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And now a positive note about the MVP award voting

Nov 16, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT

Ryan Braun AP AP

The MVP award voting has brought about a lot of disgusting negativity, abject absurdity and borderline criminal levels of ignorance. And some people besides Mitch Albom decided to write about it too! But there was one positive thing to take away from the vote totals yesterday, and that’s Ryan Braun‘s showing.

I would have voted Buster Posey over him, but it’s pretty clear that he was a top MVP candidate in the National League. Good arguments could be made for him as the second best player, but it would certainly be within the realm of reason to have him anywhere in the top four, along with Posey, Yadier Molina and Andrew McCutchen. And that’s where he finished. Second overall and present on all 32 MVP ballots. Indeed, no voter placed him lower than fourth.

I view this as a very good thing because I was convinced that someone — perhaps many someones — was going to either leave him off their ballot entirely or put him way down the list as some sort of extra-judicial punishment for the whole PED test thing last year, much the way PED guys are punished by the Hall of Fame voters. Which, as I’ve written ad nauseam over the years, is stupid.

The Hall of Fame electorate and the awards electorate are very different beasts so I don’t expect, say, Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds to get a fair shake next month when the Hall ballots are submitted, but I do view this as a positive step forward for BBWAA voters.

  1. darthicarus - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I imagine Mitch Albom would not approve of voting for Braun.

  2. theonlynolan - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Ugh, Mitch Albom is the worst. Please don’t ever link to one of his articles ever again.

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Mitch’s article needs a new headline:
      Miggy’s Award a Win for Luddites, Defeat for Rational Observers

      Why should we take seriously awards voted by mainstream media members who proudly say they don’t want to use any math? Why take seriously a mainstream media writer who does not try to stay current in his field (such as thinking that situation statistics have anything to do with Wins Above Replacement)?

      • mrfloydpink - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        Well put! Is there any other field in which willful ignorance of current research/trends would be tolerated and even flaunted? Can you imagine a doctor that still recommends lobotomies to his patients that suffer with depression, or a computer programmer that’s still writing programs for Windows ’95, or a lawyer that hasn’t yet gotten around to reading Brown v. Board of Education?

      • scoser - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        mrfloydpink: Politics.

      • mrfloydpink - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        scoser: Good point.

  3. muskyhunter2542 - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Braun got robbed!!!!

    • jeffa43 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      No! Braun robbed baseball last year.

      The fans got robbed by fraud, a juicer.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        That is your opinion… Show me the proof.

      • dlindstedt2 - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        No Braun got robbed by the individual that took it upon himself to announce the test which is supposed to stay a secret unless it was proven without a shadow of a doubt that it was positive.

        So really, Braun is getting robbed not us.

  4. natstowngreg - Nov 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Agreed. Braun’s tainted MVP was for excellence in the 2011 season. This voting was for excellence in the 2012 season. Haven’t seen anyone present evidence that Braun took PEDs during the 2012 season.

    • K. Harker - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Fair enough, but don’t the effects of PEDs last longer than just a season? I’m glad he wasn’t extraneously punished here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’s still riding that performance enhanced wave.

      • paperlions - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        No, they don’t. Most PEDs don’t have direct effects that last longer than a day, and the benefits derived from PED use fade fairly quickly.

        If a guy used steroids all off-season to add 20 lbs of muscle but stopped when he went to spring training. He’d be lucky to see any effect of that work by then end of May (4 months later), and even then he’d have to continue to hit the gym extra hard to slow the loss of muscle mass….and then it would be hard to disentangle the benefits from PEDs versus the benefits of the extra workouts in an attempt to keep the muscle gains.

  5. Old Gator - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I frankly don’t give a rat’s patootie if Clemens, Bonds and Sosa get left out, fair or not. But there’s no reason to deny the honor to guys like Bagwell and Piazza, against whom no substantiation was ever demonstrated.

    • Gamera the Brave - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      I’m not here to talk about the past, but if I WAS, it would be to say that the word “patootie” is underused in the American lexicon…

  6. Jeff J. Snider - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I agree in general, Craig, but I think it would have been more interesting if Braun had clearly been the best player in the league. I still don’t really think the writers would have voted him MVP after last offseason. And when you think about it, he had a lot of the numbers that MVP voters tend to like, lots of homers and RBI and runs. My personal opinion/guess is that given the exact same performances from all the players, if not for last offseasons debacle, Braun would have won the NL MVP this year. (Which would have been two years in a row coming in first when he deserved second, but I’m not here to talk about the past.)

  7. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Obviously I’m a Braun guy. I still think his year was betterthan Posey’s but the margin is pretty thin so I certainly wont argue the choice, Posey was very deserving. Add the fact that Kemp probably should have gotten the award over Braun last year so this is just evening things out to me. What I don’t like is the fact that the MVP has to come from a playoff team now. It’s B.S. To be MVP it shouldn’t be a prerequisite to be on a good team. By saying that they’re basically making it into a team award, which it isn’t.

    • smoothmartiniup - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Last year Braun was the better PED user. Thats was why he won

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        Good god just get over it.

  8. smcgaels1997 - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    MVP is more than hitting 40+ jacks on a non playoff team…Braun’s is overall a great player but your teams success also plays a part big of an impact do you have when your team misses the playoffs

    • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      A great player still has impact even when they don’t make the playoffs. Trout had a great impact on a non playoff team. Great players have a huge impact no matter how good a team is. To think otherwise is ridiculous.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        My fave example: In 1972, Steve Carlton was 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA, for the Phillies who went 59-97. Carlton’s major fault that year was that he could only win when he pitched.

  9. dannomac21 - Nov 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    K. Harker – By your logic then, he’s been riding a wave for his entire MLB career. Its not like he all of the sudden became good. He’s been a stud MVP caliber player his entire career. idiot.

    • stew37 - Nov 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      And by your logic, he never needed PEDs in the first place, so…. what, he never took them? Or maybe he always has been? Or maybe he took them that one year and they had no noticeable impact on his performance?

      Whichever way, no need to be an asshole about it.

  10. bepee2002 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Posey is deserving of the award but I feel Braun should have gotten more 1st place votes,2 of the 3 he got were from Milwaukee writers. If making the playoffs holds that much weight in the voters mind how did King Felix ever win a Cy Young?

    • paperlions - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      I don’t really see any argument for Braun being better than Posey or McCutchen this past year. Braun’s offense wasn’t good enough to outweigh the advantage the other guys have on defense…especially a plus catcher. One 1st place vote seems about right to me…or one too many.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        You clearly have never watched Brauns defense either… He has a great arm and has great range. I think he was just as deserving for his defense as his offense.

      • paperlions - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        Having good defense for a LF is not as valuable/useful has solid CF defense and is dwarfed by plus catcher defense. LFers are easily the worst defenders on the field, and the last couple of years Braun has been an average LFer.

        You may love his arm, but the fact remains that guys run on Braun and make it more than they do on average LFers, yes there are reliable stats for that….more fun with facts….over the last 4 years Brauns arm rates LAST among all LFer that played the position at least 1000 innings.

        He’s been okay for a LFer the last couple of years….but that isn’t really a compliment.

      • paperlions - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Remember that post earlier today about defending your opinion? Well, step up. Present me some evidence that I am wrong and I’ll admit that I’m wrong. I wish you good luck.

  11. eagles512 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Although I obviously have my doubts, I’m glad he wasn’t punished for something unproven. But can Craig explain why not voting for proven cheaters in the Hall is stupid?

  12. muskyhunter2542 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Plain and simple. Braun got robbed because some small di*k beat writers just couldnt get over that Braun beat the failed system.

  13. vpettibone57 - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    ok all you braun lovers out there, i get it your all upset at posey winning, but have you bothered to watch him, im sure you probably wouldnt want to. but if you did you would realize that posey was clearly most deserving of the award. i wouldnt be surprised posey when he does retire that he becomes a manager like bochy. he has that kind of leadership and he is very smart. hell johnny bench himself is in awe of posey. im just saying.
    go giants#.

    and on another note im so glad milky is gone Canada can have your a##.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      So as a Giants fan you hate Melky now but you probably used to cheer on Bonds pretending he wasn’t on steroids right?

  14. itsonlyaspeedbump - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    To me, the stupidest thing about Mitch’s article was the whole ‘victory over the nerds’ angle. Every GM in baseball is using these metrics because even if you are like me and dont believe numbers to be the end-all in personnel decisions, you would be simply foolish to not recognize their value. The GM of an MLB franchise is not foolish. So is Albom saying one of the most powerful men in a franchise is a nerd?

    Plus, even a scout who isnt interested in metrics would tell you that Trout is a much better base runner and defender than Cabrera–he’s the proverbial “5 tool player” maybe the best since Ken Griffey or even (gasp) the Say Hey Kid himself. That type of ability jumps out to even a casual fan, no need for metrics to tell you that. So stubbornly refusing to accept a different way to look at baseball, the writers passed an opportunity to reward the next WILLIE FREAKING MAYS. How is that ‘beating the nerds?’

  15. itsonlyaspeedbump - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    And since its a stretch to say my last post was on topic, I’ll say this: Im glad Posey won, not because I think Braun is a cheater, but because Im a Giants fan

  16. bepee2002 - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Do the Giant’s make the playoffs without Cabrera’s PED usage?
    Brauns numbers were better and he was a gold glove finalist, so was his defense really that bad? Bottom line is the voting process needs to change or MLB needs their own awards and not leave it up to the writers

  17. jjpileggi - Nov 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Come on, Sosa corked his bat, and lost his ability to speak english when asked about PED. He deserves to be left off of HOF ballots. Bonds was a sure candidate before the PED scandal, and arguably one of the greatest all around players in history, so he should go in. Clemens beating a perjury rap does not change anything, but he was also a sure candidate before he became the post-40 miracle. Bagwell has never been credibly accused. He should be in on first ballot.

    John Pileggi

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