The Milwaukee Brewers played their first spring training game on Thursday afternoon.
The defeated the Oakland Athletics, but the real story was the return of left fielder Ryan Braun, who served a 65-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug agreement by taking PEDs.
Braun’s return went quite well.
He went 1-2 and blasted a two-run home run in the first inning.
“It’s still the first day of spring training. Better to hit the ball hard then to strike out,” Braun told the Associated Press. “The goal is to have a gradual progression to prepare myself for the season.”
Despite mostly being known for his success hitting the ball (although he has been a finalist for a couple of gold gloves) Braun admitted he was more worried about the way he played the field.
“First time being out there just getting used to backing up first base on pickoff plays … just a lot of different situations and scenarios that I hadn’t experienced before,” Braun said. “But aside from that, same as it’s always been.”
Braun batted .298, posted an on-base percentage of .372, slugged .498 and hit nine home runs in 61 games last season.