Tag: Ryan Braun

2014 All-Star Game logo

Troy Tulowitzki is the early leader in NL All-Star balloting


Yeah, the Rockies fans are probably stuffing the ballot box, but who cares? All-Star balloting is like a presidential election in Parador. If you care too much about how it all goes down you probably need to relax.

I will give a major side-eye to the outfield results so far, though. Ryan Braun third and Carlos Gomez sixth is a special thing. Maybe it means fans care more about perceived showboating than they do PEDs? Maybe it means they just vote for the more popular name when given a choice? I have no idea, but I do like that it flummoxes all of those “the PED guys are gonna play the price!” narratives we’ve seen the past few days.



No, the All-Star vote is not a referendum on Biogenesis-connected players

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles

The first batch of voting results for the All-Star game will be out today. And as Bob Nightengale notes, there are a lot of players who, based on performance, should be All-Star candidates but who may not get much support. Specifically, the Biogenesis-connected players like Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz. All of whom are having great years, but all of whom served PED suspensions last year.

Each of them had different circumstances involving their use of performance-enhancing drugs. All served suspensions. They apologized. And, soon, we will all find out whether they’ll truly be forgiven . . . Considering the All-Star Game is a showcase for the fans, who determine the starting lineup, perhaps this will be a barometer for whether fans are softening their stance toward PEDs.

Eh, no. Because that implies that fans have ever considered performance on the field n the first half of the season as the be-all, end-all of All-Star Game worthiness. Maybe the fan vote has hewed closer to rewarding worthy first-half players in recent years, but there are still a plethora of reasons fans will or will not vote for a guy. A lot of it is totally disconnected from performance and has more to do with how often the team reminds fans to vote, how strong the ballpark’s cell phone reception is and what kind of attendance the team had in mid-April when MLB starts pushing All-Star voting for some damn reason.

More fundamentally — and this may blow your mind — fans often vote for stars when they vote for All-Stars. Derek Jeter will likely be the starting AL shortstop. This is not because of his performance. It’s not because fans will be punishing Alexi Ramirez for some sort of transgression the rest of us have missed. It’s because he’s Derek Jeter and Derek Jeter is a big star and he’s famous and Alexi Ramirez ain’t. Which is fine, because it’s a fan vote and they can vote for any reason they want to. Often times, being famous or compelling or playing for a popular team matters a hell of a lot more than anything.

Ryan Braun had always been famous and popular before the PED stuff, so sure, I imagine if suddenly becomes an All-Star also-ran it’s in large part because of his now-sullied reputation. Jhonny Perlata could get a surge of support because he now plays for the Cardinals, not because fans have suddenly softened their stance on PEDs. Guys like Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz might get soft support because of the drugs or it could be just as much a function of them being Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz. Which, in terms of star power puts them a lot closer to Alexi Ramirez than it does Derek Jeter.

Poring over All-Star voting is fun to some, but mostly pointless. Trying to draw definitive conclusions about any specific fan opinion from them, however, is a fool’s errand.

Ryan Braun back in Brewers’ lineup and hitting second

Ryan Braun AP

Ryan Braun left Thursday’s game with tightness in his right side, a concerning development after his recent DL-stint due to an oblique injury, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that he’s back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Marlins.

Interestingly, Braun will hit second today. This will be the first time that he has batted anywhere other than third since September 10, 2010. It’s unclear whether Brewers manager Ron Roenicke plans to keep him there for an extended stretch, but many believe that teams should employ their best hitter out of the No. 2 spot. It should be an interesting situation to watch.

Braun, 30, is batting .289/.328/.529 with seven home runs and 19 RBI over 31 games this season.

Ryan Braun hopes to return to Brewers’ lineup on Saturday

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was held out of Friday’s lineup against the Marlins after experiencing tightness in his right side in Thursday’s series finale against the Braves. Braun has already been on the disabled list with an oblique injury, so the hope was that Braun would not require yet another stint.

Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Braun believes himself to be available off the bench tonight and hopes to see his name in Saturday’s starting lineup.

“It’s the same thing I had. I just irritated it, aggravated it a little bit,” said Braun. “I’ll be available tonight and hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Braun has very clearly been affected by the injury, even after coming off of the disabled list. Since May 13, his first game back, Braun is slashing .212/.235/.364 with a pair of doubles and a solo home run in 34 plate appearances.

Ryan Braun exits game with tightness in right side

Ryan Braun AP

Some potentially troubling news for the Brewers here, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Ryan Braun left tonight’s game against the Braves after four innings due to tightness in his right side.

Braun just returned from the disabled list last week after being sidelined with a right oblique injury, so this isn’t a good sign. It’s possible that he could require another extended absence.

Braun went 0-for-2 before exiting tonight’s game and is batting .289/.328/.529 with seven home runs and 19 RBI over 31 games this season.