With Ryan Braun awaiting his fate for the 2012 MLB season, we are left to wonder what will become of the 2011 National League MVP award if Braun is found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. Braun won the award with a monster season and insists his failed drug test is a misunderstanding. If his appeal is denied and the league strips his MVP award, would it automatically go to runner-up Matt Kemp? Kemp says he has no interest in winning an award that way.
“I would want to win by them voting me,” Kemp said according to the L.A. Times. “I wouldn’t want them to just, ‘Oh, this person did that so how about we just give the award to this person?’ I don’t think it should work that way. If it is that way, then it should be a vacant award for 2011, no one should win the MVP award in the National League.”
It’s easy to understand where Kemp is coming from. We know he believed he should have won the award to begin with, as evidenced by his tweet that said the voters had created a monster after the MVP was announced. Nobody wants to win an award by default, so you could see how Kemp’s pride would get in the way if the league tried to strip Braun of the MVP and give it to the Dodgers outfielder. For what it’s worth, Kemp says he is hoping Braun is clean.
“I know Braun,” he said. “We’ve always been cool. We’ve been friends. He’s been one of my favorite players in the big leagues. I hope it’s not true. It’s even harder because it’s someone that you know and someone that you respect as a person.”
Time will tell if vindication is in the cards for the reigning MVP. If it isn’t, the league might as well not even insult Kemp by trying to hand him the trophy.