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Braun has more work to do

Ryan Braun may have homered in his first Cactus League at bat, but the now-right fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers still has to try and win back the fans.
Ryan Braun may have homered in his first Cactus League at bat, but the now-right fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers still has to try and win back the fans.
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It didn't take long for Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun to make headlines in 2014.

He hit a home run in his first at-bat in Cactus League action.

But that great start to the new season is only the first step in what will be a long journey to win back the legion of fans who are still reeling at his lying to them.

Braun is back having served a 65-game suspension for violating MLB's policy against using banned substances -- PEDs.

What did Braun take and when did he take it?

Did he 'juice' only during the time he was tested or, has been alleged, during his college years and early major league career?

We will never know.

Braun is moving forward.

Owner Mark Attanasio is moving forward.

As for the fans, a percentage of them bailed on Braun after the first allegations were (improperly and illegally per HIPPA) leaked to the press.

The leak is the biggest reason this became such a high-profile controversy.

Many more stuck by Braun after the now-famous press conference in which he categorically denied ever putting anything illegal in his body.

In hindsight, had Braun 'come clean' after the initial charge, served his suspension and then returned, he would have had a much easier time repairing his rep.

But he didn't.

As a result, a lot of people have permanently soured on Braun and the whole story.

Success on the field will help expunge some of the bad taste that lingers.

It's unlikely that Braun will underperform because he's not taking anything anymore.

He hardly looked like the poster boys for steroid use, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.

Braun's squeaky-clean reputation -- and all the accolades and endorsements that went with it -- is gone forever.

No matter how many round trippers he may hit.

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