That's how Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio described his emotions Wednesday night in the wake of star leftfielder Ryan Braun's season-ending suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
In a surprise visit to the press box at Miller Park during the seventh inning of the Brewers' game against San Diego Attanasio ducked no questions about the development that shook the franchise to its core. Two days earlier Braun ended a year and a half of denying he used performance-enhancing drugs and accepted the 65-game suspension stemming from MLB's investigation into the scandalous Biogenesis clinic.
Attanasio said he would counsel his best player in ways to go about repairing the damage he has done to his reputation and career as well as to the franchise's. But the owner made it clear it would take considerable time for Braun to make amends if that even is possible at this point.
"I told Ryan I'd like to take a more active role in talking to him from this point going forward" said Attanasio. "He's very accepting of that.
"...I think he wants to do the right thing at this point going forward. This was the first step in coming forward and accepting the penalty and being the first player to do that (in the Biogenesis investigation). That's the first step and it's a baby step. But it's a step in the right direction."
Braun is signed through the 2020 season with a mutual option for 2021 at a guaranteed cost of nearly $130 million. While that would make it nearly impossible to trade Braun Attanasio said he had no inclination to try to do so despite the pleas of some.
"He's under contract with us" said Attanasio. "I know there's been a lot of commentary on that. Right now the full expectation is to keep him. And the full expectation that he's going to do the right things he's going to say the right things and he's going to put in a lot of hard work to get back in folks' good graces.
"And that's going to take some time. It's not like we're going to be at opening day next year and we're going to be through this. We are not going to be through this.
"There's a lot of thoughts the last two days. We accepted his apology. He apologized again to me today" Attanasio said. "I also expressed the need for him to work to redeem himself. It's going to take some time and take some work."
After what some considered an inadequate apology Monday in which Braun gave no details of his suspension Attanasio said Braun understands he needs to face the media and answer questions. But Attanasio said Braun is unable to do so because MLB's investigation is still active.
"I think he has to get to the point where he can actually speak about this" said Attanasio who met privately with Braun earlier in the day in Milwaukee. "Major League Baseball is in the midst of an ongoing investigation. He is now obviously cooperating with baseball. As a result of that he's going to wait to speak to the point where he's able to speak."
Attanasio said it's not a condition of the drug policy for Braun to withhold details but added "Because he's cooperating in such a way that he's going to let them conclude or get further into his investigation before he talks. I'm not implying he's speaking against other players. Relative to his own case he's cooperating with baseball.
"As a result even though he's ready to speak to people he's waiting a little while longer so they can get through some of what they are doing in their investigation."