MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun's blockbuster suspension ended quietly Oct. 31, when he was formally reinstated from the restricted list and returned to the Brewers' 40-man roster.
Braun was banned from the Brewers' final 65 games for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention Program and baseball's Basic Agreement that were uncovered during Major League Baseball's investigation into Biogenesis, the shuttered South Florida firm that allegedly supplied banned substances to a number of players, many of whom, including Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, also were suspended.
Four weeks after his July 22 suspension, Braun released a written statement in which he admitted to taking a cream and a lozenge in 2011 to speed his recovery from a calf injury. He said, "I deserved to be suspended."
Manager Ron Roenicke and some teammates publicly accepted Braun's apology. He briefly appeared at Miller Park in September, but was otherwise absent over the final two months of the season.
"Teammates are going to be different, there's different personnel, but I think he'll be accepted when he comes back from that standpoint because I think everybody knows we need Ryan to come back and perform," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said at season's end. "He was punished for what he did. I don't know the details and there's no need in getting into them, but he served his penalty."
Will he be a distraction?
"I don't think internally," Melvin said. "He's going to have some tough times, probably, when you go into visiting ballparks. But he's going to have to handle that. He knows that."
Along with Braun, first baseman Corey Hart and second baseman Rickie Weeks also rejoined the Brewers' 40-man roster last week after being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. Hart's stay was short; as of 11 p.m. CT Monday he was a free agent, free to sign with any club. Weeks, who underwent hamstring surgery in August, has one year left on his contract.