Ryan Braun named NL MVP


The final award of the 2011 season has been announced, and Ryan Braun is your NL MVP. He received 20 of 32 first place votes, and is the first Brewer to win the award since Robin Yount in 1989. I think Matt Kemp should have won, but playing on a non-contender hurt his chances. He finished second and received ten first place votes. Former Yankees farmhands Ian Kennedy and John Axford received a bunch of down ballot votes. The full results are available on the BBWAA’s site.

Categories : Asides
  • Gonzo

    Will twitter make through this?

    • Gonzo

      make *it through

  • JoshTFL

    Best player all year = second in the MVP voting. Got it.

  • bexarama

    I’m gonna sound whiny (and I am so whatever) but man, was the voting this year a step back. I have no issue with Verlander or Braun winning on their own, but I haven’t seen a decent MSM explanation of a Verlander first place vote – it was all dominance! the Tigers who won their division by 15 games would have come in 17th if not for Verlander! – and Braun won over Kemp because he had more clutch hits or something. Again, on their own, Verlander and Braun are not bad choices; there have been far worse. But the rationale is almost always really bad, at least from what I’ve seen.

    • JoshTFL

      Nail, meet head.

    • Gonzo

      I think it’s possible that there may have been worse reasoning involved in Braun over Kemp.

      • bexarama

        I haven’t had a day to read through MSMers’ explanations, so possibly. We’ll have to see. I’m really surprised Braun got as many first place votes as he did.

    • Doug

      Verlander beat out Ellsbury because of the Red Sox collapse out of the playoffs. Nothing more.

      Braun beat out Kemp because the former’s team went to the playoffs while the latter’s didn’t. Nothing more.

      • bexarama

        And those are seriously flawed reasons, IMO.

    • Thomas

      I would have voted for Kemp over Braun, since Braun made $4.2875M and Kemp made $7.1M. Hence, Kemp’s 2011 value was more.

      Of course, at $21,644,707, Johan Santana was clearly the most valuable player, but I never expect the BBWAA to get awards right.

  • Lazerri Scooter

    Real MVPs-

    AL- Jose Bautista
    NL- Matt Kemp

    {MSM trademark logic} THEY’RE NOT ON WINNING TEAMS!!!!

    …a quick MSM lobotomy…..


    AL- Justin Verlander
    NL- Ryan Braun

    Sigh, at least the stupidity and bias is consistent in both leagues.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      It’s not bias it’s jsut stupidity.

      • bexarama

        Damn that Brewers bias.

    • Mike HC

      So you basically think MVP should be interpreted as best player? If you take the “most valuable” player at face value, value is going to be subjective.

      • Gonzo

        But the Tigers won the division by 15 games! Doesn’t that mean that Verlander wasn’t all that valuable to them?

        • Mike HC

          Right. I’m just saying the “valuable” part is inherently subjective.

          I guess I just don’t get all up in arms over how these MVP type votings go. I think it is legitimate to at least take into account that if the guys team didn’t even make the playoffs, how valuable could he have possibly been for that season. They could have missed the playoffs with out without him.

          And again, I’m not saying that should be the sole determination, but if some voters consider that more than others, I don’t see that as such a big deal. Guys have won the award on losing teams before.

          • Mike HC

            And I think Verlander and Braun are perfecting deserving MVP choices, and would have thought Kemp and Bautista would have been just as deserving. It just comes down to a subjective vote.

          • Ted Nelson

            I’m with you on not caring about the voting and “value” bringing subjectivity to the table, but you totally lose me here:

            “I think it is legitimate to at least take into account that if the guys team didn’t even make the playoffs, how valuable could he have possibly been for that season. They could have missed the playoffs with out without him.”

            Value isn’t making the playoffs. The player usually can’t influence who his teammates are beyond a marginal amount (not causing problems, deciding where to sign). Where would the Blue Jays be without Bautista? It’s not just playoffs/no playoffs.

            The Tigers could have made the playoffs without Verlander. The Yankees could have made the playoffs without any individual player.

            • Mike HC

              The point of the game is still to win. I understand that baseball is a particularly individual team game, but that doesn’t take away that if you are looking at “value” instead of simply best player, it will be subjective.

              So if a players numbers contributed to his team making the playoffs, I can see how that can be considered more valuable than a player who might have put up slightly higher numbers, but his numbers were not contributions to a playoff team.

              You may disagree and claim it is just as valuable to take what would be a non contending, losing team, into an above .500, kind of in the mix team. Which is fine. That is why they vote. ARod won the award on a terrible Texas team, and other guys have won with inferior numbers on a winning team.

  • Gonzo

    Thank goodness they vote before the playoffs. Freese and Carp would have won everything.

  • CUYanks

    Halladay (2nd place Cy Young), almost double the total of Kershaw (1st Place Cy Young). That just about sums it up.

  • UncleArgyle

    Uh Ted, you were the first to make this personal with your little below comment there. I personaly find your overconfident ramblings amusing most of the time. My opinion, as should be clear to most others, is that I don’t think its a coincidence that in 2009 the Yankees got stonewalled by the M’s over Washburn, and then in 2010 the M’s backed out of a hand shake agreement on Cliff Lee over a injured minor league 2nd basemen, whom they KNEW was injured when they requested him in the trade.

    • UncleArgyle

      Damnit, that was for the previous thread

    • Ted Nelson

      If memory serves, they wanted Nunez instead of Adams. Not the other way around.

      “As the story goes, the Yankees and Mariners had a handshake agreement late Thursday night for a swap that would have sent Cliff Lee to the Yankees and Jesus Montero, David Adams and Zach McAllister to Seattle. When Seattle took a look at Adams’ medicals and determined that something in the reports about Adams’ ankle injuries were alarming, they balked on the deal. As Joel Sherman relates this morning, the Mariners went back to Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman and requested Nunez.”

  • Easy-E

    I think Matt Kemp should have won, but playing on a non-contender hurt his chances.

    Meanwhile, Kershaw’s staring at his Cy Young award. The BBWAA is a joke. Even the old school metrics they lean on show that Kemp should have won it.

    • Greg

      The thing is Kershaw was head over heels above everybody else. When you get into close races, the success of the team will come into play.

      Braun led Kemp in Batting average, Slugging percentage and OPS
      Kemp led Braun in Home runs and RBI’s

      Their OBP is virtually even: Braun=.397 Kemp=.399

      Defensive WAR is not that seperate: Braun=0.6 Kemp= 1.0

      Yet Braun has a higher fielding percetage than Kemp.

      So with stats this close, the winning and losing of a team will factor into it.

      • Thomas

        The thing is Kershaw was head over heels above everybody else. When you get into close races, the success of the team will come into play.

        Except this isn’t the case:

        Kershaw 21-5, 2.28/2.47/2.84 e/f/x, 62/66/74 e-/f-/x-, 2.52 tERA, 2.81 Siera, 9.57 k/9, 2.08 bb/9, 233.1 IP, 6.8 fWAR in a pitchers park
        Halladay 19-6, 2.35/2.20/2.71 e/f/x, 61/56/70 e-/f-/x-, 2.46 tERA, 2.79 Siera, 8.47 k/9, 1.35 bb/9, 233.2 IP, 8.2 fWAR in a hitters park

        Halladay and Kershaw are nearly identical and a very good case can me made for Halladay being more deserving

        Kemp .324/.399/.526 AVG/OBP/Slg, .419 wOBA, 171 wRC+, 39 HR, 40 SB, 115 R, 126 RBIs, .932 RZR, 1 DRS, -4.6 UZR, 8.7 fWAR in a pitchers park as a CF
        Braun .332/.397/.597 AVG/OBP/Slg, .433 wOBA, 179 wRC+, 33 HR, 33 SB, 109 R, 111 RBIs, .912 RZR, -3 DRS, -3.8 UZR, 7.8 fWAR in a hitters/neutral park as a LF

        Again it is very close, but I think Kemp is further ahead of Braun than Kershaw above Halladay.

        If you/BBWAA are going to argue that in close races the team matters, then Halladay has to win CYA.

        • Greg

          I wonder if the presence of Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in that rotation might have hurt Halladay in the end run. Especially Lee who went on that 2 month run where he allowed next to nothing.

        • Greg

          And of course, Kershaw led the NL in Wins, ERA, Strikeouts and WHIP.

          Halladay, while posting great numbers, didn’t lead the league in any real categories except k/bb ratio and bb/9

  • Maxy93ITA

    Why Kershaw is not on the top 3? In my opinion, Verlander’s MVP is one of the biggest shame in the history of this award, also considering that C.C., Kershaw, and many others are not even in the top-10

    • Mike HC

      Your problem shouldn’t be that Verlander won, it should be that all these other great pitchers don’t routinely get more MVP respect. Pitchers can be just as valuable as hitters. I think Verlander could certainly be considered the best pitcher in the AL, and it is pretty reasonable to think he was the most valuable, and also the best player.

      • Maxy93ITA

        In my opinion, a player that is on the field for 32 games in a year (if you are lucky) can’t be as valuable as a player that can help you to win games 162 times every year, but that’s another point…anyway, i actually think that Verlander is the best pitcher in AL (and he won the CY Young for this reason), but i think that he can’t be considered the most valuable player this year long (even if he is in the top 5)…it’s a little bit hard to say, but i think that Ellsbury or Bautista could have been way more “resonable” choices…and i also think that Kershaw ranked 12th and Lee 16th doesn’t make any sense, especially considering that a pitcher not-that-better like Verlander won everything
        P.S. I apologize for probables grammatic mistakes :D

        • Mike HC

          I get what you are saying. And agreed that having Verlander as MVP and other pitchers not even close does not make much sense.

          I guess I just disagree that pitchers can’t be just as valuable, or more so in some cases, than position players. I think CC has probably been the most valuable Yankee the past 3 years. I think we could have lost any individual position player in any given year, and it would not have hurt as much as losing CC.

  • MattG

    I see the new-found emphasis on fielding has not made it into the halls of the BBWLMAO yet.

    • Greg

      Braun has a higher fielding percentage and fewer errors than Kemp. Kemp has a slightly higher Defensive WAR.

      • MattG

        Who cares? One plays center, one plays left.

        And I know that Kemp is probably a bad center fielder. Again, in this context, who cares? Who will argue that a left fielder is more valuable than a center fielder?

        • Greg

          So basically, you are saying that the position in the outfield they play should determine the MVP race.

          • bexarama

            A centerfielder who hits like Kemp/Braun is definitely more valuable than a left fielder who hits like Kemp/Braun, yes.

          • MattG

            With the assumption that no one sees any significant difference in their hitting stats, yes. The CF is the more valuable player.

            Maybe Braun did do enough more with the bat to overcome his defensive spectrum penalty.

            What am I nuts? He had better teammates–that’s why he won the award.

  • Gonzo

    I hear ya. I am just saying that there is a lack of integrity when it comes to the voters’ logic.

    How valuable could he have been if the team missed the playoffs = How valuable could he have been if they would have made the playoffs without him

    That logic to me is the same logic that makes people value picther wins and RBI’s so much.

    Not getting into you, just my thought process.

    • Gonzo

      Oops. Meant for Mike HC above.

    • Mike HC

      I got you. And your point was definitely well taken above.

      • Gonzo

        I am with you about the value of it all. This is losing value for me year by year.

        It meant so much when I was younger.

        • Mike HC

          That I agree with 100%. It is just a bunch of guys taking a vote. I can decide for myself who I think was the most “valuable” or best player, or whatever the hell I want to call my award, ha.

          • Gonzo

            I think I will call my award the Honcho Award.

            My Honcho is Matt Kemp for the NL.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    One of these days they’ll call this the “AL best player award” and the “NL best player award”. No more of this “he played on a bad team so he can’t win” crap.

    (I think Bautista and Kemp should have won)

    • Greg

      Even if they do that it wont get rid of it.

  • Dagra

    How about Lance Berkman coming in 7th after his stint last season in pinstripes? Crazy.

  • Evan3457

    I’m fine with both MVP picks.