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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: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:08 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Quite easy - it should go to whoever had the best season, not team performance.  That's what the playoffs are for.

Consider how one can choose Felix Hernandez for the Cy not long ago and now the MVP to Braun.  Regardless, voters need to make up their minds as to which criteria they're following.  The lack of consistency is the worse crime.

Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

What a piece of shit you are.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

BUT factor in the 11 less games and those numbers are even more even than above!
Braun had more hits and runs per game
Not necessarily -- 1) there is something to be said for your MVP to be durable and play EVERY game (LA played only 161 games, a rainout was not made up) rather than miss 12, (2) while Braun MIGHT have had the same runs/game or hits/game if he'd played another 11 games MIGHT not -- he could have had a slump or "mini slump" or he could get hot but certainly there is no guarantee that his numbers "per game" on hits and runs, etc stay the same.  

You can't penalize Kemp, then, for playing more games than Braun.  That should be a "plus" on Kemp's side not a "minus"

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I defintely think that Kemp got snubbed on this one here. Braun is an incredible player, but Kemp had an incredible year. Kemp was on the verge of becoming the first triple crown winner in 60 years, and tied for 2nd in steals. Gold glove too. That's a crock to use the argument about team performance like mentioned above here. If that's true, Felix Hernandez stole the AL CY Young award over more deserving playoff pitchers.

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:02 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Well deserved award.  He was pretty darn valueable to his team.  A case can be made for Kemp but when its that close the result of the team has to be a factor id say.  Braun had a better situation and all but its hard to punish him for that.  They both deserved to win but you can only pick one.  At least it wasnt as bad a pick as in the AL MVP voting with Verlander.  Notice Kershaw had a comparable season and didnt sniff the top 10

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:02 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Jew Power!

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:01 pm

Hey, leave Braunie alone!

Poor guy had to play with Nyger Morgan all season, then watch the Cardinals punch a World Series ticket in his back yard.  The least we can do is not piss all over his meaningless MVP when he's much rather have a WS Champion ring.  How 'bout those Birds!

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Agree with all comments, but having another MVP candidate such as Fielder in the line-up creates for another aspect in decision process.  Kemp at best had Ethier who missed a huge portion of the season.  

I am a Dodger fan and honestly both candidates are excellent choices. 

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:58 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Ok, I'm going to settle this so there'll be no more bickering- Kemp was the best player in the NL and should have been the MVP based on this. Braun was the second-best player in the NL. He got the award because the voters (i.e., sports writers), favor players from playoff teams. There are only 30 voters but there are millions of fans, and I bet if you polled the fans, with one vote per person, they'd pick Kemp by a decent margin.

These same writers chose Kershaw as best pitcher but gave the Cy Young runner-up more votes for MVP, so it's clear they collectively have subjective and personal standards when voting. An objective person (me, for example), would have picked Kemp for MVP.

Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:57 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Why are you guys arguing what even the article accepts. Kemp had the better statistical year. It's pretty clear. Braun got his team to the playoffs, that's also pretty clear. Obviously winning plays a part in being your teams Most Valuable player since you know the whole point of playing the games is to get the playoffs and win the series. 

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