New York Sun contributor Tim Marchman realizes that MVP voters are an easily predictable lot. Heck, he thinks we might as well just throw our hands in the air and give in to their arbitrary ways of choosing each league's most valuable player. Marchman is probably a sabermetrics guy. He probably knows his VORP from his WARP and his WXRL from his DERA. Still, he resigns himself to the fact that the newspaper folk who vote for these awards just look at two things: who's got the most RBI and who plays for a winner.
Marchman goes through the process of eliminating the best hitters and pitchers in the AL who don't fit the arbitrary criteria. Gone are Roy Halladay, Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee (pitchers), Grady Sizemore, Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley (non-playoff teams), and Alex Rodriguez (not A-Roddy enough). So, which players have enough RBI and play for winning teams? Carlos Quentin and...ugh... Justin Morneau.
All of this leaves us with Morneau and Quentin, who rank second and third in the league in RBI and play corner positions indifferently for two teams locked in a tight playoff race. There are better hitters; there are better hitters at more difficult positions; there are better hitters at more difficult positions for teams in pennant races. There are, in other words, better players. What any of that has to do with the actual MVP award -- which might as well be engraved with the name of whichever one of these two plays for the team that ends up winning the American League Central -- is a mystery.
Man, grow a pair! Rise up against the tyranny of the RBI! Rage against the MVP voting machine! Don't just sit there and accept that baseball writers are single-minded dolts. You've got to shove your mathematics down their throats if you want them to believe. We can't let Justin Morneau win ANOTHER MVP award! I don't want to live in a world where Justin Morneau has TWO MVP awards and Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Derek Jeter have combined for zero.
(We owe a Cherry Coke to the folks at BBTF's Baseball Primer Newsblog)