Don Mattingly pushes for NL MVP re-vote
LOS ANGELES — Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp didn’t win the National League MVP Award last season, but manager Don Mattingly thinks a re-vote might be in order if it’s discovered that winner Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers is found to have used a performance-enhancing drug.
Braun faces a 50-game suspension for his positive test but has appealed the result and is expected to learn his fate before spring training starts in February.
“In the end, I hope (it’s) something that was a mistake or whatever,” Mattingly said Monday at Dodger Stadium. “I don’t want to see anything bad come out of it for him.”
But he also said that consideration should be given to taking back the award if Braun, or any other player, tests positive for banned substances.
“I don’t know. It makes sense though a little bit,” Mattingly said. “It’s not 10 years later, it’s a month later or whatever.”
In 2010, the Associated Press ordered a re-vote after Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing won the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award before it was learned he had tested positive for PEDs. Voting writers still gave him the award, although by a smaller margin.
Braun hit .332 with 32 home runs and 111 RBI to beat out Kemp, who finished second after totaling 39 homers and 126 RBI and batting .324. But the Brewers won the NL Central title while the Dodgers finished third in the NL West.
“To me, Matt was the best player in the game last year, the National League,” Mattingly said. “Ryan had a great year too. But you guys always ask me about unwritten rules. We have unwritten rules about voting because (Kemp) wasn’t on a winning team. You guys gotta get your unwritten rules together.”
Voting is conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with two writers from each National League city voting for the league’s MVP.
“Obviously, it’s a disappointment,” Mattingly said of the news about Braun. “Ryan is going through the appeals process, and to me, he’s a tremendous player. It’s something that, from a baseball standpoint in general and being part of the game, you don’t want to see it at all. You want to see that the game is getting cleaned up more and more.
“The product that fans see is really what fans love — guys that do great things. But they want to know that those great things are coming through hard work. People love that. I love it myself, seeing a Kobe (Bryant) or somebody do the things they do. But you do want to know that it’s straight up.”
It’s no surprise that Mattingly believes Kemp was deserving of the award.
“Matt had a great year,” he said. “I don’t know how Matt feels about it, but Matt was the best player.”