Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Well, well, well. The voters got it right once again. Pretty impressive really. Joe Mauer won the AL MVP in an absolute landslide. The interesting thing about the MVP votes, is that you vote for ten people. So, you end up with some interesting players in the mix, just because of a fluke of numbers. Take Miguel Cabrera. He got the only first place vote that Mauer didn’t get. But, he ended up fourth in the voting. So, one person thought he was the best in the league…but most everyone else thought he wasn’t even second best. That’s also how players like Derek Jeter rack up points. Once everyone puts Maur in the top spot, the rest of the slots are fairly arbitrary. So, in order to help their reputation, they throw Jeter in at second or third. Nobody thinks he should have won the award…but he adds up enough points to finish pretty high in the rankings. Like the money winner in golf never winning a tournament. But, if you finish top few enough times, you end up with a pretty good year.
Jason Bay and Kevin Youkilis both finished in the top ten in the voting. Congratulations to them. I didn’t see last year’s winner, Dustin Pedrioa, anywhere in the list. That seems about right. Bay and Youk were major parts of the Red Sox this season, and deserved the recognition.
It’s also fun to see the bottom of the MVP lists. Much like HOF voting, it’s where voters have a little fun. Naturally, some writers toss Mariano Rivera a horrifically undeserved vote or two. Sometimes you have to wonder if voters can’t think of more than ten players, and just write names in to get the voting over with.
I’ve always struggled with what exactly the most valuable player is. Can you be the most valuable member of one team, even if you wouldn’t be very valuable to another? Is it the most valuable player to the league? This year is a poor example of that, since I can’t think of a team that couldn’t use a catcher what wins the batting title, OBP title, and slugging % title. But, how about Teixeira, the runner up? He’s pretty valuable to the Yankees. But, would Kevin Youkilis be any less valuable to the Yankees? Would either of them have won the award if they played for Minnesota? I’m not exactly sure where the comparisons are supposed to be made. Guess that’s another reason why I don’t vote.
I just complain about the people who do.

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