Archive for » June, 2012 «

STill bElieve bRaun’s pOwer Is createD Synthetically

Here’s two stat lines through the first 62 games of the MLB season.

This player won an MVP award:

228AB 45Runs 71Hits 13Doubles 13HR 45RBI 33Walks 14SB 0.311Avg 0.402OBP 0.566SLG 0.968OPS

This player has only played 62 games this 2012 season:

230AB 42Runs 75Hits 11Doubles 19HR 47RBI 25Walks 11SB 0.322Avg 0.399OBP 0.635SLG 1.034OPS

If the first set of numbers was the pace for the 2011 NL MVP, couldn’t one argue that the second set of numbers is an equivalent (if not better) pace and should warrant MVP considerations in 2012? The second set of numbers are good enough for first in HR, third in OPS, fourth in RBI, and eigth in batting average in the NL.

The only difference between those two sets of numbers? The first set of numbers belong to a ‘clean’ Ryan Braun (numbers were posted before his positive steroids test) and the second set of numbers belong to a ‘tainted’ Ryan Braun. Yes, both of those numbers belong to the Risky Business player to the right (Photo credit to John Axford’s Twitter Feed).

ESPN’s Buster Olney pulled the trigger first on a more controversial Braun topic today (if you are an ESPN insider, make sure you click that link). And ESPN The Magazine printed a great article in it’s recent publication on June 25 on how has the steroid era has evolved based on Braun’s ruling.

If Braun continues his 2012 pace, his stat line would be look something like this:

565AB 103Runs 182Hits 47HR 115RBI 61Walks 27SB 0.322Avg 0.399OBP 0.635SLG 1.034OPS

Those numbers warrant at minimum a top-5 placing in NL MVP voting (if not top 1 or 2). As Buster Olney’s article states, the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) could have a major dilemma this season. The BBWAA handles voting for season end awards and nominating players for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Typically, the BBWAA has ‘banned’ (not directly banned, but just don’t vote for) players who have admitted, been convicted, or are suspected of using PED’s. If Braun continues to perform, will they vote for him in the MVP race? Will he then be snubbed entrance to the HOF? Seriously, if you are an ESPN insider, check out Buster’s great article on this topic.

This post is meant to get all baseball fans to think. And I specifically say ‘baseball fans’ because haters will always be hatin’ regardless if Braun puts up a clean 70HR and 150RBI season. What I want fans to think about is What will it take for Braun to untarnish his baseball name?

  • Does he have to hit 40HR?
  • Does he have to have more than 100RBI for the rest of his career?
  • Does he have to volunteer for monthly tests?
  • Does he have to publicly admit he found a loophole?

Personally, I believe he has already proved his innocence. But again, I’m the easy fan to persuade. I’m a die hard Brewers fan. But facts are facts, Braun has produced the same if not better numbers in 2012 than he did at this point in 2011. And that season he won the NL MVP and had a LARGE bat protecting him. In 2012, he doesn’t have Fielder behind him in the lineup and Braun continues to produce MVP type numbers.

Braun could be guilty. I wasn’t there when he peed into a cup. Braun’s test did highlight a gap in the collection process and has allowed others to have their suspensions dismissed (see Eliezer Alfonzo’s appeal of a 100-game suspension in May). And since those results, the MLB quietly dismissed the arbitrator who had the defining vote in each suspension case, Shyam Das.

So what do the Kings of Cork council believe? What does Braun have to do to clean his name? Or will it always be tarnished? Feel free to post your feelings towards Braun’s 2012 production below.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the June ESPN The Magazine article mentioned above:

Category: Baseball News, Baseball Stories  Comments off  Tags: ,

Not Dunn Yet!!

It may be the 80’s for Milwaukee, but Adam Dunn is playing like its not 2011.

Let me remind all of the Adam Dunn owners in the HR derby last season just how bad he was in 2011:

415AB, 11HR, 42RBI, 0.159BA

Now let me remind everyone how good Adam Dunn was in years prior to 2011:

7 straight seasons of 38+ HR and 92+ RBI

I vividly remember sitting at a local watering hole in March talking baseball with a few friends. And I happened to mention that Adam Dunn would be placed in Group B of the Home Run Derby for 2012. I was then spoon fed arguments on why Dunn shouldn’t even be in Group E and how neither of them would pick Dunn if he was forced to be on every HR Derby team this season.

Well, take a look at him now. The Donkey (yes, that’s his nickname) already has more RBI than last season and twice as many Home Runs. In fact, he is now leading the ENTIRE MLB in home runs with 23 as of tonight’s homer. Someone has finally caught Josh Hamilton. And Dunn doesn’t seem to be slowing as he’s on pace for 58 homers and 130+ RBI (both would be career highs).

Adam Dunn is now exhibit A on why no one should hold one season of bad performance against a player. So congratulations to our two HR derby teams who picked the MVP of the Derby this so far this season, The Wet Bats and Touchdown Kings.

Category: Baseball News  Comments off  Tags: , ,

All In The Family

The 2012 MLB draft has come to an end… all 40 rounds and 1238 picks. With that many picks, you may want to shuffle through the drafted players list to see if you or a long lost relative is on his way to the Bigs. (I found our month of May HR Derby winner, The Wet Bats’ relative at pick 1141).

While one of your relatives may not have been drafted, a few teams decided to draft their manager’s offspring. It may just be one of the perks of their managerial contract:

  • #785 Lance Roenicke (Brewers) – A 5th year senior Outfielder at Santa Barbara, Lance hit 0.310 with 35 RBI in his senior year. Sure he was drafted in the 25th round, but Lance still has a shot at some day making the big league club. And if he does, it would be the first time that his father would have ever coached for him (assuming Ron is still the Brewer skipper and Lance gets called up by the Brewers).
  • #1184 Rustin Sveum (Cubs) – The Cubs drafted their manager’s high school son in the 39th round. He’s a 6-foot pitcher from Scottsdale Arizona. After being drafted, his father’s said “He better not sign. He better go to college.” Hopefully, he can develop as an all-around ball player at Dixie State University in Utah. Otherwise, he may never get another shot at signing a big league contract.
  • #720 Tate Matheny (Cardinals) – The Cardinals decided to just draft all of their managers’ sons by taking 4 total players in the draft related to some managerial position. The most intriguing player would be the main skipper’s son. Tate is a high school senior planning to go to Missouri State. In his Senior year, he hit 0.610 with 10 doubles, 11 triples, and 11 homers with 51 RBI. That’s a pretty impressive line and now he will be faced with a Billy Beane type of decision. To sign or not to sign… that is the question.
  • #1173 Cameron Gibson (D-Backs) – Don’t get your hopes up Diamondback fans, Cameron (the son of Kirk) isn’t headed to the major leagues. He’s already committed to playing baseball for Michigan State where his father played. The odds look favorable for a re-draft of Gibson but most likely by his father’s ex-big league club… the Tigers.
  • #612 Ryan Ripken (Orioles) – This is the only anomaly to the rest of the draft picks. Cal Ripken Jr isn’t the Orioles manger… yet. The ‘Iron Man’ has reportedly said that he would consider coming back to the Orioles full-time when his son graduates high school. Well, now is son (Ryan) has and he has been drafted by the Orioles. Maybe this has the making of bringing Cal into a management role with the Oriole organization. Odds are that Ryan won’t sign with the Orioles and instaed go play for the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks.

My guess is that Roenicke is the only player to sign an offer letter while the rest pursue college.

Category: Baseball News  Comments off  Tags: , , , ,

Welcome BACK to the Bigs!

It’s Official… Brooks Conrad is OFFICIALLY back in the Big Leagues. Time for him to jam out to a little CashboX:

Why is it official? Well, Brooks Conrad is on his second tour of the Majors in 2012. His first round from May 4-19 didn’t go so well. He failed to get a hit in 21 At-Bats and managed to touch 1B only once on a walk. He was then optioned back to AAA Nashville to make room for Carlos Gomez. He was then recalled on May 27 to replace and injured Travis Ishikawa. He went 0-for-3 in his first 3 AB, but in his 4th, he took an Erik Bedard pitch and deposited it into the right field Beer-pen. A 2-run homer to lead the Brewers past the Pirates 5-1. That raised his 2012 Batting Average to a whopping 0.034.

What makes this story so interesting is that Conrad still has a 16 game hit streak in the Minors.
Yes, STILL. Prior to his first 2012 call, he had an active 10-game hit streak along with a 0.405 Batting Average, 5 homers, and 13 RBI. After his miserable 0-for-21 appearance, he returned to Nashville and exploded. In 6 games, Conrad hit 5 homers and 15 RBI (minor league total of 10 homers and 28 RBI). He also continued his minor league hit streak and it currently sits at 16.

Hopefully, this homer as uncorked his minor league stats to allow them to flow into the majors. The injury riddled Cerveceros certainly need all the help they can get.

Category: Baseball News  Comments off  Tags: ,