Handing Out the Hardware, Part VII: A.L. Most Valuable Player
Sorry for the lateness, classes interfered with what’s important: Bleacher Report.
Right now, we look at the American League Most Valuable Player. In a short time, we’ll look at the National League MVP and the recap of the awards.
So, without further ado, I give you your 2008 American League Most Valuable Player:
Carlos Quentin OF, Chicago White Sox
It’s going to be a close decision, no matter who you pick as your MVP. I am going with Quentin, without whom the White Sox would be lost. They have gone 3-3 since his absence, but have a huge hole to fill in their lineup. Sure, they can now play Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, and Nick Swisher every day, but that still doesn’t offset the loss.
Quentin still leads the AL in home runs with 36, also has 100 runs batted in, and he’s also scored 96 times. That means he’s accounted for 160 of the runs for the White Sox. He’s batting .288 and has completely changed the face of the White Sox lineup.
This race will certainly come down to the wire. Because of the:
Josh Hamilton OF, Texas Rangers
Hamilton’s story will draw a lot of attention. You know, where he took his signing bonus and bought a lot of drugs and alcohol. He has turned it around and became the feel good story of 2007. Now, he leads the AL in RBIs, he’s also cranked 31 home runs. He’s batting over .300 and has 31 doubles to compliment it.
He does, however, lose out because he’s not the best player in the league. He’s the most valuable player on his team, but in the league. Outside of RBIs and home runs (tied for fifth), he doesn’t rank in the top five of any category, and barely in the top ten in most of them.
Kevin Youkilis 1B/Dustin Pedroia 2B, Boston Red Sox
It’s the multiple value curse. It hit the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004, and it’s going to hit Boston in 2008. Youkilis and Pedroia have been carrying the Red Sox in the wake of David Ortiz’s injury and Manny Ramirez’s departure. The only downside is, you can’t really claim either one is the most valuable. Without one, the Red Sox are in third place in the AL East. Without both, they would be fighting to stay above .500.
This isn’t to discount what they have done together. They’re leading the charge to the postseason and fending off the Minnesota Twins, but you just can’t make the argument that one would carry the team alone.
Well, it’s almost over. Part VII has just passed us by and Part VIII, otherwise known as the finale, is coming soon. Watch out for the discussion on the NL MVP.
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