Postgame Spread
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

HAHHAHAHHHAHA!!!!!    

Justin Morneau, he of the .235 batting average as late as June 8th, had the best season in the American League this year. This is undeniable proof that the actual season a player posts has no bearing whatsoever on MVP voting. It's an evaluation of who was the best positional player (not counting DH of course) on the trendiest team.

There's really no way to justify this choice. Once numbers get involved, there's no getting past Ortiz. If you go on specious things like heart, guts, and all that stupid horseshit, Jeter wins. If you try to take MVP literally, you probably have to take Johan Santana. If you ignore pitchers, you probably have to think long and hard about whether Morneau is even the best positional player on his team (Joe Mauer?) never mind the whole league. Morneau fails each rational test of a most valuable player, and still won... not coincidentally in an extremely close race.

What does this mean for me? It means I feel entirely safe laughing in the face of this judgment, knowing full well that David Ortiz had a significantly better season, and significantly more valuable season, than the alleged MVP. Even with A-Scrod, there was a whisker of doubt and a dominance of opinion; this time, there's no argument whatsoever. With Jeter, the same doubt could have lingered. This, however, is absolutely indefensible. I'm overjoyed.

So, Justin Morneau... I laugh in your face.

2 Comments:

  • What I posted earlier today on this subject:

    I agree that when considering the MVP award as a “best season by any player” award, Morneau falls way short. I think even if you try to take the “Most Valuable” part really seriously, the Twins would have been just as big a disaster without Mauer or Santana as they would have been without Morneau. So he doesn’t “deserve” it in any meaningful sense.

    But I’m trying to get behind the notion of the MVP as an inherently and intentionally subjective phenomenon. A groundswell of excitement, etc., and for me that means that this year (since voting happens before the playoffs), the award basically HAS to go to a Twin, because of their insane run to take the division. And during that insane run Morneau and Santana carried that team. Looking at it like that, I can feel pretty happy about how it all played out.

    If we think about it as a most-RBI-by-a-non-DH, well, then I’m as infuriated as the rest of you, because that’s really, really annoying. But I’m going to choose to pretend it was more about the combination of the Twins meteoric rise and Morneau carrying the major part of the offensive load during that time.


    Anyway, in addition to that all I would add is regarding your comment,

    "Once numbers get involved, there's no getting past Ortiz."

    I would add, "depending on how much you value defense." I'm certainly not saying that I think DH's should be disqualified or even necessarily majorly handicapped, but I think it's at least still an open question when you get talking about value.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 9:21 PM  

  • I agree with both of you, and if I'd had a vote it would have gone to Santana.

    That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't register one last statement on behalf of the Jeet.

    Bear with me....

    Jeet's a hall of famer. And this past year was his best season. So I would have liked to see him win the MVP. I fully admit that there were other candidates at least as worthy. But not only did Jeet compile some pretty impressive stats- win shares, and a very broad-ranging skill set of production- but he also maintained- in the Hunter Thompson sense- while the rest of the team was swirling each other straight down the pooper. And in their darkest hour (purple prose alert) Jeet was there to carry the load.
    He's got my respect for that, which of course means a whole lot more than a silly lil MVP award.

    which should have gone to Santana.

    By Blogger Alex, at 1:20 AM  

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