Tag Archives: Braun

A-Rod, others suspended

Some dozen players were suspended for 50 games, basically the rest of this season, while Alex Rodriguez got 211 games— the rest of this season and all of 2014— for links to PEDS.

One player receiving 50 games was Yankees C Francisco Cervelli, who because of a broken hand and other ailments has played in just 17 games this year. He did have a surprising 3 HR in those 17 games. Maybe now we know why.

Others included Fernando Martinez at AAA S/WB, just picked up by the Yanks for minor league depth a few weeks ago, ex-Yankee prospect Jesus Montero, now with Seattle, Nelson Cruz of Texas, Everth Cabrera of SD (who just killed the Yanks this weekend), Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, Bastardo of the Phils and Valdespin from the Mets.

Ryan Braun ‘fessed up a couple of weeks ago and got a 65-game ban.

Players like Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera were already nabbed and won’t face double jeopardy.

All these players accepted their suspensions except for A-Rod. A-Rod is appealing his suspension and will be allowed to play while he’s appealing.

Frankly, I don’t like that at all. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works. One huge distraction. I kind of want the Yanks to win, but Alex to go 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts. I feel dirty having him on the field right now.

If I were an opposing pitcher, I sure as hell would look to deck Alex.

A-Rod apparently got 211 games for obstructing the investigation, looking to destroy evidence, repeated violations of the PED policy and allegedly recruiting others into Biogenesis.

Frankly (again), I’m tired of A-Rod. $275 MM talent. 10 cent head. At this point, I wish he’d just go away.


More names

Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero’s names came up in that Biogenesis PED situation down in Miami. You hope they are clean, but where there’s smoke, well, you know….

Meanwhile Ryan Braun’s name came up too and you really have to wonder. After all, the 2011 NL MVP & 2012 runnerup basically avoided a 50-game suspension due to a technicality. This now certainly won’t sway those who still think he’s guilty but instead reinforce their belief.

You wonder how deep this investigation gets, how sordid it is and who all is involved.

Braun wins appeal, no suspension

Ryan Braun, the NL MVP, has won his appeal after having been tested positive for a banned substance late last season. The Brewer OF will not have to face a 50-game suspension to start this season.

Update: No offense to Braun (innocent until proven guilty), but he won on a 2-1 vote, and most likely on a technicality—the incompetence of the deliverer. The Braun sample sat with collector all weekend because he thought FedEx was not open to send to lab. (Joel Sherman)

NL MVP Braun faces 50 game suspension

Just a few weeks ago, Brewers’ OF Ryan Braun was named the NL MVP.

Now, he faces a fifty-game suspension to start the 2012 season after he tested positive for PEDs in October. Now I want to hear what his explanation is, but still in all…

The MVP is an award by the BBWAA, not MLB, and so far no one has been stripped of an MVP award. Maybe they should be.

Let’s look at some controversial winners.


1986-Roger Clemens. Clemens probably was not on PEDs then, but he’s linked to them now, what with the Mitchell Report, testimony before Congress, and perjury trial. 2nd that year? Don Mattingly.

1988-Jose Canseco. Enough said. 2nd that year? Mike Greenwell.

1996 Juan Gonzalez, 2nd? A-Rod (who wasn’t on steroids then). 3rd? Albert Belle, and we don’t know about Albert. We DO know that Albert’s personality showed every sign of ‘roid rage. 4th?  Junior Griffey.

1998 Gonzalez again. Nomar was 2nd.

1999 Pudge Rodriguez. (Granted, some are suspected users). 2nd? Pedro.

2000 Jason Giambi. 2nd? Frank Thomas (who won the award in 1993 and 1994).

2002 Miguel Tejada (who, cough, cough, supposedly Palmeiro got his from when Raffy got busted). 2nd? A-Rod (who admitted to using during this time). 3rd? Alfonso Soriano.

2003 A-Rod (who admitted using 2001-2003). 2nd? Carlos Delgado.

2005 Post-steroid A-Rod. 2nd? David Ortiz. What? You forgot Big Papi was nabbed as one of those 103 or so in that report? 3rd? Vlad.

2007 Post-steroid A-Rod again. Magglio Ordonez was the runnerup.

Now for the NL (and thank you, Barry Bonds….)

Bonds, Pre-steroids, 1990 (2nd Bobby Bonilla), 1992 (2nd Terry Pendleton) and 1993 (2nd Lenny Dykstra, who I think it was obvious, was juicing; 3rd in 1993? David Justice, and there are rumors there. 4th? The “Crime Dog”, Fred McGriff).

1994 Jeff Bagwell, who is suspected. 2nd? Matt Williams, and there is suspicion there. 3rd? Moises Alou.

1996 Known user Ken Caminiti. Mike Piazza (suspected) 2nd. Ellis Burks 3rd.

1998 Sosa 1st, Big Mac 2nd. We know the story there. 3rd was Alou.

2001-2004, Bonds, who by this time appears (nudge nudge, innocent until proven guilty) to have been using. 2001 runnerup? Sosa. 3rd? Luis Gonzalez. 4th? (Those 57 HR by Gonzalez are suspicious) Pujols. 2002 and 2003 runnerup Pujols. 2004 Beltre.

This year’s runnerup to Braun was Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.

Meanwhile I read a column in my paper by the local Eagles beat writer about the 4-8 Eagles which states that they are still mathematically alive for the

Cue Jim Mora: “Playoffs, you’re talking playoffs, PLAYOFFS????”


From Ken Rosenthal: Source: Braun tested positive for a prohibited substance, not a performance-enhancing drug.


NL MVP? Braun.

Ryan Braun became the first Brewer to win the MVP since the crossed leagues to the NL. Previously, Rollie Fingers and Robin Yount (twice) won the award when the Brew Crew were in the A.L.

Matt Kemp was the runnerup, Prince Fielder third, Justin Upton fourth and the great Pujols fifth.


2012 will introduce the fifth playoff team, the second wild-card. I hate it. Do you know who would have gained those spots (and the one-game playoff) this year? Who else but Atlanta and Boston. Meaning possibly no great collapse. Meaning no great drama as this year had for game #162. Turn the damned game into the NHL. I hate the NHL. Too many playoff teams. Are you listening MLB? When you water down the game…

Mind if I water down your beer by 80%? What, you wouldn’t like that? Now you get how I feel.

EARN IT. Much the same way as I hate seeing 7-5 teams in the NCAA make it to bowl games, I hate this.


The luxury tax will change a bit. It’ll be 42% in 2012, 50% from 2013 on. The level will increase, though, from $178MM in 2013 to $189MM in 2014 to 2016. At present it would only affect the Yanks, Red Sox and Phils.

Awards time (ROY today), and a look at this year’s HOF ballot

The Rookie of the Year awards were announced today as a whole week of awards will be announced. The AL ROY was 2B Dustin Pedroia of Boston. Pedroia, who played with a cracked bone in his wrist during the postseason, hit .317 this year.

The NL ROY was Ryan Braun, 3B for the Brewers. Braun won with a .324 batting average, 34 HR and 97 RBI. Braun had stiff competition from Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki. Braun’s 29 BB/112 K and his below average (.895 fielding pct., 26 errors) fielding were what made this race close. His offensive numbers however, were set in only 113 games. Tulowitzki hit .291-24-99 this year and committed only 11 errors. The margin of victory for Braun was only 2 points. A controversial selection to be sure.

As for this year’s HOF ballot, here are the nominees (from Wikipedia):

Dave Concepción will be on the ballot for the 15th and final time:

Harold Baines
Bert Blyleven
Dave Concepción
Andre Dawson
Rich “Goose” Gossage
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Jim Rice
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

The newly-eligible candidates will include 17 All-Stars, but only one (Tim Raines) who was selected more than five times. In contrast to the remarkably deep field of candidates in 2007, when those newly eligible had been named to the All-Star team a combined total of 103 times, the 2008 field of new candidates were selected a total of only 43 times. José Rijo, who appeared on the 2001 ballot before returning to the major leagues in 2001-2002, will again become eligible. Darryl Kile, who died during the 2002 season, was included on the 2003 ballot under a standard provision for players who die before the five-year waiting period has elapsed. This same provision allows Rod Beck (who played his last game in 2004 but died in 2007) to appear on the 2008 ballot.

Players eligible for the first time are: Luis Alicea, Brady Anderson, Alex Arias, Rod Beck, Andy Benes, Mike Benjamin, Dennis Cook, Delino DeShields, Shawon Dunston, Chuck Finley, Darrin Fletcher, Travis Fryman, Rich Garcés, Chris Haney, Dave Hollins, Bobby J. Jones, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Tom Lampkin, Darren Lewis, Mike Magnante, Dave Mlicki, Mike Morgan, Robb Nen, Hipólito Pichardo, Tim Raines, Armando Reynoso, Henry Rodríguez, Lee Stevens, Todd Stottlemyre, Greg Swindell, Mike Trombley, John Valentin, Randy Velarde, Ed Vosberg, and Mark Wohlers.

I would vote for six players. Raines, Gossage, Blyleven, Rice, Dawson and Trammell. I’d get (and already have received) arguments on others (in this case, Mattingly– who I love–, Raines and Morris). As for Donnie, his 1984-1989 were fabulous, but it is hard to put someone in on those few years of greatness (Dizzy Dean and Sandy Koufax notwithstanding). The dividing line between 1984-1989 Donnie and 1990-1995 Donnie is so thick. As for Morris, I’m sorry, but Morris’ 3.90 ERA and ERA+ of 105 just don’t do it for me. Consider this. Mike Mussina’s career ERA+ is 122, Andy Pettitte’s 118 and Tom Glavine’s 119. Blyleven’s is a 118. That means they were at least 18% better than their peers ERA-wise. Morris? Just 5%. Morris was very good, as seen by his 254 wins. Do I think he was dominant? No. Some others? John 110, Kaat 107, Clemens 143, Randy Johnson 138, Maddux 134, Ford 133 and Pedro 161. Let’s say 115-125 is HOF worthy, and 125+ is dominant. That 105 just sticks out like a sore thumb. Gutty, gritty, some great postseason performances, but HOF? It’s a tough call for Morris because of the ERA–not just for me, but for the BBWAA. As for McGwire, we went through all that last year.

Rice hit .298 with 382 HR, but what seals the deal for me is the fact that in a twelve-year span, from 1975-1986, he finished in the top 5 of MVP voting six times. Six times top 5 MVP in twelve years? To me, that is dominating and why I think he should be in. Trammell was a fine fielding SS with a .285 career average–a better batting average than say, Reese, Rizzuto, Aparicio or Smith. Dawson had over 400 HR and over 300 SB. He won one MVP award and finished 2nd twice. Raines hit .294 with over 2600 hits and over 800 SB. Blyleven won 287 games, struck out over 3700 batters and had a 118 ERA+. Gossage was, quite simply, the most intimidating and dominating reliever of the late 1970s and early 1980s–a true force when he entered the game, which frequently was EARLY. For example, three times Goose pitched 133 or more innings in a season ALL IN RELIEF. (He also topped it as a starter one year). In 1978, he had 63 appearances and 134.3 IP–that is over 2 IP per appearance.

Those are my choices. You can see how hard it is to get in. To get in, you need 75% of the vote, and there is so much lack of consensus regarding some players, that attaining 75% is difficult. I have selected who I believe to be the best starting pitcher on the ballot (Blyleven), the best reliever (Goose), the best OF (Dawson and Rice), the best middle IF (Trammell) and someone who was one of the great baserunners and leadoff men of all-time (and how many of you remember Raines starting his career at 2B?). I think it’s balanced and hope you agree. Congratulations to whoever gets in and I only wish my vote counted. I only wish Donnie Baseball were dominating from 1990-1995 and a good player for a few years after that. After all, he was only 34 in his last season.

HOF voting being what it is, I’ll probably get some slack. Feel free to give your vote and why you feel the way you do.

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