I do wish to comment on two (2) of Freakshow's assertions on Braun. One of which is the idea that Braun's age 27 season is one "never to be seen again". The other is the assertion that MVP Awards should not be given much weight in voting and, indeed, will not be given as much weight in the future as they are now.
As to Braun's age 27 season: There's no doubt it's his best season, and by a significant margin, but it's not a fluke season. It's a season that fits in well in the context of his career; a career year coming at the age where most players have their best seasons.
What's more, guys like Braun also have similar years at age 29. It's well possible that Braun will approach, and even exceed, his 2011 level of performance at least one more time. And I think his current expected level of play suggests that Braun will continue to hit .300, hit around 30 HRs, and get selected for the All-Star Game. These are the sorts of things that HOF left fielders do to get into the HOF. Braun has been doing them, and there's no reason to think he'll drop to a 25/80/.275 guy all of a sudden. Braun AVERAGES a "HOF season" for his career (30/100/.300) and then some.
As to his MVP voting, Braun was not a clear choice for MVP, but Matt Kemp certainly wasn't a clear choice, either. I'm being redundant here, but I don't think this is an inaccurate statement. What is more important, however, is that the MVP award given to Braun is evidence of what Braun's contemporaries thought of his season as it was happening. And those same MVP voters are the folks that choose the HOFers. The BBWAA writers. For them to not give weight to their own choices for awards in evaluating a HOFer is not only foolish of them, but kind of a foolish thing to expect. The opinion of contemporary observers ought to be given great weight in choosing a HOFer. It's a fair criticism of a player's HOF candidacy to note that the folks who saw that player actually play weren't overwhelmed by his performance.
"I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."
NL President Ford Frick, 1947