Saturday, October 31, 2015

And The Winner of the 2015 AL Hank Aaron Award Is...

...not Michael Brantley =(

as i wrote in a previous blog, Michael was the Cleveland Indians' nominee for the 2015 AL Hank Aaron Award for the second consecutive season. unfortunately, when the winners were finally revealed today on October 31, neither Michael nor his fans received a treat. Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays was named the American League Hank Aaron Award winner for 2015 while Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was named the NL Hank Aaron Award winner. Donaldson was presented with his award by none other than Hank Aaron prior to Game 4 of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets at Citi Field. Harper was unable to attend.

the Hank Aaron Award is given to the top offensive player in each league every year. Donaldson, with his .297 batting average, 184 hits, 41 doubles, 2 triples, 41 home runs, 123 RBI, 122 runs, 73 walks, 133 strikeouts, and .939 OPS, is this season's best hitter in the American League according to fans and a panel of Hall of Fame players.

so for the 2nd year in a row, Michael was defeated. however,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Brantley Received Votes But Not Named To Sporting News' 2015 AL All Star Team

it's time for all the annual baseball lists and awards to start being unveiled, and today, on October 28, Sporting News announced who made its 2015 American League All Star Team. unlike last year, Michael Brantley was not selected to the team, although he did receive votes.

the Sporting News AL All Star team was picked by a panel of 22 American League, aka Junior Circuit, executives (general managers and assistant general managers). the decisions for this year's 90th anniversary team were made before the playoffs began.

the 3 outfielders chosen for this honor were Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals. the first two players make sense. those were obvious choices. but Cain? he most likely got picked because

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Now Have 13 Michael Brantley Autographs (+1 Surprise)

it's become an offseason tradition for me to post recaps of all the autographs i got from Michael throughout the year once the season is over. in 2013, i wrote a blog detailing the 10 autographs i got from him between 2010 and 2013. then at the conclusion of last year, i wrote a blog telling the story of the 1 time i got his auto during that season. links to those blogs will be provided at the end of this post.

as for 2015, i got his autograph 2 times, giving me a grand total of 13 autographs from none other than Dr. Smooth in my collection. now i will recount exactly how they came about.

i obtained my 12th Brantley autograph on May 23, 2015 in the players parking lot after the game versus the Cincinnati Reds, and i wasn't even originally planning on getting it. i made the decision not to stand over by his truck because i didn't think he'd sign and i wanted to try for some other players' autographs who i knew i wouldn't get by standing over at that gate.

Michael was one of the last players to come out despite not playing in this game. Terry Francona had told him the day before that he would be getting the game off. so why did it take him so long to come out? my guess is he was probably getting treatment for his lower back and/or working with the trainers. (keep in mind, his back strain was still an issue that needed attention at this point in the season.)

Michael walked to his truck and

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Final #s for the Cleveland Indians 2015 Season

truth be told, this is one of my favorite yearly blogs to write. this is when i go through all my organized baseball stuff and tally up my personal numbers for the Cleveland Indians season. i love to see everything that i accomplished during the year. like always, i collected some player autographs, acquired a few baseballs, and took a multitude of pictures and videos at the games i went to. and because i got a new digital camera with 30x zoom and invested in a larger SD card, i was able to capture even more/better quality pics than ever before. i like to take as many pics as possible since i can't watch my boys on TV unless they're on a national channel due to STO being blacked out on the MLB package in my area. these mementos also help lessen my rage over the fact that i live 2 plus hours away from the 216 and can't go to the ballpark as much as i want to.

in true diehard fan form, i spent the entire year, from the beginning of the offseason straight through to the end of the season, engrossed in Indians baseball and Michael's season. 2015 represented the 5th straight year when i didn't miss one out of one inning of one game in real time. once again, i was present for all the Tribe's preseason games and all the 161 regular season games. (i can never say "watched" since i listen to the games on my laptop.) i surprised myself because i really believed this was gonna be the year i'd end my run and miss some games due to life getting in the way. as luck would have it, that was not the case. i managed to set up everything that i needed to do, appointments and such, around the Indians' schedule to make certain that i would not miss any part of any game.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Analyzing The Tribe's 2015 (161 Game) Season

for the second year in a row, the Tribe's record diminished. they barely finished above .500, going 81-80, which is 4 less wins than last season. (thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. the jinx is real.) yes, the Indians only played 161 games this year. that's because 1 game in September was postponed due to rain and rescheduled for October 5, the day after the regular season ended. however, it was only to be played if the game was going to have any postseason implications. since the Indians were eliminated from postseason play after all the games on October 1 played out, and their opponents (the Detroit Tigers) had already been knocked out long before that, there was no need for the makeup game and so it was officially cancelled. truthfully, the Tribe kind of lucked out that Major League Baseball decided to do it that way because otherwise, they might have lost that game and then ended up finishing at .500.

with manager Terry Francona at the helm, a continued record drop is certainly not ideal. this guy was brought in here... no, he willingly came here, because it was believed that he could turn things around and get the Indians into the playoffs recurrently again. his track record gave everyone confidence that he was the right man for the job and expectations were high. now with this being his third year here, the results are disappointing. the Indians have only made it to the postseason once, and that was to play the wild card playoff game in 2013, which they lost. so thus far, fans are not getting what they'd hoped for.

and while Tito is not the one on the field playing the games, he can be held somewhat responsible for the product that is out there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wrapping Up Brantley's 2015 Season

well, here we are. another season in the books. and boy did this one take some unexpected twists and turns. i never could have predicted that Michael would battle through injuries literally ALL year long and still turn in statistics that a lot of healthy players would kill for. damn, he's good.

i'm going to start this by posting the links to all the past monthly blogs in case anyone wants to refer back to them:
Brantley's April 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's May 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's June 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's July 2015 #s blog,
Brantley's August 2015 #s blog, and
Brantley's September/October 2015 #s blog.

and now for the last time, here are Michael's final #s for the 2015 season:

Michael had a total of 596 plate appearances and 529 at bats in 137 games (1034.2 innings). in total, he had 164 hits, 60 extra base hits, 104 singles, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 5 sac flies, 68 runs, 60 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 15 stolen bases (14 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 14 GIDP, 51 strikeouts (37 swinging, 14 looking), 34 first at bat hits, 254 total bases, 223 left on base, 212 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 season batting average:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Situational #s, Team Highs, League Rankings, etc.

as i continue to switch things up and do my posts a little differently this year, here is a new blog for you guys, though it will seem somewhat familiar if you've been reading my blogs all season. this one contains Michael's 2015 statistical #s, including his situational statistics, team highs, career highs, league rankings, divisional team stats, Indians History information, and more. if you have not yet read the Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes blog or the Brantley's 2015 BOP & LF/CF/DH/PH #s blog, i highly recommend you do so.

in 2015, Michael had a total of 596 plate appearances and 529 at bats in 137 games (1034.2 innings). in total, he had 164 hits, 60 extra base hits, 104 singles, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, 5 sac flies, 68 runs, 60 walks, 8 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 15 stolen bases (14 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 1 caught stealing (3rd), 14 GIDP, 51 strikeouts (37 swinging, 14 looking), 34 first at bat hits, 254 total bases, 223 left on base, 212 putouts, 8 assists, 2 errors, and 1 double play.

2015 batting average: .310 (164-529)

OBP: .379

SLG: .480

OPS: .859

Michael's .310 batting average was the

Friday, October 9, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Batting Order Position & LF/CF/DH/PH #s

thanks largely in part to Michael's performance last season, his batting order position for 2015 was basically set right from the start of spring training. he bat 3rd in the lineup in 135 of the 137 total games that he played this year. now that Terry Francona has appointed Michael as his 3 hole hitter, this is the most stability Michael's ever had in the order. besides 3rd, he also bat 5th once and 7th once, both times coming during pinch hit appearances on days that he was originally supposed to have off to rest. otherwise, he never would have seen any time outside of 3rd this year. it appears as though he has that spot locked down, and judging by his efficiency there, i think that's a great BOP for him to have. his 163 hits, 45 doubles, 15 home runs, 84 RBI, and 60 walks were quite exceptional.

Michael's 68 runs, on the other hand, seem a bit low. let's examine that. overall, he reached base 236 times this season. he brought himself home with his own 15 home runs, and his teammates drove him in the other 53 times. that means the players batting behind him left him on base 168 times total. so while batting 3rd might be the best BOP for Michael, the guys batting after him may need some rearranging. (or upgrading.)

as far as his place in the field, Michael played both left and center field in 2015. he began as the main left fielder, then later saw time as the center fielder. once Michael Bourn began struggling against left-handed starters, Tito decided he would no longer start Bourn in most games that southpaws pitched. therefore,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes

i'm splitting up some of Michael's overall season stats/numbers, as i've done in the past, so that my readers aren't overwhelmed with one giant blog full of a profuse amount of information. you're welcome lol

this first blog mainly focuses on all of Michael's game-by-game numbers and notes for 2015. he battled through a lot of challenges this season, enduring 3 main injuries: a lower back strain, left shoulder inflammation, and right shoulder inflammation. his right shoulder never fully healed and by late September, the Indians decided to shut him down before the year was over. he missed more games this year than in any of his previous full seasons, yet somehow remained a productive contributor in the lineup. Michael played better while not at full strength than some players did healthy, batting at or above .286 for all but 8 games.

truth be told, 2015 ranked as one of Michael's best seasons in the majors. a new career high, new career low, and walk-off hit marked just a few of the exciting highlights of his campaign. while his stats weren't quite as extraordinary as they were a year ago, he still boasted a few team highs. and, even after a less than stellar finish in September, Michael once again owned the highest batting average (.310) on the team, giving him this honor for the 4th year in a row now. outstanding.

Michael played in 137 of 161* games this season and had

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brantley's 2015 Second Half #s

before i get into Michael's overall 2015 numbers, i'm going to calculate his 2nd half numbers. the format for this blog will be the same as the one i used for his 1st half numbers with the split sections. once again, you can scroll through everything and just read what you find the most interesting, or you can skim each section and focus on the bold/italicized information.

post-All Star break in 2015, Michael had a total of 250 plate appearances and 224 at bats in 58 games (417.2 innings). in total, he had 75 hits, 31 extra base hits, 44 singles, 21 doubles, 10 home runs, 38 RBI, 1 sac fly, 33 runs, 23 walks, 3 intentional walks, 2 hit by pitches, 6 stolen bases (5 - 2nd, 1 - 3rd), 6 GIDP, 25 strikeouts (21 swinging, 4 looking), 14 first at bat hits, 126 total bases, 94 left on base, 86 putouts, 1 assist, and 1 error.

2nd Half 2015 batting average: .335 (75-224)

OBP: .400

SLG: .563

OPS: .963

2nd Half of July BA: .346

August BA: .406

September/October BA: .237

Michael's .335 batting average in the 2nd half was the

Monday, October 5, 2015

Brantley's September/October 2015 #s

hello again, Brantley fans! thank you to everyone who read my Brantley's August 2015 #s blog and Brantley's 2015 #s Through August blog. i know that the August blog was lengthy (albeit not compared to this one), but i trust you forgave me once you discovered how exciting Michael's incredible month was to read about. i also want to welcome some viewers from Sweden who recently visited my blog for the first time. i'm happy you found my blogspot and hope you continue to come back and read all about Michael!

well here we are again, at the end of another baseball season. the Indians gave it a valiant effort, but it wasn't quite enough to land a wild card spot. don't let yourself get too upset though because i will be writing a plethora of blogs throughout this month of October. so make sure you keep checking back for those, or you can simply subscribe to my emailing list (over on the right side of this page) to always be notified whenever a new post goes live! before we get to all that however, it is time for the final monthly blog of 2015.

note: i want to make it clear that September and October are combined to be 1 month. this is what all the baseball sites do when baseball season runs into October. it wouldn't make much sense to give October its own month for stats when not that many games are actually played. so whenever you see "the/this month" written in this blog, know that i am referring to (both) September/October as one even though Michael did not play in any of the October games.

September/October Overview

i don't know what happened here, guys. after Michael's August sizzle, i never saw this September fizzle coming. he just had one of the best months in his career in August and appeared to be headed for a hot finish. but as soon as the calendar flipped over to September, his bat cooled way down and it was like all the steam had been let out. maybe that last game in August (when he went 0-for-4) was a foreshadowing of things to come and i overlooked it based on how amazing he did in all his previous August games.

Michael went hitless in more games this month than any other month this season and

Brantley Named Indians 2015 Hank Aaron Award Nominee

today, on October 5, one day after the 2015 regular season ended, it was announced that for the second year in a row and second time in his career, Michael Brantley is the Cleveland Indians' nominee for the 17th annual Hank Aaron Award!

screenshot cropped off

the Hank Aaron Award is given to the top offensive player in each league as voted on by fans and, for the 6th consecutive year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players. the panel is led by Hank Aaron himself, comprised of a group of Hall of Famers that Aaron selected to help determine the winners. those HOF players include Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas, and Robin Yount.

this award