is a plus. Having ex-jocks people might actually be interested in hearing from like Brian Urlacher, Donovan McNabb, and Randy Moss and letting them speak their minds (which they seem to have been able to do so far) is more interesting than the bags of meat on other networks. Mike Pereira is really interesting to listen to, and I like how he gets to talk more football stuff than just answering referee questions.

Crowd Goes Wild is interesting in that it could become really good or be totally awful. Regis Philbin probably needs to go, and I'm not sure why people at FS1 thought he'd be a draw. But I think the segment where panelists have to make an argument and then contradict themselves at the ring of a bell is a really cool and funny idea (and not so subtle jab at competition).

I take everything with a grain of salt right now because the network doesn't even know what it is yet. It has to fight the monolith of Bristol while trying not to come off as the little brother annoyingly dying to beat the big brother. Changes and tweaks will be made, and it should be a fluid process. I just hope people break from the ESPN rut for a while and give FS1 a chance.

Ideally that will push Bristol and CBS and NBC to improve their products. While I have serious issues with all the major cable sports networks, I'm not rooting for any of them to be bad. I wish I had to make a tough decision of which channel to watch because content was too good rather than choosing the least smelly garbage can.

I thought as a little sack that I could grow up to be a satchel of some sort like an uncle of mine that I really looked up to, but Mom and Dad Bag made ends meet at the grocery store, and there just wasn't enough money to get leather work done without the family's bottom falling out. And you know what it's like being a brown bag even in a post-plastic America.

But I'm not trying to play the material card because I was raised to not make excuses and to be happy with what I could hold. And now I get to hold mostly questions from drunks on social media as an anthropomorphic internet receptacle.


T. Foote Mailbag, Esq.

Despite the Blackhawks inking Teravainen, their 2012 first round pick, to a three-year deal Thursday, Baez ends up in my Twitter timeline almost nightly these days.  He's hit 33 home runs this year, including a four homer game that almost broke the Internet, and has an OPS above a whole number since being promoted to Double-A Tennessee.

Baez also seems more likely to play for the Cubs before Teravainen plays for the Blackhawks. The latter will be playing another year in his native Finland and maybe then some time in the AHL. Baez has people calling for his call-up this year (which probably won't happen), and he could be a playing for a Major League roster spot in 2014. He was Baseball America's sixteenth-highest ranked prospect going into this year, while Teravainen is ranked 47th by Hockey's Future. That latter's name pronounciation issues aren't going to help his marketing cause either.

Realize, too, that Cub fans have a long history of counting chickens before they hatch as far as prospects go, and minor league names often get more love than the big club until they join the big club and get fallen out of love with (Felix Pie's toothbrush is still in the medicine cabinet of my heart).

And here's your Angry Penn State Fan of the Week:

From: Rose K.
To: Me
Comment on "Rise In Penn State Football Donations Shows The Real Issue"

"Rise In Penn State Football Donations Shows The Real Issue." Boy did you get wrong. Look at graduation rates over the past 20 years. Look at Lift for Lift. Look at THON; that would defeat your myopic view. Over $12M raised for pediatric cancer.

Get your story correct. You are just another one capitalizing on there Rush to Injustice.

"Have a great day"

Thomas K Kupchinsky, '69, '78

A Penn Staters!

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you're a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to or tweet them to @TimBaffoe with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

Jeff Pearl
The author. (credit: Jeff Pearl)

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America's youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim's inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don't follow him in real life. E-mail him at To read more of Tim's blogs click

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