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?