At 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2011, 39 minutes after Ryan Braun had given the Diamondbacks a sample of what he and his team can do, he gave another sample in the bowels of Miller Park in Milwaukee.As the Diamondbacks stewed in their clubhouse about a wasted opportunity against the Brewers in Game 1 of their National League Division Series, Braun was being instructed to wash his hands, select one of several specimen cups and “void” in front of an official, as MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program states.What Braun actually delivered at that moment will be the subject of endless debate, especially among Diamondbacks fans, whose team’s 4-1 loss was hard to overcome in a series that went five games.Thanks for nothing, Major League Baseball.Thanks for not having the foresight to see this loophole, for not having measures that could have prevented a sample collector from taking Braun’s “void” home and leaving it on a desk in a Tupperware container, as a source told ESPN.Now we don’t know whom to believe.We’re losers, every one of us: Braun, who won his appeal of a positive drug test but will remain guilty in the eyes of many. Once your name lands in the same sentence as “performance-enhancing drug,” you forever wear a scarlet syringe on your chest, deserved or not. MLB executives, who were trying to do the right thing but fell short of arriving there. And fans, who either are feeling guilty about doubting Braun’s claims of innocence or feeling naive about believing Braun’s claims of innocence.They want to root, root, root for the home team; they just don’t know whom to trust anymore.Diamondbacks fans can’t help but reflect on last year’s NLDS. Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was 3 for 4 in that game. The outfielder scored two runs and threw out Willie Bloomquist at the plate.Afterward, he credited his “athleticism” for allowing him to make “a pretty good throw.”Gives you pause, doesn’t it?At the Diamondbacks’ spring-training facility Friday, manager Kirk Gibson wouldn’t pass judgment.”We had our chance to beat them, and they beat us fair and square,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I think.”It was surreal watching Braun speak at Friday’s news conference at Maryvale Baseball Park.Several rows of chairs were set up on the field to accommodate the large media interest. In the stadium seats behind the news conference were dozens of Brewers players listening in. Braun met with them privately when he arrived at the ballpark.He spoke eloquently for approximately 20 minutes, looking down at his notes only a few times. Public figures often fail in these scenarios because they sound too much like they’re reading from a press release.Not Braun. He was thoughtful. Reflective. Persuasive. He stopped a few times as he struggled to get the words out, revealing just the right amount of emotion.”I’ve lived this nightmare every day for the last four months,” he said. “At the end of the day, the truth prevailed. I’m the victim of a process that completely broke down.”He has a good track record on his side. Braun long has been thought of as one of baseball’s “good guys.” Accommodating. Hard-working. Well-liked by teammates. His words sounded real because that’s how he sounds all the time.”If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it,” he said. “I would bet my life this substance never entered my body.”Early in his speech, he found himself having to address a popular rumor that he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, and that treatment for it might have contributed to his test’s elevated levels of testosterone.”There’s never been a personal medial issue,” Braun said. “I’ve never had an STD. Many of the stories that were erroneously reported by the initial network continue to live on. It’s sad and disappointing that this has become a PR battle and that people continue to leak information that’s inaccurate.”That part gets under Gibson’s skin, too.”The unnamed sources thing in the paper (bothers) me,” Gibson said. “I just assume it’s inaccurate.”We’ll move on. And we’ll see him on the 25th of May.”Interesting that Gibson knew the date of the Brewers series off the top of his head.Or is it?Here we go again.Trying to guess what’s real.And what’s an illusion.Reach Boivin at and follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/paolaboivin.