Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:19 pm

Braun to make speech at BBWAA dinner Saturday

Ryan BraunBy C. Trent Rosecrans

National League MVP Ryan Braun will appear at this Saturday's Baseball Writers Association of America dinner, as CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported earlier this month. But the question remains if he'll say anything regarding his positive drug test last season?

Braun's spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, told the New York Times on Wednesday that Braun would show up, accept the award and make a short speech.

However, Braun, who hasn't made any public statements since news broke that he'd failed the drug test in October, isn't expected to do any interviews.

Braun, and other winners of the BBWAA awards, are expected to attend the dinner. It seems unlikely that he will address the failed test before his appeal is ruled upon by MLB.

Braun and his representatives have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, while admitting the positive drug test.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:48 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 4:16 pm

BBWAA won't strip Ryan Braun of MVP

Ryan Braun

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Baseball Writers Association of America will not strip Ryan Braun of his National League Most Valuable Player award if he is suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell told the Los Angeles Times.

Ryan Braun

"I got the same question after Ken Caminiti came clean about his steroids usage, and whether we should give the 1996 MVP award instead to (second-place finisher) Mike Piazza," O'Connell told the newspaper. "The answer is no.

"We did not strip Alex Rodriguez of the 2003 MVP when it was learned later he used PEDs while in Texas.

"The voters used the information they had at the time of the election. I don't see how we can change that."

The Dodgers' Matt Kemp finished second in the MVP voting. Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes, while Kemp had 10. Braun received 388 total points in the voting to Kemp's 332. Braun finished second on all 12 ballots that didn't vote for him as the first-place finisher. Kemp had 16 second-place votes and six third-place votes. Braun's teammate, Prince Fielder finished third with one first-place vote and 229 total points, followed by Arizona's Justin Upton, who had one first-place vote and 214 total points.

Braun has denied he took PEDs and has appealed the positive test.

The BBWAA, not Major League Baseball, awards the MVP and is in charge of its voting.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:03 pm

MLB institutes media dress code

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Looks like I need to go shopping…

No more can I wear my muscle shirts and micro skirt, because Major League Baseball has instituted a media dress code. I blame David Stern.

OK, it's less a dress code and more of a "guideline" according to MLB, which announced the new regulations on media covering games.

In all, it's not a really big deal, just an easy joke to make at the expense of baseball writers, because everyone already hates them -- and we don't dress that well (and aren't paid well enough to dress too much better ... hint, hint.)

Anyway, among the banned items are the aforementioned muscle shirts, dresses or shorts cut more than 3-4 inches above the knee, see-through clothing, tank tops (a favorite of Scott Miller), one-shouldered (a Danny Knobler special) or strapess shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs. Also verboten is anything with a team logo.

The oddest, to me, though, is the ban on flip-flops, which is said to be a health concern in the clubhouse. I'm doubting players in those same clubhouses will have to follow suit, even though they often wear flip-flops in there. That said, it's not going to hurt me, I don't like to show my ugly feet in public anyway. As a side note, the only press member I've ever seen wear flip-flops in the regular season is a Spink Award winner, so that's kind of something. Flip-flops, or at least sandals, are commonly worn during spring training because it's less formal than the regular season and it's in either Florida or Arizona and can get hot.

The guideline calls for "an appropriate and professional manner" with clothing proper for a "business casual environment" in dugouts, clubhouses, press boxes and on the field. In all, you'll still see media members in khakis and polo shirts, or button-ups and jeans, as always. There will always be some foof wearing something a little off or with mustard on his shirt (another great cliche that has forced me to keep one of those Tide stain pens in my work bag out of fear of being a walking cliche), and we'll see what happens then. The guidelines are nice, but it'll be interesting to see who enforces it -- the media relations department or the BBWAA members in attendance? 

It's the first such guideline in professional sports, and we'll see if it forces any other changes, but I'm guessing this is the last we'll actually hear of it and sportswriters will continue to look like slobs -- just with their midriff covered. I just wish they'd institute a rule requiring a fedora with a "PRESS" card stuck in the band, that'd be sweet.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: November 15, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am

Two voters left Posey or Heyward off ballots

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter ) has gotten the breakdown of the BBWAA voting for Rookie of the Year and the four voters that broke with the consensus of Buster Posey and Jason Heyward as the National League's top rookies.

Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , didn't vote for Heyward. He voted Posey first and then a pair of Pirates, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata.

Yasuhi Kikuchi of Kyodo News voted Florida's Gaby Sanchez first, followed by Heyward and St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia.

Sanchez's other first-place vote came from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald.

Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News gave Garcia his first-place vote.

UPDATE: Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chroicle has spoken to Kikuchi about his vote. Kikuchi said he didn't vote for Posey because of his May 29 call-up.

"Obviously it was a tough decision," Kikuchi said (via Schulman's Twitter ). "To me, Rookie of the Year is the best rookie player throughout the whole season."

UPDATE: Kovacevic checks in on Twitter with his reasoning:

"Felt very firmly about Posey, thus chose him 1st. Felt Walker/Tabata had strong years, comparable to rest of class. ... Neither Walker nor Tabata is off-the-board choice, as seen from list of NL rookies with 400 PA, ranked by OPS. ... Obviously saw way more of Walker/Tabata than others, but that also gave perspective on them performing at high level in poor lineup/setting."

The one problem with that is that Heyward was second in OPS among NL rookies with 400 plate appearances or more, ahead of Walker.

He is right that Walker isn't off the board. Tabata had a .746 OPS, more than 100 points lower than Heyward. It appears Kovacevic gave the local kids some recognition with his second- and third-place votes, but wanted to make sure his idea of the "right" player won.

Feeling always has been with voting that broadest variety of perspectives bring best results. Few can argue final overall tally, I'd think."

I don't agree, but see where Kovacevic is coming from. As an aside, having read Kovacevic for years, he's far from a homer, although he's already been accused of being one. I don't agree with his vote or even his reasoning, but isn't that why you have a vote instead of just a decision? In the end, the trophy is going to Posey and Heyward is second.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com