Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is the MVP award losing its value?

In a season where there were no true offensive standouts, it's hard to feel some sense of satisfaction or closure with the MVP choices.

But when the NL winner was a player from a fourth-place team and the AL winner wasn't even his team's consensus best player, it raises some eyebrows.

Giving Albert Pujols his second MVP is all right, especially in a watered-down National League. Pujols hit .357 with 37 home runs and 116 RBIs, which are certainly MVP-worthy numbers in this Steroid-free era. Ryan Howard, had he been able to hit for average, would have run away with the award, we suspect. Howard had 48 homers and 146 RBIs, but hit .251.

We have said that Manny probably shouldn't get the award since he was on the Dodgers for less than half the year. But if you look at the most valuable player...just sayin'.

In the AL, Dustin Pedroia's league-leading 213 hits, 118 runs and 54 doubles were MVP worthy. A .326 average, 17 homers and 83 RBIs aren't bad either.

But we wouldn't even be able to make a firm argument that Pedroia was the Sox's best player. With Kevin Youkilis' .312 average, 29 jacks and 115 RBI, he would be just as strong as an MVP candidate. Those who watch Boston regularly could probably tell you that Pedroia was the spark plug and all that shit, but looking at the stats, Pedroia certainly doesn't leap off the page.

It's not so much that Pujols and Pedroia were bad choices -- we'd probably have voted for them both -- but perhaps it's the new trend in this post-Steroid era where there are no players having overwhelming years. Perhaps the days of a .330+ average, 40+ homers and 130+ RBI are gone.

It's good to see the playing level evened, where you have a superstar like Pujols and a smallish, second-year second baseman getting honored in the same way. But the 2008 MVP winners don't carry the same weight as those in years past.

Ugh, bring back the juice?


Anonymous said...

Youkilis stats dont leap off the page either.

GMoney said...

Personally, the AL should just roll this year's MVP award over to next year a la a Skins game in golf. No one deserved it this year, so carry it over to next season and the winner gets two trophies. I should be commissioner.

Bokolis said...

We're only having this argument because Quentin shanked himself with his bat.

In the context of 2B, Pedroia's numbers tuck in behind Biggio's best years and Biggio didn't finish higher than 4th.

That should tell you to what extent juice influenced the game.

Arjewtino said...

Interesting arguments, though I'd just as soon lobby for a separate Player of the Year award to bring back the luster of a true MVP.

Mets Tailgate said...

"In a season where there were no true offensive standouts"

Are you serious? Pujols had the best season by someone not named Barry Bonds in a long time.

Also, I love how everyone keeps using this "Cardinals finished 4th place" thing as a reason against Pujols. The Cards finished 4 games out of the Wild Card and had the 6th best record in the league - better than the Dodgers I might add.

Mets Tailgate said...

You need to research some other stats - like OBP, SLG, etc., and you will see just how dominant Pujols was this year.

All you cited are batting average, HR, and RBI - there are other much more important stats dude.

The Big Picture said...

@mets tailgate:

pujols did have a great season -- don't want to take anything away from him. my point was more that numbers aren't so ridiculous in this post-steroid era and while he had a very great season, it wouldn't stack up against some of bonds'.

very legit point about the cards only being 4 games out of the playoffs. i noticed that too and perhaps without pujols, the cards would've been 10 under. so in that instance, maybe he is the most VALUABLE.

Georgie said...

manny sucks

we want A-Rod!