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Matt Kemp says he wouldn’t want MVP even if Ryan Braun is stripped

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.

Shaun Marcum Would Be ‘Shocked’ if Teammate Ryan Braun Took Steroids

As baseball fans we have all learned not to be surprised when we hear any name associated with performance-enhancing drug use. That being said, Ryan Braun is one of those names that causes the tiniest raise of the eyebrow.  You wouldn’t really expect to hear Braun’s name thrown in with the likes of Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi.  According to Braun’s teammate, Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum, it would be a huge surprise if the rest results are upheld and Braun is suspended for 50 games.

“I’d be shocked,” Marcum said according to the Journal Sentinel. “Like I say, he is one of those guys – his image, everything he does in the game – he is just one of those guys who you would never suspect or think he was taking anything illegally or do anything to cheat. I have seen him in the weight room. I have seen him in the batting cages. His work ethic is second to none. … I could never imagine him or think he was going to do something performance enhancing-wise to cheat. He is just one of those guys who respects work.”

Marcum said he heard the news via text from his mother when he was out in Las Vegas.  We already had Aaron Rodgers defending Braun in saying that there should be some sort of confidentiality with the tests until after the appeal, and it’s hard to argue with that.  Rumors have swirled about prescription medicines and substances other than steroids or HGH, but unfortunately for Braun we’ve grown tired of hearing those excuses.

It is always a possibility that Braun wins his appeal, but that has never happened in baseball when dealing with failed drug tests.  Like Marcum explained, it is the job of his teammates to support him until he’s proven guilty.  If he is, it will be yet another reminder that you can no longer trust anyone — regardless of how unlikely it may seem that they would cheat.

Aaron Rodgers on Ryan Braun: There Should Be Some Sort of Confidentiality

In case you haven’t heard, Ryan Braun reportedly recently failed a drug test.  Considering he was named MVP of the National League, that is pretty significant news.  If it is determined that Braun is guilty after he goes through the appeal process, he would face a 50-game suspension and an enormous hit to his reputation.  Aaron Rodgers, who is admittedly good friends with Braun, offered his thoughts on the matter during an interview with WTMJ-4 in Milwaukee on Monday.  During the discussion, Rodgers raised a valid point about whether or not test results should be made public before they are confirmed.

“Unfortunately in a situation like this, in the public court of opinion, you’re always guilty before proven innocent,” Rodgers said. “Which is obviously the inverse to the regular judicial system. There should be some form of confidentiality when it comes to this. That’s probably the most disappointing thing about this case with Ryan. … It takes a lifetime for you to build a reputation and a quick second for it to be washed away.”

In a separate interview, Rodgers told WAUK in Milwaukee “I am just trusting that my good friend has not been using anything that’s illegal and I’m very confident that that is the case. I know how he cares about the integrity of the game and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that.”

No player has ever failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs in the MLB and won their appeal.  With that in mind, there is likely bad news on the horizon for Braun and Brewers fans.  Rodgers is right, however, about a reputation being destroyed in an instant. If there is even a slight possibility that the test was flawed or there is a legitimate explanation for Braun failing it, why should his name be publicly associated with cheating?  Unfortunately, 2011 has no use for withholding information until it is confirmed.

Thanks to the Journal Sentinel for passing the story along.

Ryan Braun Tests Positive for Performance-Enhancing Drugs During MVP Season

Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his MVP season, ESPN reports. The Brewers outfielder reportedly tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. A secondary test was performed on his sample and it was determined the testosterone was synthetic, meaning it came from outside his body.

The urine sample reportedly was provided during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test late October. Braun reportedly has been disputing the positive test, telling people around him that he did not knowingly take any banned substances.

A spokesman for Braun issued a statement Saturday: “There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”

In a February 2009 interview with MLB.com, Braun said he wasn’t interested in using steroids.

“It’s never something that I sought,” Braun said before showing a flash of his sense of humor and his well-documented self-confidence. “I would never do it because if I took steroids, I would hit 60 or 70 home runs.”

When asked about the revelation that Alex Rodriguez used steroids, Braun said “It will be interesting to see what he has to say. I will say that I think he’s done everything that he should have done [since the story broke] and the best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest. The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”

Braun is facing a 50-game suspension as a first-time offender of MLB’s PED policy. He is 12th MVP associated with PED usage, joining Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens, and Jose Canseco. I still think Matt Kemp was slightly more valuable in the regular season.

Matt Kemp Says NL MVP Snub ‘Just Created a Monster’

Matt Kemp finished second in the 2011 NL MVP voting, losing the award to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. Kemp received 10 first-place votes, 16 second-place votes, and six people had him third on their ballots.

Kemp had more runs (115 to 109), RBIs (126 to 111), home runs (39 to 33), and stolen bases (40 to 33) than Braun. Braun’s OPS was slightly higher (.994 to .986), and his .332 average was slightly higher than Kemp’s .324. We felt both players were deserving of the award, but that Kemp probably should have won because he played in 161 games compared to Braun’s 150.

Most sports writers likely figured that Braun deserved it because he played for a division winner while Kemp’s Dodgers struggled to finish above .500. Dodgers fans who are upset over Kemp losing the award should look at things differently. It appears that Kemp will use the snub as motivation. Shortly after losing the award he tweeted:

“They don’t know who they messin with!!!!! They just created a monster!!Lol. #BEASTMODE don’t care!!”

When Kemp signed his $160 million extension with the Dodgers, I said that signing for so much guaranteed money might result in less motivation. If what Kemp is tweeting is true, that won’t be the case.

Like I said, maybe losing the award is the best thing for Kemp and the Dodgers. Oh yeah, it also enhances my legacy as well: LB is now officially the only blogger on the internet to hold the reigning MVP hitless in high school (yes, 0-for-4 in a Grant vs. Granada Hills 2001 game).

Ryan Braun’s Fall Mocked by Brewers Teammates (Picture)

Ryan Braun took an amazing tumble during Wednesday night’s Brewers-Cardinals game. Braun fell after rounding third and was tagged out, keeping him from recording an inside-the-park home run. On Thursday, Braun’s Brewers teammates decided to mock him during batting practice by taping an outline of his body sprawled out on the grass:

The taped body outline on the grass seems to be a new trend amongst baseball players, but we’re not complaining. If you’re going to have a legendary flop like that one, it has to be memorialized somehow.

Forearm bash to Hot Clicks for the link, Journal Sentinel for the pic

Video: Ryan Braun Falls Rounding Third, Misses Inside-the-Park Home Run

Ryan Braun is one of the most talented players in baseball. He has a good throwing arm, he hits for power, and he has speed on the bases. Unfortunately the speed doesn’t really matter if he can’t stay upright. Witness:

Hey, at least he got an RBI triple out of it, right? Pretty difficult to imagine that’s the same coordinated being who has posted 25 home runs and 31 stolen bases this season.

To see all the other epic fails posted at LBS, go here. You won’t be let down.

UPDATE: Braun’s teammates had some fun with him the following day, as you could imagine