The votes have been tallied and the results show that those who voted arenít nearly as concerned with what has happened as they are with right now and with what we have going forward. In a change from previous years, the Baseball Writers Association of America has announced a list of finalists for each of the annual awards they hand out (rookie of the year, Cy Young and MVP awards in each league). In what should be a surprise to no one who has paid attention, the Brewers' Ryan Braun has been named an NL MVP finalist, along with Chase Headley (Padres), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Yadier Molina (Cardinals) and Buster Posey (Giants).
These guys are the finalists for one reason: they all are worthy of the award. I could make a number of arguments regarding why I believe Braun should win, but I know fans of those other players can do the same. In fact, Iím not even sure I would vote for Braun if my vote was based solely on the 2012 season and not on the level of "man crush" I have on him.
Even if Mr. Braun does not win a second-straight MVP award, his being named as a finalist is still significant. Those writers who make up the BWAA are the same people who cast ballots for the Baseball Hall of Fame. I would argue that if he received enough MVP votes in 2012 -- less than one year after he won an appeal over tainted drug-test results -- to place him in the top-five, then I see only good things going forward. If Mr. Braun continues to put the numbers up that he has since he joined the Crew, itís reasonable to assume he will be a first ballot hall-of-famer.(In another round of good news, Braun also was awarded his fifth-straight Silver Slugger award, as voted on by coaches and managers.)
Fans of other teams probably won't agree and Iím sure there are Brewers fans who still remain skeptical, but to those people we must remember that itís time to move on from what has happened and focus on what will happen. Mr. Braun's road has been hard and his journey has been long, but he picked himself up and fought his way back and we know in our hearts for the Brewers Nation that the best is yet to come. After all, we are not an "old-school" Brewers Nation, and we are not a "new-school" Brewers Nation; we are THE Brewers Nation.