Matt Kemp Believes Ryan Braun Should Be Stripped of 2011 MVP Award
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp doesn't want any revisionist historians giving him the 2011 NL MVP award, won by now-disgraced Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 30, at 3:51 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
CBS' Doug Gottlieb brings an interesting quote from former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent:
Fay Vincent on if he would take back Ryan Braun's MVP "It is a fixable problem, I would take it back"— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) July 30, 2013
---End of update---
He just doesn't think Braun deserves to have it, either. Asked by reporters before Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Kemp acknowledged that he feels Braun should be stripped of the award.
"I mean, yeah, I do," Kemp said (via Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times). "I feel like it should be, but that's not for me to decide, you know?"
The Milwaukee slugger was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season by Major League Baseball Monday for his part in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal. Braun released a statement acknowledging his mistakes, per an ESPN report:
As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it ... has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization.
This suspension culminates MLB's two-year chase of Braun.
Kemp finished second behind Braun in the 2011 vote, finishing with 332 points and 10 first-place votes. The 28-year-old center fielder batted .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBI and 40 steals, finishing just 15 batting average points away from winning the Triple Crown.
Braun hit .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and 33 steals, winning the vote in large part thanks to Milwaukee's team accomplishments. The Brewers finished 96-66 and atop the NL Central by six games, while Los Angeles missed the playoffs. Braun received 20 first-place votes and 388 points.
The Brewers slugger first came under fire after testing positive in October 2011 for elevated testosterone levels. Braun was initially suspended by the commissioner's office 50 games for the first-time PED offense, but he later had that conviction overturned by an arbitrator on a technicality.
But even with Braun exposed as a cheater, Kemp has no plans seeking retribution by going after that 2011 trophy, again via Hernandez:
Honestly, it doesn’t have anything to do with me. I was in a race to win the MVP, I got second. It is what it is. The voters had an opinion about who they wanted to pick as the MVP. That’s who they picked, that’s who they felt was the MVP. You have to respect them for that. The other stuff, it is what it is, man. For me, all I’m worried about is getting healthy and getting back on the field and helping my team win.
And it's probably a good thing Kemp doesn't have his heart set on that recognition. Jack O'Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (the entity that decides the award), told the AP (h/t ESPN) no change would be made.
"The decision was already made. He won it," O'Connell said.
Braun has not released any subsequent statements on the matter. There is no word on whether the Brewers outfielder plans on turning in his MVP award (Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and others who have been implicated in PED scandals have not given up their awards in the past)—or whether the BWAA would accept the act of contrition.
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