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Josh Hamilton wins the AL MVP Award

Nov 23, 2010, 2:01 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 3 Getty Images

The voting for the final award of the year is in and the trophy goes to Josh Hamilton, who beat out Miquel Cabrera and Robinson Cano for the AL MVP award.  Hamilton received 22 of the 28 first place votes. Cabrera had five and Jose Bautista — who finished fourth overall — had one.

I think Hamilton, Cabrera and, to a slightly lesser extent Cano, were all plausible choices, and if either Cabrera or Cano had won there wouldn’t be a ton of room for squawking.

Hamilton, when healthy, was probably the best player in the American League this year. But Cabrera was close and had a few more plate appearances.  Cano trailed them offensively, but was tremendously valuable on defensive and, for long stretches, carried a Yankees team that saw slumps and injuries from putative big guns Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. If I had a vote I would have given it to Hamilton, but again, this is not a year where my favored guy not getting it would have been an atrocity.

As for these results: I think that both Joey Votto’s comfortable win yesterday and Hamilton’s today shows us that voters still think of the MVP award as very much a team award, not a purely individual one. Votto’s and Pujols’ years were virtually identical, but Votto’s overwhelming margin of victory was attributable to the fact that the Reds beat the Cardinals. Some voters came right out and said so.  I think a lot of that was at work here as well, with team results hurting Cabrera while helping Hamilton and Cano.

Which did not, it should be noted, lead to any sort of injustice this season.  But it has in the past when there weren’t as many obvious good choices on contenders, and could in the future. And that’s somewhat troubling to me.  I appreciate that there are multiple definitions of the word “valuable,” but how voters have come to view the team’s overall performance as having such significance to an award that we all appreciate is an individual award is baffling.

But let’s leave that battle for another day. Today we should (a) congratulate Josh Hamilton for his award; and (b) congratulate the BBWAA for — once again — doing what I feel was a pretty damn fine job on the awards voting.

Now, if we can only do something about those gold glove voters . . .

  1. marshmallowsnake - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Do you think some of the writers that did not vote for Carlos Quentin because he missed the last month of the season voted for Hamilton because it is a good story?

  2. BC - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Definietly would have voted for Hamilton, but surprised that Cano didn’t get more support.
    All you have to see is how bad Texas went into the tank when Hamilton was out for those 3 weeks or so.

  3. Panda Claus - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Noting that Mark Teixiera picked up a single 10th place vote, perhaps that vote was intended for Jeter instead?

  4. BC - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Miquel? (typing fail)

  5. kmgannon - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Great for Hamilton! As someone who’s been down the same road he traveled with addiction, I am heartened to see him win the MVP. Make no mistake–recovery is a bitch–and to live out recovery in the public eye, playing baseball at the highest level cannot be anything close to easy. It’s hard enough when you’re a regular Joe, trust me.

    And from a pure baseball standpoint, the good story is just additional gravy–his on-field credentials were more than enough to separate him from Cano and Cabrera (Hamilton’s defense and speed give him the slight edge over Cabrera, in my view). I look forward to seeing Texas next season–I have a feeling they’re no flash in the pan.

  6. BC - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    How the heck did Jim Thome get 2 votes? I mean, he was awesome when he was in there, and the stats are ridiculous if you prorate them out, but he only had 276 AB!

    • ThatGuy - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:43 PM

      I don’t think Thome getting two 10th place votes is a big deal. The guy has a 1.039 OPS and was simply awesome this year. And as it is an MVP award, impact has to be considered. And Thome’s impact on the twins was immense, what would they have done when Morneau went out without Thome’s bat in the lineup? Its not out of the question he was the 10th most valueable player this year.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

        Those two votes may very well have cost Jeter his MVP.

  7. scatterbrian - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Man the BBWAA is schizophrenic. Felix was the third-highest pitcher behind Sabathia and Soirano.

    And the RBI is still alive and breathing. Congrats, Delmon Young!

  8. sdpaulson - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    I would really like to see MLB go to a season ending awards format show and announce them all at once – a tuesday night prime-time show so it doesn’t interfer with NCAA/NFL.

    Say the top 5 vote getter’s in the crowd – that would draw some from all markets (in this case Texas, Detroit, New York, Toronto, etc…) Not to mention the TV/commercial revenue that would roll in.It would be great to see the winner on a stage for all to see, accept, and say a few words.

    Throw in next years inductee’s…. Could probably get it all done in an hour or two.

    Oh I forgot… Bud’s not the sharpest tool in the shed…..

    • ThatGuy - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

      The NHL does has an awards show and its great television. Mostly because the interviews are hiliarious with all those Europeans struggling to give answers in English. Great fun.

      • sdpaulson - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:27 PM

        I’ve seen that. It IS great!

        They could really make it fun. Roll out new commercials. See Ichiro speak english. Good PR promotion for baseball. Best part would be not having to watch the other crap on Tuesday TV.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM

      For one thing, the awards aren’t announced over the weekends, AKA NFL and NCAA football days. And they no doubt don’t “interfere” with the ever contentious NCAA basketball preseason and games between teams that have no business being in the same building, let alone on the same court.

      For another, how is it possible to “interfere” with inferior sports?

  9. Detroit Michael - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Josh Hamilton had a tough time in the Detroit & Toronto precincts, losing 3 out of their 4 first place votes to hometown candidates.

    Besides Jim Thome, other down ballot silliness (in my opinion) includes votes for Vlad Guerrero and Delmon Young. Hard to see how they were in anyone’s serious list of top 10 AL performers.

  10. Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Congrats to Hamilton. This is a well-deserved nod to him.

    Now, any reason as to why Votto got 31 of 32, but Josh got 22 of 28? Did four ballots get lost in the DH Rule or something?

    • aarcraft - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:56 PM

      Each team’s city is given two votes – 16 for the NL = 32. 14 for the AL = 28.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:57 PM

        Gotcha…thanks. I was not aware of that.

  11. Lukehart80 - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Where is the love for Sin-Soo??? The man just fought his way back to America or something, isn’t THAT the kind of story that should get rewarded with MVP votes?! He and Ryan Zimmerman can have a drink and commiserate together at the Club Underrated.

  12. Lukehart80 - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    SHIN-Soo. Why can’t we edit our poorly spelled posts?!

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

      It’s a way for Craig and Co. to make us look more moronic than they do.

      • Lukehart80 - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:41 PM

        DAMN THEM!

  13. sameyeis - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    If this is some kind of joke, it’s not very funny.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:04 PM

      Is what a joke? Hamilton winning the MVP? No, it is not.

    • Richard In Big D - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:17 PM

      ARE YOU KIDDING??? Did you ever see him play when healthy? The man is the greatest physical specimen I have ever seen play the game! He’s fast like a deer and strong like a bear rolled into one! Maybe his attributes can be a rallying point for the team?!?! They could maybe have symbols, like the antlers of a deer, and the claw of a bear… Think about the merchandising possibilities!

      • Richard In Big D - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:18 PM

        And in case you were wondering, THAT was a joke. His winning the MVP is not. Can’t remember a year when both AL and NL winners were both so deserving…

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:25 PM

        Mmmm…bear claws…

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