Justin Verlander is the Cy Young Award winner and the American League MVP. Does this make sense? According to the baseball writers, yes it does. Verlander’s success on the field this season was tremendous. The question for some, does a pitcher deserve the MVP? What about everyday position players like Adrian Gonzalez and Curtis Granderson? Do they contribute more to a team’s success then a player who plays every 5 days?
If I had to pick a pitcher to win the MVP, Verlander definitely gets it. Earlier in the season I took issue with a pitcher winning the MVP. I, like a number of individuals, felt that was what the Cy Young was for. I felt that was the baseball purist in me. After some research, I realized that many early MVP winners and runners-up were pitchers. Go back to baseball’s Golden Age in the late 1940s and 1950s and you will see some of the names. How much of a purist was I truly? After much thought and personal reflection, Verlander is the MVP and deservedly so. Let’s differentiate between the two awards. The Cy Young is the statistical value of a pitcher: wins, ERA, strikeouts, etc. (I won’t even mention the Sabermetrics.)
The MVP is the….whatever you want it to be. Each writer and fan needs to determine what makes a player the most valuable. The writer’s did just that. Reflecting on the season, Verlander’s value trumps all others. Congrats Justin.
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