November 21, 2006

Countdown to Complain

The American League MVP gets handed out this afternoon. I expect Derek Jeter to win with relative ease, Justin Morneau to finish significantly higher than he should, and Joe Mauer and Johan Santana to get about one-tenth of the votes they deserve. In fact, I'm guessing the best pitcher in baseball and the only catcher in baseball history to lead both leagues in batting average will finish no higher than sixth in the balloting, if that. I hope I'm wrong, of course, but I doubt it.

After all, a bunch of writers determined that Carlos Beltran was the fourth-most valuable player in the National League, which might be intriguing if it weren't so predictably silly. As discussed here last week, Mauer and Santana each have strong cases for being the league's best player. In Mauer's case, his season was nearly identical to Jeter's offensively and they each play an up-the-middle defensive position, yet somehow Mauer is ignored while Jeter will be at or near the top of every ballot.

Hell, my colleague, Mike Chiappetta, examined the AL MVP candidates and named Jeter as his preferred choice, all without so much as even mentioning Mauer's name. Chiappetta is a smart guy with a relatively open mind who's actually discussed the MVP candidates with me on several occasions, so if he can't see the lack of logic in completely ignoring Mauer while handing the award to Jeter, I have zero hope for a bunch of newspaper beat reporters being able to.

While we wait to see just how little respect Mauer and Santana receive from the voters today, check out my latest work over at (they should be posting another of my columns later today, at which point I'll add a link to it here):

  • Taking Stock of Bonds: After losing Thomas, A's looking at signing Bonds
  • UPDATE: A source tells me Morneau won the award, narrowly beating Jeter. Should be official relatively shortly.

    UPDATE #2: Confirmed. Not that I'm necessarily complaining, obviously, but I think the AL MVP was just given to the third-best player on his own team. As expected, the two most valuable players on the Twins finished a distant sixth and seventh in the voting, receiving one measly first-place vote between them.

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