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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: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:23 am

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I don't know if this has been said, but..........I can understand someone giving Braun and Kemp first place votes, but how does Fielder and Upton get any votes for 1st place. All 1st and 2nd place votes should have been for Kemp or Braun.  JMO

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2011 1:33 am

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

AllWangNoNuts: you had an excellent post and you are right, the voting is subjective. However, year after year it is subjective towards giving a player who plays on a contending or winning team the edge over those playing on non-contending teams. There is no doubt in my mind that had Kemp had a 40-40 year or had won the triple crown, Braun would still be selected MVP.

Braun was selected MVP because he was the best player on a team that won something. That sort of subjectivity just isn't right in my book. It is totally unfair to judge an individual player based on what the other 24 on his team also do. Kemp was more valuable a player in the league than Braun.

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 12:02 am

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Kemp had one bad year and it really wasnt that bad. What does that have to do with anything. the MVP is based on one year, not how someone has performed over a period of years, if that was the case half the guys who have won a MVP would have never won them. and you cant ever compare two guys who are in totally different situations. Braun plays in a hitters park, Kemp doesn't. Kemp plays against the giants pitching staff numerous times which is arguably the  best pitching staff in the league the last two years. Braun will probably still put up decent numbers next year even without Fielder, because he still has decent players around him.

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:53 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Braun is a great player and i definately won't say he's not deserving because he is, I just think Kemp should have won this award. For most of the year it was about Prince Fielder in Milwaukee. There were even numerous articles written about how he has over taken Pujols as the man at 1B. Yet, this article said Braun carried Milwaukee....don't get it.

I'm not going to throw a fit about it, my cardinals won the WS so I'm a happy man. I just thought Kemp had the better season. But I guess the big contract he signs is better than winning the award or not.


Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:47 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

People need to relax.  Yes, both Braun and Kemp deserved the award and one was going to be left out.  Both were deserving and there would be hurt fan feelings either way. However, what we need to remember is that the MVP award is not, and never has been, an exact science.  The voters vote based upon a body or work and weigh their criteria subjectively.  If the award was a truly statistical one, like batting champion, there would be no need for a vote.  Everything about the award is subjective which means that spouting off statistics only focuses on one part of the equation.  Those who do not accept that statistics alone do not drive this award will often be disappointed.  You have to consider the whole process, but do not deminish a player's accomplishment because you disagree with the process by which he was elected.

Congratulations Brauny!!

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:34 pm
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Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:33 pm
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Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:14 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

The Sports writers got it right.  If you want to make the case they pitched around kemp, I'll make the case when your team is getting there buts kicked everyone in the entire freaking lineup sees alot more strikes including Kemp.   Dont give me that BS.  Kemp also had a guy at the beginning of the season hitting in front of him who had a 30 some odd game hitting streak.  Bottom line when your team sucks they dont need to pitch around you.  Pitchers have pride and like to face the best and there managers let them when the games already determined.  Good call for Braun.

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:07 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

How could you not vote for Kemp? He's only the best player in the NL And quite possibly in all of baseball. Walk tall matty your an MVP in my book.

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