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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Monday, September 16, 2002
Who Deserves the MVP?
Shaun doesn’t think any pitcher deserves to win the MVP award.
Webster says something is valuable if it is of great worth. From this we can say the most valuable player should be the player of the greatest worth. The greatest worth, in baseball and in any other sport, means the player who does most to help his team win. If a player does more to help his team win than any other player, and his team doesn’t win, he is still the most valuable player. We know how much a player helps his team by looking at his statistics. If a player has better statistics than any player in baseball, assuming he’s not causing turmoil in the clubhouse or isn’t an awful defensive player, that player deserves the MVP award.
It is virtually impossible for a pitcher, in this day and age, to help his team win more than an everyday player. Therefore, a pitcher should never win the MVP award. In the 1880’s, when pitchers threw everyday, sure pitchers deserved MVP consideration, but not in the modern game. Starting pitchers get about 35 to 40 starts a year, while a position player may play over 150 games a year and contribute on offense and defense. There’s no way the best pitcher, in this day and age, can help his team win more than the best position player. Well, I suppose it could happen if every position player in the league is having an awful year and the best pitcher is having one of the greatest seasons ever. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon, as long as the game is played the way it is.
There is no way a relief pitcher will help his team win more than an everyday position player. Therefore, relief pitchers should never win the MVP award (at least not in the way. It is true that relievers pitch everyday and many pitch in key situations, but they only contribute on defense and they usually only pitch three innings at the most. Everyday position players come to bat in key situations, make defensive plays in key situations and can make it where there really are no “key” situations in a game because they could drive in or score six runs so the game isn’t close. Giving the MVP to a reliever is like giving it to a really good pinch hitter. They both only contribute on one side (either offense for pinch-hitters and defense for relievers) and they both are only in a game for a short time, although it may be in a “key situation.”
Alex Rodriguez is an MVP candidate. His offensive numbers are as good as anyone’s, his defense is as good as anyone’s (at the toughest position in the game), and, as far as we know, he doesn’t cause turmoil in the clubhouse. Rodriguez does more to help his team win more than any player in the American League, but he probably won’t win the award because his teammates aren’t as good as Miguel Tejada’s.
Curt Schilling is not an MVP candidate. Neither is John Smoltz or Eric Gagne. Because Barry Bonds is again having one of the greatest seasons in baseball history as an everyday position player. He’s done more to help his team win than any player in the National League.
Tejada, Schilling, Smoltz and Gagne are great players having great seasons. They’ve all helped their teams win. But Tejada hasn’t helped his team more than Arod has helped his; and Schilling, Smoltz and Gagne definitely haven’t helped their teams more than Bonds has helped his.
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