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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: Jun 18, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 8:50 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Completely on board with you Spart.  The bottom line is this...  People argue that MVP should be from a team that has a chance down the stretch... I define MVP as the person that would be most valuable to any team.  In other words, sure Kemp didn't mean much to the Dodgers playoff hopes, because he wasn't surrounded with the same talent.  BUT, would Kemp be more valuable than Braun on any team?

The fact is MVP should equal the best player.

The OPINION is that Kemp is by far a better player than Braun.  Also more fun to watch, and he doesn't hold his arms out like he's trying to hug a cow from head to rear.  That's the dumbest move I've ever seen.  Kemp should have been the MVP.  The fact that the Brewers got embarrassed by the Cardinals speaks to my point.  They would have better odds to beat the Cardinals if Kemp was on their team than Braun.  Of course if you really want to know what I think, it's ALBERT for MVP...  (Just kidding, so let's not debate that.)  Laughing 

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 8:07 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

While Kemp had a tremendous season, Braun WAS the MVP of the league. As we all know, Kemp almost hit fot the triple crown. And that's great. But you should also remember that Braun hit for a better average, and was just behind Kemp in HR's and RBI's. Braun also led Kemp in Slugging Percentage as well as OPS.
Yeah, except that the differences in Braun's favor are much smaller than the differences in Kemp's favor that you are calling' just behind'.  Stated differently, but no less accurately, you could have said Kemp hit more homers and RBI, and was just behind Braun in average and OPS.

But the thing that I think is most important, is that Kemp played for a team that was really bad. Meaning that Braun was in a pennant race all the way through September. Pressure games and more importantly, pressure at bats. At bats that had real meaning in this pennant race. And in those at bats, Braun came through with flying colors. Clutch hits, clutch HR's and clutch RBI's in a pennant race is much more impressive than getting all of those with NO pressure on.
The Award is The Most Valuable Player. Without Braun, the Brewers do not make the playoffs. Without Kemp, The Dodgers would just be a different kind of really bad. The voters got it right.
The Dodgers won 82 games. That's 'really bad'? If by 'really bad' you mean slightly above average, then yes, you are right. By the same argument $50,000 is a really bad salary, and an expected lifespan of 74 yrs is really bad.

Don't know what games you were watching, but Braun was not 'in a pennant race all the way through September.' The Brewers had an 8.5 game lead on Sept 1 and won the divison by 6 games. As far as the pressure games the Brewers played, they lost them: they lost 5 of 6 to the Cardinals and 3 of 4 to the Phillies. They made the playoffs due to playing great ball from the All-Star break until mid- to late August, so let's stop peddling this nonsense about 'coming through in the clutch'.

Since: Oct 30, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 8:06 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

kemp was the mvp.  i dont know why the mvp award is based on how well their team did.  the mvp award is for the mvp of the LEAGUE, not their team.  they should have a separate "team mvp" award if they want to base the vote on how well their team did.  no wonder the world and most countires economies are ph-ucked up.  most everyone is stupid, lazy, greedy, etc.  common sense and logic are lost.  government leaders dont know what theyre doing, and sports writers cant even get a simple mvp vote right.  #@@#!  

Since: Apr 3, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:55 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Atta boy Brauny, go get yourself you next year too :)

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:48 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I guess there was one more thing to my one more thing. Did Braun's team win the World Series? Oh neither did Kemp's, so bottom line is if you are going to base the MVP on who's team did the best, then the MVP should come from the World Series winner every year, and that's not going to happen!

Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:47 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I totally agree, 100%.  Kemp got hosed.

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

One more thing, between Fielder and Braun they had 231 RBI's, that's telling me that Mil. Had ALOT more guys on base in front of them! Braun had a great year, I just think Kemp was 1 and Braun was 1a.

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:31 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Kemp should be MVP. can blame him because the rest of the team sucks , just think the numbers he would have if his team was better

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:31 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Kemp should be MVP. can blame him because the rest of the team sucks , just think the numbers he would have if his team was better

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Based on what you just said, if you take Fielder out of the Brewer lineup they don't make the playoffs, but they would still have Braun on their team, so shouldn't they still win it? so it wasn't him that made the difference, it was both Braun and Fielder! Besides that these guys are professional ballplayers, what are you talking about added pressure. When they are at bat they shouldn't be thinking any differently at the end of the season as they were in the beginning. They are thinking about getting a hit. And if you want to talk about pressure than Kemp had more on him, he had 23 more HR's than the next closest guy on the team. The Brewers had 4 guys with at least 20 HR's on their team, LA had 1 (Kemp) Mil. had 4 guys with over 65 rbi's, LA had 1 (Kemp). So "if" you want to use pressure as your point you don't have one. Pressure is trying to carry your team by yourself and getting absolutely no help what so ever.

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