From an IBWAA press release:
The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the first of its 14 annual awards Friday, naming Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp its 2011 National League Most Valuable Player.
Voting results are as follows:
1st Place: Matt Kemp, LAD
2nd Place: Ryan Braun, Mil
3rd Place: Prince Fielder, Mil
4th Place: Albert Pujols, Stl
5th Place: Justin Upton, Ariz
6th Place: Joey Votto, Cin
7th Place: Jose Reyes, NYM
8th Place: Roy Halladay, Phil
9th Place: Troy Tulowitzki, Col
10th Place: Hunter Pence, Phil
Los Angeles Times' baseball writer and IBWAA member, Kevin Baxter, explains his Kemp vote this way: "Consider 2011 a coming-out party for the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who fully displayed his enormous abilities. No player in the National League had a more complete season than Kemp, who led the league in runs, homers and RBIs, had the third-highest batting average and also stole 40 bases. And he did it all in the middle of a lineup that offered him little protection. Oh, and he also led NL centerfielders with 11 assists."
Los Angeles Daily News' columnist and founding IBWAA member, Tom Hoffarth, adds the following: "If Braun has an edge in being valuable to a team winning a division title, Kemp was able to have the season he did for a team blanketed in off-the-field distractions without someone like Prince Fielder having his back in the lineup all season. You hate to be accused of having a local bias, but in this case, L.A. is not only where Kemp played, but where Braun grew up. You could find yourself rooting for both to have phenomenal years, which they did. It could have been easy to name them co-MVPs. But that would be the easy way out. This makes more sense."
Gary Warner, Orange County Register Travel Editor and founding IBWAA member, sums up his feelings here: "There are just some seasons that demand recognition, despite - or maybe because - of the performance of the team. Kemp went into the last two weeks as the first legitimate triple crown threat in decades. He put up those numbers in a lineup with far less protection than Braun and Fielder."
An announcement regarding the American League MVP is next on the docket, Monday, October 3, 2011. Cy Young results to come shortly afterwards, with Rookie, Manager, Comeback, Executive and Relievers of the Year to follow.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, editor of BaseballSavvy.com and Dodger blogger for the Orange County Register, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative voice to the BBWAA.
Among others, IBWAA members include Tim Brown, YahooSports; Fred Claire, former General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers; Tony Jackson, Dodgers reporter, ESPNLosAngeles.com; Ben Maller, FoxSports.com; David Pinto, BaseballMusings.com; Mike Petriello, MikeSciosciasTragicIllness.com; and prominent baseball authors Peter Golenbock and Dan Schlossberg.