Congratulations to Ryan Braun for beating out Matt Kemp for the 2011 NL MVP. A big assist to the other Milwaukee Brewers for being better than the Los Angeles Dodgers, thereby making Braun more valuable. At least I guess that’s how that worked.
Braun received 20 of the 32 first place votes, Kemp got 10 and Prince Fielder and Justin Upton each got a single first place vote. Overall, Kemp was second, followed by Fielder, Upton, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Lance Berkman. It’s interesting that Clayton Kershaw was 11th after having a pretty dominant kind of year. Was the difference between his season and Justin Verlander’s really 10 slots on the ballot? An interesting philosophical question. Also: Michael Young got boned. He was such a great leader that he should have gotten some NL votes too.
Anyway, as said before, Braun had an outstanding season. I think Kemp’s was better once you factor in defense and the quality of pitching he had to face over the course of the year, but you really do need to be a special kind of person to get truly outraged here. I would have voted differently, but this is way closer to tomato/tomahto territory than it is to travestyland.
Congratulations Ryan Braun.
JaCoby Jones was called up by the Tigers and made his major league debut yesterday. His parents, from Mississippi, had to scramble to get to Detroit to watch their son in action, but it was well worth the scramble: young Mr. Jones had two hits and two RBI as the Tigers won.
Jones’ first hit was an RBI double which broke a tie. It also caused his mom to break into tears:
Baseball is weird. That could be the first hit in an illustrious big league career. It could also be his peak as a major leaguer. Nothing is ever guaranteed. But Jones and his folks have that moment forever.
I used to be pretty anti-wave because I thought it was kind of dumb and that spending effort on it and not on paying direct attention to the game was a failure of priorities. As has been the case with a lot of things in the past two or three years, however, I’ve lightened up about that. As a part of a larger change of heart in which I determined that hating what other people like and which doesn’t cause me or others harm is not generally worth my time, I’ve left the wave alone. I still think it’s rather silly, but if you wanna be silly at the ballpark, go on and do it. You paid your money to be there.
Not everyone feels this way, however. Including some players:
I dunno, man. The Mets had a lead after one inning and never relinquished it. I’m not sure when this wave went down, and I’ll grant that if it came at a super tense part of the game it would be more annoying. But the Mets are playing some great baseball right now and a well-loved player — Curtis Granderson — hit a couple of homers off the bench. Let ’em be happy, Noah.
UPDATE: This is part of a larger “ballpark rules” feature from SNY: