Why Ryan Braun Failed to Win a 2nd Consecutive MVP
Buster Posey is your National League MVP, folks. And it wasn't even close.
The San Francisco Giant garnered 27 of 32 first-place votes, beating out the 2011 winner, Ryan Braun. Braun received only three first-place votes in a contest he didn't expect to win. He certainly deserved the MVP, however. He put up electrifying numbers and actually outdid his performance last year.
He led the National League in home runs (41), runs (108), slugging percentage (.595), and OPS (.987). He also finished second to Chase Headley in runs batted in.
So why didn't Braun win?
For starters, Braun's offseason saga weighed heavily on the voters' minds. Braun successfully appealed a positive drug test but never gave a clear explanation on what happened. He swore he never took any performance-enhancing drug but his defense was that the collector of his urine sample was mishandled.
Because of this gray area, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted for a player they unequivocally knew was clean.
The Milwaukee Brewers failed to reach the postseason, while the Giants won the National League West. Like it or not, making the playoffs is a huge deciding factor in MVP voting. Matt Kemp produced better numbers than Braun in 2011, but Braun took the award home because Milwaukee made the playoffs while the Los Angeles Dodgers did not.
If the Giants failed to reach the postseason but the Brewers made it, the story would be a lot different. Posey still might have won, but the voting would have been quite a bit closer.
Many look at Braun as a cheater who got off. Until Braun gives us the real story, voters will keep ignoring his statistics and denying him awards.
Is that fair? Well, that's your call.
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