Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Brewers_vs_padres_8113

Get ready for the most hotly contested November election that will not involve a political office – and if you are a fan of Ryan Braun, you will likely not be happy with the final tabulations for National League Most Valuable Player.

In fact Braun will have a hard time ever winning a MVP award for the rest of his career no matter what he does in a single season.

While watching Milwaukee Brewers telecasts on a nightly basis, I have heard announcer Brian Anderson refer to Braun in recent weeks jumping to the front of MVP consideration with a sensational second half and strong season overall.

While it seems like Ryan Braun might have a chance to win NL MVP, it’s just not going to happen. (Photo by Steve Paluch via CC BY 2.0)

Statistically, it is a convincing argument. On Friday night Braun completed a 40 HR/30 SB season, and his total numbers (.319/104 runs/41 HR/112 RBI/30 SB/.602 slug) is every bit as impressive as 2011.

Obviously Brian Anderson makes no mention on telecasts why Braun is still a longshot to repeat as MVP.

That is because BA knows he is speaking mostly to the Brewers fan base, who knows all too well the storyline that has existed since last December. The story about Braun’s leaked positive test, the circumstances regarding the alleged result, and Braun’s ultimate acquittal by an arbitrary panel are well documented and do not need additional mention on air.

In the final days of the season the NL MVP battle has slowly become a two-horse race between Braun and San Francisco catcher Buster Posey. The offensive numbers on Posey (.334/76 runs/23 HR/100 RBI/.544 slug) are not as strong as Braun, but Buster gets points for playing a defensive position in addition to being on a team that won its division title.

If I had a vote, I would select Braun by a slight margin considering the above-mentioned facts and also considering the candidacy of Yadier Molina and the fading Andrew McCutchen.

If the task of the Baseball Writers Association of America was to vote for one player only for MVP, similar to how voting is done in the political arena, Braun’s chances would be solid.

But MVP voting is far more involved than that, as voters actually select 10 players, ranking them first through tenth.

Tabulations are done under a points system very similar to what you might see in NASCAR. First-place votes are worth 14 points, second-place votes 9, third-place 8, then down to one point for tenth place. It is a system the BBWAA has had in place since 1938.

It is that 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format that is going to doom Braun, thanks to the stand you will see from writers who will leave Braun COMPLETELY OFF THE BALLOT.

Here is my hypothetical example on how voting for Posey v. Braun will turn out:

Posey – 8 first-place votes, 10 second-place, 8 third-place, 3 fourth-place, 2 fifth-place, 1 sixth-place = 304 total points
Braun – 12 first-place votes, 4 second-place, 2 third-place, left off other completely on other 14 ballots = 244 points

In my NASCAR analogy, if I considered each of the 32 NL BBWAA writers as a single NASCAR race, Posey would be the driver who may not win the most but would almost always finish in the top five.

Braun meanwhile would be the driver who might win half of his races but in the others either crash on the first lap or not even be allowed on the race track. In Braun’s case there will be no middle ground with voters – he is either MVP or not under consideration at all.

Even if the BBWAA did a Heisman Trophy-like format of selecting just three players on a 5-3-1 system, Braun might stand a somewhat better chance.

So should Ryan Braun’s reported positive test from last December haunt him in MVP voting this year (and in future years)?

The arguments run both ways.

Here is a recent MLB.com article from Michael Bauman defending Braun, and noting that it would be unfair to hold his situation from last year against him. It is a strong argument – but I should also note that Bauman has been a writer based out of Milwaukee most of his career.

Then there is Jayson Stark’s ESPN piece, penned September 14, where he weighs the chances of Posey, McCutchen, and Braun. In the article Stark puts Braun’s chances of winning at 50-1, mentioning the ballots he is likely to be left off of. Stark closes his article noting a scout he tracked down and asked who thought should be MVP – the scout’s answer was reportedly “anyone but Braun.”

And you know there will be too many of these types among the 32 voters.

Here is the take you would no doubt hear from the Mike Lupica’s and Jeff Passan’s of the world:

How do we know for 100 percent certain Braun wasn’t taking anything THIS YEAR???
What if we vote Braun in and an announced positive test comes down this off-season???
What if Braun tests positive next season?? Or three years from now?? Or any time the rest of his career??

That is the situation that became Braun’s new normal last December – it is a hustle that is never going to end. Never mind that we can safely assume that Braun was tested just like anyone else (and perhaps more for possible previous cause) during the 2012 season.

The saying, “Fool me one shame on you, fool me twice shame on me,” will be applying here.

Or just call it the Lance Armstrong Syndrome – guilty until proven innocent – then probably still guilty.

We will get a better idea on how the exit polling is going to go amongst the 32 writers before the results are announced. Will it be a quarter of the writers who take a stand against Braun? Or a third? 50 percent?

Braun’s best chance of squeezing out a contested MVP award, according to my math, would be to left off of no more than 30% of the ballots, while Posey, Molina and others split the rest of the top votes down the middle. That will be asking a lot.

The final voting results may just be such that the BBWAA may be forced to re-think its version of the electoral college that they have had in place for 75 years. But then again voters, in the past haven’t had to deal with players past PED allegations.

Unfortunately it will likely be sportswiters with opinions and agendas who will decide the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player. Look for Braun to finish somewhere around fourth or fifth.

The post Why Ryan Braun Will Not Win 2012 NL Most Valuable Player appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James' manager is mentoring Johnny Manziel

Details emerge from McDonald's domestic violence arrest

Eagles rookie receiver arriving early to practice in a taxi

Eric Berry 'doing well' after finishing cancer treatments

WATCH: Blatt has special message for LeBron

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Shaq once threatened to murder Kobe Bryant

Bryce Harper: Mike Trout is the best player in baseball

Report: Wilson skipped OTAs to attend funeral with Graham

Antonio Brown on contract: 'I've got enough' money

Kaepernick posts insensitive joke about Houston floods

50 Cent’s boxing company files for bankruptcy

Star NFL player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Adrian Peterson expected to attend 'Adrian Peterson Day'

Blatter, corruption and Women's World Cup: It's complicated

JR Smith’s mom quotes Drake after sweep of Hawks

Hawks radio announcer calls Dellavedova 'Tonya Harding'

FIFA officials arrested, to be extradited to US for corruption

WATCH: LeBron throws down huge dunk from inside FT line

Nick Saban says he caught 6-foot, 180-pound fish

WATCH: Vin Scully tells story about Gomes being attacked by wolf

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches home run off scoreboard

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Robinson Cano's slump: The good news, the bad news

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.