Don Mattingly weighs in on Ryan Braun
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hopes that Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is successful in appealing his positive test for a banned substance, but that it would "make sense" to revote on the MVP award, or strip Braun of the award if it is found that he indeed used a banned substance.
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"In the end, I hope the appeal it's something that was a mistake. I don't want to see anything bad come out of it for him," Mattingly said.
When asked if a player who tested positive for a banned substance should be stripped of the MVP award, Mattingly answered, "I don't know. It makes sense though, a little bit. It's not 10 years later, it's a month later."
After ESPN reported his positive test in December, Braun vehemently proclaimed his innocence. He is currently appealing the results. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Braun and his attorney will make a case in front of a three-person panel of arbiters before the end of January and he will know their ruling before spring training.
Braun hit .332 with 33 home runs and 111 RBIs. He beat out Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who led the NL in homers (39) and RBIs (126) and was third in batting average (.324), largely because the Brewers won their first division title in nearly 30 years.
Mattingly said he thinks Kemp should've won the award in the first place.
"To me Matt was the best player in the game last year," Mattingly said. "Ryan had a great year too.
"But you guys (the media) always ask me about unwritten rules, about catchers and stuff like that. Then we have the unwritten rules about voting, because he wasn't on a winning team. You guys gotta get your unwritten rules together."
Twenty members of the Baseball Writers of America vote for the MVP of each league.
Mattingly said he was OK with Braun winning the award because "he's a tremendous player." But he was very disappointed to learn of Braun's positive test last month.
"Ryan's going through the appeal process and to me he's a tremendous player," Mattingly said. "But from a baseball standpoint and being part of the game, you don't want to see it at all. You want to see the game getting cleaned up more and more. I think fans love guys who do great things but they want to know that those great things are coming through hard work.
"People love that. I love that myself, seeing a Kobe (Bryant) do the things he does. But you do want to know that that's straight up. That's why I think, the better the testing, the better it is for the game. It protects the players from themselves, where you're not competing with each other. It protects organizations, so when you're paying a guy for what he's doing, you want to know that he can continue to do it. And it protects the fans, because the fans know the guy they love and the greatness they cheer for is from hard work.
"I hope the testing gets better and better and you see less and less of this."
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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