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Monday, March 14, 2011

Ryan Braun Oozes Confidence; That's Just Fine With Ron Roenicke

When asked about his tweaked intercostal muscle this weekend, Ryan Braun provided some classic Braunie-style quotes: "It's nothing at all. I could have played [Saturday] but there's no sense in it. Honestly, I feel better than I've ever felt in my life, so I don't really need at-bats right now." The three-time All-star and Silver Slugger recipient has never shied away from expressing confidence in his abilities, but his statements this weekend went even a bit further than usual.

Braun continued: "There's no doubt in my mind I'm better than I've ever been at baseball, so nothing positive comes from the rest of these spring training games. I don't need at-bats. I feel great. So there's no reason to take a chance right now."

Many have commented this spring that Braun looks bigger than ever and put on about ten pounds of upper-body muscle this offseason. I previously noted that Braun decided not to attend the Super Bowl because he didn't want to miss any workouts so close to Spring Training. He worked out this offseason with known fitness nut, former Brewers Gabe Kapler. Players with Braun's skills don't need many at bats to find their swing, so it's no surprise Braun is feeling great.

Ron Roenicke takes no issues with Braun's exuded confidence (and neither should we: he's on OUR team). Said Roenicke: "He has the confidence level of every superstar. They all have it and that's what makes them great." When asked about the line between confidence and cocky, Roenicke replied, "I don't know there that line is. The guys all know what he's like, and the comments he makes, well, that's Braunie. He just has that much confidence in his abilities."

If Braun can avoid injury he may be positioned for a special year. Even after struggling (by his standards) through June and July following a Tommy Hanson fastball to the elbow, he surged in the final months and finished hitting .304 with 25 home runs, 103 RBI, and 101 runs scored. One thing is certain: Braun will continue to entertain us in 2011 both on and off the field.

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