November 19, 2008

The MVP debate

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

Dustin Pedroia is a great player. He’s the best second baseman in the American League without a doubt and is second in all of baseball to Philadelphia’s Chase Utley. But he’s not the MVP. In fact, when I looked at the candidates for the award, I placed the diminutive Red Sock no higher than fourth. Just because a player played better than he physically should have doesn’t make him the best. Pedroia, listed at 5′9″ continually surprises many by how well he can hit, especially for power at that stature. He’s a great player and a solid candidate, but again, not the most valuable player in the league. ESPN’s Rob Neyer agrees with me too.

In case you were wondering, which I’m sure you are, my ballot would have looked like this: 5. Pedroia, 4. Carlos Quentin (I know he missed a month), 3. Kevin Youkilis (), 2. Justin Morneau (they got that right) and 1. Joe Mauer. Catcher is the toughest position to play, he won a gold glove and was the best hitter in the entire AL. Had Minnesota (won that one game) and made the playoffs, I’m very certain either Mauer or Morneau takes the award.

Two question about the ballots as well:
It was probably someone from L.A. but who voted Francisco Rodriguez as 1st place, but seriously how do you give that vote to someone who was in the game for an inning per night tops?
And who in the hell gave Jason Bartlett a single vote — let a lone a fifth place vote? Whoever did that should just give up his right to participate in anything baseball related. I mean, check out his stat line! It’s average at best!

In the NL, Albert Pujols was the right choice for MVP. He’s a threat every time he steps to the plate but I still don’t believe how good is because I think I’m taking him for granted. He’s so consistently good that he really deserved the award because the two other top candidates had a major flaw. Ryan Howard was as cold as the weather during the World Series when the season opened and managed to best his MLB record for strikeouts in a season. Manny Ramirez only spent half of a (spectacular) season with the Dodgers so you can’t really count him in.

The Chicago Cubs re-upped their biggest free agent by inking Ryan Dempster to a four-year, $52 million deal. That’s pretty much what I would’ve expected to happen when you consider the market and how much he meant to the Cubs this past season. But all-in-all, he had the best season of his career in a contract year and is a converted closer. Can he really be counted on to replicate his numbers for four seasons? I think not.

Congratulation to Jeremy Affeldt for becoming the first free agent to sign this offseason. The Giants needed bullpen help as much as anyone so why not grab a guy who isn’t terrible at a reasonable price? High marks on that move.

This is just plain smart and I don’t know why more people, especially women, don’t attempt this. A 16-year old girl was recently drafted by a Japanese team after she taught herself a pretty mean knuckleball. Tim Wakefield is still out there past 40 years old proving you don’t need a big arm to throw this pitch. So why don’t more people start trying it out?

And according to television reports, the Yankees — already having offered a massive deal to CC Sabathia — have thrown a five-year, $80 million deal at former Blue Jay A.J. Burnett. You don’t have to know too much about baseball to know that this is overpaying for A.J. He didn’t even play so great for the entire season, only really turning it on after the all-star break, I’m sure after his agent reminded him it was a contract year. Well, at least with the Yanks he’ll be able to sport an ERA of around 4.00 and still be one of their better starters.

1 Comment

  1. The San Francisco Giants’ search for left-handed assistance in the bullpen has led them to the acquisition of free agent Jeremy Affeldt on Monday. Signing Affeldt to a two-year contract, the Giants are hoping the

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