- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Ryan Braun referred only in passing to his positive drug test and possible 50-game suspension as he accepted the National League MVP award at a black-tie dinner Saturday night.

After congratulating other award winners and thanking teammates, family, and the Milwaukee organization, the Brewers left fielder, speaking before a crowd of around 800 in a hotel ballroom, thanked the Major League Baseball Players Association for supporting him through his entire career, “especially for supporting me through everything I’ve went through over the last couple of months.”

ESPN.com first reported in December that Braun had tested positive in October. Braun’s grievance appeal before arbitrator Shyam Das to avoid a suspension began Thursday.

“You know, sometimes in life, we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure,” Braun told the crowd. “We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and view them either as obstacles or as opportunities, and I’ve chosen to view every challenge I’ve ever faced as an opportunity and this will be no different. I have always believed that a person’s character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity.”

Braun, the NL Rookie of the Year in 2007, hit .312 with 33 home runs and 111 RBIs in 2011 in leading Milwaukee to the NL Central Division title last season. He was not available to take questions from reporters Saturday night.

Braun’s appearance overshadowed a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant 89th dinner of the BBWAA’s New York chapter that honored, among others, former Mets catcher Gary Carter, who is fighting brain cancer. The Hall of Fame slugger was represented by his three children.

Also honored was ex-Yankees trainer Gene Monahan, who retired at the end of last season after 49 years with the organization.