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Tuesday morning MVP chatter

Aug 18, 2009, 10:53 AM EDT

With the trade deadline gone, the amateurs signed (or not) and the sense that we still have a week or two before we can truly, truly get into the pennant races, what better time to start having MVP arguments?

First up, the NL, where Jonah Keri makes the shocking, yet surprisingly compelling claim that Albert Pujols is not necessarily the no-brainer choice we all think he is.

Then comes the AL, where the Mauer-Teixeira battle lines are being drawn.  Surprisingly, a pro-Mauer voice comes from the YES Network (I’m sure the author has been killed by the Yankee secret police right now, but it’s still worth reading).

I tend to view MVP arguments like I view political or religious discussions: there’s no way to convince anyone of anything they don’t already believe, so what’s the friggin’ point. Still, it’s only August, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet, so argue away.

My insta-take: Pujols will win it because since the mid-90s or so, the writers have, for some reason, decided to disregard the voting rules by not taking pitchers’ MVP cases seriously. If Pedro didn’t win in 2000, there’s no way that Lincecum wins it in 2009 or any other pitcher wins it any time soon.

AL: I’m a Mauer guy, but with the Twins fading — and with the writers having an almost pathological aversion to giving Mauer his due — Teixeira or someone else is more likely.

  1. Jonah Keri - Aug 18, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    I think that YESNetwork guy might have a future in this biz.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 18, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Yeah, but we should really lynch the guy who thinks that Albert isn’t the MVP. He doesn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground. ;-)

  3. Jonah Keri - Aug 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Yeah, those pitchers are such big meanies by thinking they can compete for the most-RBI-on-a-first-place team award.
    (Now I’m straw-manning Pujols’ candidacy just for kicks…he’s awesome, and a fine MVP pick–just prefer Lincecum. The AL push for Tex is…wow.)

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 18, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    I almost feel like the people backing Teixeira are trying to give Brian Cashman an award as opposed to Teixeira. Like it’s validation of a good signing as opposed to recognizing an MVP performance. Or maybe it’s just simple Yankee boosterism at work: “Hey, for the first time in forever we’re actually out-peforming our expectations! Someone around here HAS to be the MVP!”

  5. Jonah Keri - Aug 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    If someone around there has to be MVP, it should be Derek Jeter.

  6. Kyle Cecil - Aug 18, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    My biggest argument against ANY pitcher getting the MVP is simply this; they are out there every fifth day (regular season), a 20 game winner helps his team win 20 times, how many days is Albert, or any other position, player out there helping the team win? A lot more than 20 games.

  7. dennis - Aug 18, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    If the player ‘most valuable” to him time is defined as the one, who if did not exist, would have the biggest drop in team performance, then it has to be Puhols, hands down. He also has the upward effect.
    Yes, he plays 155+ games a season, fields his position exceptionally well, runs the bases well, and, oh by the way, he can hit too – has two outta the three stats almost locked in for the triple crown..and,, oh by the way, the Cards are prolbably the hottest team in the National League, and lead the Central by 6 games (over the hapless Cubs and the rest of the followers). Matt Holliday is a big reason for this, granted. But he was brought in so the MVP could make the most of his hitting skills.
    If you lose one pitcher, chances are you’ll loose some of those 15-20 games they win. True. But there are four other starters and 10 bull pen guys to replace him. He has more support than a skilled field position.

  8. KingHomer - Aug 18, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Lincecum will pitch 16-17% (estimating – I didn’t look it up) of the Giants innings this year.
    Pujols will make 11% (estimating – I didn’t look it up) of the Cardinals plate appearances this inning.
    Lincecum affects how the bullpen is used. Leading the league in IP means the bullpen is better rested the next day or two.
    Pujols affects how other batters are pitched to by being in the on deck circle or on base.
    It’s easy to say Pujols affects 155 games a year. Lincecum controls 35 games a year.
    I am not saying Lincecum should be MVP. I am just pointing out the “plays every day” argument isn’t as strong.

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