02/24/12 11:43 AM EST
Kemp glad Braun won't serve suspension
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"I'm happy he was found not guilty," said Kemp, the runner-up to Braun for the 2011 National League MVP Award. "He's been going through a lot. Now he and the Brewers can concentrate on just playing baseball and going about their business."
Kemp, though, hasn't changed his opinion about who should have won the NL MVP after his near-Triple Crown season.
"I think I should have won, but it's not my decision," he said of the vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. "I'm not going to sit here and be mad about it. It's something I got past.
"I didn't vote. The writers vote, and I didn't win. I was a little disappointed I didn't win, but I turned the page and I'm getting ready for this season and to have a better season than I had last year."
That won't be easy. Kemp, an All-Star for the first time last year, led the league with 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 115 runs scored, was third in the league with a .324 batting average and was second in slugging and on-base percentage. He won a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award.
Braun was seventh in average, second in runs scored and total bases, fifth in home runs, ninth in RBIs, first in on-base percentage and fifth in slugging percentage. He also was an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger.
Kemp was asked if he felt Braun won on a technicality, an arbitrator ruling that the collection process for a drug test was faulty without a determination on whether Braun had or had not used a banned substance.
"I don't know how any of that works," Kemp said. "All I know is he gets to play and help his team win."
With the stats generally favoring Kemp, he was asked if he thought Braun won because his team made the playoffs and Kemp's did not.
"I'm sure that's what it is," he said. "Braun had a great season. He helped his team get to the playoffs, I'm sure that had something to do with it. [Albert] Pujols had a great season and Prince [Fielder] did, they helped their teams. Plenty of guys deserved to win it. It's not something I worry about or keep talking about or be mad about. Turn the page and try to have an excellent season like I did last year."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.