Among the many people that Ryan Braun has cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs, you could argue that Matt Kemp is one of the most significant. The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger had an incredible season in 2011, but Braun was named the NL MVP despite Kemp having more homers, RBI, runs and stolen bases than the scorned Milwaukee Brewers outfielder.
Braun was probably given the honor over Kemp because he led the Brewers to the playoffs, whereas LA was under .500 most of the season before rallying to finish 82-79. On Tuesday, Kemp was asked for his feelings about Braun’s suspension and admission.
“I’m disappointed,” Kemp said via the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t like to get lied to. I don’t think anybody likes to get lied to. I think a lot of other people feel the same way. I’m not the only one in that boat. I’m just another one of those guys on the list that are disappointed in what has come about in the last couple days.”
Kemp supported Braun after the Brewers outfielder failed the initial drug test. He said he considered Braun a friend and believed the Milwaukee star was clean. That’s why he now says he’s disappointed and was “lied to” by Braun.
Though Kemp said at the time that he did not want the MVP if Braun were found guilty of cheating, he was clearly disappointed with the outcome of the vote, as evidenced by his tweet about the voters creating a monster. But Kemp maintains that he still does not want the MVP award even though the man who won it is an admitted cheater.
“I was in a race to win the MVP, I got second. It is what it is,” Kemp said Tuesday. “The voters had an opinion about who they wanted to pick as the MVP. That’s who they picked, that’s who they felt was the MVP. You have to respect them for that.”
Kemp is probably right that you cannot go back and give the award to him, but maybe a note should go down in history to say Braun used performance-enhancing drugs during the MVP season. And as fans and media, we cannot forget that Kemp truly deserved the MVP award that season.