Should Braun receive NL MVP votes?
CHICAGO -- Baseball writers who have votes for each of the major awards are told to submit their ballot the day after the end of the regular season, so there are roughly 14 weeks left to decide.
But surely these numbers for a particular player, if he stays healthy, warrant consideration:
He's tied for first place in his league in home runs with 19.
He's third in his league in OPS at 1.034.
He's fourth in his league in RBIs with 47.
He's eighth in batting average at .322.
He's got 11 stolen bases, with a legitimate shot at 30.
According to Fangraphs.com, only two players have a better WAR.
Two months after writers cast their ballots last year, it was reported that Braun had tested positive for a banned substance -- and an arbitrator ruled in his favor on an appeal, a result that Major League Baseball disputed vehemently, to the point that it fired the arbitrator.
Braun has gone about his business of being one of the game's best hitters, and soon he will unwittingly provide an interesting challenge to recent precedent established by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in their handling of players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.
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