I began my National League Most Valuable Player watch on Matt Kemp in August, and along with the NL Cy Young scope for Clayton Kershaw, it became the primary Dodger story over the season’s final two months. That means a ton of words were spilled on the subject, and I’m reluctant, at this point, to spill any more (though for some fresh Kemp content, check out this ESPN.com roundtable on Kemp’s future in which I took part).
Looking back, these are the four primary pieces, a combination of comparing Kemp to his closest rivals (which in the end boiled down to Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun) as well as arguing emphatically that the voting rules do not call for the MVP to come from a pennant-winner.
September 24: The myth and reality of ‘valuable’
October 14: Remembering 2011: Matt Kemp
Once more, with feeling:
There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.
The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:
1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.