Monday, August 22, 2011

Jon Heyman Tweets AL MVP Favourite, Villagers Revolt

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I typically try not to get too perturbed about writer's personal opinions, but Jon Heyman got some folks all hot and bothered again over the American League MVP voting.

With about a month and a half left to play in the season, it's a topic that's going to become much more prevalent over the coming weeks. Like others, I just can't believe that Jose Bautista isn't even in the conversation for MVP when it comes to certain voters.

In this humble blogger's opinion, there may not be anybody better on the New York Yankees roster right now than Curtis Granderson, but there is no chance he is the head and shoulders best player in the American League. There are three other guys who would like to argue otherwise.

Then again, that's the great thing about democracy; everyone's allowed to have their own opinion. For whatever reason, Jon Heyman believes Curtis Granderson is most deserving of the MVP. Others might say Dustin Pedroia or Jacoby Ellsbury, most folks around these parts would say Jose Bautista.

That's why it's so difficult to get mad at Jon Heyman because that's his own opinion. And it wasn't really all that surprising either when Boston writers overlooked Jose Bautista entirely in a piece gushing about Jacoby Ellsbury.

Aside from playing in the big lights in New York and subsequently under the biggest microscope in baseball, the thing Curtis Granderson has going for him is momentum. Jose Bautista has had hot streaks and cold streaks all season long, yet Granderson has maintained a fairly consistent pace.

It's unfortunate that x factors like this are taken into consideration to determine a winner a la Deadliest Warrior, but it's a part of the voting process. If a writer wants to weight part of their vote on whether or not that team makes the playoffs, so be it.

Bar none, the best player in the league should win the award. We all know it shouldn't matter if he comes from a first place team or a last place team, but it's a reality that exists amongst BBWAA voters.

I have a feeling this is an argument we'll beat to death collectively within the Blue Jays blogosphere, but all we can really do is state our case and hope that the voters make the correct decision when it comes time to cast their ballot.

Fortunately, they made the correct decision when it came to voting for the the past two American League Cy Young winners in Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke, as well as a the 2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer.

Sure, there are still your old school guys like Jon Heyman who are going to vote the way they're going to vote regardless, and yet it seems a younger generation is helping buck that trend. Things like pitcher wins and RBI's do not carry the weight they used to.

If Jose Bautista even just maintains the numbers that he is currently putting up, then I'd say he should win the American League MVP award. He may not come with the glitz or glamour of a Curtis Granderson or Dustin Pedroia, but winning an MVP just might propel Jose Bautista into that stratosphere.

9 comments:

  1. I used to get all hot and bothered by the MVP voting as well, that is until I finally accepted that the MVP award is not supposed to go to the best player in the league, it is supposed to go to the guy with the best stats who was in a playoff race.

    While this is completely stupid, it is what the MVP award has become and therefore Jose Bautista is NOT eligible to win the award since the Jays were never in a playoff race.

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  2. Peter, I'm afraid you're right - it will probably come down to a Ellsbury/Pedroia vs. Granderson battle for AL MVP. That's not how it SHOULD go down, but it's the nature of the beast.

    Now if Bautista can gain some momentum and have a monster September, that just could go a long way to solidifying him as one of the top candidates in voter's eyes.

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  3. there are instances of guys on non contending teams winning the award...maybe i'm missing someone but I remember A-Rod doing it in Texas with one of his huge steroid laced campaigns in the early 2000s.

    the fact of the matter is he was ions better then everyone else that year. Jose has been the best player on the planet this year, and he would get my vote if I had one, but the gap between him and the rest of the field is not as apparent as it was at the all-star break.

    he'll come 4th.

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  4. The biggest thing Granderson has going for him is the pinstripes. Everyone sees all his home runs, and assume he's the reason the Yanks are in first place. They ignore his pathetic batting average and defense. They've been begging for a NY MVP for a few years now. For me, Bautista should have a great case. Without him, do the Jays even have anything? How can Pedroia, Ellsbury, AND Gonzalez all be in the running for an MVP? All three of them are the most valuable members in the AL to the same team? If you lose Ells, they still have AGone and Pedey. Doesn't seem as valuable as Bautista. I've always thought an MVP should be on a losing team more than a winner for that very reason. Honestly, I think the biggest strike against Bauista is that people can't believe he's doing it clean. Nobody wants to look foolish in ten years by giving him a vote.

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  5. Anon, it's definitely happened before - I think another notable MVP from a non contending team was Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991. The Orioles finished 67-95 that year, but Cal was so far ahead of the rest of the pack that it was a no-brainer.

    Had the season ended at the All-Star break, Jose likely would have won it. But his margin over the competition has slimmed considerably.

    Section 36, Granderson certainly has the Yankees thing going for him. That always helps the cause when it comes to voting for MVP.

    Having not watched Granderson play that much in the outfield, I didn't realize how bad he is (at least according to FLD). He has a -9.2 FLD on FanGraphs, which really drags down his WAR. In spite of that, I think voters will likely look over that and cast him at the top of their ballot anyway.

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  6. I believe the BBWAA have already devied out their assignments for the major awards (Keith Law mentioned he will be voting on NL Cy Young), and I don't think you are allowed to comment on who you are picking until after the award has been declared. Therefore, if Heyman is proclaiming he thinks Granderson deserves AL MVP, it's doubtful he's on the actual AL MVP ballot. Atleast I'm hopeful it works that way.

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  7. Rockshu, that's an interesting development - I didn't realize each writer is assigned specific awards to vote on. That definitely changes the complexion of voting then, rendering Heyman ineligible to vote for the AL MVP.

    Looks like this is what the writers are told:

    "“There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

    “The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: (1) actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense; (2) number of games played; (3) general character, disposition, loyalty and effort; (4) former winners are eligible; and (5) members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.”

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  8. Which leads to yet another proof point that Joe Posnanski is the best writer in sports today . . .

    http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/08/23/most-productive-player-award/

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  9. Burger Man, I can't dispute that - Posnanski hit the nail on the head.

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