Buster Posey and the "clean MVP" myth

A lot of people are looking to vote for someone other than Ryan Braun for MVP. I don't blame them, they just heard the word "steroids" tossed around in the offseason and were too stupid to understand Braun's innocence. But for people who are so sensitive to the steroid issue that they are going to vote for Buster Posey over Ryan Braun purely on that basis, it's amazing how they can overlook the contributions that steroids made to the Giants' - and Posey's - success this season.

On August 15, Melky Cabrera's sudden rise from the pack of replacement outfielders to batting champion contender was explained by a failed test for PEDs. Melky had been using steroids, and his artifically-enhanced offensive numbers had been contributing to Giant victories.

The Giants have been good about distancing themselves from this embarassment, with good reason. They don't need any distractions for what's been otherwise a positive season, clinching their division by about 10 games over the free-spending Dodgers and heading into the postseason.

Unfortunately, the damage is done. Specifically to the Brewers, with Melky playing they won 4 games against Milwaukee by a total of seven runs, with Cabrera contributing significantly. San Francisco hosted the Brewers for three games on May 4-6, and then visited Miller Park on May 21-23.

May 4: The Brewers won, 6-4.

May 5: With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th, Melky Cabrera leads off with a triple, and opens the floodgates against Randy Wolf. The rally scores three runs and the Brewers are unable to recover. The fact that Randy Wolf often let the floodgates open in the 6th inning makes me forgive this incident. This 5-2 victory is valid.

May 6: Bottom of the first inning, Melky Cabrera singles off Marcum to left field. Without that hit the second run doesn't score, and this ballgame doesn't go to extra innings where the Brewers lose in the bottom of the 11th.

May 21: Pitching to him carefully with runners on base, Melky draws a walk in the first inning and scores on a 3-run HR by Buster Posey. Without this run the game never reaches extra innings, where the Giants eventually win 4-3 in the 14th.

May 22: Cabrera singles in the 1st inning off Marcum and scores on a sac fly. In the 6th inning he draws a walk off Marcum and scores again on a Posey HR. Two runs, which turn out to be the margin in this 6-4 Giants victory.

May 23: The Brewers won, 8-5.

So in six games played, Cabrera's performance was the difference in three of the Giants' four victories. Even more directly to the issue - Posey drove in Cabrera twice to provide the winning margins. Without Cabrera and those three victories, Milwaukee would sit two games behind the Cardinals with three to play. Cabrera's cheating, and Posey capitalizing on the opportunities, has cost the Brewers 3 games and a continued presence in the playoff race.

How much more sympathetic would voters be to Braun if this surge came down to the final game of the season? How much less likely would voters praise Posey's 100 RBI if they realized that 24 of them were Cabrera?

Look, Buster Posey is a good player. Unless it turns out that he's been supplementing like Cabrera was, I have nothing against him. I wish him and the Giants well in the playoffs. All I'm saying is, if you're going to take a draconian approach to MVP voting based on PEDs and their corruption, Posey is guilty in exactly the same way that Braun is: Completely, or not at all.

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