November 24, 2009

MLB AL MVP

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

That’s a lot of initials.

The baseball off-season couldn’t really be a more anti-climatic time for awards. Really, why wait until almost a month after the season has ended to hand out the year’ss honours? Couldn’t MLB hand out the four biggest awards: AL and NL Cy Youngs and AL and NL MVPs during the World Series? You’re guaranteed to get four games, why not give out those four awards when people who care are watching? It would make a lot more sense than being 10th page news in some sports sections.

Joe Mauer, who missed about a month of the season, was the unsurprising choice. How often do you see a catcher hit the way that this guy did this season? And he hit for power too. Check out these numbers: .365 batting average, 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in 138 games. He also won a Gold Glove for his defence and had an on-base percentage of .444, to lead the league by .001 over the man destined to be named NL MVP today, Albert Pujols.

There’s no doubt that Mauer was truly deserving of this honour and it’ll be a shame when the Twins can’t afford him in free agency. Even worse, Jorge Posada will, conveniently, be around retirement age and the Yankees should make a big run for Mauer.

Now, the greatest part about looking at voting for the MVP is seeing how some guys may have gotten a vote or two just because of the market they play and the voter’s locale.

But what about Miguel Cabrera’s first-place vote? It was the lone top vote that Mauer didn’t get and it came from a reporter out of the Seattle area, surprisingly. Seeing that Cabrera didn’t even finish in the top three, it’s easy to see that he might not have been worthy of the vote. But I’m just surprised that the vote didn’t come from the Detroit area, where Miggy plays. Well, maybe watching him play could have caused the voter to realize the holes in his Cabrera’s game, like his lack of defence or propensity to show up to camp overweight.

You also have to love the sympathy votes, like the one for Ian Kinsler and the few points that the two Blue Jays — Adam Lind and Aaron Hill — got. Maybe it will build some confidence for the kids north of the border.

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