On November 18th Minnesota Twins fans everywhere were in an uproar. Their beloved first baseman, Justin Morneau, had finished second to Dustin Pedroia in the American League's Most Valuable Player award voting.
Being a Minnesota fan myself, I could sympathize with those who were disappointed for the Canadian kid. He was a bright spot in the order for the majority of the year putting up 129 RBI's, hitting 23 home runs, and posting a very respectable .300 average to go along with everything else.
Clearly these were MVP-like numbers, and the sports writers around the country reflected this fact by awarding him seven first place votes and a total of 257 points, which was good for second place.
With all of this in mind, I found it hard to believe that over the last few days I've heard nothing but complaining and grumbling from many Minnesota fans. I heard a slew of outrageous statements that resembled the following:
"Morneau was robbed!", "East coast bias cost him the award!", or, worst of all, "Dustin Pedroia didn't deserve the award!"
Being a nominally intelligent human being who possesses more than a rudimentary understanding of baseball, I found this last statement in particular not only unfounded, but just plain stupid.
For all of the complaining I hear from Minnesota fans everywhere I go, you would think that not a single one of them watched a game during the entire closing month of the season. After all, if they had turned on their TV sets they would have been aware that Justin Morneau had displayed the offensive capability of an armless Nick Punto, pulling off a series of chokes that would make even the New York Mets jealous.
In fact, if Morneau were to be classified as a hero by Twins fans, his only real powers in September appeared to be the superhuman ability to put a "K" in the scorebook, and the much coveted ability to warm a large slab of wood in the dugout.
His lack of offense when his team needed him the most can be documented by looking at a game log of the final month of the season. During this month, Morneau's batting average dropped 11 points, and he hit a whopping two home runs in 26 games!
Not exactly the kind of push you expect from an MVP with the postseason on the line.
Many people are also mad because they think voting was conducted based on whose team made the playoffs. Fans say that voting should not have anything to do with how far an individuals team progresses, but no matter what they happen to think this fact does play a large role in determining a league MVP (think A-Rod between 1996 and 2002 with the Rangers) and this is unlikely to change anytime in the near future.
To conclude, I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Minnesota fans in saying that Justin Morneau was robbed of the award. It's just too bad you can't press charges when you happen to rob yourself.