7/30/2013 3:51 P.M. ET
Owner Attanasio pens letter to Brewers fans
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio wrote an open letter to Brewers fans on Tuesday expressing thoughts about suspended star Ryan Braun and reaffirming that the club will play an active role in Braun's healing process ahead.
"We recognize that Ryan has many steps ahead of him to regain your trust and respect," Attanasio said. "This process will take time, and the road to redemption for Ryan will not be easy."
Attanasio's letter was emailed to fans a day after the team announced the first of what it is calling its "Fans First" program -- distributing a $10 voucher for food, merchandise or tickets to every fan who passes through the turnstiles in August.
The team expects to spend about $3.6 million on that initiative. Attanasio referred to it as a first step.
"As we have previously stated, no single player defines the Milwaukee Brewers, and the success or failure of our organization is not tied to the performance or behavior of any single player," he wrote. "Within the clubhouse walls reside many talented players who will be the centerpieces of what we hope are the next great Milwaukee Brewers teams. This abiding belief is reflected on the cover of our 2013 Media Guide, where six players are pictured. We have always maintained that any success the team experiences on the field is not possible without our fans, and we ask you to continue to be a part of the success of our organization.
"We deeply appreciate your loyalty, patience, and understanding. On behalf of the entire Brewers organization, you have my pledge that we will overcome these current challenges, and we will reward the best fans in baseball with a team that truly represents our community."
Attanasio said Braun has twice apologized for his mistakes, including during an in-person meeting in Milwaukee last week. Braun has since returned home to Los Angeles.
Attanasio has had some one-on-one discussions with other core Brewers players about the task ahead.
"I did get a chance to talk to him a little bit, and I think the main thing when you own a team or any business, period, is knowing what's in front of you," second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "I think he handled it the best way he could. It's still shocking to most of us, to say the least.
"There's probably more questions that need to be asked and resolved. Everything should come out. Just saying somebody is suspended doesn't answer too many questions."
For the rest of the team, Weeks said, "The biggest thing is staying the course. Not just the Braun situation, but we've had some freak things happen to us throughout the year, whether it's guys not performing to their ability, or just injuries. Guys are still doing a great job of coming in and playing hard. That's what we pride ourselves in."