San Francisco Giants: World Series Champions

A quick congrats to the San Francisco Giants. An improbable run that lead to the their second World Series title in three years. What I didn’t expect was a sweep. Until next season Detroit.

Does a Pitcher Deserve the MVP Award?

Justin Verlander

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With Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers dominating the American Leauge,  the argument arises, should he get the MVP? Pitchers obviously are valuable. A pitcher can carry a team during the regular season, and especially during the post-season. However, is the MVP or the Cy Young the appropriate award?

The MVP typically goes to the top individual contributor to a team’s success. Guys who are hitting, fielding, running the bases, and scoring runs. The all around best player. Contributors in the most valuable ways. The Cy Young goes to the best pitcher. Strikeouts, wins, ERA. Yes, Roger Clemens, Don Newcombe, and Rollie Fingers, just to name a few pitchers,  in the past won the MVP. I think this is  solely a matter of perspective.

Take Verlander, remove him from the Tigers, would they be leading the AL Central? Probably. Now insert everyday players such as Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez and the Yankee’s Curtis Granderson. Granted, the lineups these two belong to are phenomenal. But their individual statistics are phenomenal and obviously both are in the hunt for the AL MVP. In the AL Verlander doesn’t bat, Granderson and Gonzalez are playing defense when not hitting. Does this give them the edge? I think it does. Without those RBI and homers, the best pitching will only go so far.

I can see an argument for a pitcher winning the MVP. However, I think this should be rare and I don’t think this season’s AL MVP should go to Verlander. He gets this season’s Cy Young.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

Get Over It Verlander. You Play to Win The Game!

Justin Verlander

Image via Wikipedia

So Erick Aybar bunted. What’s the problem? Apparently Justin Verlander, arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season, thought it was “Bush League.” Come on Justin, do you expect the other team to simply watch you get a no-hitter? Aybar was doing what any player should be doing, trying to win the game. Aybar was completely in the right to lay down a bunt regardless if it’s the first inning or the 8th.

I understand there maybe some fans and baseball players out there who don’t agree with the bunt. However, what were the Angels’ fans expecting? “Oh look, Verlander is working on a no-hitter. Let’s hope our team gets through the final 6 outs so he can get it and we can all go home. Nevermind the good money I spent to see my team try to win.”

One of the classier guys in baseball, Tigers manager Jim Leyland, had no problem with the play. He even called it “beautiful.” Wasn’t he supposed to be upset because it was his pitcher that lost the no-no? My concern here isn’t so much what Verlander said, as is the appearance that players of his caliber expect other teams to give in. The expectation that an opposing team won’t try a bunt, or a double-steal, or some form of small-ball to move a runner over and get a run. Fans don’t watch games to see their team throw in the towel when the opposing pitcher is in the zone. You play to win the game (thank you Herm Edwards.)

There was nothing cheap, unfair, inappropriate, or “Bush League” about Aybar’s bunt. It was baseball. The Angels are in a race for the AL West. Thank you Anaheim for playing baseball. Thank you for giving the fans something to watch. Would it be nice to see a no-hitter, of course. But it is better to see two teams trying to win. That is the point of a team sport. That is why no-hitters and perfect games or so rare and special. It’s not supposed to be easy. Sorry Verlander, maybe next time.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

Give the AL Central to the Twins

While the AL East will come down to the wire as usual, the Central will not be as dramatic. The Minnesota Twins will be the team to beat this season. Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, and Young will earn their salaries this season. Did I mention they have Francisco Liriano?

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