Tag Archives: milwaukee brewers news

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Ryan Braun

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Ryan Braun

With the new 2013 Topps Archives baseball card set release, the ‘Mini Tallboys’ subset is easily one of the best parts of the issue.

The cards from this subset offer a very basic, but throwback feel that screams vintage. The set is 40 cards deep and offers a nice mixture of current players, stars from the 1980′s, and Hall of Fame legends.

This is the card of Ryan Braun from the set:

img455

I’m happy to get this card – get it off my ‘want list, that is…

With all of the dark clouds that have been hanging over the head of Ryan Braun for the last two seasons, I am a bit surprised to see Topps inserting Braun into subsets.

Surprised and a bit put-off too…

Ready for the next ‘Tallboy’!!!

I Finally Decided What I Am Going To Do With My Ryan Braun T-shirt…

I Finally Decided What I Am Going To Do With My Ryan Braun T-shirt…

After pulling Ryan Braun’s t-shirt from my closet the other day, I just let it sit on the floor in the corner.  I was not sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew that it no longer deserved to be hanging with my roster of t-shirts that contain legendary names like Nolan Ryan, Joe Morgan, Reggie Jackson, Andre Dawson, and others.

I considered donating it.

Maybe sell it in the next community garage sale we participate in.

Possibly just throw it in the garbage.

All decent options – and all were considered.

But, then I think I found the best option.  An option that allows me to vent my frustration:

BRAUN SHIRT 1

BRAUN SHIRT 2

BRAUN SHIRT 3

BRAUN SHIRT 4

BRAUN SHIRT 5

BRAUN SHIRT 6

BRAUN SHIRT 7

BRAUN SHIRT 8

BRAUN SHIRT 9

BRAUN SHIRT 10

I think that this worked out rather well.  Ryan Braun shit on baseball; he shit on his fans; he shit on every member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization; and he shit on the history of the game.

So now, he gets what he deserves.  And to think at one point, he was my favorite non-Marlin…

This T-Shirt No Longer Deserves To Be Hanging In My Closet…

This T-Shirt No Longer Deserves To Be Hanging In My Closet…

In the wake of all of the madness that has surrounded Ryan Braun’s major league baseball suspension due to his positive test results for PED-use, I have tried to remain calm.

My love for the sport extends well beyond any liking I may have for any individual player not named Andre Dawson.

And now, some 48 hours after the announcement of Ryan Braun’s suspension, my blood is starting to boil.

I am not as irked about the PED usage as I am about the press conference that Bruan held in which he tore into the urine sample collecting process and how it was not properly obtained and processed.  The urine was not tainted or compromised, but Bruan’s morals were.

This was all a joke.  Had he come clean then, my opinion would be different today.  But, since he did not – he pointed the finger instead of looking in the mirror – and to me, that is the most harmful part of this.  His inability to be accountable for his actions combined with his portrayal of himself as the victim makes me sick.

For the last half-decade, I have been a Ryan Braun fan.  I learned about him while he played college baseball in Miami.  With great pride, I drafted him in several fantasy baseball leagues.   I collected his baseball cards.  Hell, I made it a point to go see the Brewers play when they came to play the Marlins on two different occasions just to see #8.

Worst of all, I put his name on my back by wearing his player t-shirt.

But today, I am pulling his shirt from my closet.  He does not deserve to be hanging in the same company as Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken, Roberto Clemente, Dale Murphy, Andre Dawson, and many others.

Braun T-Shirt

Now I just have to figure out what to do with this thing…

Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – Ryan Braun 2012 Topps Archives ‘Cloth Sticker’

Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – Ryan Braun 2012 Topps Archives ‘Cloth Sticker’

I had keyed my wantlist for the subsets I am building into my notepad on my IPhone prior to the show.  I was not certain that I was going to find any of them while there, but at least I would be prepared if I did…

Well, it turns out that I found a few – 3 to be exact!!

1 of the 3 is Ryan Braun’s card from the 2012 Topps Archives ‘Cloth Sticker’ set.

Here is the card:

SHOW 7

Braun looks great on this one – and Topps did a fantastic job with these.

I needed two cards from this set to complete it, and now with this Braun card out of the way, I am 1 card away from completing the set!!

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #10 – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #10 – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

I am working on this set because I find it to be the most appealing of the subsets issued by Topps in 2012.

The cards feature bold colors, great images, and a unique horizontal design.

I especially like the ‘Career Day’ theme as it pays homage to some of the greatest individual performances of baseball’s elite players.

Card #10 – Ryan Braun

CAREER DAY 10

Career Day – September 25, 2008.  Right in the midst of battling for a spot in the post-season, Ryan Braun took his Brewers team on his back with a walk-off Grand Slam to end the game and secure victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  On the day, Braun was 1-for-5, with just one hit, but boy did it count!  His walk-off Slam secured victory for his team!

Progress 10/25

2012 Topps ‘Timeless Talents’ With Paul Molitor & Ryan Braun

2012 Topps ‘Timeless Talents’ With Paul Molitor & Ryan Braun

While I fully understand the connection between Paul Molitor and Ryan Braun, I don’t know if Topps hit it on this head with this one.

Sure, the Milwaukee thing is important, but that fits more of a theme of ‘Then & Now’ for me than one of ‘Timeless Talents’.

In my eyes, a player that more represents what Molitor did on the field would be a guy like Ian Kinsler or Derek Jeter.

And as for Braun, his numbers resemble a player more like Frank Robinson.

But that is just one collector’s humble opinion…

Still, the card does look pretty sharp!!  Have a look:

Ryan Braun Speaks

PHOENIX — Addressing the media one day after he became the first Major Leaguer to successfully appeal a suspected violation of MLB’s Drug Treatment and Prevention Program, Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun said the ordeal has been the greatest challenge of his life.

Upon reporting to camp on Friday, Braun first thanked MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, Brewers chairman and principal owner Mark Attanasio and fans who withheld judgment throughout the process. He also emphasized that the positive test was not the result of a personal medical issue or sexually transmitted disease.

“I’ve tried to respect this process,” Braun said. “I’ve tried to handle the entire situation with honor, with integrity, with class, dignity and professionalism, because that’s who I am.

“If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I would’ve been the first to step up and say, ‘I did it.’

“I’ve always taken responsibility for my actions. … I know in my heart this substance never entered my body. Part of the reason I’ve kept quiet … is to put the best interest of the game ahead of the best interest of myself.

“At the end of the day, I know the truth.

“I’ve always stood up for what is right. … The system, in the way it was applied to me in this case, was fatally flawed.”

A special panel ruled, 2-1, in favor of Braun, erasing a suspension of up to 50 games and allowing Braun to begin the defense of his 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Award on April 6, when the Brewers will open the regular season at home against the reigning World Series champion Cardinals.

It is not a decision that Major League Baseball agreed with.

“As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute,” read part of a statement from MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred. “While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”

Das cast the deciding vote on a panel that also included MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and Weiner. Braun called into question the chain of custody of the sample because it wasn’t immediately sent in via Fed Ex, as required by the testing policy.

Braun reiterated throughout his speech that the flaws of the testing program and its “guilty until proven innocent” mantra must be addressed.

“With what’s at stake — this is my livelihood, this is my integrity, this is my character, this is everything I’ve ever worked for in my life being called into question — we need to make sure that we get it right,” Braun said. “If you’re going to be in a position where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent, you can’t mess up. And today’s about making sure that this never happens to anyone else who plays this game.”

It would have been far more difficult, experts say, for Braun to fight the result based on supposedly inadvertently taking a supplement or medication that included a banned substance, even if it truly had been prescribed for a purpose not related to performance enhancement. So a challenge based on improper protocol stands to reason as Braun’s best chance to have gotten the appeal honored.

“I don’t know anything about it, other than my job and responsibility as a general manager is to put the best team on the field, and the decision allows me to do that a little bit better,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said on Thursday.

Attanasio released a statement on Thursday night on behalf of the Brewers.

“Since joining our organization in 2005, Ryan Braun has been a model citizen and a person of character and integrity,” the statement read. “Knowing Ryan as I do, I always believed he would succeed in his appeal.

“I also want to reiterate my support for Major League Baseball’s strict substance testing program. It is unfortunate that the confidentiality of the program was compromised, and we thank our fans and everyone who supported Ryan and did not rush to judgment.

“The team is looking forward to seeing Ryan in camp [Friday]. With this now behind us, we return our focus to the ballpark and defending our NL Central Division title.”

While Braun said that it is not his place to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to the program, he made it clear that everybody involved in the process needs to be held to the same accountability as the players. For now, though, Braun said the system ultimately worked in exonerating him, and his focus has now shifted to his team defending its division crown.

“Ultimately, as I sit here today, the system worked, because I am innocent and I was able to prove my innocence,” Braun said. “After today, I look forward to returning my focus to the game of baseball, being able to get back with my teammates, allowing my life to return to some sense of normalcy and focusing on helping our team get back to the postseason.”

By Capturing The 2011 NL MVP Award, Ryan Braun Places Himself In Elite Company!!!

By Capturing The 2011 NL MVP Award, Ryan Braun Places Himself In Elite Company!!!

Case in point:  Braun is the 13th player to win both an NL MVP Award and the NL Rookie of the Year Award, which he was awarded in 2007. That puts him in very good company; the other dual winners are Ryan Howard, Pujols, Jeff Bagwell, Andre Dawson, Johnny Bench, Dick Allen, Pete Rose, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Don Newcombe.

Solid company right there – and he is just 28 years old!!!

Congratulations Ryan!!!!

Ryan Braun – Your 2011 NL MVP!!!!

MILWAUKEE — And now, a dose of tradition to follow a day of debate. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun — a prolific hitter from a contending team — is the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

Braun beat the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp to become the first Brewer to win a league MVP award since Hall of Famer Robin Yount won for the second time in 1989, when Milwaukee was still an American League franchise.

He received 20 of a possible 32 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, two from each NL city, for a total of 388 points. Kemp received 10 first-place votes and 332 points.

Braun’s teammate, Prince Fielder — currently a free agent — was third with one first-place vote and 229 points. D-backs outfielder Justin Upton garnered 214 points, including one first-place vote, to place fourth. Career Cardinal Albert Pujols, also a free agent, finished fifth.

Braun’s victory reinforced that the most valuable player is usually an everyday player. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander won the AL MVP Award, the first pitcher so honored since 1992 and the first starting pitcher in a quarter-century.

Braun’s win over Kemp was also an affirmation that team success matters to BBWAA voters in trying to define the meaning of “valuable.” Including Verlander and Braun, 16 of the 24 MVPs since 2000 have come from division winners, 19 have come from teams that made the playoffs and 21 — all but three — have come from teams that finished the season within 2 1/2 games of first place.

Braun fit the bill, leading the Brewers to a franchise-record 96 wins in the regular season and the National League Central crown, their first since moving to the NL in 1998 and first overall since 1982. He hit .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. Kemp batted .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 40 steals for a Dodgers team that finished 11 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West.

Kemp had the edge in homers, RBIs and steals, and also made 60 more plate appearances than Braun, who led the league in average, slugging percentage (.597) and OPS (.994).

The MVP honor capped a dream season for Braun, who turned 28 last week. He signed a record-setting contract extension in April that can keep him with Milwaukee through at least 2020 and positions Braun to be this generation’s Yount, a player who spent all 20 of his Hall of Fame seasons in one uniform.

“Ryan Braun is going to have a statue outside Miller Park someday,” Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said last week.

Braun has already provided some bronze-worthy moments. He hit the home run that clinched the NL Wild Card in 2008, and another that clinched the NL Central this September. By then, Braun was already the Brewers’ first player with 30 homers and 30 steals since Tommy Harper in 1970.

Braun was voted by fans to start the All-Star Game for the fourth straight season, though a leg injury kept him out. After the season, he won the Silver Slugger Award for the fourth time.

The Brewers have had four league MVPs in 43 seasons as a franchise. Reliever Rollie Fingers won in 1981 and Yount in ’82 and ’89.

Milwaukee Brewers Clinch The NL Central

MILWAUKEE — The Brewers won a game, then clinched their place in the postseason, too. Sound familiar?

It was 2008 all over again on an exhilarating Friday night at Miller Park, down to the eighth-inning, hysteria-inducing Ryan Braun home run and the tense moments that followed while the Brewers’ postseason fate was sealed hundreds of miles away.

A 4-1 win over the Marlins pushed the Brewers to the verge of the National League Central crown and turned Miller Park into a northern outpost of Wrigleyville. With Milwaukee’s magic number down to one, a sold-out crowd of 44,584 turned its attention to the scoreboard and watched the Cubs rally for a 5-1 win over the Cardinals.

With that, Milwaukee’s postseason ticket was punched.

With that, pandemonium.

“In 2008, when we went to the postseason for the first time in 26 years, you really realized how special it was to everybody in this city and this state,” Braun said. “Winning the division this time makes it that much more meaningful. This is what we set out to do from the beginning of the year.”

Back in ’08, they won the NL Wild Card on the final day of the season at Miller Park. Midseason acquisition CC Sabathia supplied the pitching gem. Braun snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Everybody — players, fans alike — watched on the scoreboard as the Marlins beat the Mets to seal Milwaukee’s spot in October.

Three years later, the similarities were striking down to the involvement of the Cubs and Marlins. Yovani Gallardo was the starting pitcher this time, working into the eighth inning. A July acquisition (Francisco Rodriguez) earned the win. Braun again snapped a 1-1 tie, this time with a two-out, three-run homer off Marlins reliever Clay Hensley that clanked off the scoreboard in center field.

Then, the wait through the final outs of Cubs-Cardinals. Then, a celebration that began in the clubhouse and worked back onto the field, where the stands remained full of fans.

“I told Corey [Hart] in the first inning, ‘This feels like ’08,'” Braun said. “The anxiety, the excitement from the fans. You could just tell they were waiting for an opportunity to go crazy.”

They went crazy after the Brewers won their division for only the second time in franchise history and the first time since 1982. For only the fourth time in 43 years of existence, the Brewers are bound for the postseason.

Gallardo scattered seven Marlins hits — four of them doubles — but allowed only one run in 7 1/3 innings thanks to 11 strikeouts on a record-setting night. He became the first Brewers pitcher to strike out 10 or more batters in three consecutive starts, with 12 whiffs against the Phillies on Sept. 11 and 13 more against the Reds on Saturday. He topped the 200-strikeout plateau for the third straight season, another club record. Of the seven 200-strikeout seasons in Brewers history, Gallardo owns three of them.

He conjured Sabathia on Friday night.

“You know, one of the things I learned from him, no matter what the situation is, he’d just stay relaxed and go out there and pitch his game,” Gallardo said. “That’s what I tried to do here tonight.”

Prince Fielder’s towering home run in the second inning and Marlins center fielder Bryan Petersen’s bloop single in the fourth accounted for the game’s only runs into the eighth inning, when an error charged to Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks gave the Marlins runners at first and second base with one out.

Enter Rodriguez, who struck out Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison with 10 tension-filled pitches, pumping his fist into his glove and pointing to the crowd as he worked his way back to the dugout.

“I have no words to describe it, the intensity, the adrenaline that I had when I was walking from the bullpen,” Rodriguez said. “Once I crossed that door, I knew I had to go for two strikeouts. I cannot let them get the opportunity to put the ball in play. That was my mentality.”

The Brewers rallied moments later. After Corey Hart doubled and Nyjer Morgan walked, Braun, 0-for-3 in the game and with only one hit in his last 16 at-bats, connected with a slider from right-hander Hensley and sent it to straightaway center field.

“That’s the difference,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “That’s the pros. That’s what you like to find, the guys who put the good numbers up, but they knock the runs in. Look at Fielder and Braun, more than 100 RBIs. That’s tough back to back, pick your poison.”

With the crowd roaring and a new Cubs-Cardinals score posted on the out-of-town scoreboard — a 1-1 tie had turned into a 4-1 Cubs lead — Brewers closer John Axford pitched the ninth inning. His 44th save tied Francisco Cordero’s franchise record.

Braun also made the game’s defining defensive play, a diving catch in the fifth inning to rob Omar Infante of a hit. Braun jumped up and fired to first base to complete an inning-ending double play.

“At first, I didn’t [think he would get to the ball],” Gallardo said. “But he made an awesome play. He did a great job. And then coming back and hitting that home run, that’s the kind of night he had.”

How did it feel to be the hero?

“It’s not my night; it’s our night,” Braun said. “It feels amazing. It’s something we’ve all done together. You just recognize it, embrace it and realize how hard it is to get to this position.”