Based on results through Aug. 23, the American League MVP is Curtis Granderson.
Don’t give me Adrian Gonzalez or Jose Bautista or even the great Justin Verlander. The MVP is Curtis Granderson.
Who leads the league in runs scored (114), total bases (275), triples (10), runs batted in (98), extra base hits (65) and power-speed (28.5)?
Suffer Boston Red Sox fans. It’s the New York Yankees Curtis Granderson.
In addition, Granderson is second in home runs and slugging percentage and third in OPS. He is in the top 12 in stolen bases, walks and on-base percentage and has played fine defensively.
Let’s get the league’s best player out of the way because it’s 2011, not 1957 or 1958. Ernie Banks would not win consecutive MVPs on a last place team or even on a fifth place team today.
Jose Bautista is better than Granderson or Adrian Gonzalez, but the Toronto Blue Jays will win nothing.
To paraphrase the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates general manager, the great Branch Rickey, when he refused to give Ralph Kiner a raise, “The Blue Jays can miss the playoffs with or without Bautista.”
The Yankees would not be a lock for the playoffs without Curtis Granderson.
New York Daily News one of the most questionable sources for hard news but a tabloid with an outstanding sports section, reported the views of one “expert” who votes for the MVP.
"With five weeks to go, I'd say he's the front-runner, but it's a very close race."
The “expert’s” colleague was even more enthusiastic.
"There's nothing the other candidates have that he doesn't have. He's got power, he's got speed, he plays on a winner, he plays a premium position and he's had to carry a huge burden for a first-place team. He's in a great position to take it."
The Yankees have many over-priced stars, some of whom are also under-achievers. Not Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter or even Robinson Cano has meant more to the Yankees than Granderson.
A.J. Burnett defender and Granderson’s forthright manager, Joe Girardi, appreciates how important his center fielder has been.
“Nothing he does surprises you any more,” Girardi told the media in one of his calmer moments
An event that occurred in Sunday’s game in Minneapolis defines what Granderson means to his team.
Danny Valencia hit a fly ball into right-center field. Granderson and right fielder Nick Swisher each called for the ball, which fell safely for two bases.
Granderson put his arm around Swisher and took responsibility for the confusion.
“I think I went too far out of my range,” he said.
Spoken like a true MVP.