Thursday, September 15, 2005


I don't have a lot to add to the MVP discussions but that never stopped me before. Winning counts more than whining, and I don't know of anything that prohibits any position player or pitcher from winning the award. Obviously, a designated hitter doesn't get additional points for his defensive contribution, but should he be penalized for something he doesn't do?

I don't have a problem with supremely dominant pitchers winning the award either, starter or reliever, if they 'deserve' it.

I'm on board with the concept of the Player of the Year Award, which can go to the best player, even if his team underachieves. A-Rod would be the odds-on favorite every year, and his teams have coincidentally underachieved since his Seattle days.

It's hard to be the league Most Valuable Player on a losing team, because they could have finished last without you. Isn't value ultimately about winning, not about statistics alone?

I'm a believer in statistics, because I believe that the most productive players and the best teams will usually have the best stats. Yes, I frequently raise the 'Mark Belanger Exception', although there aren't a lot of similar players in his category who were fabulous defensive players and leaders, didn't hit much, and enjoyed a lot of team success.

All of which brings us to the case of David Ortiz and his reported 18 game winning RBI. Whether it's the walkoff variety off electric lefty B.J. Ryan, or the more mundane game winner courtesy of Josh Towers last night, 'Big Papi' has dominated opposition pitching during crunch time this season. If he doesn't win the award, you have to ask the same question of the 8 writers who didn't write in Willie Mays on his first ballot to the Hall of Fame, "what did he have to do to make it?"

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