Milwaukee Brewers MVP left fielder Ryan Braun issued the following statement in response to allegations that he was involved with a Miami-area PED clinic.
“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.
There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under “moneys owed” and not on any other list.
I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.
I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”
Welcome to the first installment of Award Discussions, a closer look at some of the more interesting individual award races in MLB history. First, let’s examine two Hall-of-Famers who put up these monster numbers one magical season in the ’40s.
So who’s your MVP? Player X… the second baseman who swiped a MLB-best 37 bags, hit .342, and successfully sacrificed himself 17 times (both tops in the NL)? Or Player Y… the outfielder who led the Majors in games played, hits, doubles, and total bases, paced the NL in on-base percentage, and recorded an incredible 1.062 OPS?
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The actual results of the 1949 NL MVP balloting can be found here.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Milwaukee Brewers have won 22 of their last 28 games and currently sit 2.5 games out of the second N.L. wild card spot. In a season that was once doomed to be remembered as an epic failure, the Brewers have crept within a half game of the Dodgers for that elusive second wild card, and are only looking up on L.A. and St. Louis. For everyone who gave up on the Crew a month or so ago… lesson learned. This Brewers club has spunk and will not quit. They’ve collected the most runs and homers in the league while also leading the majors in stolen bases and strikeouts by pitchers. The baseball world is on notice, for Milwaukee is now officially a perennial contender.
In his first career start as a clean-up hitter, Jonathan Lucroy delivered big time. On the same gorgeous afternoon that I also graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (had to sneak that in there!), the Brewers spanked the Twins to a tune of 16-4. The offense was simply explosive, receiving three hits a piece from Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and the aforementioned stud catcher. Hart hit his ninth homer of the season while Lucroy smacked two, including his first ever grand slam. Lucroy finished the game 3-for-5 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and a career-high 7 RBI — tying the Milwaukee Brewers franchise record for runs driven in during a single contest. Maybe, just maybe, this is what Milwaukee needed to get back on track…
Lucroy is now hitting .342 this season and owns an other-worldly .552 batting average with runners in scoring position (16-for-29). Yeah, that’s not a typo — .552!
Tuesday evening versus the Orioles, Josh Hamilton, the All-Star center fielder of the Texas Rangers, went 5-for-5 with 4 HR, 2B, a career high 8 RBI, and 18 total bases, a new American League record. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was on base for each of Hamilton’s homers, making them all 2-run shots. He also notched a double just for good measure. Hamilton became the 16th player in history to hit 4 homers in a game and the first since Carlos Delgado in 2003. The 2010 AL MVP pushed his average to .406 on the season and is the new AL leader in home runs (14) and RBI (36). His 18 total bags fell one shy of Shawn Green’s MLB record.
Finally, I have to bring one of the most ridiculous stats I’ve ever seen to your attention. Hamilton actually hit a 2-run homer in his last at-bat Monday night… giving him 5 2-run home runs in a span of 6 at-bats!
If he was in a rut, he’s not anymore. Ryan Braun went an astounding 4-for-5 with 3 home runs, a triple, 3 runs scored, 6 runs batted in, and 15 total bases on his way to collecting his first career 3 home run game Monday night in San Diego. Braun, who came into the game with 4 homers on the year, launched 3 balls over the notoriously deep Petco walls, helping power the Milwaukee Brewers to a 8-3 victory over the Padres. In the fifth, Braun smacked a line drive to right center for a round tripper, garnering applause from the home town crowd. In the sixth, he absolutely crushed the baseball to the upper deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. The Cali-native completed the trifecta with a seventh inning blast which snuck over the left field wall. Finally, Braun smoked a triple into right field to plate 2 runs in the ninth, capping the Brew Crew win. His huge night propelled him to second in the NL home run race and first on the Brewers (passing Corey Hart, who had a 2 homer lead going into the evening).
To put Braun’s historic night into perspective, I offer you these nuggets of knowledge: 1) Braun became the first player to ever hit 3 home runs at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, 2) In 14 home games this season, the Padres have a mere 6 home runs, 3) Braun’s 15 total bases set a career high while his 6 RBI tied his career high… For those not too skilled in math, that’s 15 total bases in 5 at-bats, which averages out to be a triple in each AB, not too shabby…
The following is a detailed look at the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player voting:
When Ryan Braun was notified of the NL MVP results, he immediately proceeded to call his mother, his agent, and then Green Bay Packers quarterback and fellow Cali-native Aaron Rodgers, who Braun calls his “best athlete friend.” His message to the leader of the 11-0 Packers was clear: your turn. Rodgers, forever a Wisconsin legend thanks to his Super Bowl XLV MVP performance, has the inside track for the MVP award this season and was happy for his pal. “I’m proud of him,” Rodgers said in an ESPN interview, “he had an incredible season.” Rodgers was also thankful to play in front of the best fans around. “It’s fun to know that he’s going to be in Milwaukee for a long time,” he said. “I’m hopefully going to be here for a long time, and we appreciate the opportunity to play in Wisconsin for sports teams and their fans who really care about their players.” Braun may now have the award, but Rodgers has the title – something Braun craves. “[Rodgers has] accomplished far more in his sport than I have in mine,” stated Braun, “it inspires me to try to get better and ultimately to win a championship of my own for the Milwaukee Brewers.” One day, Milwaukee. One day.
The landscape of baseball is dramatically changing. The Astros are moving to the AL in 2013 to make it an even fifteen clubs in each league. There will be an extra playoff team in each league as well, starting as soon as next season. In the new format, two wildcard teams will battle each other in a one-game playoff for the chance to play the number one seed. This puts even more emphasis on winning your division, something which the AL East has become less and less concerned with. Finally, three teams have undergone drastic changes in their logos and uniforms. Check it out:
First off, the newly branded Miami Marlins. The logo on the left is of the classic Florida Marlins, the one on the right is for 2012 and beyond.
Second comes the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have gone through several logo changes over the past few decades, including three different logos in three years. Toronto’s new logo, on the far right, is an homage back to the franchise’s first bird.
Finally we have the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have undergone numerous logo changes since the franchise moved to Maryland in 1954. The ornithological bird from 1998 was updated to be more stout, majestic, and modern in 2008. Now, much like Toronto, they are reverting back to their old days and going back to the ‘cartoon bird.’ The 2012 logo is a mix of two previous designs…
Baseball is surely changing, but you’ve gotta believe that it’s for the better. In Bud We Trust, right? He’s a UW-Madison grad, so he’s cool in my book. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, RYAN BRAUN was named the 2011 NL MVP.
Milwaukee once again has a Most Valuable Player. Ryan Braun received 20 first-place votes to Matt Kemp’s 10 to earn National League MVP honors Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first Brewer to win the award since Robin Yount in 1989. The announcement caps an incredible year for baseball fans in Wisconsin. The Brewers won their first division title in 29 years, set a franchise-record with 96 wins, walked-off to the NLCS in dramatic fashion, and now can say they boast the MVP. Kemp put up some ridiculous numbers, but Braun deserved the award. He led the league in slugging (.597) and OPS (.994), finished second in batting (.332), became only the second Brewer ever to have a 30-30 season (33 homers, 33 steals), plus he drove in 111 runs, scored 109, was an All-Star for the fourth consecutive year, and won his fourth straight Silver Slugger. Brewers’ first baseman Prince Fielder finished third in the balloting. Thank goodness Milwaukee has Ryan Braun inked through 2020, because there isn’t a cooler, classier, or more clutch player in all the land.