Sep 23, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT
Before I say what I’m gonna say, please understand: I do not think an MVP vote for Justin Verlander is silly. It is not an outrage. This is one of those years where there are multiple defensible choices and the arguments for some candidates I wouldn’t personally support are nonetheless totally valid. Verlander may win the MVP and if he does it will not be a travesty.
That said, this sort of argument in his favor — offered by Mitch Albom in this case — doesn’t do much for me:
Let’s just focus on the word “valuable.” The “V” in MVP. That is what the award is supposed to signify, right? Not biggest bat, niftiest glove or flashiest numbers. Valuable? Is there any question that, if you took Verlander off this Tigers team, it would not be making the playoffs?
The Tigers lead the AL Central by 12.5 games. I don’t care what method of quantifying you prefer, including the old eyeball test: if you took Justin Verlander off this team and replaced him with a regular old starter, it is pretty damn certain that the Tigers make the playoffs. Sure, they may still be in a mild fight with another team and, no, I wouldn’t give them much of a chance against the Rangers and Yankees of the world, but they’d be in the playoffs.
This isn’t some point of statistical analysis. It’s simply reflective of my anger that everyone wants to pretend that the presence of Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch, Victor Martinez and Jose Valverde means nothing. To the contrary, that is a team, performing as it has this year, that fairly easily wins the AL Central.
Verlander is obviously having a fantastic season. And there’s a valid argument to be made that he’s the MVP. But it’s not because he’s single-handedly carrying Detroit into the playoffs. That’s simply not true.
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 31
- MLBPA files grievance against Astros in regard to draft pick situation 28
- The eyes have it: Thomas’ greatness built on patience 13
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams 191
- Mariners re-acquire Kendrys Morales from Twins for Stephen Pryor 21
- A’s designate $10 million reliever Jim Johnson for assignment 35
- Everything you need to know about next week’s trade deadline 35
- Impending free agent Jon Lester won’t talk contract with the Red Sox until after the season 19
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams (191)
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (162)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (97)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)