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How badly will Ryan Braun get jobbed in the MVP voting? (Finished 2nd to Posey)


The stache

I think it's safe to assume that come tomorrow night, we won't be discussing Ryan Braun's second MVP Award (though I still think he's the most deserving candidate). However, I've read that there's a good chance that he won't finish in the top 3, either, with some voters leaving him off their ballot altogether. Could he finish as low as fifth?

 

The finalists are Buster Posey (the new "it player" that everybody is fawning over. Billy Ripken actually said that Posey is the second best player in the entire game behind Mike Trout), Brauny, Yadier Molina, Chase Headley and Andrew McCutchen. Here are their numbers side by side:

 

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/4415/nlmvpcomp.png

 

The argument for Posey has been that he plays a premium position, and provides great offense from the catcher position. I've also heard the "well, they won the World Series with him in 2010, missed the playoffs when he was hurt last year, and won the World Series again this year when he came back" narrative (though I'm sure that new additions Melky Cabrera hitting .346 for 459 at bats and Hunter Pence driving in 45 runs in 60 games have nothing to do with their renewed success. Plus, Posey only had a .756 OPS in the 45 games he did play in 2011). As far as him playing catcher, he had a negative dWAR (-0.2). He had the second worst stolen base percentage allowed in the NL (73%), and allowed the most total stolen bases (87). He's not a great defensive catcher. Middle of the pack at best. He was not a finalist for the Gold Glove this year (Braun was a finalist for the Gold Glove in left field).

 

The argument that the Giants wouldn't have won the World Series with him is a viable one. But the argument that the Brewers would still have been in playoff contention until the end of the season without Ryan Braun is ridiculous, especially after losing Prince Fielder to Detroit. The narrative should be that Braun, after a tumultuous offseason in which his PED test results were leaked, and the validity of his appeal victory questioned, answered the critics by having the finest season of his career, putting up numbers that bested his 2011 NL MVP campaign, and that without Fielder in the lineup. But the BBWAA, which had no problem voting a 37 year old Barry Bonds MVP after hitting 73 home runs (when he'd never hit close to 50 in any one season during his prime), are now going to feign indignation in voting Braun lower than he should be in the MVP.

 

The facts: Braun was the only hitter in all the NL to finish in the top 3 in every major offensive category: average, slugging, on base, OPS, home runs, runs, RBI. He was the NL's only 30-30 player. And he was, as mentioned before, a finalist for the Gold Glove.

 

Posey had a higher batting average (.336 to .319), and a higher OBP (.408 to .391). Braun hit 17 more home runs, stole 29 more bases, scored 30 more runs.

 

On MLB Network, I actually heard somebody (I think it was Billy Ripken) that Posey's lower RBI total was more impressive that Braun's because "Braun drove himself in more". Well, when you consider that Posey had the best hitter in the Majors in front of him for 500 at bats (.346, Melky Cabrera), and the guy hitting directly in front of Braun for the majority of the season, Rickie Weeks, struggled to get his average above .200...his statement seems pretty ignorant.

 

And the latest narrative is that when a catcher puts up the kind of numbers Posey did, it's pretty much a no brainer that he should win the MVP. Well, look at the years Mike Piazza had. He was on playoff teams with the Dodgers. In 1997, Piazza hit .362 with 40 HR and 124 RBI, and yet he didn't win the MVP. Why? If catchers are so highly valued when they can produce this kind of offense, why did the BBWAA not select Piazza after having the greatest single offensive season in history by a catcher?

 

Get ready for it, the screw job is coming.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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The best player in the league doesn't always win MVP and it spans the history of baseball. In the early days I believe there was even an unwritten rule that no one could win twice.

 

Kemp had a better year than Braun last year. Braun had a better year than Posey this year. Trout had a better year than Cabrera this year. Arguments could be made for a few position players having better years than Verlander last year. And so on.

 

If guys that voted for Bonds leave Braun off the ballot it won't surprise me, it is the BBWAA after all.

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The argument that the Giants wouldn't have won the World Series without Posey is just silly. OF COURSE they wouldn't have won (or would have at least had a REALLY hard time winning) without their MVP finalist. If you took an MVP-caliber player off of any team, they'd be worse. I still hate it when people take "Most Valuable Player" to mean "Most Valuable Player to His Specific Team" instead of "Most Valuable Player in the League" or perhaps just "Best Player."
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I wouldn't really have a problem if any of the 4 listed with Braun won tomorrow, so I'm definitely not going to say he's going to get jobbed.

 

No one other than Posey should be Braun. None of the those other 3 should beat him

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Posey had an awesome season - and I think he'll win it. I don't have a problem with him winning. He plays a tougher position. His team made the playoffs. He plays in a park that suppresses power (7 of his 24 HR were in SF). All those factors can influence voters.

 

And the whole drug test thing last year will hurt Braun. As much as we hope it won't, it will. Some voters will penalize him.

 

Honestly, I think all the guys on the list were pretty great this past year. There are no dogs.

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Braun clearly deserves to win it (and clearly deserved to win it last year, fwiw), but there is a 0% he will. The writers hate Braun and probably will for the foreseeable future. Even though he is the most deserving they will hide behind the fact that the Giants made the playoffs and the Brewers did not. What would have been really interesting would have been if Braun led the Brewers' late charge into a playoff berth, and then seeing how the writers would try to weasel out of giving him the award. (Probably: "Posey has more grit").
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The margin of difference between Posey and Braun is razor thin. As long as they don't do something silly like give it to McCutchen I won't have an issue with it. This isn't a case where one player was clearly better than the other. Cabrera winning it over Trout will be a much bigger disservice than Posey winning it over Braun.
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I think Posey deserves the award. I don't care that he isn't a great defensive catcher; he fills that position, and putting up the numbers he did while filling that position is special. Yes, Piazza failed to win the award with even better seasons than Posey's, but it's strange to argue that we should use past mistakes as precedent. Plus, of course, the comparison is meaningless without factoring in the competition.

 

Headley, like Posey, lost some numbers to his home park, and he plays 3b; but even so, his numbers aren't in Braun's league. I'll be very unhappy if he or Molina finishes ahead of Braun. McCutchen is a closer call, but he's another of, and he simply didn't have quite the season Braun did.

 

Any writer who penalizes Braun for the drug story is beneath contempt.

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I think Cabrera and Posey win. I honestly believe the NL MVP should be much closer than the AL MVP. Braun, McCutchen or Posey could all win in the NL and I don't think there is a clear cut better player amongst the 3. Molina getting much consideration is a joke. He doesn't have the disadvantage of playing in tough ballparks like Headly. Plus it's Molina. The guy is a jerk. In the AL I feel Trout clearly had the better year. Unless you want to completely discount defense and baserunning.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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I can see that happening. Zero first place votes, that is. But ESPN's total is only 28 votes, and I thought there are 32 voters. Maybe I'm wrong. If I'm right, however, I wonder who else ESPN believes will get first place votes.

 

Either way, I just hope Braun doesn't finish last because of pettiness of writers. They were the ones that brought the Braun story out in the open in the first place. NOBODY should have even known about it at all. And had it gone down the way is should have, I'd be very interested to know how the voting would go then. Braun would still likely finish 2nd but it'd be much closer.

 

I still think Posey wins in a landslide.

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P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)

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I can see that happening. Zero first place votes, that is. But ESPN's total is only 28 votes, and I thought there are 32 voters. Maybe I'm wrong. If I'm right, however, I wonder who else ESPN believes will get first place votes.

 

Either way, I just hope Braun doesn't finish last because of pettiness of writers. They were the ones that brought the Braun story out in the open in the first place. NOBODY should have even known about it at all. And had it gone down the way is should have, I'd be very interested to know how the voting would go then. Braun would still likely finish 2nd but it'd be much closer.

 

I still think Posey wins in a landslide.

 

That is a poll of ESPN's baseball writers, so it only includes a few actual voters. My prediction is that Braun gets somewhere around 5-6 first place votes, with 20-25 for Posey. The good news is that the results are fully published this year so we will know which writers left Braun completely off the ballot.

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That is a poll of ESPN's baseball writers, so it only includes a few actual voters. My prediction is that Braun gets somewhere around 5-6 first place votes, with 20-25 for Posey. The good news is that the results are fully published this year so we will know which writers left Braun completely off the ballot.

 

 

Oh, really? I was unaware of that! Now I'm really looking forward to seeing the voting results.

 

 

By the way, the way MLB Network has announced the winners has been so dull. The secretary of the BBWAA just opens the envelope and reads it, showing the card to the camera, in some plain-jane monotone. No hype, no buildup, no nothing. Yawn.

 

I thought it would have been neat to have the candidates in-studio or via satellite like they do at the Oscars or something to see reactions and get a quick speech/interview done on the spot after winning.

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P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)

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