Blog Entry

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 8:24 pm

By Matt Snyder

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has won the National League Most Valuable Player award, garnering 20 of the 32 first-place votes. This marks the first time a Brewers player has ever won the NL MVP. Previous Brewers winners -- Robin Yount (1982, 1989) and Rollie Fingers (1981) -- came when the ballclub was a member of the American League.

Braun, 28, hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI, 109 runs scored and 33 stolen bases. He led the NL in slugging percentage and OPS. He also helped lead his team to a 96-66 record, an NL Central championship and a trip to the NLCS for the first time in franchise history.

"This really is a dream," Braun said. "This is beyond my wildest dreams to be in this position at this point in my career."

Most Valuable Player
Braun beat out a pretty solid field of sluggers in the Senior Circuit, with Matt Kemp of the Dodgers finishing second.

Kemp's case was very strong, and this felt like a two-horse race for the entire month of September. Kemp challenged for the triple crown (leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBI). He led the NL with 39 home runs and 126 RBI, but finished third in batting average at a .324 clip. He also stole 40 bases, won a Gold Glove and led the NL in total bases.

"Matt's one of the best players in the game. No question about it. The season he had will go down as one of the greatest in Dodgers history," said Braun. "If he had won the MVP I certainly couldn't have argued with him winning. He had a phenomenal year."

Alas, the Dodgers weren't in contention all season, finishing third place in the NL West at 82-79. Ultimately, the difference in team performance seems to be what propelled Braun over Kemp.

"If you honestly assess both of our seasons individually I think his numbers are probably better than mine, and I just feel fortunate to have been on the better team," Braun said. "It's an individual award, but it's a result of being part of a special team, a special organization."

Here are the top 10 finishers, with voting points in parentheses:

1. Braun (388)
2. Kemp (332)
3. Prince Fielder (229)
4. Justin Upton (214)
5. Albert Pujols (166)
6. Joey Votto (135)
7. Lance Berkman (118)
8. Troy Tulowitzki (69)
9. Roy Halladay (52)
10. Ryan Howard (39)

The following players, in order of vote totals, also received votes: Jose Reyes, Clayton Kershaw, Shane Victorino, Ian Kennedy, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, John Axford, Michael Morse, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina, Starlin Castro, Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Ruiz, Mike Stanton.

It's worth noting that this was the 11th season Pujols has finished in the top 10 of MVP voting -- and he's only been in the league for 11 years. He's won MVP three times and finished in the top five 10 of those 11 years.

Kemp took home 10 first-place votes, with Fielder and Upton getting one each. Braun had the rest. Only Braun, Kemp and Fielder received second-place votes.

Braun is locked up with Milwaukee through the 2020 season, as he signed a five-year extension in April. The 2011 MVP award will join the 2007 Rookie of the Year in Braun's trophy case.

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Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Thats cause teams didnt have to worry about Kemp or anyone on the team. In other words Kemp got gravey pitching cause other teams didnt care if he got hits why not no one else in the lineup was going to bring him in.

By this logic, all the Dodger hitters got gravy pitching, why only Kemp... Who would you rather pitch too, Jamey Carrol, James Loney, or Kemp... Yeah I would walk Kemp also...

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:46 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I'm absolutely sure that Braun being a baseball guy recognizes the reality of what Matt Kemp accomplished even if some of the voters lack discipline to vote for the best. When was the last time anyone won a triple crown? Look how close Kemp came to making that magificant statement. Add the 40 stolen bases and the gold glove and the entire body of work definitely spells MVP.

I'm sure Braun is thankful for the award. He had a wonderful season. Matt Kemp had a GREAT season! 

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:40 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

The only negative thing I can say about Ryan Braun is that he is not a Dodger, he lives in California  grew up a Dodger fan and is a very good and consistent player. He is currently a 300+ life time hitter... Now does he deserve the MVP awward, that depends on the criteria, and since I have no idea what that is I can only wish that Kemp was the winner...

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

MVP has turned into a "who do the sports reporters like today" kind of thing.  It's not the Best Player on a team, how do you judge a catchers worth versus a left fielder, or a third baseman versus a first baseman, by his batting statistics?  Look at the voting, how can you have multiple players from the same team, according to the writers, both being the Best on the team?  What? And yesterday a player getting the award that only played in 21% of the teams games.  Are you kidding me.  One person mentioned it's the player that helped the most, get the team into the playoffs.  So you can have a guy get called up in Sep, play in two games but comes up to bat in teh bottoom of the ninth in the 162nd game and hit a HR and the team makes the playoffs.  So that makes him the MVP right?  There shold be no sure thing as an MVP in ANY sport.  If it's pure value he brings to the team then Peyton should win the award EVERY single year, look what the Colts are WITHOUT him.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

What nit-wit voted for Starlin Castro? Even 3rd place votes?

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

The thing is:
The voting the Cy Young award is directed at the best pitcher. Now obviously, Verlander won the MVP yesterday, but because that is so rare, they don't look for a "most valuable pitcher", they look for the guys who, on the days they pitch, perform the best. That criteria does not concern how well a team did, it confirms how well a pitcher did, which explains the Cy Young wins by Lincecum, Greinke and Hernandez in recent years

The MVP, on the other hand, does not bear the entire awards season for position players within itself. Silver sluggers, Gold Gloves, Hank Aaron Awards, Batting Titles and comeback players are even more wide open avenues to honor players like Kemp who dazzle at all levels of the game. That's why Kemp wins gold gloves and silver sluggers, and so do players like Bautista of the Blue Jays.

But the MVP does aim to reward a "most valuable player". That criteria does concern team performance. This is where the inconsitency between awards comes from. They are simply different awards for different purposes. Now it is very true, Kemp makes a huge difference in how his team performs, but quantifying it is blurry. What voters can do with players from playoff teams, however, is at least ask, "does this team make the playoffs without that player?" And I genuinely believe that without Braun, the Brewers do not make the playoffs, more so than if you removed Fielder or whomever else(they do probably fall short without Fielder though IMO, probably not as far short as without Braun however).

I am a fan of neither the Dodgers or Brewers, and I respect both players' abilities, but this should explain why Braun won this award. Matt Kemp will certainly have a few more shots to win this award one day  

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:34 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I guess even Braun is embarrassed by this.  I suspect he will apologize when he sees Kemp.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:24 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Thats cause teams didnt have to worry about Kemp or anyone on the team. In other words Kemp got gravey pitching cause other teams didnt care if he got hits why not no one else in the lineup was going to bring him in
Well we all see why you're not managing a MLB team.  Your idea of the way to win games, and believe it or not the teams playing the Dodgers were trying to win, is to throw "gravey pitching" to the other team's best player?  I don't think so, what you actually had was teams pitching VERY carefully to Kemp because he was the only hitter on the team that could really hurt them, either by hitting the ball out of the part or getting on and stealing bases to manufacture runs.  The guys who get good pitches to hit are the guys hitting in front of players like Kemp because you don't want to let the weak hitter on base where the following 2b produces an RBI or the HR becomes a 2-run shot.  You're more willing, not less, to take more chances of walking someone like Kemp because of the weak hitters behind him -- walk Kemp and K the next 2 or 3 rather than pitch to Kemp and give up the HR and an RBI type of deal.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:24 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

when you see guys like Ruiz, Molina, Victorino and Beltran receiving votes it is onbious that some voters still don't take it serious enough

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:24 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Kemp won a Golden Glove, so did Andre Ethier, and Gerardo Parra... Sorry, no Braun so that kills that theory...

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