As I was cruising the Internet last night, I saw Jose Bautista's stats, and a thought struck me, "How come nobody has ever said Jose Bautista is a MVP candidate?"
Could it be because of his moderately low batting average?
Or what about the fact that he's on a fourth-place team with nothing to play for?
On the other hand, these could just as easily be strong points. "Well, if they've got nothing to play for, then imagine if he did have something driving him?"
When talking about the AL MVP, we only mention Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and (even though he's injured) Josh Hamilton. But how is it that the man with the most home runs in the league (the guy with the second most is 15 under him) and the second most RBI in the league (behind Cabrera by two) hasn't gotten any serious most valuable player contention?
Well, let's look at it.
The last time a player won an MVP award in the AL and their team was in fourth place or under was in 2003, when Alex Rodriguez was on the last-place Rangers. So, if he could win being on a last-place team, why can't Bautista win if he's on a fourth-place Blue Jays team in the toughest division in all of baseball and nonetheless eight games above .500?
Well, unlike the Cy Young award, voters for the MVP think highly of what place your team is in.
Think about it, this year, Hamilton and Cano are most likely the top two choices for AL MVP because of not only their stats but the fact that both of their teams are going to the playoffs.
However, even though Miguel Cabrera has terrific stats, he is on a third-place Tigers team that has been out of the race since August. Now, he probably will finish third or fourth for MVP voting.
People in Canada probably aren't as crazed about Baustista wining the MVP as people in Texas and New York are about Hamilton and Cano wining it, respectively.
These are two main factors that, in my opinion, represent the cause of the Jays slugger from being given any serious consideration for the American League Most Valuable Player award.
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