Wednesday evening, MLB Network aired a show which laid out the “finalists” for the major awards in baseball as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
(Click here for my pre-show rant.)
On the show they revealed the “finalists” for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Most Valuable Player awards for each major league.
Five names were rattled off in alphabetical order by surname. Coming in with a “B” and first position was the reigning Most Valuable Player in the National League, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun.
As I state in my aforementioned pre-show rant, it is assumed that the “finalists” for each award are simply the top vote-getters. If this is indeed the case, it means that some semblance of sanity has shown up in the pens of the baseball scribes of the National League. It means that Ryan Braun is in the top five.
On MLB Network’s broadcast, analyst Harold Reynolds (a former MLB player for the Seattle Mariners) stated that if you simply looked at the numbers that Ryan Braun should win the MVP for a second consecutive season. He also stated, however, that given Braun’s previous off-season along with everything that goes into voters deciding who to cast their vote for, the winner would be San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
I can understand that vote. What I wasn’t going to able to understand is if the collective somehow viewed Ryan Braun as outside of the Top 5, let alone the Top 10 (meaning that he received mention on every ballot cast).
Other than Braun and Posey, the “finalists” for NL MVP are: Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen, and Yadier Molina.
Given that information, is there any doubt that Ryan Braun should finish outside the Top 2? Go ahead and leave a comment with your argument for anybody other than Posey finishing ahead of Braun and I’ll give you the staunch counterargument to your logic.
Bottom line is that while we may feel Braun deserves to win the award outright, that he is still assured a Top 5 finish is something of a surprise given the reasons I laid out in my rant piece.
But now? Now I’m greedy and I want Top 2.
For the sake of posterity, here are the finalists for the other awards including the Top 3in NL Rookie of the Year, which many of us hoped would include Norichika Aoki.
American League: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver
National League: R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw
Manager of the Year:
American League: Bob Melvin (A’s), Buck Showalter (Orioles), Robin Ventura (White Sox)
National League: Dusty Baker (Reds), Bruce Bochy (Giants), Davey Johnson (Nationals)
Rookie of the Year:
American League: Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout
National League: Todd Frazier, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley
American League: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout