Braun Not So Valuable

  • Sunday, December 11, 2011 8:18 AM
  • Written By: Dodgers Diaries

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If Ryan Braun's use of performance enhancing drugs is confirmed, I don't have a problem taking the award away from him. If this news had been revealed before the end of the regular season when ballots are due, Braun wouldn't have placed in the top five, and Matt Kemp would have won the award in a landslide. So what's the difference?

I'm also in favor of vacating all awards for any player who admitted use of PEDs, was convicted of taking them, or , was dumb enough to have had his name appear in the Mitchell Report. That includes Bonds, Clemens, Ken Caminiti, A-Rod, Manny and FP Santangelo. But I don't think rewriting the history books will get a lot of traction, especially since PEDs weren't against baseball's rules during that period.

The Braun situation is different. This was steroid use discovered in the midst of the season in which the player put up MVP numbers, and revealed less than a month after the vote was revealed.

Even though the MVP vote is supposedly taken before the playoffs. Which in and of itself is a stupid requirement. If, as some have said, the MVP has to come from a contender (because how valuable can a player be if his team finishes out of the race?) then why not consider the players' contributions in the playoffs as well? If the vote is supposed to take into account such intangibles as value, clutchiness, grit, and leadership, there could hardly be a better time to discern it than October.

For that matter, if we're talking about value, shouldn't we compare prices, too? To me, the most valuable player is the one who makes the most contributions toward winning a game at the lowest price. If that's the measure, Braun would have won easily because his 2011 salary was so low: just $4 million, or a little more than half of what Kemp earned.

-- JOHN ROSENTHAL

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2011 World Series: So Much for Good Pitching

  • Monday, October 17, 2011 10:23 AM
  • Written By: Dodgers Diaries

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The postseason is when good pitching is supposed to beat good hitting. Good luck with that. Aside from Octavio Dotel's mastery of Ryan Braun (Octavio Dotel!!), there wasn't a whole lot of good pitching in either LCS. Chris Carpenter was the only Cardinal starter with an ERA under 4.00 in the postseason; Jaime Garcia (5.74), Edwin Jackson (5.84) and Kyle Lohse (7.45) all put up terrible numbers while failing to throw more than 16 innings total.

Over in the A.L., Colby Lewis played the Carpenter role, with a 3.86 ERA, while Matt Harrison (4.22), Derek Holland (5.27) and CJ Wilson (8.04) all made for long nights for the bullpen. Luckily for Texas, its relief corps were lights out. The Rangers' pen allowed just 10 earned runs in 40.1 innings, and half of those were in 1.1 innings of work by Koji Uehara.

It has all made for some extremely boring baseball, with countless pitching changes (and three-minute commercial breaks to accommodate each one). I usually look forward to watching the World Series, no matter who's in it. But the prospect of more Tony LaRussa three-pitcher innings has me longing for the last two minutes of an NBA game.

-- JOHN ROSENTHAL

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