What's Making Me Talk: Heated Stove and a Few Good MVPs

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer INovember 19, 2008

Instead of talking about how wrong the decisions were, why don't we take a minute to dole out some praise?

It's fun to argue about who should have won and who shouldn't have, but now it's time to tip the cap towards our Major League Baseball Most Valuable Players.

Start in the National League, where Albert Pujols, wrecked elbow and all, took home his second MVP award of his career.

I tend to agree with Pujols himself. You just have to look at all the numbers.

Especially when you want to sit back and appreciate just how special of a hitter, scratch that, player he is. I don't agree with Pujols contradicting his previous remarks about the award back when Ryan Howard beat him out.

But, I certainly respect the all-around numbers that this All-World player has put up. His 104 walks to 54 some strikeouts are numbers you would probably see reversed by most players.

Pujols has become such a feared hitter because he just won't take you deep at any given time, he just hits. If his home run stroke isn't in-tune, he simply hits. There virtually is no point in a season where you can feel comfortable about pitching to him, even if he's struggling to hit the long ball.

Not to mention the impact he's had on his teammates in the lineup. Ryan Ludwick has talent, but his career year is no doubt aided by the fear of Pujols.

Switch over to the American League now and marvel at the little runt that just took home a big prize.

I say little runt with nothing but affection, please don't hate me, Dustin.

Your 2008 A.L. MVP is none other than Dustin Pedroia, Boston's small, but mighty, second baseman.

It just goes to show you that heart can always win out against physicality. Pedroia has that heart.

Like Pujols, Pedroia just hits. His swing is bigger than his height and his timing couldn't be more perfect. Not to mention he's quite the gritty defensive player.

We have a good mix this year. A superstar and a soon-to-be major league star. If people aren't aware of Dustin Pedroia yet, they soon will be.


A Prospective Playoff Fix?

Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff has an idea to fix the problem with too many idle days within the MLB Playoffs.

Wolff's idea would be a rather odd one, one that would take us back to the times where team's barely played in these so-called playoffs. Yes, baseball didn't always have a full playoff. Before all the team's we have now came along, it was a regular season then the World Series.

We aren't getting that radical with this idea here, but Wolff suggests we make the first round simply a play-in type format. Yes, just one game.

One game? Man, I don't know about that one. It certainly would be exciting, but we don't need to be changing things that much.

The days off can simply be fixed by starting a series when both team's finish. Make sure each team gets at least one day off and go from there.

Also get rid of these days off in between games that don't travel anywhere. That makes no sense.

One game just doesn't seem fair. Exciting, but we don't need to go to those extremes to get the playoffs done before November hits.

College football fans are upset that they just can't get a playoff period. Mr. Wolff wants to shorten his. That just bites.

The Stove is Heating Up

Oh that lovely hot stove. The Holliday trade might have turned on the gas, but we are still waiting for something to ignite the flurry.

Coco Crisp and Jeremy Affeldt aren't exactly what I had in mind.

Still, we have some very important moves all around.

Start with the earlier moves.

Did anyone else see Ryan Dempster leaving Chicago? He walks to the freaking stadium everyday! He didn't get that bad of a payday either.

The Yankees have retained the services of Damaso Marte. Left-handers look to be at a premium this year, so a good move for the Yankees.

Continuing on the always busy Yankee-front, they made the move to get Nick Swisher and Tex.

No, not that Tex. Mark Teixeira is still searching for a team, its Kanekoa Texeira on his way to New York. It’s a different spelling and probably different pronunciation.

Swisher is the cog of this deal though. It remains to be seen where he will play, but I'm wondering how Swisher will fit into that clubhouse. He's a wacky guy that likes to grow out his hair; how's he going to take the Yankee's code?

The big fish to fry for the Yankees though is still CC Sabathia. I'm going to side with Brewers' GM Doug Melvin when he speaks out against the Yankees immediate jump to $140 million.


Seriously, it just shows you the arrogance of the New York Yankees. Why would you immediately jump to that price? What if the highest a team is willing to go is $110 or $120 million?

It’s just arrogance and un-sound decision making if you ask me.

The first free agent to sign with another team will not be Sabathia though. That distinction belongs to left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who became a member of the San Francisco Giants.

My beloved Cleveland Indians were said to be interested in the lefty, which made me kind of shifty, but a lot of outlets think Affeldt is underrated.

Actually, these past two years, he's quietly been effective for Colorado and Cincinnati. He has yet to turn 30 and it actually might be a nice deal for the Giants.

I still wouldn't want him as an American League team.

And finally, Coco Crisp is on his way to Kansas City.

He isn't as young as the Royals were looking for, but he can patrol center. This is a solid pick up for Kansas City, but certainly Mike Jacobs and Crisp won't be pushing them much further in the A.L. Central.

Ramon Ramirez isn't a bad return for the Red Sox either. He was a nice little piece to that Royals’ bullpen.


Wakamatsu the Man in Seattle

Congratulations go out to Don Wakamatsu, who will be the new manager of the Seattle Mariners.

This is a bit of history here as Wakamatsu is the first Asian-American to be a manager in MLB history.

Hopefully, he's a bit of a stable figure for Seattle's clubhouse, which has seen three manager's in the past two years. Seattle never really carried that success of 2007 over to 2008, despite making important additions like Erik Bedard.

Perhaps Mike Hargrove's voice was missed more than you would think after the Mariners continued to play well even after his retirement.


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