Adjust onion, adjust belt…some good old-fashioned Bob Ryan.
The AL MVP award is shaping up as a Boston-New York battle, with Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, and, if his August and September rival his July, Dustin Pedroia all legit candidates, and Granderson very much in the hunt.
People who favor pitchers are also throwing in the name of CC Sabathia, who will take the mound this afternoon with a 13-2 record in his last 15 decisions, not to mention having surrendered just seven earned runs in his last 62 2/3 innings. Along those lines, you can bet Tiger boosters are putting forth the candidacy of Justin Verlander. But that’s not going to happen. The 2011 AL MVP was at Fenway Park last night.
...He shrugs all this off as simply being a product of his environment - i.e. Yankee batting order, including all the aforementioned, plus the ever-dangerous Robinson Cano and the speedy Brett Gardner. That’s nice and noble of him to say, but any man with 49 percent of his hits (55 of 113) going for extra bases is no accident of a lineup. He’s a tremendous hitter.
...That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it, but consider one more stat, this one resurrected from the Old Math of baseball. Twenty-five years ago, before any of us heard of OBP, OPS, and Adjusted This and Adjusted That, good old-fashioned Runs Produced was all the rage. You added someone’s RBI total to his runs, then subtracted homers. This gave you an idea of true offensive worth to the team, or so we thought. With 155 runs produced going into last night, Curtis Granderson was leading the league.