Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts Bring MLBbro Influence That Dominates MLB MVP Races 

Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts Bring MLBbro Influence That Dominates MLB MVP Races 

MLBbro.com is a website that celebrates the great black and brown baseball players in the Major Leagues. Even though the staff knew that there was supreme talent that was overlooked, even we couldn’t have foreseen two MLBbros in Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts not only being superstars for their respective teams but dominating their leagues as well.

These two players are setting historical landmarks this season and could possibly be the first African American tandem to each bag MVP awards from both leagues this season. But while the Shohei Ohtani argument only shows the statistical side of the story and is fueled by the novelty of him being a two-way player, the real MVP is the best player in all aspects. 

Just look at the overall impact that both Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts have on postseason bound teams going into October. As covered by MLBbro.com’s Kevin Moore, they rank first and second, respectively, in runs scored. 

 

Aaron Judge And Mookie Betts Are 1 & 2 In Runs Scored | These MLBbros Get On Base, Cross The Plate

 

But with all the similarities of how dominant these two MLBbros are in their leagues, their differences are a very interesting study.

Aaron Judge (New York Yankees): Potential AL MVP 

This MLBbro MVP has the world paying attention to every at bat these days as he tries to match both the American League and Yankees franchise home run record held by Roger Maris.

 

 

Since this bomb to tie Babe Ruth, Judge has lost his rhythm a little bit. Much of the problem is that teams have now taken to walking him intentionally while Aaron is starting to get under the ball slightly which could be from trying too hard. He is now batting .278 (5-18) with three doubles, eight walks and eight strikeouts.

In the recent 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night, Judge went 1-3 with two walks (including an intentional walk to load the bases in the 10th inning). Now our MLBbro’s homerless streak has extended to 25 plate appearances, his second longest streak this season behind the 41 plate appearances in August.   

But despite the slowdown in his nuclear production, he is still in rare air in the American League all-time single season home run rankings.

Roger Maris, New York Yankees (1961): 61

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (2022): 60 with eight games left as of this writing.

Babe Ruth, New York Yankees (1927): 60

Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers (1938): 58

Jimmie Foxx, Oakland Athletics (1932): 58

But what makes Aaron Judge a potential lock for MVP is his pursuit of the AL Triple Crown this season. With his complete dominance with his home run and RBI numbers, only the batting average race between our MLBbro and Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is being watched at this point. Going into the Yankees game against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Judge is on top with a .314 average.

But while everyone (MLBbro.com included) marvels and watches Judge’s exploits with the baseball bat, we all can forget that this guy may be in the running for a Gold Glove as well. He is athletic in the field at 6’7 and it’s not the greatest idea to test that cannon of an arm he has.

 

 

Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers): Potential NL MVP

While Aaron Judge is overshadowing baseball with his storyline stealing power, Mookie Betts is dominating the National League as the best player on the best team in Major League Baseball. Betts is staking his claim as being the best skilled player and leader in all of baseball. A recent illustration of that fact was in last week’s Dodgers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Despite the fact Mookie was held out of the starting lineup, he still made an impact as a pinch hitter by delivering a walk-off single to win 3-2. That added to Los Angeles’ total of 45 come from behind wins. It just adds to the options that the Dodgers have at their disposal of using Betts as an offensive weapon. Even when the team is resting him for the postseason with the NL West wrapped up, our MLBbro is still engaged. It was the first walk-off hit for Betts since joining the Dodgers.

He shared his thoughts after the game via MLB.com.

“It’s cool,” Betts said. “Actually, I think that might be one of my first pinch-hit hits, so that part was pretty cool in itself. But we got a win and that’s all that really matters.”

But Mookie’s accomplishments should stand next to his MLBbro counterpart in the American League as well. Recently he made franchise history by becoming the first player since Duke Snider in 1954 to hit 35 home runs and 35 doubles in a season.

 

But what makes Betts a MVP candidate is how he has affected his team in a positive way. His ability to move to second base has allowed Trayce Thompson to become a factor in the lineup. A move that was just a stopgap for Betts’ injury has become one of the most underrated signings in MLB baseball this season.

Not only did this diamond in the rough finding allow Betts to prepare for the postseason, but the Dodgers didn’t overspend or make any unnecessary trades at the deadline like their NL West rivals, the San Diego Padres. The financial flexibility for the future is tied to Mookie Betts and his all-around play.

By the way, he can play right field pretty good too…

 

These MLBbros Look Destined To Accumulate Some Hardware This Year | Awards On Deck

 

MLBbro.com Honors the Godfather of the Stolen Base | MLBbro Icon Maury Wills Passes Away

MLBbro.com Honors the Godfather of the Stolen Base | MLBbro Icon Maury Wills Passes Away

Major League Baseball lost a legend this week when former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills passed away at the age of 89. Let MLBbro.com put this on the record:

Maury Wills is the most underrated and underappreciated superstar in Major League History. This MLBbro icon reintroduced the stolen base as a weapon in baseball in his era and the fact that he was snubbed by the Hall of Fame Golden Days Era voting committee last year cements this fact.

Before Rickey Henderson dazzled the MLB fan base with his 130 stolen bases back in 1982, it was Maury Wills that set the blueprint of the “art of the steal” on the basepaths, breaking Ty Cobb’s record for stolen bases (96) with 104 in 1962. Based on this statement to The New York Times that year, his mindset was different from the other players in that era…     

“Stealing is a matter of confidence, even conceit,” he told The New York Times in September 1962. “It’s more than getting a good jump, a big lead. It’s being in the right frame of mind. I run with the thought that the pitcher will make a perfect throw and the catcher will make a perfect throw and I’ll still beat them. I don’t have a doubt.”

 

 

Forget the load management that baseball players have today, Wills played an MLB record (that will never be broken) 165 games that year due to the three game playoff series against the New York Giants that ended with “The Shot Heard Around the World.”

After spending most of the 1950’s working his way through the minor leagues, Wills got his “Lou Gehrig” break by inheriting the shortstop position left by a retired Pee Wee Reese in 1959. He replaced supposed starter Don Zimmer when the future manager broke his toe. Like Gehrig’s career in a New York Yankee uniform, Maury’s career took off and Zimmer’s job went the way of Wally Pipp. 

The MLBbro icon helped the Dodgers win the NL Pennant and a World Series title defeating the Chicago White Sox in six games.

Maury Wills never looked back, when he broke Cobb’s record that stood since the 1915 season. Our MLBbro icon also won the National League Most Valuable Player award in ’62 and won the first MLB All-Star Game MVP that year. Let’s not forget the lightening quick Willis’ soft hands and Gold Glove. In his 14 MLbbro season, Wills collected 20 homers, 458 RBI, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples and 552 walks in 1,942 games. Add on seven All-Star games, that should wrap up a Hall of Fame career.  

This MLBbro icon’s legacy will always be connected to the stolen base and how it influenced the 1960’s. Over the next 30 years it’s amazing how teams added the philosophy to their offensive strategies. 

Just look at Wills’ influence on the game over this 15-year period…

 

Stolen base leaders from 1960-65:

  1. Maury Wills: 376
  2. Luis Aparicio: 258
  3. Lou Brock: 146
  4. Willie Davis: 139
  5. Vada Pinson: 137
  6. Henry Aaron: 129
  7. Frank Robinson: 115
  8. Chuck Hinton: 109
  9. Dick Howser: 102

 

Through this period, outside of Wills, no one on the list topped the 100 stolen base mark for a season. But thanks to Maury’s popularity, it allowed other players the opportunity to steal bases more often. In the time period covering the 1966 to 1970 seasons, 4 players stole more than 100 bases. 

Wills was traded before the 1966 season and spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Montreal Expos before returning to the Dodgers to complete his career. But his legacy will live on through Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts. Wills impacted Roberts’ career in so many ways.

 

 

“He just loved the game of baseball, loved working and loved the relationship with players,” Roberts said. “We spent a lot of time together. He showed me how to appreciate my craft and what it is to be a big leaguer. He just loved to teach. So I think a lot of where I get my excitement, my passion and my love for the players is from Maury.

“And in a strange way, I think I enriched his post-baseball career as far as watching every game I played or managed. I remember even during games I played, He’d come down from the suite and tell me I need to bunt more, I need you to do this or that.

“It just showed that he was in it with me, and to this day, he would be there cheering for me.”

 

 

Dodgers Nation now has lost two legends this season — broadcasting icon, Vin Scully being the other — just before their postseason run. But if the players have the same mindset that Maury Wills had and shared with Sports Illustrated in 1965, the Dodgers will be just fine… 

“I know when I have had a lousy day just by looking down at my uniform,” he told the magazine. “If it isn’t dirty, I haven’t scored two runs, I haven’t done my job.” 

 

Aaron Judge Could Add the Triple Crown To His Laundry List of Accomplishments | Would Join Frank Robinson As Only MLBbros In Exclusive Club

Aaron Judge Could Add the Triple Crown To His Laundry List of Accomplishments | Would Join Frank Robinson As Only MLBbros In Exclusive Club

Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run of the 2022 season in a 9-8 Yankees win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. While his fellow MLBbro Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off grand slam was bro bombing at its best, Judge is closing in on Roger Maris and that’s simply the stuff of legends.

Judge will be the AL MVP at the end of the season everyone. This is no secret, no matter how much highly respected Black Ace CC Sabathia tries to make a claim for Los Angeles Angels pitcher/DH, Shohei Ohtani. 

Despite Ohtani’s numbers, all eyes are on the MLBbro of the Year and his chase for the all-time American League home run record currently held by Yankees icon, Roger Maris. Judge is only two homers away from tying Maris’ 61 dingers and his Tuesday night homer has already placed him in the annals of slugger royalty, along with Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

On Sunday, he added yet another conversation to the news cycle, hitting his MLB-leading 58th and 59th home run against the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

 

Besides powering the Yankees to a 12-8 win over Milwaukee, his 4-5 performance at the plate has now put him in serious contention for the Triple Crown with a few weeks left in the season. Judge would be only the second Black player to win the Triple Crown in MLB history and the first since Frank  Robinson in 1966. 

 

 

Right now, our MLBbro is not only dominating major league pitching, but he’s also become the face of baseball. Judge can no longer be put in a box of just being a power player that puts the ball in the seat. These days, he’s has shown the ability to hit the ball all over the park. Yes, Aaron Judge is not just a home run hitter…he’s a professional hitter period!

His production has been historical. He leads all of MLB in homers and RBI by a large margin. As of Tuesday, Judge is just two RBI shy of 130 on the season. According to MLB Network, no player has had more than 133 RBI in a season since Chris “Crush” Davis in 2013.  Judge currently leads the American League in batting average (.316), RBI and homers.  

Despite all of the hoopla, the MLBbro MVP is still focused on what matters and that’s winning baseball games. He shared his thoughts on his goals via ESPN.

“It’s not too difficult if your main focus and your main objective is to go out there and win a game,” Aaron Judge said. “The numbers, they’re just numbers. I’m focused on doing what I can to be a good teammate and help the team win. If that means hitting a homer, it means hitting a homer, but it’s never been my focus.”

Up until last weekend, any talk about Triple Crown winners was surrounding St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt who is the odds-on favorite to take the National League MVP crown. But now it’s Judge who is in the driver’s seat to become only the 11th player in Major League Baseball history to accomplish this feat since the RBI became a statistic in 1920. 

Just look at the potential greats Aaron Judge could be joining if he keeps up this pace…

2012: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (American League)

1967: Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox (American League)

1966: Frank Robinson. Baltimore Orioles (American League)

1956: Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees (Led American and National Leagues)

1947: Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox (American League)

1942: Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox (Led American and National Leagues)

1937: Joe Medwick, St. Louis Cardinals (National Leagues)

1934: Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees (Led American and National Leagues)

1933: Jimmy Foxx, Oakland Athletics (American League)

1925: Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals (Led National and American Leagues)

1922: Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals (Led National League)

Aaron Judge Is Finishing Strong | MLBbro Leaving No Doubt About AL MVP Award

The history wouldn’t stop there for our MLBbro. If Judge wins the Triple Crown, he would become the third player in Yankees history to achieve the feat along with Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle. That would place the Yankees at the top of the list for the most Triple Crown winners in MLB history, breaking a tie with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. 

But no matter how loudly MLBbro.com or any other media outlets boasts Judge’s accomplishments, our MLBbro is not listening…

“It’s all noise,” Judge said. “I got a job to do on the field and I’m focused on doing that. We got a long way to go. There are quite a few games left this month and the playoffs ahead of us. So I’m staying locked in on that.”

“I’ll tune it out, I try to stay off all that stuff as much as I can, because it’s really no good. You have a bad game, they’re gonna say some things. You have a good game, they’re gonna say some things. So I try to stay off it throughout the year and just focus on what I gotta do here and focus on helping this team and listen to the opinions from my teammates and coaches. Those are the ones that matter to me.”

When pressed about the personal satisfaction of hitting his 60th homer, Judge said, “Getting a chance to play baseball in Yankees Stadium

Check back with Aaron Judge on his performance this year after the season, he’s busy right now!

Former Yankees Pitcher CC Sabathia Believes MLBbro Aaron Judge Doesn’t Deserve AL MVP | Pass Us Some Of That You Smokin’

Former Yankees Pitcher CC Sabathia Believes MLBbro Aaron Judge Doesn’t Deserve AL MVP | Pass Us Some Of That You Smokin’

At one time, sports used to be about following the best players on the best teams. From MLBbro legends such as Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr and the list goes on about how they were as Reggie Jackson famously stated, “The straw that stirs the drink”, on winning teams that benefited from their talent and superstar contributions. In other words, players like these put their prospective teams in position to win championships.

But based on these comments by former Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia, winning is no longer a part of the equation. Despite the fact that Aaron Judge has dominated the baseball diamond and newscycle on baseball’s most iconic team, the New York Yankees, Sabathia still believes that Shohei Ohtani should be AL MVP and not our MLBbro.

Sabathia’s words via CBSSports.com…

“He’s the best player to ever play baseball,” Sabathia said regarding Ohtani. “He’s the MVP every year that he’s healthy. He continues to get better as a pitcher. You have to give him the MVP.”

 

 

“He’s having a better year than last year. I understand everything that Judge is doing,” Sabathia added. “I think it’s going to be incredible to watch him chase down 61 home runs in a Yankees uniform. If it wasn’t for him, they probably wouldn’t be in the playoff picture. This guy (Ohtani) is literally the best player we’ve ever seen.”

No, Ohtani has the advantage of being a two-way player which is almost unprecedented, so therefore captivating. Not since Babe Ruth has a player been a pitcher while being a home run threat the way Shohei has. He hasn’t been the best player all year as Sabathia claims…Aaron Judge has and it’s not even close. 

 

 

Compare those stats with Ohtani’s .265 batting average with 34 home runs (tied for sixth in the league) and 88 RBI. As you can see, Shohei trails Judge in almost every statistical category at the plate. Furthermore, even though Ohtani has a 12-8 record with a 2.55 ERA (10th lowest in baseball) with 188 strikeouts (ranked 8th), the fact that the Angels are struggling should not factor in the mediocrity of his record. Back in 1972, Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young with a record of 27-10, an ERA of 1.91 and 310 strikeouts on a Phillies team that finished last in their division by a whopping 37.5 games. 

But Judge’s numbers wouldn’t be as impressive if they didn’t tie into a championship situation. Although 57 homers can stand alone as an obvious MVP campaign. Everyone in MLB can play and there has to be one player on each team that has to be the best, no matter how bad the team is.

That’s where these two players are separated.

Superstars will lead their teams to victories no matter what is going on behind the scenes. It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Angels are one of the worst teams in baseball. It’s also no secret that no matter what stats Ohtani produces, the team will continue to struggle mightily to the point that he may leave when his contract is up. 

Nothing illustrates this point more than the 14-game losing streak the Angels had earlier this season that got manager Joe Maddon fired. In a period where the entire organization was being criticized for its play on the field and the front office, Ohtani struggled on the mound and the batter’s box with a .192/.333/.383 slash line and a two start ERA of 9.00 while opponents bombed homers at an alarming rate.

Our MLBbro on the other hand, did not allow contract negotiations to derail maybe a historic campaign that is sparking debates that he would be the single season home run king if he breaks the AL home run record of 61 held by Roger Maris. While MLBbro.com founder, Rob Parker broke down his thoughts based on what Barry Bonds had to deal with in his era, MLBbro.com’s very own Manny Brown and Mark Gray weighed in with their opinions…

 

 

Sports shows do invent subjects to debate about, however this race was over about six weeks ago. If anyone was trying to hang on with advanced stats to make their claim for Ohtani, those discussions died this week when Judge deposited two more home runs in the seats when the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. 

When the Boston Red Sox fans rain down MVP chants on a New York Yankees player, that speaks volumes and closes the book on the MVP race this year. That’s history in itself…

 

 

MLBbro.com could bring up the fact that Aaron Judge has 57 homers with 123 RBI with an excellent chance of breaking Roger Maris’ record. It could be pointed out that he’s doing it in one of the biggest markets in the country. We could even say the Yankees would be irrelevant without Judge and his offensive mastery this season. 

But what makes this MVP race a landslide for Judge over Ohtani is the basic theme of this report…team wins. Something our MLBbro understands.

 

 

Will MLBbro Byron Buxton Get Back in Time To Help Minnesota Twins Make the Playoffs?

Will MLBbro Byron Buxton Get Back in Time To Help Minnesota Twins Make the Playoffs?

At the beginning of the season, MLBbro.com did a report covering the rising tensions concerning the Minnesota Twins and its fan base over the structured playing time of Byron Buxton. 

While the fans were shortsighted over wanting to see one of the more dynamic superstars in Major League Baseball, the franchise’s big picture was to ensure that their superstar was healthy and somewhat fresh for a postseason run.

Our MLBbro didn’t make things easy by starting the season on a serious roll on the diamond. And he remained relatively healthy at first. 

Byron Buxton Is On Pace To Play Most Games Since 2017 | Big Bux Shaking Injury Prone Tag In Big Fashion

 

To recap the situation from earlier this season, the medical staff set up a schedule requiring him to take mandatory days off for rest and therapy for his knee. That included keeping him out of the designated hitter spot in the lineup. Considering the list of injuries that Buxton has suffered over the last couple of seasons (left thumb, both wrists, left big toe, left shoulder, right hip, migraines and a concussion), the Twins were committed to sticking to the plan.

The fans were concerned with the bottom line; when Byron Buxton is on the field, the Twins win games. When he is out of the lineup, Minnesota is a below .500 team with no star power to strike fear in opponents outside of Carlos Correa. In short, Byron Buxton is the best player on the field and when he’s present the Twins are an elevated bunch. 

Even though the franchise made some strides with their season long plan with Buxton, who made his first All-Star squad and played the most games since 2017 (92), the right knee tendinitis was still a problem. The bottom started falling out last month when his knee forced him to the DH position in ten of the 14 games he played in August. Then on August 23rd, the Twins placed him on the 10-day injured list with a right hip strain.

Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli described the injury as serious and said caution would be taken going forward, via MLB.com.

“He had a few things go on (Monday where you could tell he was really feeling it,” Baldelli told MLB.com after Monday’s game. “Over the last few days, he’s been in a spot where he’s been on the verge of not being able to go out there, not being able to swing or run. But he’s continued to post up and continued to go out there and play at not a high percentage of what he can normally do physically.”  

 

 

Right now the Twins need the MLBbro in any capacity. The Twins have fallen from the top of the AL Central standings to third place. With their current record of 69-70, Minnesota finds itself on the outside looking in for the third and final wild card spot. 

For the Twins to be able to enjoy baseball in September into October, they need Buxton “Bro Bombing“ much like he was in June.   

Even though Buxton hasn’t been cleared to ramp up baseball activities, Baldelli according to Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic is holding out hope that he will return at the end of the season.

 

 

With reports that Buxton’s absence from the lineup will extend through the weekend to possibly next week, it is clear that the franchise is being extremely cautious with their best player. Everyone involved is hoping that this is not similar to the hip strain that kept him out for most of the 2021 season.

In any event, the season is slipping away along with the Twins’ playoff hopes.  No matter when our MLBbro returns, if the Twins miss the playoffs, the early tension that started between the team and the fans over Buxton’s playing time and injuries will possibly rage in the offseason.