Braun didn’t win the Hank Aaron Award

October 28, 2012

> Notice how I didn’t title this article, “Buster Posey wins the Hank Aaron Award.”

The Hank Aaron Award is defined as “the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.” In the American League, the award went to Miguel Cabrera, and rightfully so. In the National League, it should have definitely gone to Ryan Braun, right?

Nope. As he probably will with the NL MVP, Posey somehow won this award. But it’s a different case for this award than the MVP.

If Posey wins the MVP award, I won’t be as mad because Posey’s Giants contended all year (and won the NL West), while Braun’s Brewers could only muster up a hot streak during the final weeks of the season, and only came as close to the playoffs as two games behind the second Wild Card spot. That’s just the way the MVP voting works, and we’ve all become used to it.

But the Hank Aaron Award should be- and, as shown by the winners in recent years, is- different than the MVP award. It doesn’t matter whether or not the winner’s team contended- after all, Matt Kemp won it last year.

Overall, Posey definitely did not have a better offensive year than Braun, and there really isn’t a legitimate argument for it. The only major offensive category that Posey had Braun beaten in was batting average- Posey won the batting title (.336) and Braun came in third in the race (.319). Other than that, though, Braun had him beat by plenty in many other stats. Braun had nearly 20 more home runs than Posey (41 to 24), had more RBIs (112 to 103), more hits (191 to 178), and a higher slugging percentage (.595 to .549).

I don’t know about you, but looking at those stats, there’s a clear-cut winner of this award- and it isn’t Posey.

Perhaps it’s the “roid factor,” something we may have to live with for the rest of Braun’s career. I didn’t think it would come into play for an award like this, but I suppose it’s going to affect Braun’s chances at every award for as long as he plays.

POSTSEASON COVERAGE

> The Giants now have a stranglehold over the Tigers in the World Series, taking a 3-0 lead with their 2-0 win tonight. Ryan Vogelsong continued his postseason dominance with 5 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, and the only two runs he needed were on RBI hits from Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford in the second inning.

That two-run second inning was the only flaw in a stellar outing from Anibal Sanchez, who went seven innings while striking out eight.

THE NEWS

> Following the play in which Doug Fister got hit in the side of the head with a line drive the other night, MLB is now seriously considering a helmet-type guard for pitchers. This was probably already being talked about after the Brandon McCarthy scare in September, but this fiasco likely accelerated the talks.

Anyway, the helmets wouldn’t reach the big leagues right away. If they do come into play, they would first be tested in the minors.

> Minor moves:

Blue Jays: Outrighted Tyson Brummett to Triple-A.

THE EXTRAS

> Oh, FOX…

> Cabrera was literally given a crown for winning the first Triple Crown since 1967.


Brewers’ first game ends in a tie

March 4, 2012

> Well, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting of games. But baseball season is back, and that’s all that matters.

The Brewers didn’t win or lose against the Giants today, something that wouldn’t happen during the regular season. The game ended in a tie, 1-1. You’d sort of expect the Giants offense to not be running on all cylinders (it never is), but the Brewers collected even less hits than the Giants. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come, with Prince Fielder gone and the impending injury of Corey Hart (I’ll talk about that later this post).

The only run the Brewers scored came in the third inning on a Carlos Gomez RBI single off Madison Bumgarner, which followed a Jonathan Lucroy double. The Giants scored in the fifth inning on Brandon Crawford’s RBI single off John Axford.

Aside from Axford, though, the pitching was solid. Randy Wolf threw two perfect innings. Zack Greinke worked around three hits to toss two scoreless innings. Other than Axford, the relievers who worked- Kameron Loe, Marco Estrada, Juan Perez, and Mike Fiers- didn’t give up a run.

The Brewers play the Giants again tomorrow for a rare Spring Training night game at 8:35 CT. The probable starters are Chris Narveson for the Brewers and Matt Cain for the Giants. This game is going to be televised on MLB Network, probably streamed from CSN Bay Area, the Giants’ feed.

> Now, onto Hart’s injury… again. For the second straight spring, Hart will start the season on the DL, this time because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. After the surgery, Hart will need to recover for 3-4 weeks, which could actually give him a chance to return in time for the Brewers’ season opener against the Cardinals. But, everything would have to go perfect during his recovery, and he probably wouldn’t get enough at-bats to be ready by that time. So, I’m guessing he won’t be on the Brewers’ opening day roster, unfortunately.

Rickie Weeks was also scratched from today’s lineup with a sore shoulder, but he’s day-to-day, and it’s nothing as serious as Hart’s injury.

> There were a lot of Giants fans at today’s game in Maryvale, and they weren’t particularly kind to Ryan Braun. During his first at-bat, they were chanting “Urine sample!” Typical.

I actually think I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but the Giants as a franchise haven’t really impressed me over the past few years. After they won the World Series in 2010, most of the fans became extremely cocky. Then, after Scott Cousins took out Buster Posey in that infamous plate collision, GM Brian Sabaen came out and said that he “wouldn’t mind if Cousins never played another game in the Majors ever again.” Lastly, when the Brewers were in San Francisco for a series last year, Nyjer Morgan was manning center field. After he made a highlight reel catch, he signified that there were two outs. But, Giants fans took it as him flipping off the center field crowd.

Really?

I do know some Giants fans who aren’t like this, but it’s too bad the majority of the fan base is like that.

> Fielder hit his first homer of the spring with the Tigers today. Overall, though, the Tigers hit nine homers off the Braves, and won 18-3. Also, the Tigers nearly no-hit the Braves in their first Spring Training game yesterday. So either the Tigers are off to a hot start, or the Braves are just going to suck this year.

> And that’s about it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

Box Score

  AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Carlos Gomez, CF 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 .500
-Cesar Izturis, SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Nyjer Morgan, RF 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 .000
-Eric Farris, 2B 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 .500
Ryan Braun, LF 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000
-Norichika Aoki, LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
-Taylor Green, 3B 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000
Brooks Conrad, 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
-Travis Ishikawa, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Mat Gamel, 1B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
-Caleb Gindl, RF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Alex Gonzalez, SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
-Logan Schafer, CF 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Jonathan Lucroy, C 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 1.000
-Martin Maldanado, C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
George Kottaras, DH 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
a- Brock Kjeldgaard, PH-DH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Totals 29 1 4 1 1 9 6  

a-Struck out for Kottaras in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: Lucroy (1, Bumgarner).

TB: Gomez; Farris; Lucroy 3.

RBI: Gomez (1).

GIDP: Gonzalez, Ishikawa.

Team RISP: 1-for-2.

Team LOB: 2.

BASERUNNING

CS: Farris.

PO: Farris.

FIELDING

DP: (Greinke-Gonzalez-Gamel).

  IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Wolf 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Zack Greinke 2.0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
John Axford (BS, 1) 1.0 3 1 1 0 1 0 9.00
Kameron Loe 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Marco Estrada 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00
Juan Perez 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Mike Fiers 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 7 1 1 1 5 0  

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 1-3, Greinke 1-1, Axford 1-1, Loe 1-1, Estrada 1-1, Perez 2-0, Fiers 2-0.

Batters faced: Wolf 6, Greinke 7, Axford 6, Loe 3, Estrada 4, Perez 4, Fiers 3.


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