A Notable Harbinger

I knew San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey would win the National League Most Valuable Player award. What I cared more about was where Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun finished and—most crucially—if he was listed on all 32 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In the end, the results were favorable: he finished second and was listed on every last ballot. This much-deserved recognition by the BBWAA is crucial both for his chances at MVPs going forward and, ultimately, for future induction into the baseball Hall of Fame. To their enormous credit, the writers judged his overturned suspension for what it was: justice done, a horrible inequity righted. Further perpetuating his innocence of what he was accused, compare his 2011 MVP stats to those he accrued—all under a cloud of unwarranted suspicion and sans the longtime protection of Prince Fielder in the batting order—this season:

Year

Age

Tm

Lg

G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

TB

GDP

HBP

SH

SF

IBB

Pos

Awards

2007

23

MIL NL

113

492

451

91

146

26

6

34

97

15

5

29

112

.324

.370

.634

1.004

154

286

13

7

0

5

1

*5 MVP-24,RoY-1
2008

24

MIL NL

151

663

611

92

174

39

7

37

106

14

4

42

129

.285

.335

.553

.888

130

338

13

6

0

4

4

*7/D AS,MVP-3,SS
2009

25

MIL NL

158

708

635

113

203

39

6

32

114

20

6

57

121

.320

.386

.551

.937

146

350

6

13

0

3

1

*7 AS,MVP-11,SS
2010

26

MIL NL

157

685

619

101

188

45

1

25

103

14

3

56

105

.304

.365

.501

.866

131

310

17

6

0

3

1

*7/D AS,MVP-15,SS
2011

27

MIL NL

150

629

563

109

187

38

6

33

111

33

6

58

93

.332

.397

.597

.994

166

336

9

5

0

3

2

*7/D AS,MVP-1,SS
2012

28

MIL NL

154

677

598

108

191

36

3

41

112

30

7

63

128

.319

.391

.595

.987

159

356

12

11

0

5

15

*7/D AS,MVP-2,SS
6 Yrs

883

3854

3477

614

1089

223

29

202

643

126

31

305

688

.313

.374

.568

.943

147

1976

70

48

0

23

24

162 Game Avg.

162

707

638

113

200

41

5

37

118

23

6

56

126

.313

.374

.568

.943

147

363

13

9

0

4

4

In 2012, Braun played in four more games than 2011, had one less run, four more hits, two fewer doubles, three less triples, eight more home runs, an additional RBI, three fewer steals, walked five more times, had a batting average 13 points lower and an his OPS only fell by .07 points. But most importantly, his WAR—wins above replacement, a now widely accepted sabermetric tool that calculates how many wins that player contributed to his team’s win total above and beyond what they would have gotten from a “replacement value” player, someone with average skills—increased from 7.6 to 7.9, a sizeable amount. If the suspicions of him had any amount of truth, no way his WAR could have gone up; instead, if he were doping last year and clean in 2012, his WAR would have fallen precipitously.

The Small Screen

Now to something a bit lighter: behold my occasional update—in order of awesomeness—of the best shows on the small screen . . . :

Comedy

1. Modern Family 
2. Happy Endings
3. The Mindy Project
4. New Girl 
5. 30 Rock 
6. Cougar Town 
7. The Big Bang Theory
8. Suburgatory
9. How I Met Your Mother 
10. 2 Broke Girls
11. The Office

Drama

1. Homeland
2. Breaking Bad
3. Mad Men
4. The Good Wife
5. Person of Interest 
6. The Newsroom
7. Burn Notice
8. Fringe
9. The Walking Dead
10. SVU
11. Boardwalk Empire

On Literature

Reading Now: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin; Barack Obama: The Story; Several Short Sentences About Writing

Immersed but On Hold: The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity; Catching Fire; A World Undone: The Story of the Great War; Theodore Rex

Recently Finished: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest; Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Up Next: Rereading John Keegan’s seminal treatise The Second World War and a to-be-determined thorough examination of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

A Little Bird Told Me . . .

That following @nicholasjonwood on Twitter is a great way to read his two sentence movie reviews and track his relentless pursuit of fantasy football immortality.

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One Response to A Notable Harbinger

  1. Pingback: Political Postmortem « An Ebullient Existence

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