Michael Brantley discusses being named AL MVP finalist and receiving the AL Silver Slugger Award

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Michael Brantley caught up with reporters on a conference call this afternoon to discuss his reaction to being named an AL MVP finalist and winner of the AL Silver Slugger on Thursday.

Brantley’s thoughts:

“When I sit back and reflect on the season, the coaching staff, teammates and trainers, family, the fun season we had together, to be recognized for these awards is a blessing and an honor. Your peers and voters have their say as well. I’m just honored to be mentioned in that category with those guys. It’s a tribute to a lot of hard work that’s paying off.

On Yan Gomes being awarded the Silver Slugger: “It’s very exciting because you see that he is one of the leaders on this team. We hit side by side in the cage. He works hard each and every day as a catcher; it’s not easy. To be his teammate and to watch how hard he worked to earn this award, I couldn’t be more happy for him.

On Terry Francona’s contract extension: “It’s exciting because it’s somewhere he wants to be. He is happy coaching us, and we are happy playing for him. 162 games is a long time. He allows you to go out there, play the game and enjoy it. He is truly a players’ manager. When you enjoy your manager, enjoy the guys, enjoy playing, it’s awesome. Something special is going to happen.

On the conversation he had this week with his father, Mickey Brantley: “It’s funny, we were just talking the other day. After I was nominated for a couple awards, I said, ‘Dad, I had a pretty good season.’ He just laughed and said, ‘Son, you had a great season.’ I’ve never been the player that was stat-driven; I care about my teammates and winning, and that comes first.

On his offseason and his anticipation for the 2015 season: “I pride myself on working hard in the offseason. Consistency and your workout routine, eating right and coming into Spring Training ready is important. Once the first game comes, I’m acclimated and ready to go. You have to come into Spring Training prepared and ready to play baseball.

I’m very excited for next year, and I hear from teammates that they are as well. Being with one another, especially the great group of guys we have in the locker room, it’s special. If guys push each other and work hard, I think good things will happen.”

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