Do MVP Voting Rights Belong to the Media?
As the final days of baseball are quickly approaching, I'm left thinking of one question.
It's not who will take the AL East, or if the Cubs will finally break the curse.
Here’s my question: does the Baseball Writers Association of America really deserve to pick the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie, and Manager of the Year?
They are the media. In the media, you have one goal. It isn't to make the right choices, not to go with the intangibles, but to sell. Sell, sell, sell. Look at the past winners. A-Rod got it three times in five years, Randy Johnson and Barry Bonds won the Cy Young and MVP four years in a row, respectively.
Honestly, yes, their choices make sense on paper. They go with guys with good numbers, but it is almost always the same guys because it’s those big names that get attention. People like Kevin Youkilis might never get an MVP. Ryan Howard deserves one this year, but won't get it.
Here is what I suggest: let the players and coaches vote. They are the ones playing against these guys. They are the ones who have to look at each player and say, "Wow. He is good."
What is an MVP? It isn't the guy who posts the best numbers. It really isn't. It's the guy who carries the team when he’s needed most. It's the guy who, when you need him to come up big, comes up big.
Just take a look at the Phillies. Towards the home stretch, Philadelphia's meat in the lineup took a nose dive. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Pat Burrell all went down. Their averages might not have suffered, but their clutch production did. And the team felt the effects.
Enter Howard. Even with his average a little above .200, he has been carrying the team with RBI and homers. They can count on him. But his batting average and strikeouts will keep him from getting the votes he deserves.
What about the two guys who switched leagues at midseason—Jason Bay and Manny Ramirez? Manny was the injection the Dodgers needed. He shot them to a possible (and likely) NL West title. But since the clock gets reset on his numbers because of a trade he won't get it.
Same goes for Bay. Sure, the Red Sox haven't improved by leaps and bounds with him, but Bay has made a difference. He will finish this year with around 30 home runs. He did all he could for the Pirates, and has helped the Sox stay afloat in the wild card race, but he won't get it.
C.C. Sabathia is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Even though he has been unstoppable with the Brewers and was still decent with the Indians, he won't get the Cy Young because of a trade.
So who will win the awards? Probably a guy from one of the worst teams. Let the players choose. They know who they couldn't beat or do without. The media is scared of shaking things up. The players know. Give them the pens to write down the people who truly deserve these awards.
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