Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ryan Braun a deserving MVP winner

I believe Ryan Braun is a very deserving winner of the National League Most Valuable Player award. Not everyone agrees.

Those who think that Matt Kemp should have been the MVP point to his slightly superior statistics and the fact that Braun hit in the lineup ahead of the mighty Prince Fielder. But Braun’s numbers were pretty close and the fact that he played on the first Milwaukee Brewers’ team to win their division in almost 30 years and helped lead that same team to the best record in franchise history obviously had an impact on the baseball writers. The vote wasn’t even that close.

No question Kemp had a fantastic year and losing the MVP award doesn’t take anything away from that. He handled the loss pretty well, expressing what seemed to be genuine praise for Braun. Plus, Kemp has better things to worry about, like how he is going to spend all the money the Los Angeles Dodgers are now paying him to play baseball.

I have to admit that I was rooting for Braun over Kemp. While the individual statistics play a key role, I take the word valuable to heart and will always support the guy who is playing for a winning team versus a non-contender. Plus, I thought Braun handled the Jose Reyes controversy wonderfully, showing a lot of class by declining the opportunity to criticize Reyes for bowing out of the last game of the New York Mets season after one at-bat just so he could win the batting title.

As hard as I’ve been on the baseball writers recently, I think they got both MVP winners right (although Curtis Granderson’s fourth place finish in the vote stings a bit). Well done.

Thanks to the Dana Files for the Wikipedia photo.

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