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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ryan Braun retires after 14 seasons

On May 25, 2007, Ryan Braun began his journey as a Major League Baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers. Today, more than 14 years later, that journey officially comes to an end.

The Brewers all-time franchise home run leader, six-time All-Star and 2011 National League MVP, Braun has announced his retirement as an active player. Braun, 37, played his entire 14-year Major League career with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2007-20 and is among the franchise leaders in nearly every offensive category.

Brewers fans will have the opportunity to celebrate with Ryan and those close to him as the former MVP will be honored in a ceremony on the field prior to the Sunday, Sept. 26 game against the New York Mets.

“I have weighed this decision for many months. While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days,” Braun said.

“It’s difficult to describe my emotions today, but it starts with overwhelming gratitude to those who have shared this experience with me while offering their unconditional support at every turn.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:25 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, ryan braun

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   1. Buck Coats Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6039612)
I know the steroid scandal complicates things, but I'm kind of surprised he's calling it quits when it seems like he can still hit. Evem his worst season (2020) he put up a 769 OPS, a 101 OPS+. Just the year before he hit 849 for a 116 OPS+.

There can't be many non-HOFers who never had an OPS+ under 100 in a long career.
   2. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6039613)
Braun can now turn to his true passion -- selling computers out of a garage in the Bronx.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6039614)
did he have a choice?
   4. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6039617)
I read the blurb and all I can say is that it still feels weird that Milwaukee is in the National League.
   5. What if I planted tomatoes Posted: September 14, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6039619)
1--Body kept breaking down. His defense now just sucks. Tried to do first base but didn't take. But really it his body failing. Just when he would start feeling good and hitting like old Braun something would go and he would have to take time off.

I get that he's pretty despised around here. But one thing Braun did even knowing that his body probably wouldn't hold up is hustle and dive. Ran hard on all the hit balls. Went after stuff on defense. In one respect kind of dumb because he had to know he was likely going to end up on the IL. But then it was also admirable. FWIW on the field Braun always tried hard. As someone who watched Yuni pretend to play shortstop during a division race that made an impression. ####### lasagna
   6. reech Posted: September 14, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6039624)
A complete low-life scumbag.
Good riddance.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 14, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6039625)
He probably wasn't even aware that he missed the 2021 season - he's still in a batter's box somewhere holding up his hand to make damn sure the game isn't allowed to proceed until he's good and ready for the next pitch of his last at-bat of 2020.
   8. Rally Posted: September 14, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6039627)
He was still an average hitter last year, but he doesn’t give you anything more than that at this stage of his career. He could have stuck around if he was willing to take a cheap contract with no guaranty of a roster spot I’m sure, but can’t imagine anyone would offer him serious money.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 14, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6039644)
I read the blurb and all I can say is that it still feels weird that Milwaukee is in the National League.

I feel the same way about Atlanta.
   10. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 14, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6039646)
I'm not sure there's a player I liked less than Braun. Usually I can give a begrudging respect for talented players who seem like jerks, but man, from start to finish, there wasn't a minute where I could muster even that for him.
   11. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 14, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6039652)
Strange timing - aren't these usually done earlier or in the offseason? But I guess the Hebrew Hammer wanted this off his plate before his fast.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6039663)
There can't be many non-HOFers who never had an OPS+ under 100 in a long career.

Claims like this are always tough to assess. Braun made it to 7340 PA. "Never" comparisons to guys with 6500 PA and guys with 8000 PA are both unfair. In Braun's particular case, he's choosing (or being forced) to stop before he has that sub-100 season; some other equal player decides to go on and loses his "never" status. Then you get "season."

So, very first guy I checked was Al Oliver. His first "season" was going 1 for 8 in an age 21 very small cup of coffee, that's a -24 OPS+. Did he ruin his claim right there? Oliver followed that with 9,490 PA over 16 seasons where he didn't have one under 100 OPS+. Then for the last 280 PA of his career, he had a 75 OPS+. That certainly seems more impressively "consistently good not great" than Braun but by gettting that last chance (he was still under contract apparently), Oliver drops off the "never" list.

Dw Evans put up a 117 at age 20 but just a 93 at 21 ... then 18 seasons (>10,000 PA) of 100+ including a 119 in his final season. In Baltimore as an FA after 19 years in Boston, that was clearly by choice. After a bit of a rough start, Whitaker had 8300 PA never below 100, finishing with a 129 OPS+ in part-time play. Grich had 104 bad PA to start his career and a 98 OPS+ smack in the middle.

So if we said "how many HOVG players were consistently good from the ages 23-36" or "for a stretch of about 7200 PA", we'd find quite a few. If we impose on them criteria we're not applying to Braun (mainly how consistent were they before 23 and after 36) then lots of them fall away.

Now here's Braun vs Dick Allen:

RB 7340 PA, 1963 H, 352 HR, 296/358/532, 134 OPS+, 316 Rbat, 50 oWAR
DA 7315 PA, 1848 H, 351 HR, 292/378/534, 156 OPS+, 435 Rbat, 70 oWAR

Very close raw stats, vastly different contexts obviously.

Very different career lengths but Brauan is also roughly Sheffield with fewer walks.
   13. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:24 PM (#6039671)
I feel the same way about Atlanta.


Touché
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:24 PM (#6039672)
Strange timing - aren't these usually done earlier or in the offseason?
A lot of the off-season retirements result from teams not offering a sufficiently lucrative contract, or any contract. Late season retirement announcements are fairly common for those who want to make the decision themselves.
   15. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6039684)
Braun's slash line stats are uncannily similar to Allen's. Moises Alou (.303/.369/.516 during the height of steroid ball, in mainly hitter's parks, 288 R-bat) is also close.

His true comparable players are:
- Matt Holliday
- Lance Berkman, except Berkman walked nearly twice as much
- Jim Rice, except Rice has 1500 more PA

Being the 25th-best player all time at your position is notable, but he's not making the Hall of Merit.
   16. DanG Posted: September 14, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6039708)
Bob Johnson had an OPS+ of at least 125 in every year of his 13-year career (over 8000 PA). Too bad he was stuck in the minors til age 27.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: September 14, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6039720)
Indian Bob, if you're scoring at home.

and I still vote for him in Hall of Merit voting.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2021 at 08:36 AM (#6039771)
Will Clark was never below 100 OPS+ in his 15-year career.
   19. Darren Posted: September 15, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6039788)
I know that Braun is hated for how he handled the PED thing, and that's plenty of reason, but has he otherwise been a jerk too?
   20. Darren Posted: September 15, 2021 at 10:31 AM (#6039789)

Braun can now turn to his true passion -- selling computers out of a garage in the Bronx.


You're thinking of Eva. Happens all the time to Longoria too.
   21. Smitty* Posted: September 15, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6039795)
Serenity now!
   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6039811)
Braun's one of those one-foot-in-the-Hall guys; he had 43 WAR by age 32, and his top comp then was Larry Walker. He didn't exactly drive off a cliff after that (267/327/488, 115 OPS+ in 1,521 PA), but didn't do much to earn that good ol' $75MM+, either...
   23. Soul Man Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6039814)
Jose Canseco never had an OPS+ below 100 (17 seasons).
   24. Darren Posted: September 16, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6040003)
Ted Williams's only season below 160 was 114 when he was 40. Of course, he bounced back up to 190 at age 41.



(I know that's not what we were talking about.)
   25. Snowboy Posted: September 16, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#6040025)
Just to pick out a name, because I liked him as a player, and was listening to him broadcast last night:
Ryan Braun vs Ken Singleton

Braun was a first round pick (5th overall)
Singleton was a first round pick (3rd overall)

RB 7340 PA, 1963 H, 352 HR, 296/358/532, 134 OPS+, 316 Rbat, 50 oWAR
KS 8559 PA, 2029 H, 246 HR, 282/388/436, 132 OPS+, 326 Rbat, 49 oWAR

Games by position
RB OF-1528, 3B-112, DH-39, 1B-19
KS OF-1538, DH-477

MVP shares
RB 1.96 (1 win, 2 other top 10)
KS 1.43 (4 top 10)

Hall of Fame standards
Batting (avg HOF 50)
RB 39
KS 30
JAWS
RB (LF) 25th, 47.1 WAR, 42.9 JAWS
KS (RF) 26th, 41.8 WAR, 37.8 JAWS

Singleton fails the "never below 100 OPS+" test because he hit 99+ in his 69G debut season, and 62+ in his last, but he was 100+ in the other 13. (I feel like every player hits under 100+ in their last season? That's *why* it was their last season, unless they suffered an injury or ran off to join a vaudeville stage like Turkey Mike Donlin. Or got banned or blacklisted like Barry Lamar.)

Singleton retired after 1984, and was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1986.
Singleton appeared on the Cooperstown HOF ballot in 1990, and didn't receive a single vote.
There were legitimate reasons for that, and a crowded ballot said more about Singleton's vote total than Singleton's value as a player, but Braun deserves roughly about the same treatment. The narrative of only ever playing for one team makes Braun a unique story these days, and he won an MVP after debuting as ROTY, and holds franchise records. It seems like all the ingredients are there, except for sodium bicarbonate. Turn the oven as hot as they like, Braun's cake still doesn't rise.
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6040028)


Singleton fails the "never below 100 OPS+" test because he hit 99+ in his 69G debut season, and 62+ in his last, but he was 100+ in the other 13. (I feel like every player hits under 100+ in their last season? That's *why* it was their last season, unless they suffered an injury or ran off to join a vaudeville stage like Turkey Mike Donlin. Or got banned or blacklisted like Barry Lamar.)


Yeah, that's why we were remarking on Braun (and Johnson, Clark and Canseco). It's pretty unusual never to have a season below 100 *and* not be a HOFer. I would say PED guys are the exception but, other than Bonds, I think all of them had a sub-100 season somewhere, even it was just 18 games at the very beginning of their career like McGwire.

Jeff Kent is another guy who just missed -- he had a 96 in his final season.
   27. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 16, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6040046)
Is anyone else surprised that Braun didn't end up as Oakland A for a year? Isn't that still a tradition? Where a pretty good player (or better) signs with them for a year at the end of his career?
   28. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 17, 2021 at 02:17 AM (#6040048)
Is anyone else surprised that Braun didn't end up as Oakland A for a year? Isn't that still a tradition? Where a pretty good player (or better) signs with them for a year at the end of his career?

This year, it's the Return of Khris Davis.
Next year: Albert Pujols, minimum-wage Oakland Athletic.
   29. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:01 AM (#6040062)
Moises Alou came close. He was over 100 OPS+ every year except for his 21 PA in his first season.

Next year: Albert Pujols, minimum-wage Oakland Athletic.

That does feel right, doesn't it?
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6040063)
on the pitching front, Don Sutton tossed 200+ IP in each of his first 21 seasons except strike-shortened 1981 (pro-rating to more than 200 IP, and 7th in NL IP), then added 191 IP in season 22. oddly, he never finished higher than 5th in that category.

the ride ended with an 87-inning "Welcome Back, Kotter" effort with the Dodgers in 1988.
   31. John DiFool2 Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#6040072)
Singleton fails the "never below 100 OPS+" test because he hit 99+ in his 69G debut season, and 62+ in his last, but he was 100+ in the other 13. (I feel like every player hits under 100+ in their last season? That's *why* it was their last season, unless they suffered an injury or ran off to join a vaudeville stage like Turkey Mike Donlin. Or got banned or blacklisted like Barry Lamar.


Or retired at or near their peak, before they really hit the skids (Ted Williams, Will Clark, Mike Mussina).
   32. Ron J Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6040076)
Yeah, if Williams had played until he was 60 he might not have been able to put up an above average OBP.

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