November 14th, 2012

Breaking down the MVP races

When we look at who should be the MVPs, I believe there are clear winners in each league.

In the NL, I think Buster Posey is the hands-down winner. I view the award how I believe it was intended. That is, without the player it would drastically change the number of games his team would win. Do I believe the Giants would have made the Postseason without Posey? No, I don’t. He is a catcher who has to handle an entire pitching staff and still produce at the plate. I am not someone who puts much value on batting average, unless that average leads to runs being scored as a result of that average. In Posey’s case, he was able to do that — while playing the most physically demanding position on the field. I don’t think this race will be close.

In the AL, we have heard arguments that Mike Trout may win the MVP over Miguel Cabrera. I am a huge Mike Trout fan and he is probably the best all-around player I have seen come to the big leagues since I was a rookie in 1986. That being said, any writer who thinks he is the MVP over Cabrera doesn’t understand our game very well.

I do believe that an MVP has to affect the game on both sides of the ball. In this case, Trout plays center field as well as anyone in the game. But that is his position. Cabrera was playing out of position at third base and did an average job. To those who say Trout’s play in the field is the reason he should win the award. I say this. Have him play shortstop — a position that is not his natural position.

For me, what Cabrera did this year in winning the Triple Crown makes it a slam dunk for him to win the award. People who vote on this award can’t possibly fathom how hard that is to do in our game today. If I apply the same logic to the AL award that I did with the NL award, it defines the award perfectly. Could the Angels have finished third in the AL West without Trout? Yes, they could. Could the Tigers have won the Central without cabrera? No.

The award is called Most Valuable Player — not most exciting; not most athletic. I truly believe that had Trout not been a rookie doing what he did this year, there wouldn’t even be a debate on the award. Mike Trout may win multiple MVPs in his career, but it ain’t gonna be this year.

I really hope the writers who vote on this get it right. Because if they vote Trout over Cabrera, it will make me think that the people tasked with making these decisions don’t have a clue about what this award is.

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