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SI plops the burly, surly-looking Branyan in its All Unexpected Team:
Kind of the hitting version of Aardsma, right down to finding his best success as a major leaguer in Seattle. Branyan had flitted through five organizations over the previous three years because he was a left-handed Rob Deer: Awesome power, awful batting average, too many strikeouts. But he did hit 12 homers in 132 at-bats last year for Milwaukee at a time when the Brewers assistant GM was Zduriencik. So when Zduriencik became the Mariners GM, he thought it was worth the low-cost ($1.4 million) risk to add power to a team that needed it badly, and he made Branyan the first free-agent signing of his administration.
It was a risk worth taking. Branyan is still striking out a bunch, but he has toyed with a .300 average and his 21 homers are already the second-best mark of his career. Zduriencik saw awesome power, and as if to prove it Branyan became Bunyan: He's the first man to hit the Mohegan Sun Bar at the new Yankee Stadium.
Good morning. Today is the day for more commenting commotion: the system will be unveiled around noon. We can all fight through the process together. Should be glorious.