Results tagged ‘ NL ’
Okay. I’m calm.
I ranted hard in this space not that long ago about how I’d feel if Ryan Braun were somehow voted outside of the Top 3 by anyone entrusted with submitting a ballot. (Four out of the 32 writers who voted on the award this year did position Braun fourth, but more on that later.)
In the end, logic and reason appear to have won the day over vengeance and retribution…at least on the surface they did.
The final and official results of the voting for the Most Valuable Player in the National League for the 2012 season found 27 first-place votes for the winner, San Francisco’s Buster Posey. Braun received three first-place votes, 15 second-place votes, 10 third-place votes and four fourth-place votes. That quick math adds up to 32 votes which means Braun did appear on all ballots cast. That’s a good thing for my sanity.
Unfortunately, the writers had a perfect foil to Braun’s candidacy.
Buster Posey led the San Francisco Giants to a NL West Division championship. He performed incredibly well down the stretch in pressure-filled games. He soldiered on after his teammate quite unceremoniously dropped the mantle of “best hitter” on the team when Melky Cabrera was suspended halfway through the season. Posey plays a defensive position which is normally considered more valuable than left field. 2010: Healthy Buster Posey, Giants win World Series. 2011: Injured Buster Posey, Giants miss playoffs. 2012: Healthy Buster Posey, Giants win division (by the time the ballots were due), Posey “wins” batting title.
When the Brewers fell short in their crusade to reach the postseason, it truly was a perfect storm against Braun.
But, like I’ve said many times throughout this off-season, I can understand a vote for Posey. It would have really tanned my hide had Braun not finished at least second. I’m quite pleased, though hardly happy or satisfied, that the majority of voters showed integrity in the ballots.
Do I think that some voters who supported Posey would have voted for Braun instead had these exact same seasons happened two years ago? I do. It would have been a much closer race without everything that happened last off-season. There is no question.
But again, other than trying to understand how you can vote Andrew McCutchen second and Ryan Braun fourth (as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did) as an example, I can’t muster the vitriol nor do I feel it necessary to organize an angry mob based on these results.
Ryan Braun has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. His was a fantastic season, one which should have earned him the Hank Aaron Award, but also one which can be argued he finished appropriately in the vote measuring the subjective description of “value”.
Congratulations to Buster Posey. Congratulations to AL MVP Miguel Cabrera.
That said, 2013 is an entirely new campaign, one which will hopefully see Ryan Braun get even better.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the face that Aramis Ramirez received enough votes to finish 9th overall in total points. Ramirez got one fifth-place vote, one sixth-place vote, four seventh-place, six eighths, and one ninth.
Congrats to Aramis Ramirez!
Of note, the Brewers were the only team to have two players finish in the Top 10 of voting.
If you follow me on Twitter this isn’t exactly breaking news. You’ll know that a few days ago, when Brian Kenney analyzed the “finalists” for the Most Valuable Player award in the National League, I tweeted that Kenney stated the metrics support Ryan Braun’s candidacy to repeat as NL MVP.
(Brian Kenney, of course, is the well-respected host of the fantastic show Clubhouse Confidential on MLB Network.)
He does that that he can see voting for Buster Posey or Yadier Molina for MVP, and could even understand a vote for Andrew McCutchen.
But if he actually had to vote, he would go with the guy who was the best power hitter, a plus base-runner, and a plus-defender.
Here are Kenney’s full comments and breakdown:
All that said, I still don’t expect Ryan Braun to be named as MVP tomorrow evening. Humans love narrative, they hate being embarrassed, and they love revenge. In this way, many baseball writers over the years have proven to be about as human as you can get.
The Baseball Writers Association of America revealed their first two awards today. Mike Trout was the deservedly unanimous Rookie of the Year in the American League, but the NL MVP had a bit more intrigue with multiple worthy candidates.
Bryce Harper won it, but this isn’t a blog about the Washington Nationals. This is a blog for the Milwaukee Brewers so I want to discuss where the top rookies on the Milwaukee Brewers finished in the voting.
First of all, as I expected, Mike Fiers did not receive any consideration for the award. Look, there are only three slots on each ballot and while Fiers had a phenomenal first part to his year (and a solid campaign overall), there were more than three rookies better than he was in 2012 in my opinion.
Obviously the BBWAA members in NL chapters agreed with that assessment.
The assessment that we disagree on is Norichika Aoki.
Aoki came to MLB without much fanfare, significantly less than one might think given his accolades in NPB in Japan. All he did after being put into the daily lineup was produce, leading to several hitting streaks of at least 10 games. His defense was just fine in right field too.
His final numbers, mostly out of the lead off spot, were:
151 G, .288/.355/.433, 588 PA, 520 AB, 81 R, 150 H, 37 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 30 SB, 43 BB, 55 K, 110 OPS+
Ultimately, Aoki finished in fifth place receiving two second-place votes and five third-place votes for a total of 11 points in the scoring system. In all, eight different players received votes for the award. Harper was first with 112 points, Wade Miley finished second with 105 points, Todd Frazier was third with 45 points, and Wilin Rosario of the Rockies finished with 12 points because of (in part) one first-place vote he somehow received.
Regardless of his final position, Aoki becomes just the 20th Milwaukee Brewers player in history to garner votes for Rookie of the Year and that is to be commended and applauded on its own merit.
For the record, Dennis Semrau of the Wisconsin State Journal (MIL Chapter) and Paul White of USA Today (WAS Chapter) gave Aoki his second-place votes. The third-place votes were cast for Aoki by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (NY Chapter), Keith Law of ESPN.com (AZ Chapter), Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (HOU Chapter), Hideki Okuda of the Sports Nippon Newspaper (LA Chapter), and El Nuevo Herald’s Luis E. Rangel.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has been elected to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in each of his five full seasons in the big leagues.
The first three games saw Braun reach base exactly zero times in seven at-bats. He struck out three times to boot. (Braun’s fourth election resulted in him not playing in the game due to injury.)
Earlier tonight though, Braun started his fourth Midsummer Classic for the National League, playing left field, and hitting third in manager Tony La Russa’s lineup. Following a one-out single by San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Braun dug into the right-handed batter’s box.
On a 2-1 count, Braun took a 98-MPH fastball from American League starting pitcher Justin Verlander over the head of starting right fielder Jose Bautista for an RBI double, giving the National League a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Braun would later score from third base on Pablo Sandoval’s bases-clearing triple, but the run he drove in held up the entire way as the National League shut out the American League be a final score of 8-0!
In the fourth inning, with two outs, Ryan Braun then tripled into the right field corner. (He was stranded there when Joey Votto grounded out to end the inning.) That second hit was the first time a Milwaukee Brewer has ever recorded two hits in the same All-Star Game. A little piece of history is always a good thing.
Braun contributed on defense as well during his four innings in the field, tracking down two deep fly balls on the warning track and catching another in much shallower left. But the crowning moment was a leaping catch while running at full sprint to take away a double from Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder to end both the fourth inning and Braun’s night of work.
Offensively, Braun finished 2-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI and run scored. Without a tremendous diving catch by Jose Bautista, Braun could have been 3-for-3 and again, his RBI was the game-winning RBI! Ryan Braun is the also only the fifth player to hit a double and triple in the same All-Star Game. He joins Earl Averill, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, and George Brett.
All things considered, it was an extremely positive All-Star break for the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.
Congratulations to Ryan!
Congratulations are also in order to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke who was named to Tony La Russa’s staff after the Brewers made it to the National League Championship Series in 2011.