Tuesday, September 16, 2008
F-Rod for MVP? (But not the Cy Young?)
Three schools of thought when it comes to MVP voting:
1. The stat-heavy voter -- "who has the best numbers on a decent (usually playoff) team?"
2. The best-player-on-best-team voter -- "best player on the best team." (We just said that).
3. The literal-interpretation voter -- "who was most valuable to his (usually playoff) team?"
We've always leaned the way of No. 3 -- take said player away from his team and see if that team remains highly successful.
So when talk of the AL MVP comes along, not too many names jump out at you. There's Dustin Pedroia (.327 average, 200 hits, 17 homers, 78 RBI), a hurt Carlos Quentin (.288 average, .571 slugging, 36 homers, 100 RBI) and Francisco Rodriguez (2-2, 2.38 ERA, 58 saves).
Voter No. 1 would vote Pedroia or Quentin.
Pedroia arguably has the best numbers of any AL position player and is on a sure playoff team. However, Kevin Youkilis (.312 average, 26 homers, 105 RBI) arguably has better numbers than Pedroia.
Quentin, too, has solid numbers, but he's now out for the year, his team might miss the playoffs and, fuck, it's Carlos Quentin. We're still mildly unsure where the hell he came from.
Voters No. 2 and 3 would vote F-Rod.
He's been the best player on what's been the best team in the AL (if not all of baseball) all season. He set the saves record and, in as many close games as the Angels have had, is probably the reason why they've already clinched a playoff berth.
So, we would vote Rodriguez (in what's been a very down year for individuals in baseball).
Could F-Rod win the MVP and not the Cy Young?
We say yes, yes, yes. (The three yes's was for emphasis, assholes). The way most look at the Cy Young (like Voter No. 1 -- strictly on stats since there's no mention of "valuable" in the award), Cliff Lee should be a unanimous choice.
Lee is 22-2, has a 2.36 ERA, 157 K's and a WHIP of 1.06. Gotta be one of the best individual years since 2000.
To not give Lee the Cy Young would be about as criminal as drinking and driving (Lawyer Milloy, we're not looking at you). That kind of season deserves recognition in award form.
But Lee, of course, won't be in MVP talks because his team is way out of the playoff race and because his team is way out of the playoff race. (Would make things interesting if the Tribe were in the playoff race right now).
So, there. We just solved the World's problems in one, relatively-short blog post.
F-Rod for MVP. Lee for Cy Young. Obama for President.