NEW YORK — Ryan Tepera?
Baseball fans love to argue over who should win big awards. But there likely was no debate Thursday about the most surprising name on the list of players getting National League MVP votes.
That was Tepera, the Chicago Cubs reliever who was 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA during the coronavirus-shortened season.
The 33-year-old right-hander received a single 10th-place vote for one point, leaving him tied for 18th in the NL balloting, far behind winner Freddie Freeman. Still, that’s more support than the likes of Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom and Nolan Arenado drew as they got shut out.
Tepera struck out 31 in 20⅔ innings over 21 games and pitched in the playoffs for Chicago.
Turns out there was a simple explanation for the vote. It was a mix-up — one that didn’t affect the results in any way.
“I meant to hit Trea Turner and thought I had,” longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel said. Fondly called “The Commish” by his peers, Hummel in 2006 won the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s award for excellence that is presented during the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremonies.
Hummel said he intended to click on Turner’s name on a drop-down list, but figures he accidentally clicked Tepera. Turner, the Washington Nationals shortstop, finished all alone in seventh place.
“I should have double-checked it,” Hummel said.