JV For MVP: A Travesty? C'mon...

How about that game on Saturday, huh? Heartbreak and triumph, indeed. Down seven runs early against the dreaded White Sox. Scraping and crawling back. The continued redemption stories of Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young. The beginning of more recent redemptions of struggling David Pauley and Austin Jackson. And then the exclamation points with the redemption of long-suffering Ryan Raburn and off-season disappointment Miguel Cabrera. What a day. What a time to be a Tiger fan.

I didn’t think anything could bring me down. I even ventured to mLive to see how their normal sour puss comment leaving group was handling it. Sadly, a decent sized group chose to focus only on Penny and Guillen’s bad days. Amazing that people STILL only want to focus on anything negative they can find. Whatever. Off to the bigger sites where I stumbled across a column at the Detroit News reprinted from the San Francisco Journal’s Bruce Jenkins. Mood not ruined…but officially worsened.

I didn’t plan on trying to add anything to the Justin Verlander for MVP discussion here at DNR. I usually try to avoid topics that everyone and their brother is tackling at the same time. And to be honest, JV’s not my top personal choice this year. In the interest of fairness, I think Jose Bautista deserves the MVP award. But it’s so close that you could make cases for Bautista, JV, Curtis Granderson, and half the Red Sox lineup. Plus, there’s still a month to go in the season…juries aren’t supposed to make up their minds before hearing all the evidence, why are baseball writers all jumping the gun?


So yeah, I didn’t plan on tackling this subject. I hope Justin gets the Cy Young and MVP. That would be amazing. But whatever, I care much more about the next four weeks of baseball and making the playoffs than early MVP discussion.

But when I see a hack job like this, I get annoyed. And when I get annoyed…

/cracks neck

/cracks knuckles

Yup. Let’s make Rice-A-Roni out of this San Francisco treat. Zing.

In the fall of 2002, Barry Zito was honored with the American League's Cy Young Award after racking up a 23-5 record and 2.75 ERA for the Oakland A's.

Zito was second on his own team in pitching WAR to Tim Hudson in ‘02. But whatever…I’m not going to crap all over Zito. Life has done enough of that to him.

The MVP award went to his teammate, shortstop Miguel Tejada, who played all 162 games, hit 34 homers and drove in 131 runs.

Yeah, but that was a crock of shit that was. Anyone that says differently is a mental patient.

Alex Rodriguez, like him or not, got jobbed BIG TIME that year. A-Rod also played in all 162 games for the Rangers, but hit 57 homers and drove in 142 runs, both AL highs. He also lead the AL in WAR and total bases, and won a Gold Glove at short. Tejada didn’t do any of that, but his team won more games and made the playoffs, thus more hacks voted for him. Which should have nothing to do with the MVP.

Is it A-Rod’s fault that 4 of the 6 main starters the Rangers used that year all had ERA’s over 5.30? Of course not…baseball writers are stupid and shouldn’t be allowed to have their personal agendas involved in award voting. Like a pirate with a steering wheel on his belt, it’s drivin’ me nuts.

Yes, San Francisco Giants fans, that seems like a hundred years ago.

Ahh, yes. 2002. “Spiderman” was making money at the theaters, hand over fist. An aging Mike Myers was still attempting us to make us laugh at the same Austin Powers jokes in “Goldmember”. Nickelback topped the music charts and forced me to once again rethink the intelligence of my American peers.

Wait. It was just nine years ago. What does it have to do with anything today?

And stop calling me Shirley a Giants fan. I will punch you in the cock.

But at least the awards voters were thinking clearly.

No they weren’t, my clearly moronic friend. Voters, especially in the case of the 2002 MVP, are more clueless than Paris Hilton doing long division.

There's a lot of chatter these days about Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander winning the MVP.

A dominant baseball player having a career year is being talked about for the most valuable baseball player award? Get out of here! You don’t say!

He's a lock for the Cy Young, but apparently, that's not good enough. A number of voters are prepared to ignore the awards' basic structure

Here’s the basic structure, via the secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA:

1. Value of a player to his team
2. Number of games played
3. General character, disposition, loyalty, and effort
4. Former winners are eligible
5. Committee may vote for multiple players from same team
6. MVP need not come from a playoff team

Seems cut and dry. What’s everyone so pissy about? The games played thing? He leads the league in starts, for crissakes. Allow me to quote a fine piece written by Grey of Fire Gerlad Laird on the subject for JV for MVP and a comparison of Verlander and first baseman, Miguel Cabrera:

I mean, look at Miguel Cabrera. He’s taken just over 11% of Detroit’s plate appearances this year, while Verlander has thrown just over 18% of the team’s innings. Toronto’s Jose Bautista has taken even fewer of his team’s PAs – slightly over 10%.

Well said. Anyone that doesn’t think Justin Verlander isn’t as valuable and/or more valuable to his team than, say, Dustin Fucking Pedroia is to the Sawx is goddamn nuts.

and turn it into a travesty.

Mother of Satan…if Keanu Reeves ever won an Oscar award, that would be a travesty. If Verlander wins the MVP, good for him. He’ll be joining other pitchers like Roger Clemens, Willie Hernandez, Dennis Eckersley, and twenty other guys. Yes, 23 pitchers have won an MVP award. It’s not like JV would be the first. Until a rule is firmly established that says pitchers are not eligible for the MVP, it is not a travesty. It’s perfectly fine.

There's no doubting the brilliance of Verlander, who already has 20 wins, looks ready to carry his team into the postseason and could be the most feared starter in October.

Yeah, a guy carrying his team into the postseason who is the most feared player at his position should definitely NOT be considered most valuable. Twit.

But how much more clear can it be? The Cy Young is for pitchers, the MVP for everyday players. That's it; end of argument.

Wrong, dicksnot. The Cy Young is for pitchers. The Hank Aaron Award is for hitters. The MVP is open to everyone. Who doesn’t know this?

It's not a perfect setup, that's for sure.

Obviously, if schmucks like yourself are having difficulties with it. Perhaps a color coded chart written crayon would help.

In the late 1980s, when it became abundantly clear that "closers" were as significant as anyone on the field,

Kevin Gregg is a closer. And he’s about as significant as Don Kelly. And when I say that, what I mean is fuck closers. I love Jose Valverde, statistically the best closer in baseball this year in converting saves, but I don’t consider him to be even in the top five most valuable Tigers this year (JV, Mig, Avila, Peralta, VMart in no particular order). Why are we talking about closers?

Major League Baseball could have established an official Reliever of the Year award for each league.

Then you’d bitch if a setup guy with eye-popping numbers got consideration. “Closers only or not”, the debate would go. Who cares? There’s important things going on we could be discussing. Like playoff races…save the MVP talk for the end of the year.

What's next? Utility player of the year? I don't see how the MVP criteria is so difficult for so many people to understand.

The honor does exist, but with an unsightly corporate stain (Rolaids Relief Man Award, given out since 1976), and any time you attach advertising to a big-time honor, it loses prestige.

No it doesn’t. Fiesta Bowl winners of the past are not looked at any differently than those of the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl winners of today. The advertising boom in sports relating to games, awards, stadiums, and whatnot is quite annoying, I’ll give you that. But it takes absolutely no prestige away from the accomplishments of any player. Please be serious.

Consequently, a lot of short relievers have come into the MVP discussion over the years, Dennis Eckersley, Willie Hernandez and Rollie Fingers actually won both the A.L. MVP and Cy Young award from 1981-92. Red Sox ace Roger Clemens did the same in 1986.

So many pitchers have won the award. Quit crying.

Whatever the season or circumstances, there has to be recognition for guys who play the full nine innings every day.

Hank Aaron Award. Silver Sluggers. Gold Gloves. What more do you want for these guys? Alyssa Milano can only blow so many of them.

So forget Verlander and consider (among others) the Yankees' Curtis Granderson.

Curtis who? Isn’t that the guy that struck out all the time for us before AJax started striking out all the time? Except Austin plays better defense? Sounds familiar…

If he continues to lead or co-lead his league in home runs and triples, he'll join Jim Rice (1978), Willie Mays (1955) and Jim Bottomley (1928) as the only players ever to do so. Amazingly, he's also leading the A.L. in runs and RBIs.

Way to cherry pick stats, sir. I haven’t seen it in the rules that the homer/triple combo makes an automatic MVP. As for runs and RBIs, grow up. Those stats are way too dependent on a player's teammates' production to hang a MVP hat on. 

Let me get back to Jose Bautista. He currently leads the AL in homers, walks, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, intentional walks, runs created, and WAR. Fuck triples. Bautista deserves the award…end of story. But don’t begrudge anyone for considering Justin Verlander for being, far and away, the most dominant and feared starting pitcher in the AL, leading the league in wins, ERA, winning percentage, starts, innings, strikeouts, ERA+, and WHIP. Being that he’s second in WAR is worth mentioning, too.

Also, Mays didn’t win the MVP in ’55 either. Roy Campanella did. Sorry, Willie. That triples stat shoulda pushed you over the top, I guess.

If that's not enough to fend off a starting pitcher, I give up.

Yes, homers and triples. That should decide it. Nothing else. Lick a bear trap, pal.

And I'll expect Verlander to also be named the Lower Manhattan Chef of the Year.

That’s a random ending sentence. And not funny. But after spending an entire season watching Justin Verlander work his magic on the mound, it wouldn’t surprise me if he could cook the fuck out of a steak, too.

What I’m getting at here, is go fist yourself, sir. How dare you dismiss a man like Justin Verlander for the MVP award with nothing real to back it up with. God forbid, some idiot reading you might just believe your nonsense. You proved nothing.

Next time you’re driving over the Golden Gate Bridge out there in Frisco, do your pal Rogo a favor. Jump off.

I feel better. RYNO! MIG! What a game! Back on cloud nine…