Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’
We’re just over a week into the 2013 MLB regular season, and I wanted to post a blog, just like last year, on the fastest and slowest starts to the season for both entire teams and individual players. While it’s a small sample size, the list gives you an idea of what’s been taking place so far this season. Some of the players and teams are performing nearly as well as expected, but others are putting on performances that I never would’ve predicted them to begin the season with.
FASTEST STARTS TO THE SEASON
1) Braves (6-1)
2) Diamondbacks (5-2)
3) Rockies (5-2)
4) Red Sox (5-2)
5) Athletics (5-2)
6) Rangers (5-2)
7) Reds (5-2)
8) Mets (5-2)
The Braves currently lead all of baseball with a win percentage of .857. Justin Upton has been making a major impact, hitting six home runs in the first seven games, and I fully expected the Braves to have a season long performance like the one they’re currently starting out with. The Diamondbacks, Rockies, Red Sox and Mets are all surprising me, so far, as I expected them to all have poor seasons, and while it’s still very early, at the moment, they’re making things interesting. As far as the Athletics, Rangers and Reds go, it’s not a shock that they’re doing so well. Though I thought the Rangers would have a bit of a struggle this season, without Josh Hamilton, they seem to be doing just fine. It should be interesting to see if they can keep it up.
1) Adam Jones (.500)
2) Jed Lowrie (.500)
3) Carlos Santana (.500)
4) Michael Cuddyer (.478)
5) Carl Crawford (.450)
6) Jean Segura (.450)
*Minimum of 20 AB’s
Adam Jones is the only player on the list of fastest start players that I’m not surprised with. Having recorded a 32 homer, 82 RBI season, in 2012, Jones is in the prime of his career, and is set to have another fantastic season. For Jed Lowrie, Carlos Santana, Michael Cuddyer, Carl Crawford and Jean Segura, they better enjoy the hot start while it lasts, because I don’t see any of them having an all that spectacular year. But as with anything in baseball, there’s always the chance for me to be proven wrong.
SLOWEST STARTS TO THE SEASON
1) Astros (1-6)
2) Marlins (1-6)
3) Padres (1-5)
4) Pirates (2-5)
5) Brewers (2-5)
6) Phillies (2-5)
7) Cubs (2-5)
After beating the Rangers, 8-2, on Opening Night, the Astros have done nothing but go down hill, ever since. With 155 games left to play, and just 94 losses away from 100, it’s likely the Astros’ season will end with yet another year of 100+ losses. The Marlins, Padres and Pirates are all teams that have the potential to win now, but it’s likely to be a year or two before they start to become big time contenders in their divisions. The Brewers and Phillies are the only teams that surprise me, somewhat, on this list, but they just haven’t performed well so far this year. And as for the Cubs, they’re just being themselves; destined to make it 105 seasons without a World Series title.
1) Jeff Keppinger (.048)
2) Ryan Hanigan (.050)
3) Aaron Hicks (.067)
4) Pedro Alvarez (.080)
5) Neil Walker (.083)
*Minimum of 20 AB’s
No one on this list surprises me, other than Neil Walker. Walker is arguably the best player on the list, but he hasn’t been able to find his groove so far this season. I look for him to get things going, however, and record another season like he has the past few years–10-15 homers and 65-80 RBI’s, with a high 200′s batting average. For Jeff Keppinger, Ryan Hanigan, Aaron Hicks and Pedro Alvarez, it will be interesting to see if they get their acts together, or if this is a sign of things to come for them this season, as things can certainly only go up.
Keep in mind, while those are the players and teams with the fastest and slowest starts to the season, there’s still a lot of baseball left to be played, and anything can happen. Only time will tell if the current trends will last; that’s why they play 162 games.
I was extremely surprised with this year’s MVP voting. Not just with the winners of the award from the American League and National League, but also with the blowout fashion in which they won. I don’t feel it should’ve been such a major difference between first and second place in each league, but it is what it is.
In the end, it was Miguel Cabrera taking home the MVP award for the American League, with Buster Posey receiving the MVP award for the National Leauge; as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
This was both Miguel Cabrera’s and Buster Posey’s first Most Valuable Player award.
AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: MIGUEL CABRERA
Original Pick: Mike Trout
Pick after finalists were revealed: Mike Trout
Thoughts On Miguel Cabrera Winning
I can’t believe how much of a landslide the vote for American League Most Valuable Player was. Although I was pulling for Mike Trout, I pretty much expected Miguel Cabrera to win. But to receive 22 of the 28 first place votes is absolutely ridiculous. Even if you think Cabrera was the more valuable player, you can’t honestly tell me that he was THAT much more valuable than Trout. It’s just not true.
So really, I’m not as upset about Miguel Cabrera winning the MVP award as much as I’m upset at how much of a blowout it was. In total, Cabrera beat out Trout by 81 points.
Truly incredible for an award that was supposedly going to be close.
The main reason Cabrera won the MVP award is the fact that he won the Triple Crown–posting a .330 average with 44 homeruns and 139 RBI’s.
While it’s amazing that he was able to accomplish something that hasn’t been done since 1967, I find it necessary to point out that Trout was able to accomplish things no player in the history of baseball has EVER been able to do. Besides, when it comes down to it, just because you posted better stats doesn’t mean you were the more valuable player to your team–which is what the award is all about.
So, while the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment for Cabrera, it’s not something you should base your vote on, in my opinion. Especially when Trout was able to one up Cabrera as far as historical occurences go.
Moving on to the second key aspect of Cabrera’s MVP win, I feel the voters’ pushed Trout out of the picture for the sole reason that he and his Angels didn’t make it to the playoffs, while Cabrera and the Tigers made it all the way to the World Series. I truly don’t understand why you would even consider using that as a reason for picking the most valuable player.
If you look at the facts, Cabrera’s Tigers actually had a worse record than the Angels. The reason they made it to the playoffs, while the Angels fell short, is because they played in an easier division. Should Trout be penalized because he played in the difficult AL West, and wasn’t able lead his team to the playoffs? Absolutely not. Making it to the playoffs takes a team effort; Trout could only do so much.
He was still extremely valuable to his team, even though it didn’t result in a playoff run.
So, while Miguel Cabrera received the award, and will go down in the record books as the 2012 AL MVP, when I look back on this season decades from now I’ll always find myself thinking about what should’ve been.
The BBWAA’s vote had Mike Trout finishing second, with Adrian Beltre coming in third.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: BUSTER POSEY
Original Pick: Ryan Braun
Pick after finalists were revealed: Ryan Braun
Thoughts On Buster Posey Winning
While I don’t feel as strongly about the National League portion of the MVP award as I do about the American League side, I still think Ryan Braun should’ve won the award; but at the same time, I’m not upset that Buster Posey won.
What it comes down to for me is what the voters’ (once again) decided to base their decision on. I feel like just as with the AL award, the National League MVP didn’t go to the “most valuable” player, but rather the player that was on the more successful team.
Just because Braun’s Brewers didn’t make the playoffs, he was pretty much pushed aside by the voters’ who historically love to see players from playoff teams win the award. (Since 1995, only 6 MVP winners have come from teams that didn’t make the post season.)
So I feel Braun wasn’t given a fair chance in that regard.
The only real complaint I have with the National League MVP award is the fact that Posey beat out Braun by an astounding 137 points. I don’t feel the voting results truly show how close it really was statistically between Braun and Posey. Yet another example of how much stock the BBWAA takes in whether or not a player’s team made the playoffs.
I’m really getting tired of it.
The BBWAA’s vote had Ryan Braun finishing second, with Andrew McCutchen coming in third.
This is the first of four blog posts I plan to publish over the coming days; all of which will focus on who I feel should win the three major awards of Most Valuable Player (MVP), Cy Young and Rookie of the Year (ROY).
I’m not all that influenced by stats, and I especially don’t lean towards a player just because their team made it to the playoffs and another player’s team didn’t. I’ve always chosen to look at it by which player had the greatest positive impact on their team, and I’m not about to change things.
As I stated in a previous blog entry, I don’t want you to think of these as predictions, but rather as cases for which player I feel deserves each award. The player I feel most deserves a specific award isn’t necessarily the player I think will win it. (Keep that in mind as you’re reading.)
If MVP voting took place during the All-Star break Andrew McCutchen would have my vote, hands down. McCutchen was a big reason the Pirates were 11 games over .500 and atop the NL Central at the time. With McCutchen leading the way, it appeared that the Pirates were well on their way to the teams first .500+ season since 1992–but things didn’t go as planned for McCutchen and the Bucco’s.
In the games following the Midsummer Classic, the Pirates did nothing but tumble; with McCutchen sharing in the same fate. Losing a spot in the standings each month following July, the Pirates finished the year 18 games back of first place in their division (good enough for 4th); with McCutchen’s batting average falling from .362 to .327 over that time span.
Though McCutchen batted .327 on the year, with 31 home runs and 96 RBI’s, he couldn’t keep up the pace throughout the entire season, which is very key in my book when it comes to making a selection for MVP. When a team relies on a player as much as the Pirates relied on McCutchen, that player has to be able to step up all season long to ensure that the team succeeds. Unfortunately, McCutchen wasn’t able to pull if off.
Thus, McCutchen isn’t my pick for MVP…
When Melky Cabrera was suspended in August for his PED use, the Giants’ needed someone to step up and start impacting the team in a major way, should they have a hope at keeping up with the sizzling Dodgers; who were one game ahead in the division standings at the time. That person would end up being Buster Posey….Brandon Belt…Pablo Sandoval…and pretty much 75 percent of the team. But wait….that’s more than one person. I know. (That’s exactly my point.)
Buster Posey put up incredible stats this season, batting .336 on the year, with 24 home runs and 103 RBI’s, but he didn’t single-handedly put the Giants in the postseason; which is what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. While Posey certainly played a major role in the Giants’ run to the playoffs, he wasn’t the only one coming up big night, after night, after night. There were several other guys that made major contributions as well.
That’s one of the main reasons I feel voting for MVP based on whether or not a player’s team made the playoffs is crazy. Nearly 100 percent of the time, a player didn’t push his team into the playoffs without some help from his teamates along the way.
So, although Posey had a stellar year, he didn’t quite make my cut…
My Vote for M.V.P.
My vote for Most Valuable Player of the National League goes to Ryan Braun.
While he didn’t ‘lead his team to the playoffs’, no player in the National League had the impact that Braun had on the Brewers. Without Braun, the Brewers don’t finish out the season as strongly as they did. Which is one of the key reasons he’s my pick for MVP.
Braun was ‘that guy’ for the Brewers all season long, and he didn’t let up when September rolled around, even though it appeared the Brewers were out of contention; if anything, Braun got even better. That’s the kind of player Braun is. He impacts his team day in and day out, even when it would be easy to hang it up.
Something I’ve been hearing a lot of lately is that Braun won’t win the MVP award due to his 2011 Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) accusation. Even though Braun was found not guilty, some are still holding it against him. My response to that being: Get over it.
By putting up even better numbers than last year, Braun has proven to the world that he doesn’t need banned substances to make him a beast; he’s a beast by nature. Though his batting average fell 13 points from last year, Braun smacked 8 more home runs–and for good measure, an extra RBI–than he did in 2011. While I don’t hold too much stock in stats, that really jumps out at me.
It’s incredible what Braun was able to do all season long to help out his team. He had the greatest impact of any other player in the NL, and doing so earns him my pick for 2012 National League MVP.
It was announced a few days ago that last year’s Home Run Derby champion, Robinson Cano, would be participating in this year’s derby as well. Cano was named the captain for the American League, with the same title being given to Matt Kemp, who is set to be the National League captain. Both Kemp and Cano have to choose three players from their respective leagues to participate in the derby; and of course, those players in which they ask, have to say yes.
With the 2012 Home Run Derby right at a month away, I thought I’d post this little entry detailing who I’d like to see Kemp and Cano choose.
Cano’s Picks: American League
According to reports, Josh Hamilton has stated that he will not be participating in this years derby, which I think is a real shame. Hamilton put on a show back in 2008, and would be fun to watch again, but in the end, all Cano can do is ask. It’s Hamilton’s decision to make.
It’s also been rumored that Cano plans to ask Yankees’ teamate Curtis Granderson to participate in the derby. Although Granderson has the ability to lauch a ball over 400 feet, I don’t think he has the ability to put on the type of “show” you associate with a home run derby. But if chosen, he may just prove me wrong.
Now, moving on to who I’d pick if I were Robinson Cano.
There are a lot of great players to choose from, but out of the power sluggers in the American League, I’d have to go with the following:
Adam Jones- Jones has his good games, and his bad games, just like every other player in baseball, but lately it seems the good games are becoming more numerous. Jones is a guy I’d really love to see take part in this year’s derby. He’s seemed to be really locked in at the plate lately, coming up big in some pressure situations. I feel the lack of pressure presented with a home run derby would give Jones the ability to have some fun, and if he could get into a rhythm, might even have a shot at winning the entire thing.
Mark Trumbo- If there’s anyone in the American League who could really lauch some jaw dropping home runs, it’s Mark Trumbo. This guy has MASSIVE power, and I feel his ability to lauch a ball far over the center field wall of any ballpark would give him an advantage in the derby. Unlike most players in baseball who are pure pull hitters–or exactly the opposite; those who like to go the other way–Trumbo loves going out to dead center field. The advantage for Trumbo would come after the first round when the participants are beginning to tire. If Trumbo switches his approach to pulling the ball, even slightly, in the later rounds, it would really help him out, in my mind.
Jose Bautista- If you’ll remember last year, Bautsita was really a disappointment in the home run derby. Coming off of a league leading 54 home run season the year before, Bautista couldn’t get things going, which unfortunately resulted in a mere 4 home runs. After such a horrible performance by Bautista, I nearly made the decision not to include him, but decided to give him another chance. This would be his second time participating, and I feel the fact that he’s been through it before would enable him to really put on a show.
I know what you’re thinking. Where’s Pujols, Fielder, etc.?! Well, after some debate, I made the decision not to include them for the fact that I feel that a little change would be good for the derby. People know that Pujols and Fielder can absolutely crush a baseball (Pujols not as much, as of late),however, I for one would like to see some new faces put on a show. Give them their chance to shine, and amaze the fans with jaw dropping blasts.
Kemp’s Picks: National League
Like Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp participated in last year’s Home Run Derby, however didn’t fare nearly as well. Hitting a mere three home runs, Kemp didn’t even make it past the first round. I look for him to do much better in this year’s derby, as he doesn’t seem quite as concerned about pulling the ball this season. Letting the ball travel, before depositing it the other way will go a long way in helping him in the derby, in my opinion.
Kemp started out this season as the hottest hitter in Major League Baseball, however injuries have haulted his rampage. I’m not prepared to venture a guess as to how many homers Kemp will blast in this year’s derby, but I can pretty much guarantee you it’ll be more than three.
Now, moving on to who I’d pick if I were Matt Kemp.
Just like the American League, there are a lot of great players to choose from, but out of the power sluggers in the National League, I’d go with the following:
Giancarlo Stanton- This is a no-brainer for me. There is no one in the National League who can make you say WOW more than Giancarlo Stanton. The ball seems to jump off his bat, and the fact that he can hit balls 50-75 feet over the left field wall would enable him to make it into the second, and possibly third, and final, round of the derby, when the ball doesn’t go as far, due to tiring. Another advantage I feel Stanton has against the other potential participants, is the fact that he hits line drive home runs, instead of the towering homers hit by other players that seem to just clear the wall.
Bryce Harper- The fact that Bryce Harper is a rookie makes the decision to pick him for the derby even more favorable. There aren’t many rookies in baseball who can crush a ball as hard as Harper can–very few non-rookies, for that matter. Harper has been in the spotlight since he first made an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, at age 16. Now 19, Harper has the ability to pull in viewers to the live broadcast of the derby on ESPN. His last name is enough to do that, but the fact that he would stand a good shot at giving the other (older) participants a run for their money is reason enough to watch for many who would normally have their TV’s turned to an alternate channel.
Ryan Braun- This would be a good pick by Matt Kemp on more than one level. Braun certainly has earned the right to be picked for the derby, as he hit an impressive 34 home runs last season, and shows no sign of slowing down; having hit nearly half that many thus far in 2012. While Braun has the ability to put on a show, and hold his own in the derby, I feel it would be a good pick by Kemp for another reason. Many Dodger fans still hold a grudge against Ryan Braun, who was presented with the 2011 N.L. M.V.P award, even though Kemp had arguably better stats. Picking Braun for the derby, and lasting longer than him, would give Dodger fans a little bit of belated satisfaction.
While Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp may not pick any of my above suggestions, I honestly hope they pick at least a few of them. I feel my picks would make for an exciting 2012 Home Run Derby.
Feel free to leave a comment below as to whether or not you agree with my picks. I’d love to hear who you’d love to see Cano and Kemp pick.
When it was reported back in December of last year that Ryan Braun had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) the baseball world was stunned. Now that Braun has successfully appealed the accusation that he had taken PED’s (the first player in MLB history to do so) the baseball world is stunned yet again.
First of all, before I get into my thoughts and opinions, I want to take a moment to say that this should never of been leaked in the first place. Whether Braun had taken PED’s or not, the person who leaked the results had no business doing so. It’s likely that it will never be found out who spilled the beans, but if it is ever found out that person should be fired for all of the problems they caused. But I digress.
Braun has been adamant since the initial report was made that he has never taken any PED’s. He continued with the confidence during today’s press conference in which he made it clear that he won his appeal because the truth was on his side.
In all realitly, it was never determined whether or not he took PED’s. All that was determined was that proper protocol wasn’t followed in testing the sample from Braun. According to Braun, the sample was taken on October 1st, however wasn’t delivered to FedEx until October 3rd. Proper protocol states that test samples are to be delivered to FedEx the day that they are taken. Braun won his appeal due to the uncertainty of what could’ve been done to the test sample from the time it was taken to the time it was dropped off at FedEx. In Braun’s own words the testing process is “fatally flawed”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Braun having his 50-game suspension lifted is one of the reasons I haven’t posted my blog entry in which I’m going to announce my predictions on how I think each team will do in the upcoming MLB season. Had Braun of been suspended, the Brewers would have had no chance whatsoever to win the NL Central. Now, with Braun back in the line up for the full season, I think they’re going to be real contenders in their division.
At first glance you’d find yourself thinking that the loss of Fielder would hinder the Brewers enough to keep them from defending their title of NL Central winners from 2011. You’d also find yourself thinking that the 2011 World Champion Cardinals would overtake that spot, but with the loss of Albert Pujols, I’d say both teams are about even.
Pujols and Fielder are similar in the fact that they both make major impacts each and every night. They’re both power sluggers and are the best in the business at driving in runs. Combine the loss of Fielder with the loss of Braun for 50 games, and I could easily see the Brew Crew finishing 3rd or worst in the NL Central division. With Braun however, I think they have a good chance of winning the division for the second straight season. That’s how important Braun is to his team.
In conclusion, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, what’s done is done. You’ll just have to put up with watching Ryan Braun do his thing for an extra 50 games than everyone thought he’d being appearing in at this time on Thursday.
Well I didn’t see this coming. After having the best season of his career (we now know why) Ryan Braun has reportedly tested positive for Performance-enhancing Drugs; or PED’s. Braun’s 2011 season consisted of him recording 33 home runs, off of 187 hits–good enough to earn him the title of MVP in the National League, as well as lead “his” Brewers to their first division title in three decades. This comes as a shock, not only to me, but to baseball fans everywhere, as well as the players, and staff, of Major League Baseball. Acording to reports, Braun was notified of the test results a month before he was named NL MVP, but when asked his thoughts on the subject, he replied: ” It’s B.S.” Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. But I’ll tell you one thing. If it is indeed true–that Braun knew of his testing positive for PED’s–then the awarding of MVP to Braun is “B.S.” How do you knowingly award such an important award to a guy who didn’t achieve his stats legally? In short, he cheated. Braun cheated. He’s no better than A-rod, McGwire, or anyone else who has used steroids in the history of Major League Baseball.
Braun is appealing the steroids charge, however if it the initial finding is upheld, Braun will be required to serve a 50-game suspension to start the 2012 season. This would mean the first game Braun would be eligible to play in wouldn’t be until June 5th, at home against the Chicago Cubs. A major blow to the Brewers, especially if Prince Fielder signs somewhere other than Milwaukee during the offseason.
Back in 2009, when Alex Rodriguez was accused to have used steroids, Braun made the following statement in response to whether he’d ever been tempted to use PED’s :
It’s never something that I sought. I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.
“60 or 70 home runs” Braun? Really? According to the statistics, you only hit 33 this season. What gives? Perhaps a better way to sum up how shocking this news is, here’s a 2009 statement from Bud Selig, after Mark McGwire’s coming clean:
The use of steroids and amphetamines amongst today’s players has greatly subsided and is virtually nonexistent, as our testing results have shown. The so-called steroid era — a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances — is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction.
I would have to agree. The used of steroids has diminished throughout the past decade. (Or at least as far as we know.) However I’d have to agree with Bob Costas who, as usual, made an extremely accurate statement in response to Bud Selig, saying, “…there will always be rogue chemists that want to help players cheat.” I suppose Ryan Braun knows one of those “chemists.”