So today Ryan Braun was named the NL MVP. It came as a complete shock to me for a few reasons. Maybe while I was living in LA, I just heard too much hype on why he was a slam dunk choice for the award, but the more I thought about it the more I didn’t see why Braun had the “better” season. Yes, the Brewers made it to the playoffs and won a lot, but since Kemp played with literally nobody else helping him on offense it made Kemp’s year that much more impressive. Make no mistake Andre Ethier and James Loney are no Prince Fielder or Corey Hart. Some might argue Ethier is good, but despite some of his numbers early on, he had a crappy year. I watched more Dodgers games last season than I’d like to admit, but honestly unless Kershaw was on the mound, the only thing worth watching in thier games was Matt Kemp’s atbats. I suffered through half hour periods of other players batting basically to watch Kemp bat. He finished with the NL lead in homers (39), RBI (126), and was third in BA (.324) in one of the closest attempts at the triple crown in years. To put Kemp in a little better perspective; his team scored a 644 total runs on the season, and he accounted for nearly 20% of his team’s offense even though pitchers were pitching around him all season long (trust me I saw how few pitches he had to hit, and it was Bonds-esque). Oh yeah, and once on base Kemp did another thing better than Braun, which was steal bases. Kemp had 40 thefts to Braun’s 33. Was it Kemp’s fault the rest of his team wasn’t able to score more runs for them to win more games? He came through every time he could and then some. You know what else was impressive in Kemp’s stats that I came across, is he has five walk off hits, and three were homers. Braun had three walk off hits this year, and only one was a homer.
Putting the all the offensive numbers aside that clearly point to Kemp over Braun, doesn’t playing a harder position much better than the other guy playing a weaker position give you an upper hand in voting? I go back to the rookie of the year race last year, and how Buster Posey won the award over Jason Heyward. Heyward had slightly better numbers and had played more games, but Posey won the award because many cited he played the tougher position. Is Braun an above average outfielder with a great arm? Yes, but he plays left field, the spot usually designated for the worst outfielder on the team. Matt Kemp plays center field at a gold glove level. Sure I get it winning means something, but after I took a closer look at it today, I don’t understand how the BWAA made thier choice. Maybe they hate McCourt as much as Dodgers fans, and decided they couldn’t have the Cy young winner and the MVP under his watch. Anyways, congrats Braun you are a great player, but didn’t deserve the award this year in my eyes. At least Kemp can sleep well on his nice pile of cash money!