The Saturday Mug: NL MVP Edition

As you know by now, Buster Posey is the National League's 2012 MVP, and it wasn't even close. Posey received 27 out of the 32 first-place votes, routing 2011 winner Ryan Braun. In fact, ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla was the only writer to vote for Braun outside the two team beat writers from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Over at Disciples of Uecker, Jaymes Langrehr says there's no shame in finishing second, and is surprised that Braun fared as well as he did in the vote. No voter omitted Braun from their ballot entirely, and his worst finish was 4th. Jack Moore argues there's more to the MVP than stats anyway; sometimes, its about who has the better story.

On MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential, Brian Kenny analyzed all four major candidates (Posey, Braun, Andrew McCutchen, and Yadier Molina), but if he could have only one, it would be Braun.

Not many Brewers fans will disagree with that assessment. Ben Orr of Reviewing the Brew takes a look at the stats and concludes the vote should have been much closer. Peter Keating of ESPN doesn't think Braun's season was quite as good as Posey's, but says it's obvious that Braun is being punished by voters because of the overturned drug test from last offseason. MLB.com's Mike Bauman disagrees on the first point, claiming Braun was "indisputably the best" National League hitter.

Meanwhile, Braun has been nothing but gracious in defeat. Adam McCalvy reports that Braun thought Posey deserved to win.

Posey was injured for much of 2011, making his MVP tale all the more incredible. Jorge Ortiz of USA Today argues those circumstances played a major role in his win. Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks it had more to do with the team's playoff berth.

Posey is the first catcher in four decades to win the MVP award; the last was Johnny Bench in 1972. Although there have been some ggreat seasons from catchers since then, none have earned MVP honors.

Of course, Posey added to his MVP credentials late by claiming the NL batting title. This achievement was possible thanks to Melky Cabrera's voluntary abandonment of the award on the heels of his drug suspension. The last catcher to win the NL title was Ernie Lombardi in 1942. Ron Kroichick of the SF Chronicle suggests Posey was helped significantly by his defensive position and might well be on his way to Cooperstown if he stays there.

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