The power of making the playoffs

Once you get into the postseason, anything can happen. If you don’t believe that, you weren’t paying attention to the St. Louis Cardinals this year. They made it in with a single game to spare, thanks to the wild card format and the collapse of the Atlanta Braves, and then kept on fighting until the championship was theirs.

The postseason is the dividing line for teams that can say, with any level of credibility, that they had a good season. Perhaps the postseason didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to (and seven of the eight teams that got there can say that), but at least they did get that far.

When the National League’s MVP results were announced yesterday, they created as much of a stir as the American League’s did. Perhaps even more, because the controversy is still unfolding. Say what you want to about Kemp and the remarkable season he had, but his team finished 11 and a half games behind the Diamondbacks in the division. Why the half game? Because it was a rainout against the Washington Nationals, another team right around  the .500 mark. The game meant nothing, and so it was never made up. And that tells me something about the reason why Kemp didn’t win.

Would making up that game have helped Kemp’s cause? Not at all, and his numbers were pretty impressive as it was. But without a Prince Fielder backing him up–the way Ryan Braun had in Milwaukee–Kemp’s numbers didn’t translate into an MVP season. That’s the only reason he didn’t win, but it’s reason enough to make it stick.

The Dodgers have their own issues to sort out, but at least Matt Kemp won’t be going anywhere, with the $160 million that he just signed for. And can you really feel bad for a guy who will make that much money playing baseball? I certainly can’t.

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