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Justin Verlander wins the AL MVP Award

Nov 21, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers - Game Five Getty Images

You can stuff your “pitchers can’t win the MVP Award” nonsense in a sack, mister, because Justin Verlander just won the 2011 MVP Award.

Verlander — the first starting pitcher in 25 years to be named MVP — got 13 of 28 first place votes.  He only got 27 of a possible 28 overall votes, however, meaning someone left him off because they want to make their own rules for the MVP and not follow BBWAA guidelines. Which is fun.  In other hilarious voting totals, Michael Young got a first place vote. You’ll never guess who cast it. Seems boneheaded to me.

Following Verlander in order: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano.

As we noted last week when he took the Cy Young, Verlander won the AL’s Triple Crown of pitching with 24 wins, a 2.40 earned run average and 250Ks.  He also led the AL in winning percentage, innings and opponents’ batting average. His 24 wins is the most for a pitcher since 1990 when Bob Welch won 27 games.  Of course Verlander’s season was way better than Welch’s, which tells you all you need to know about wins.

There are going to be people who rant and rave about this. Don’t listen to them. No, Verlander’s season was not historic for a pitcher, but that’s not the standard for making a pitcher an MVP.  He was outstanding and each of the position player candidates had a flaw, either in their legitimate candidacy or in the accepted narratives voters tend to like (e.g. they play for a winning team, etc.).

A perfect storm, if you will, blowing the MVP hardware in Justin Verlander‘s direction.

196 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Plenty of “slugging CFs” out there…Granderson for one, Josh Hamilton for another..and the list goes on. Meanwhile, several teams, including the Rays (Casey Kotchman) get by with a non-slugging 1B, so you can feed into the stereotypes all you want to but they don’t always turn out to be true
    I can’t believe I have to defend this, but here goes:

    >.200 ISO (in order)
    CF – Granderson, Kemp, Hamilton, Victorino
    1B – Fielder, Reynolds, Morse, Teixeira, Pujols, Cabrera, Pena, Howard, Trumbo, Votto, Santana, Konerko, Gonzalez

    __
    You conveniently left out Torii Hunter, Andrew McCutcheon, Andruw Jones, Vernon Wells, BJ Upton, Chris Young and Miggy Cabrera…ALL listed in MLB.com as CFs and ALL who hit more HRs than Shane Victorino (included on your list). And though not every one of these guys may currently be playing CF on a full-time basis, they are all capable of playing (and have played in the past) a decent CF (while being considered “slugging”, which would be hitting 20 HRs or so). The gap is a lot less than you imply with your weighted listing.

    Keep on trying though.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      I didn’t leave out anyone. The list I gave was the list of CF’s who had a .200 ISO or better. As for your list:
      Torii Hunter – hasn’t played more than 100 games in CF since ’09, doesn’t qualify
      Andrew Jones – last played 100+ games in the field in ’07
      Vernon Wells – last played CF in ’10, was also the last time he posted an ISO over 200. He also posted a .248 OBP last year. I’m repeating that, his OBP was .248 last year
      BJ Upton – Never had an ISO over 200, ever
      Chris Young – once had an ISO over 200, year was ’07
      Miggy Cabrera – not sure if serious, he plays 1B

      while being considered “slugging”, which would be hitting 20 HRs or so

      No one in their right mind thinks 20 HR makes someone a “slugger” or else over half the Yankees team is full of “sluggers”.

      • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:53 PM

        Try reading most any baseball article on the Internet. They consistently call guys who hit 20 HRs “sluggers”. Even you included Victorino on your list and he only hit 17 HRs.

        And I meant Melky Cabrera, not Miggy. He hit more HRs than your boy Victorino.

        Don’t care about your mega geek ISO stat either.

        As for the CF position, I’m going strictly by how MLB.com has them listed regarding position. Take it up with them if you object.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 23, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        Don’t care about your mega geek ISO stat either.

        You have no idea what ISO is do you?

  2. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    As for Verlander being better than all three of them, that was my personal opinion…an opinion that I stated was confirmed by the AL MVP voters. Better than the opinion of the Ellsbury slurpers, whose opinions were rendered moot by the AL MVP voters
    If you don’t think this is circular reasoning, I don’t know what to tell you.

    __
    Hardly circular to say that my opinion was confirmed by many (the voters) who know far more about baseball than both you or I. I’ll side with the experts and you can side with the conspiracy theorists.

  3. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Nov 21, 2011 at 11:24 PM
    Yet “the experts” picked Verlander over Ellsbury
    There is nothing “expert” about being a writer long enough to qualify for the BBWAA. From this day alone, we get one writer who thinks Michael Young was MVP, another writer who feels that pitchers aren’t eligible for MVP. Writers haven’t voted for Japanese players for RoY b/c they feel they aren’t eligible, even though the rules explicitly state they are.

    Experts, don’t make me laugh.

    __
    Come back when you get one of those positions. Should be easy considering your low opinion of those chosen to do the voting. I’ll be waiting…maybe falcon can apply along with you.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      So being in a position automatically makes someone an expert about it? Donovan McNabb is a profession football player, didn’t realize that a regular season game was tied at the end of OT even though he played in the last regular season tie. Jeff Francouer thinks that OBP isn’t important because it wasn’t on the Turner Field scoreboard even though it was.

      Joe Morgan is a moron of the first order when it comes to analyzing baseball, yet he’s one of the best second baseman of all time.

      Honestly, how old are you? Grown people don’t use LMAO/LOL as often as you do.

      • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        Who cares what McNabb thinks? If he was a coach, I’d be concerned, but no one confuses being all that intelligent with being a player, given that they aren’t paid to write theses or do brain surgery.

        And how old are you, fool? I’m guessing around 70.

        Here’s a new one for you, old man. GFY

  4. bigleagues - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Awful.

    The Tigers won their division by 15 GAMES! Verlander’s record was 24-5. If Verlander had gone 14-15, but still pitched effectively, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion and Ellsbury is splitting a close vote with Bautista.

    In either case, if Verlander had won 10 fewer games, ***the Tigers still win the division by five games.***

    OK, ok, so if Verlander only went 14-15, the bullpen would have been used more, but, given the 2011 AL Central race there is no doubt that if Verlander won ten fewer games the Tigers still could have easily won the division title. What *can* be said is that Verlander made it easier for the Tigers to win their division. And there is some value in that, but an MVP? Na-uh.

    • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      The voting committee says otherwise. And guess what? They win.

  5. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Where was the equal outrage when Justin Morneau got robbed in 2008?

  6. bigboi30 - Nov 24, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    @phukyouk

    Seriously can you cry and whine anymore then what you have? JV earned it by far. Go hate elsewhere.

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