Ryan Braun will accept his MVP Award in person, thank you very much

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Ryan Braun won the MVP. This not long after he broke the testosterone-o-meter in a random drug test. This led to a whole lot of writers loudly proclaiming his award illegitimate and/or demanding that it be stripped from him and given to Matt Kemp (or something; they haven’t thought ahead that far).  He now faces suspension.

This Saturday is the BBWAA awards dinner where the MVP will be handed out. As the New York Times reports, Braun is not going to avoid the controversy. He’s going to be there and accept his award in person and will give an acceptance speech.

So the question is: will any of the writers who argued from Braun to have his award stripped from him do anything or say anything at the banquet?  Will there be a boycott or a protest or something?  Will Jon Paul Morosi or Kevin Kernan or any of the others who demanded a re-vote all get up and leave as Braun takes the stage?

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.