The conversation, as expected Monday, centered on drugs in sports. But the batting cage at Coors Field might have been the only place in Colorado where the topic wasn't Broncos star Von Miller.
As the Rockies prepared for Monday's game against the Marlins, news trickled onto the field that Milwaukee's Ryan Braun had accepted a 65-game suspension for his involvement in Biogenesis, the shuttered anti-aging clinic in Miami.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki shook his head when asked about Braun. He has known Braun for years, and stood by him publicly when Braun fought a drug suspension after the 2011 season. That positive test was overturned because of a chain-of- custody error.
Braun's ban hit hard.
"I don't know what to say. It's crazy," Tulo said, before admitting he wanted to learn more about the developments before weighing in on the subject.
By any measure, Braun is a disgraced slugger and, based on past claims, a liar. He insisted many times he has never taken PEDs. Before the all-star break, Braun said, "The truth hasn't changed."
Monday, he accepted his ban, ending nearly two years of defense that smacks of sanctimonious rhetoric. Braun will lose $3.2 million in salary, but he has $133 million remaining on his contract. He will get his money. Getting back his dignity and credibility could prove tougher.
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," Braun said in a statement.
According to ESPN, there will be as many as 25 players suspended for their involvement in Biogenesis. Braun's "nonanalytical" positive test falls outside of the umbrella of the drug penalties in the collective bargaining agreement (50 games, 100 games, lifetime ban). That left the union to negotiate the penalty with MLB.