Ryan Braun went 0-for-2 with a walk in Saturday’s Cactus League game vs. the Angels, leaving him 1-for-15 with three walks and five strikeouts through the first half of the 2012 exhibition schedule.
It’s silly to over-analyze spring stats, but let’s just note that Braun batted .325/.372/.700 in 40 at-bats last February and March and is a .307/.367/.623 career hitter in Cactus League play.
One has to wonder whether his drawn-out PED case took a mental toll, and is now playing a factor in the slow start. For what it’s worth, Braun is not concerned.
“Spring Training has never been result-oriented,” he told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy after Saturday’s 8-1 loss. “It’s always process-oriented. The process is certainly a little different this year. It’s an adjustment I’ll have to make. If I go 0-for-50 in spring training, I’m 100 percent confident I’ll have success in the season. I’m serious. It’s just a different intensity, different focus, energy, enthusiasm when you play regular season games. It just is. Of course, I want to have success. You always want to have success. But it’s different.”
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.
The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.
(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).
Anyway, these are the uniforms:
More like RED Jays, am I right?
OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.
Oh, Canada indeed.