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It is with no measure of relief that I report Matt Kemp is your 2011 National League’s most valuable player. Kemp edged out the great Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder of the playoff-bound Milwaukee Brewers.

That is what I wrote before this award was officially announced. It is what should appear in this post.

But it doesn’t. Ryan Braun won the National League MVP this season after posting great, great numbers across the board. .332/.397/.597 with 33 home runs and stolen bases each. A great season. Whatever.

Ryan Braun finished with 20 of a possible 32 first-place votes, twice as many as second-place finisher Matt Kemp. Not-at-all-coincidentally, Braun’s teammate Prince Fielder finishes third in the voting though he netted but a single first-place vote.

Offensively, there isn’t much to choose between Braun and Kemp. A mere 8 points of wRC+ but the difference between a bad defensive left fielder and a bad defensive centerfielder has to be worth something, especially when the CF doesn’t miss a game all season long. And yet, it does not.

Justin Upton finished fourth in the voting, securing a first-place vote for his amazing season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Lance Berkman all did well for themselves, placing the top ten.

Very awesomely, Roy Halladay sits 9th with 52 points, ranking as high as third on one scribes ballot. Very, very interesting, this places him well above Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw in terms of “value” but not “good pitcherism”, apparently. P.S. This.

The rest of the ballot is the usual mixed bag of insanity, with relievers like Craig Kimbrel and John Axford getting vote(s) plural while manbeast Mike Stanton received vote singular. Ian Kennedy received more votes than Cliff Lee while both Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran received downballot consideration.

Extra special mention goes to Ryan Howard, finishing in the top 10 of the MVP voting for the sixth straight year, despite posting by far the worst numbers of his career. Numbers that pale in comparison to teammate Shane Vicotorino, who finished well down from Howard in the final tally. That takes a certain…something. Jim Rice salutes you, Big Brown.

Comments (11)

  1. I hate the BBWA

  2. Well that’s just silly.

  3. I agree with these results. This is because I believe everything that is brought to me by (or voted on by) official accredited news sources that contain no regional bias and not some guy on the internet who claims to know everything.

    On a side note I also believe in the tooth fairy, planetary sobriety and abstinence (until marriage), Jesus, the Earth is the center of the universe and the Orioles will surprise everyone and win the World Series next year.

  4. I know this can’t actually be done but based on the voting for both AL and NL MVP can we all agree never to speak of this again. The idea of MVP should be forced into irrelevance and the only way to do that is to not talk about it.

    On an unrelated note: Has Parkes tendered his resignation?

    • I know the MVP vote is forcing its way into irrelevance. The trouble is the results of these votes are used again when it’s time to weigh a player’s HoF worthiness relative to his peers. Remember when Tom Hanks character uttered the famous line: “There’s no crying in baseball” in the movie “A League Of Their Own”? I submit to you that there’s no double jeopardy either. You can be nailed twice for the same “crime”.

  5. The only way to solve this MVP debacle is to assign arbitrary “points” to statistics. 1 point per hit, 2 per rbi, 3 per HR, etc, etc, etc. It won’t be an exact science of who is the most/least valuable, but at least it will take away all the arguing about the results…

    Kind of reminds me of the BCS computer ranking BS every year…

  6. I know that if it were purely a computation of points that there would be less fun involved with it but shit this is getting ridiculous.
    As for the hall of fame it is irrelevant as well. As Stoeten has pointed out, it will not matter after next year either if Bonds does not get in on his first shot.

    The biggest problem I see is that these irrelevant hacks have turned there votes into grandiose statements that go beyond the scope of what they are meant to be voting for. Choosing clearly inferior players in an MVP race is clearly more about making a statement and should be treated accordingly.

  7. Again I ask for Parkes RESIGNATION or in the alternative at least a comment on the fact that Kemp was not voted MVP and that he said he would resign because of it.

  8. Kemp and Bautista were the MVPs. And I shall say no more than that.

  9. One thing I don’t get is the blanket rage that Jose didn’t win when Ellsbury outperformed him by a relevant margin in fWAR, and yet we’re acting like he was objectively the best player by every measure. I mean, I wanted him to win as much as you guys did, but in a lot of ways Ellsbury presents a much more intriguing and intelligent, sabermetrics based case, since he was an excellent defensive centre fielder while being an excellent offensive player, period. Bautista was an absolute force of nature offensively, but to rate him just on that is to ignore that he is a thoroughly mediocre fielder by most objective measures, which is part of what intelligent baseball analysis is about: balancing everything.

    • I agree, if you watched the live stream you heard Stoeten advocate for Ellsbury over Bautista while I stated my top tier was the two of them, side by side.

      On the other hand, Bautista outperformed Ellsbury by an even greater margin according to rWAR, so there’s that.

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