With the exception of a Joey Votto here or a Justin Morneau there, players from small-market baseball teams typically do not win most valuable player awards because they cannot be paid to stay long enough for MVP-type circumstances to come together as they did this season for Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers.
That's what makes Braun's selection as the National League's MVP on Tuesday so important to a franchise like the Brewers, while underscoring Braun's sensible approach to the game's economics.
Although Braun's status as one of baseball's most complete players was confirmed with the award, he chose long ago to leave money on the table in his unusual desire to be a Brewer for the balance of his professional career.
Remember, Braun is still playing under the terms of his original long-term contract: $45 million for eight years, which, on average, was Yuniesky Betancourt money. Braun was only the eighth-highest paid Brewer this season.