Gaby Sanchez supportive of Braun decision

JUPITER, Fla. — News that Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension was overturned was a relief to Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez.

Sanchez, a former University of Miami teammate of Braun, has long been a close friend of the 2011 National League MVP.

For months, the two have stayed in close contact, either through text messages or phone calls. On Thursday, Braun become the first player to win an appeal, and he is cleared to play on Opening Day for the Brewers.

Sanchez reached out to Braun through a text message on Thursday, and the two spoke on the phone a few days ago.

“If there was guilt, he’d be guilty,” Sanchez said. “There is just so many things that go on in a case, when you actually see it and you actually talk to somebody who is there. I talk to him about everything. I talk to him about a lot of things. And there are just a lot of things that didn’t make sense. He got off. He was proven innocent. That’s all we can say.”

Sanchez paid particularly close attention to Braun’s case because of their friendship.

“We’ve been best friends for 10 years now,” Sanchez said. “It’s a lot different when you’re talking about those situations, knowing somebody that well, and knowing what kind of person he is, and what kind of personality he is. And knowing, he never had to lie. From the very beginning, he told me, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ So you kind of pull for him.

“I believe him 100 percent when he told me that he didn’t do it. … There is no reason for you to have to lie to me. I felt like it was great news yesterday, when it came out that he was innocent and able to play.”

Joe Frisaro

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