Prepare for the Worst in the MVP and ROY Voting

Prepare yourself. I know I am. Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson are probably going to get dicked over in the end-of-year award voting this year.

Much like most umpire crews we’ve run into this year, the BBWAA voters for MVP and Rookie of the Year are going to end up screwing the Tiger players over. Why, you ask? Because the Tigers aren’t going to the playoffs. USA Today and ESPN both have recent annoying bits up on it.

It’s the most idiotic argument that the voters put out there every year. Many say that they won’t give an award to a guy that’s not on a winning team. It’s ridiculous, preposterous, absurd, ludicrous, nonsensical, and f-cking retarded stupid. Dumber than batting Don Kelly in one of the top five places in the batting order.

I mean, really? You have a guy that’s the most dominating offensive player in the league, a guy that came close to setting the AL record for intentional walks because no one wants to pitch to him, and you won’t vote him the MVP because he’s surrounded by a bunch of Mud Hens due to injuries to his teammates? Or you won’t vote for a guy because the team he plays for has a poor pitching staff, perhaps? It’s mind-boggling to me.

I’m not saying that the MVP race is not close and I admit that I may be a bit biased toward the guys I’ve watched play every day this season. So let’s narrow down the MVP candidates to the three guys I’ve seen named most often: Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, and Robinson Cano. Let’s see where each of them stack up in some of the major AL stat catagories.

Batting Average
Hamilton: .361 (1st)
Cabrera: .328 (3rd)
Cano: .316 (6th)

Home Runs
Hamilton: 31 (6th)
Cabrera: 38 (2nd)
Cano: 28 (10th)

Hamilton: 97 (12th)
Cabrera: 126 (1st)
Cano: 106 (8th)

Hamilton: .414 (2nd)
Cabrera: .420 (1st)
Cano: .396 (10th)

Slugging Percentage
Hamilton: .635 (1st)
Cabrera: .622 (2nd)
Cano: .528 (8th)

Hamilton: 1.049 (1st)
Cabrera: 1.042 (2nd)
Cano: .904 (7th)

VORP (Value Over Replacement Player)
Hamilton: 80.3 (1st)
Cabrera: 78.5 (2nd)
Cano: 64.3 (4th)

wRC (Runs Created based wOBA)
Hamilton: 121.9 (3rd)
Cabrera: 130.5 (2nd)
Cano: 112.2 (5th)

And so on. Apologies to Jose Bautista, Paul Konerko, and Evan Longoria for not including them, but even Cano shouldn’t be in the discussion. It should be a two man race. And I can honestly see the arguments either way. Hamilton plays a tougher defensive position, so he should get extra credit. Cabrera has had little talent around him in the lineup, so he should get extra credit. Josh hasn’t even played in a couple weeks. Cabrera’s going to miss the last few games of the year. Hamilton’s a crackhead. Cabrera’s a drunk. Whatever.

What I can’t deal with is giving Hamilton the MVP because his team is in first place. As I just said, he hasn’t even played since September 4th…Texas won it without him. Cano gets his voter support for the same reason…because the Yankees are going to the playoffs. Whoop dee doo. F-cking Cano is third on HIS OWN TEAM in homers and RBI. MVP my ass.

Is it Mig’s fault that Magglio Ordonez got hurt? Is it his fault that Jeremy Bonderman is horrible at pitching a baseball every fifth day or because a reliever blows a lead? Should we blame Cabrera for Brennan Boesch dropping off of the face of the earth in the second half?

The only voice of reason I’ve seen from the non-local media on this has been Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star:

"I know this is a minority view among BBWAA folks, but I've always thought the best player is the MVP. Period. I think the most valuable player is … the player you'd want to have more than another. Put another way, I don't think it's right to penalize a player because he has lousy teammates."

Amen, Bob. I wish you were the head of the BBWAA and could throw out the rest of the idiots.

Now while I won’t be happy if Hamilton beats out Cabrera for the MVP, I can live with it. But the thought never even crossed my mind that Austin Jackson wouldn’t win the AL Rookie of the Year. I mean, I don’t even consider it close. But both the USA Today and ESPN articles I linked to earlier have Ranger closer Neftali Feliz as the favorite for the award. Are you kidding me?

Look, Feliz is a good pitcher. He throws 100 mph, has 38 saves for the first place Rangers, a 0.905 WHIP, and has struck out 9.4 batters per 9 innings. Good for him.

He also pitched in 20 games in 2009. He has an ERA of almost 3.00. He’s given up five home runs and has blown a few saves. The guy is not Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, or even Jose Valverde in my book.

He’s also appeared in only 67 games, for 66.1 innings pitched. Austin Jackson, on the other hand, has played in 146 games as a true rookie and had the pressure of replacing the most popular player in Detroit since Alan Trammell. He’s hit .300 all year, played Gold Glove defense in cavernous Comerica Park, is 6th in the AL in runs, 8th in hits, and 2nd in triples. The kid is amazing and the every day player should beat out the part time pitcher any day of the week.

But no. Some are arguing that again, Jackson isn’t on a winning team, like this should matter somehow. Also, I keep reading about Jackson’s league lead in strikeouts. This one slays me. If Jackson would have popped out to second base instead of striking out sixty of those times, would that have made a difference? He’d still be hitting .300, you f-cking c-ckwallets!

I’m sorry. It just irritates me to no end that my favorite sport is, for the most part, covered and lorded over by idiots that are so set in their 1950’s way of thinking that they can’t see what should be obvious to even the dumbest of people. To Rod Allen, even.

Miguel Cabrera should probably be the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

And Austin Jackson should definitely be the AL’s Rookie of the Year…by a landslide.