My MLB Awards – MVP

9 10 2012

On to the biggest award I voted for in the first annual BB Blog Awards.

Again – the rules are you could vote for up to 5 players – obviously ranking them 1 to 5.  I voted for as many people as I thought were in the argument and/or deserving of a nod.

Today, I pick the Most Valuable Player.  These were both essentially two-man races that can bring up great debate about the award and what it should be or represent – though both races do so in different ways.

AL Most Valuable Player – Miguel Cabrera

2nd – Mike Trout

3rd – Adrian Beltre*

4th – Derek Jeter*

I’m sorry, but if you win the Triple Crown, you win the MVP.  I know this has become the perfect storm for the new vs. old school statistical comparisons.  Trout had a historic season, for sure.  But it’s been 45 years.  How many things have happened in the baseball world since Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1967?  Too many to mention.

  • The dimensions of play weren’t even the same – the mound was higher
  • Free agency didn’t exist
  • The was only round of the postseason – they called it the World Series!
  • Babe Ruth’s career home run record was broken by Hank Aaron, and 30 years later that was broken by Barry Bonds
  • In 1967, only one pitcher (Walter Johnson) had over 3,000 strikeouts.  Since then, 4 pitcher have struck out over 4,000 and one has struck out nearly 6,000.
  • Four players won all three jewels of the triple crown in this time frame – but neither Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Andres Galarraga, nor Albert Pujols could win the triple crown.

45 years is 2 generations of baseball players who couldn’t accomplish this feat.  Ken Griffey was a sophomore at Donora High School in Pennsylvania.  He got drafted by the Reds, played on the 2 World Champions as a member of the Big Red Machine, then played with his son Ken Jr. in Seattle in the twilight of his career.  After that, Junior played 22 years in the Majors, retiring with 630 homers in 2010.  In all that time, no player won the Triple Crown.

Reggie Jackson played his only season in Kansas City at the end of the ’67 season.  Reggie retired 20 years later, the same year Bonds got 6th place in the Rookie of the Year voting.  Bonds played 20 more seasons after that, finishing his career in 2007. Yet in all that time, no player had won the Triple Crown.

But in 2012 – Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown.  And he should win the MVP.

I’d like to add that I’m sick of the supposed backlash against RBIs.  Yes, when I was growing up RBIs were thought of as the most important stat in baseball.  At that point, the statistic was definitely overrated.  But now you hear arguments like RBIs are completely lucky.  I think this is overreaching the backlash.  On any given year, 95% of the runs scored have an RBI attributed to them.  So 95% of the time, that run scored “took two to tango”.  After watching the postseason the past few days, it’s hard to buy the argument that clutch hitting doesn’t mean anything.

* – Obviously this was a two-man discussion.  I added Beltre and Jeter because I think they both had pretty notable seasons, and I thought it was worth that distinction even though they aren’t really in the discussion.  The Yankees had a lot of injuries this year, and their big guns really didn’t deliver as much as they should have.  But Jeter kept them afloat in the dog days, and got them to yet another division title.  You could say something similar for Beltre – he is just so good on both sides of the ball.

NL Most Valuable Player – Buster Posey

2 Giant ROYs, soon to be 2 Giant MVPs

2nd – Andrew McCutchen

3rd – Yadier Molina

4th – Joey Votto

Shawne Merriman Ryan Braun is the wild card here.  He will get some first place votes, and he will get left off some ballots.  I fell in the latter category – I’m not voting for him this year.  Not when he got off on a technicality, said he was innocent, but offered no further explanation (like Shawne Merriman).  Next year may be different in my mind, but he should have missed the first 50 games of 2012.

Plus, Posey is the more deserving player.  Already having a great season, he stepped up even further when Melky Cabrera was suspended, and the Giants are looking like a sexy World Series pick thanks to it.  McCutchen seemed like the easy choice a month and a half ago – but he’s still had a great season and deserves 2nd.  Molina was also incredible, and Votto deserves a nod for having an OBP that puts any recent player other than Barry Bonds to shame.  If he hadn’t been hurt, he may have broken the single season doubles record, which may be one of the most unbreakable records in the game.



2 responses

22 10 2012
Announcing the BBBWARAOAAE American League Most Valuable Player… « The Writer's Journey

[…] are revealed at each voter’s discretion. Justin’s World and Lifetime Topps Project each posted their picks on their respective […]

23 10 2012
Announcing the BBBWARAOAAE National League Most Valuable Player… « The Writer's Journey

[…] are revealed at each voter’s discretion. Justin’s World, Lifetime Topps Project and Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff each posted their picks on their respective […]

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