MILWAUKEE -- Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun will break his uncharacteristically long silence in a short speech after accepting his National League MVP Award at a banquet in New York on Saturday, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Other than some brief text messages with outlets including MLB.com, Braun has not spoken publicly since ESPN broke the news in mid-December that he faced a suspension under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Braun is appealing the test, which according to the report registered a high level of testosterone. Braun told MLB.com in December, "I would love to talk, but unfortunately I'm not really allowed to say anything right now. My day will come soon, though."
He will finally talk on Saturday at a Hilton Hotel in Manhattan during the 89th annual Baseball Writers Association of America awards dinner. It was unclear in the Times report whether Braun would address his possible suspension, or would limit his comments to the MVP Award. "He will be there and he will accept his award," Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman hired by Braun's agency, CAA Sports, told the newspaper. Braun's possible suspension tainted an otherwise special year for the 28-year-old franchise cornerstone. He signed a contract extension in April that runs at least through 2020, was voted an All-Star Game starter for the fourth straight season (Braun missed the game because of a leg injury), helped the Brewers win their first division crown in 29 years and became the team's first league MVP since Hall of Famer Robin Yount won the American League award in 1989. Braun batted .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 33 stolen bases and edged the Dodgers' Matt Kemp in NL MVP balloting, with Brewers teammate Prince Fielder running third. Neither Major League Baseball nor Braun's representatives have revealed the date of his appeal, but various reports have pegged it for the week after the awards banquet. Braun's status could still be in limbo on Jan. 29, when he is scheduled to appear in Milwaukee at "Brewers On Deck," the team's annual fanfest.