Some things to read while doing what you're told.
Another day, another award nomination for Ryan Braun: Yesterday he was announced as the Brewer nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, which you can vote for up to ten times each day. Each team gets a nominee for the award, but Braun is one of just four players nominated who also appeared on the ballot last season.
Braun, by the way, ranks fourth among all major league position players in Beyond the Box Score's WARi stat, an effort to average all three WAR formulas. Perhaps more surprisingly, Aramis Ramirez is the 17th best major leaguer by this measure.
Meanwhile, the Brewers still have a few more weeks to think about one of their first offseason decisions. They'll have until three days after the World Series to decide if they plan to exercise or decline Alex Gonzalez's $4 million option for 2012. That means the deadline will be somewhere between November 1 (if the series is a sweep) and November 4 (if it goes seven games).
Gonzalez's April injury was the reason for several months of revolving door options at the shortstop position this season. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew gave Brewer shortstops a C in his infield report card, but gave second basemen (most notably Rickie Weeks, who hit 20 home runs) a D+.
Elsewhere in season-in-reviews, The Brewer Nation revealed their votes for the 2012 Brewer team awards. I don't think anyone would have predicted before the season that Marco Estrada would be in the conversation for best pitcher.
With that said, Estrada's solid performance is one of many reasons many of us are expecting big things from 2013. This week's BCB Tracking Poll shows that 68% of us expect the Brewers to make the playoffs next season.
In the minors:
- The AFL Brewers were on the short side of a thrilling comeback last night as Scottsdale scored two in the bottom of the ninth and another in the eleventh to beat Phoenix 6-5 despite Hunter Morris' first hit and Brock Kjeldgaard's first homer. You can read about that and more in today's AFL Recap.
- Meanwhile, the season kicks off tonight in Venezuela's winter league. 2012 Brewers or Brewer minor leaguers taking part include catcher Humberto Quintero (Zulia), DSL pitcher Eliezer Montano (Anzoategui), Livan Hernandez, Yorvit Torrealba and Alex Gonzalez (all Caracas). There may be more but four teams' rosters still aren't available.
If you went to bed at a normal hour last night (and "a normal hour" for me means about 15 minutes too early), then you might have missed one of the greatest comebacks in recent playoff history. The A's, down 3-1 in the ninth inning with their season on the line, came back to score three runs in the bottom half and force an ALDS Game 5 (and another playoff quadrupleheader) today. You can see the highlights here, if you missed them last night or just want to watch them again.
I've been pretty outspoken about my dislike for this season's new playoff procedures, with the single game Wild Card play-in and the 2-3 LDS schedules, but I will give baseball credit for getting one thing right here, perhaps accidentally. By cramming an extra game into the LDS schedule they've eliminated some off days and made for a really exciting playoff first round. Today will be our third LDS day with four games, which strongly increases the possibility for at least one great game every day.
If playoff baseball isn't exciting enough for you, though, you could try staging a standing contest.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch more cartoons.