Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Brantley's 2017 All Star Game Experience & #s (w/ Pics & Quotes)

Michael Brantley took part in the 88th annual All Star Game on July 11, 2017, at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. it was the second ASG of his career and i have all the details!

note: even after the announcement on July 2 that Michael was named to the 2017 AL All Star Team, he continued to be congratulated and spoke about his All Star nod several times in the days leading up to the Midsummer Classic. actually, a lot of things occurred in relation to the All Star Game prior to the event that i thought would be good to include here. therefore, this blog covers ASG-relevant information from July 6-11. enjoy!

Prior to the All Star Break

July 6: before the Cleveland Indians game versus the San Diego Padres, Michael was interviewed by Andre Knott, the team's in-game reporter for SportsTime Ohio, and an excerpt was uploaded to a youtube video on the FOX Sports Ohio channel.

Knott began by inquiring how satisfying it is that he made the All Star team after everything he's gone through. "it's
a blessing, i'll say that. it's a lot of hard work, but it wasn't just me. the upper management from Chris [Antonetti] to Chernie [Mike Chernoff] to all the doctors, the medical staff, even the clubbies for letting me in here on Saturday and Sunday so i could get extra work in. that's just very appreciated, i'm very humbled by it and very appreciative."

Knott then delved into what it means to have five players and a coaching staff all at the All Star Game. "it means a lot. it's a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication from a lot of people that is working out in the right direction. we still got to finish that last step and that's what we look forward to, but we're definitely taking the right steps in the process to do it."

July 8: Chris Assenheimer wrote an article for that contained more thoughts from Michael on what it meant to not only be back playing baseball, but to also have made the All Star squad after a lengthy rehab that spanned from last season, through this past offseason, and into this spring.

"there were some dark days and long nights," Michael confessed, "but the training staff, the doctors kept me positive. i just kept working, just kept going after it. nothing was guaranteed, not even coming out of spring training. i didn't know if i was going to make the Opening Day roster, but i was lucky how everything paid off. the shoulder's doing great and i'm very excited about it.

"it's very special. in 2014, i was voted in by the players as well. just to have that recognition that i play the game the right way, that i have the respect from the other side, that you kind of work for... play the game hard and kind of keep your head down. just play baseball the right way. it means a lot. i'm very thankful. nothing comes easy in this game. everything is earned."

fellow 2017 All Star and teammate Andrew Miller additionally voiced his contentment with this outcome for Michael. "i just saw how hard he worked and how badly everybody else wanted it for him. you saw the way that people talked about him, how happy everybody was that he was a part of the clubhouse last year and the run that we had. just hearing the guys that have been here for years with him, the way that they spoke about Michael and how much they appreciate how much work he was putting into it and looking forward to getting him back. i think this is a pretty special acknowledgement of how much work he's put in, and well-deserved."

Chris Antonetti, Indians President of Baseball Operations, proclaimed that he's excited to see Michael take the field in Miami. "that will be one of the highlights. i'll look forward to that, because this is the ultimate team guy. this is the guy who put in all those days when no one was looking, when it was really hard, away from the spotlight, he was in here trying to get back. not only did he do his individual work, but at a time when we were having collective (postseason) success, it would have been easy for a guy to wonder why he wasn't able to share in that and have woe-is-me attitude, and Michael in fact had the exact opposite.

"he took the approach that, 'hey, i'm going to embrace this time with our team and try to find a way to contribute and help us win.' even though he wasn't on the field, he was a big part of our team last year. for a guy that's put in the work with the mindset and mentality that Michael has, to see all of that work rewarded with on-field success and the recognition in the All-Star Game, there's nobody more deserving to be there." 

July 9: Michael, his teammates, and the Indians coaching staff all received their 2017 AL All Star jerseys ahead of their Sunday night game versus the Detroit Tigers. here are some of those pictures, courtesy of the Cleveland Indians twitter account:

Welcome To Miami

July 10: Michael and the rest of this year's Tribe All Star representatives arrived at their hotel in Miami at 5 am after playing their Sunday Night Baseball game versus the Detroit Tigers on ESPN.

despite a short night's sleep, everyone began doing press in the afternoon. here are some pictures of Michael fielding questions at his designated table:

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter
photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter

one topic that came up during Michael's media session is why there have been an increase in the number of home runs since the middle of 2015. here's what he had to say, as transcribed from a video on's youtube channel. "pitchers are throwing harder in my opinion, that's why. everybody out of the bullpen throws 95, everybody's throwing harder so the ball's gonna go farther if you hit it. that's just my opinion."

a reporter mentioned how people frowned upon players striking out years ago, to which Michael countered, "it's not frowned upon anymore... no one really gets on you for striking out, an out's an out. it all ends in an out i guess, right? there's some productive outs, but at the same time, there's some big swingers in this game that are hitting the ball a long ways."

Cleveland's own beat writer Paul Hoynes then probed if there was any difference when he hit the ball last year and this year. Michael shook his head and candidly stated, "none. none for me."

Hoynsie followed up with: but you don't buy into the strikeout thing? "i do not. i'm old school. i'm old school, you know that, Hoynsie. i'm very old school."

when Hoynsie wanted to know why that is, Michael shrugged and explained, "i'm old school, that's how i was raised. i grew up in this game with my father and i guess i'm stuck back in the '90s, i don't know. i'm very old school."

in another video on, Michael answered two more queries (that were not heard). i believe the first had something to do with if he ever had any doubts that he'd be able to make a comeback after all his shoulder/biceps issues. "i think we always have doubts, i mean especially when it took me so long. i had one surgery, then i had to have another, but at the same time i wanted to stay confident and i have a great influence in my family and my friends that was always just staying positive for me and i'm lucky to be back here again with all these great players."

and this had to be in response to how does it feel to be at the All Star Game with several teammates: "it's awesome. in '14 i came by myself, so to have four other players with me and share this experience, it's gonna be special."

Jon Santucci also interviewed Michael for i combined Santucci's article with the short video clip provided within the article to put together the subsequent group of quotes. 

"my first All-Star experience was Derek Jeter's last one. it was great to see a future Hall of Famer and a great person to this game. that's what i remember most about that experience."

"this year's gonna be special, especially cause i get to share it with four other guys from this team and then obviously the coaching staff and the management as well. it was a lot of hard work to get back to this point, i didn't do it by myself and i'm just very appreciative."

when asked what the last two years have been like for him, Michael replied, "the last two years have been a process. a long process that i didn't want as long, but i taught a lot about myself and i guess the physical things i have to go through and that i went through, but that i can overcome anything as long as i put my mind to it and have the family and my support, anything's possible."

"anytime you have two surgeries, there's nothing guaranteed in surgeries. you always have those little bit of doubts, but you have to try to get to the light at the end of the tunnel."

"it was very difficult to watch him go through that," Michael's father Mickey Brantley admitted in Santucci's article. "he worked so hard to come back, and he actually pressed the issue. so he re-injured the same injury and did some more damage. he worked really hard, so to be voted (an All-Star) by his peers is very special."

from the same article, Tribe All Star Corey Kluber surmised, "i'm sure that it's pretty gratifying for him (to be an All-Star). for us to see what he went through, basically missing the entire season last year, multiple surgeries, it was definitely a long road for him. we knew he would, but seeing the way he worked his tail off to get back here and to be playing at the level he is after missing an entire season just speaks to how hard he works."

here's a picture of all five Cleveland Indian All Stars:

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

and here's a picture of the entire Cleveland gang representing the 2-1-6 in Miami for the ASG:

photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter

Michael was delighted to be going through this All Star experience with not just other teammates, but the Indians coaching staff, too. from Jordan Bastian's article on, he again reiterated, "it's very special. i think that's probably one of the most special things about this moment. it's not just that i've got a group of players that are coming with me, but management and a coaching staff that's well-deserved to be here."

in another video on, Michael expressed how he and his teammates are thinking about Terry Francona, who was recovering from a heart procedure he had done last week and, consequently, was unable to manage the American League team. "yeah, we think about him a lot. we sent him texts yesterday and today and just making sure that he knows that we miss him and make sure that he feels up cause we're gonna need him in the second half."

here's a picture of Michael's star on the Miami Walk of Fame, located on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami:

photo courtesy of TribeVibe

(i happen to think the star would look better with a Wahoo in place of the C but...🤐😞)

his All Star jersey also has the same star on the left sleeve with the #2 on it to indicate that Michael has been an All Star twice now in his career.

at night, the Home Run Derby took place. Michael was a spectator and at one point did an interview with Marc Kestecher of ESPN Radio.

photo courtesy of @MLBonESPNRadio on twitter

how special is it for Michael to be back at this All Star level? "yeah, it's very special. i didn't do it by myself, i did it with a lot of hard work from a lot of great people. my training staff, my doctors all took the time out this offseason to work with me and luckily i'm back here playing Major League Baseball and enjoying this time with my family."

how great was it to see Francona at the ballpark before the Indians' Sunday night [July 9] baseball game? "it's always great to see him. he had a big smile on his face, i gave him a big hug, told him how much i missed him, and we welcome him back with open arms. he's gonna be back with us, opening up Friday [July 14] and can't wait to have him back. he's doing great."

what did Tito tell Michael about listening to Brad Mills, the acting manager of the American League team? "yeah, him and Millsie have been together for so long. i know he wants to be here with us, but Millsie's done a great job so far filling in for him and we're just lucky to have both of them."

Hey Now, You're A Two-Time All Star

July 11: the big day commenced with an All Star parade and red carpet in the afternoon. i assume Michael rode in a truck with his wife and children, but i am extremely saddened and disappointed that nobody, not even the Indians twitter account, posted any pictures of that.🙍😒😞

here are two pictures of Michael heading to batting practice though:

photos courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter

around 7:45 pm, the players were introduced before the game. just like in 2014, i got very teary-eyed when Michael's name was called as an American League All Star reserve. when you follow a player's career as intently and for as long as i have, whether you personally know him or not, there is a real sense of pride that comes from watching him achieve something like this.😃 i couldn't help but be emotional.😂 there was no real audible reaction to Michael's name around Marlins Park, but Francisco Lindor sure got a lot of love as he held up a mini flag of Puerto Rico. good for Frankie!😀

photo courtesy of @Hoynsie on twitter
photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

because Michael was a reserve player, i knew it was going to be a while before he'd get an opportunity to play.

after 5 innings were complete, the ASG took a few minutes to Stand Up 2 Cancer. Michael's placard, as i've seen several times in the past, read GRAMS for his grandmother who passed away from lung cancer on February 5, 2012. (i told you i've attentively followed his career for years lol)

photo courtesy of @MLB on twitter

finally, in the bottom of the 6th inning, Brad Mills put Michael in the game. he was a defensive substitution in left field, replacing George Springer of the Houston Astros, and batting 4th in the lineup. Michael has not bat cleanup in baseball since his injury-shortened 2016 season, on May 9 to be exact.

the only time Michael touched the baseball in the outfield was when he fielded a base hit to left in the bottom of the 7th inning from Michael Conforto of the New York Mets.

Michael had to wait until the top of the 8th inning to get his first at bat in the game. he faced Colorado Rockies' right-handed pitcher Greg Holland with the game tied at 1 and 2 outs. after a 3-2 count, he fouled off the next two pitches. then, on the 8th pitch, Michael hit a ground ball single into right field! that marked his first career All Star Game hit! the pitch sequence went: ball, called strike, ball, ball, called strike, foul, foul, single.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

oddly enough, his teammate Lindor bat next and struck out swinging, leaving Michael stranded. sound familiar? lol

Michael got another at bat in the game because it went into extra innings. right-hander Wade Davis of the Chicago Cubs came in to pitch the top of the 10th inning. Seattle Mariner Robinson Cano led it off and hit a home run to put the American League on top, 2-1. Michael got his second AB with 1 out and Detroit Tiger Justin Upton at 1st base. after a 1-2 count, he hit a double play ball to the pitcher to end the inning. that pitch sequence went: called strike, swinging strike, ball, GIDP.

the American League team won, 2-1, in 10 innings after Indians All Star Andrew Miller got the save. and so Michael gets a $20,000 share of the $640,000 monetary bonus awarded to the winning league! besides that, Michael received a $100,000 bonus just for making the team, per Paul Hoynes' article.💰 💰 not a bad way to earn some pocket money during the break!😉

after the game, in a youtube video on's channel, Michael talked about getting his first hit in an All Star Game as part of his comeback season. "it was my first All Star Game hit. last time, i got robbed by [Los Angeles Dodgers' 2nd baseman Dee] Gordon so, it's very humbling, very satisfying. i couldn't have gotten here by myself. i'm just so thankful to be here and then plus to get a hit, a little bit of icing on the cake. and we got a win."

so did Michael get the ball⚾ that he hit in the game? "no, i didn't get the ball," he revealed in Hoynsie's article on "i was just so excited about getting on first base i didn't think about it."

Lindor said it was "pretty cool" to see Michael get his first All Star Game hit. "the way he went about it, worked the count, and got a good pitch to hit."

the plan now is for Michael and the rest of the Indians crew to head back to Cleveland tonight so that they can get at least one full day off during the break on Wednesday [July 12] before going to Oakland, California, for the (optional) team workout on Thursday [July 13].

what did you think about this year's All Star Game? do you like it better now that the game no longer determines home field advantage in the World Series? and are you happy, sad, or indifferent that the AL won? leave me a comment below!

now it's time to break down the numbers. note: i'm doing things differently from my monthly blog format due to the fact that Michael played just 1 game and only for a couple innings.

i am going to document Michael's All Star Game #s and the 4th spot #s, as well as the left field #s, the 4th + left field #s, and overall outfield #s.

2017 All Star Game batting average: .500

OBP: .500

SLG: .500

OPS: 1.000

Michael played in the 2017 All Star Game on July 11, 2017.

he came in as a defensive substitution in left field in the bottom of the 6th inning and played 5 total innings in this 1 game.

Michael bat 4th.

Michael played left field. (defensive substitution: 5 innings)

Michael bat .500 (1-for-2) against right-handed pitchers, .000 (0-for-1) with runners on base, 1.000 (1-for-1) with the bases empty, and 1.000 (1-for-1) with 2 outs in an inning in the All Star Game.

Michael hit .500 (1-for-2) as a member of the away team in the All Star Game. he had 1 single, 1 GIDP, and 1 total base. he hit safely in the game and safely reached base in it.

Michael reached base once and was left stranded once in the All Star Game.

Michael had no RBI and left 1 man on base.

he also had 1 groundout versus no strikeouts in the All Star Game.

in left field, Michael had no putouts. because he had no total chances in the game, he does not have a fielding percentage for the All Star Game.

in the 2017 All Star Game, Michael had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats. here is how he fared:

1 hit

1 single


1 first at bat hit

1 total base

1 left on base

5 innings, 1 game

2017 All Star Game batting average: .500 (1-2) (1 game)

now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.

when Michael bat 4th in the 2017 All Star Game, he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 single


1 first at bat hit

1 total base

1 left on base

5 innings, 1 game

2017 All Star Game batting average in the 4th spot: .500 (1-2) (1 game)

when Michael bat 4th and played left field in the 2017 All Star Game, he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 single


1 first at bat hit

1 total base

1 left on base

5 innings, 1 game

2017 All Star Game batting average in the 4th spot while playing left: .500 (1-2) (1 game) (5 innings)

when Michael played the outfield in the 2017 All Star Game, he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 single


1 first at bat hit

1 total base

1 left on base

5 innings, 1 game

2017 All Star Game batting average while playing the outfield: .500 (1-2) (1 game)

now let's break down his numbers based on where he played in the outfield.

when Michael played left in the 2017 All Star Game, he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 single


1 first at bat hit

1 total base

1 left on base

5 innings, 1 game

2017 All Star Game batting average while playing left: .500 (1-2) (1 game)

overall 2017 All Star Game #s while playing left: 0 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, N/A fielding percentage (5 innings, 1 game)

overall 2017 All Star Game #s while playing the outfield: 0 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, N/A fielding percentage (5 innings, 1 game)

now my All Star Game numbers and notes.

2017 All Star Game, July 11: 1-2, single (first at bat). AVG: .500
[4th/LF: B6-B10/6-GF(10)]

^^Michael came into the game as a defensive substitution in left field in the bottom of the 6th inning and stayed in for the remainder of the game, playing 5 total innings. (the game went 10 innings.)^^

in the 2017 All Star Game, Michael had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game (5 innings). in total, he had 1 hit, 1 single, 1 GIDP, 1 first at bat hit, 1 total base, and 1 left on base.

since this was not Michael's first All Star Game, i decided to post a blog with numbers from both his 2014 and 2017 All Star appearances. that is now live and can be viewed by clicking Brantley's Career All Star Game #s.

here's a spoiler:

Brantley's Career All Star Game batting average: .333 (1-3)

OBP: .333

SLG: .333

OPS: .666

i always tweet the links when my new blogs get published, so make sure you're following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 for that. and if you'd like to receive notifications by email when my blogs are posted, you can sign up for my subscription list by entering your email address in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar over on the upper right side of this page.

thanks for reading!😀

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