Braves fans dejected after major award snubs

by | Nov 9, 2021 | Braves | 0 comments

Fresh off the wave of joy that was seeing their team win its first World Series in 26 years, many Braves fans were dejected Monday night when Major League Baseball released the finalists for two of their biggest awards: MVP & Manager of the Year.

NL MVP Finalists: Juan Soto – WAS, Fernando Tatis Jr – SD, and Bryce Harper – PHI

NL MOTY Finalists: Mike Shildt – STL, Gabe Kapler – SF, and Craig Counsell – MIL

The Manager of the Year snup is kind of understandable. It’s a regular season award, and even though Brian Snitker was able to win his division with a banged up team, the Braves still finished with the fewest wins among playoff teams (88). 

Austin Riley not being among the NL MVP finalists seems suspect. Just look at where he ranks compared to the finalists in these major regular season categories:

RBI – 1st (107)

Hits – 1st (179)

Games played – 1st (160)

Total bases – 1st (313)

He finished the season with a .965 fielding % at 3rd and a perfect 1.000 at first in 46.2 innings. 

Also, and this is a big one, he’s the only one of the four to make the playoffs. Tatis’ team famously crumbled, Soto’s team finished 32 games under .500, and Harper’s team finished 6.5 games behind Riley’s Braves. 

In my opinion, the award should go to Harper, but Riley should have absolutely been a finalist. What does Most Valuable actually mean? How much value is in a season that tallied less than 70 wins? How much value did Tatis have when he was getting into yelling matches with teammates in the dugout during a collapse? Call me crazy, but I put value in a player helping lift his team to their 4th consecutive division title and first World Series in a quarter-century.

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