For Your AL MVP Consideration I Give You – Michael Young
I must admit I hate writing these “who should be MVP” type articles. The problem with them is -in general- that anyone who is even remotely valuable to their team can be considered truly most valuable but rarely do we get past the top three or four main candidates. It’s like most Presidential elections – we are a country of over 350,000,000 souls – does anyone honestly believe that we can narrow down a field of ten or twelve to two men (and or women) and expect to find the right person? The Nation may hang in the balance and we have TWO choices for a world leader. Not exactly how the real world works. If Joe the car repair guy needs to higher a new mechanic and he only has two choices (both decidedly different in opinion on how to fix an engine) and neither choice has what Joe is looking for he certainly doesn’t settle for one over the other. He keeps searching until he finds the right guy to help him fix cars. To bad our Presidential politics don’t fall into line with Joe and the real world. But I digress…
Every year we look at a handful of guys (usually the one’s ESPN and such tell us to look at) and we choose an MVP from that small assorted batch. On more than one occasion (Miguel Tejada and Dustin Pedroia spring to mind) the media so heavily pushes for a particular candidate that the voters fall into line and select them in an almost predetermined fashion. It’s called a fall-in-line-vote. That’s not to say that inevitable winner of the award doesn’t deserve to win – it just means the sheep that vote follow the heard and get tunnel vision and more often than not a truly viable and deserving candidate gets overlooked from the start because he was not one of the initial “chosen”.
Let’s look at this years crop of AL ‘chosen’ – Justin Verlander, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez.
A solid group of great players all having great years.
As a matter of fact – I called the Granderson MVP before the season started – err…before the 2010 season that is. Here was my pick for AL MVP as it was written for Dugout Central prior to the 2010 season.
- AL MVP: CURTIS GRANDERSON- New York Yankees–Look out boys, it’s my boldest prediction of all. I loved the addition of Granderson the minute the trade was announced. His game is built perfectly for the New Yankee Stadium and the lineup around him. He’ll be looked upon as the spark for the best offense in the game. He could easily finish the year with 35+ homers, 90+ RBI, 20+ steals, and a whopping 130+ runs scored. Most importantly, the press likes him and he’s an acknowledged good guy. The kind of guy you can get behind win casting your vote. If he can keep his average up (around .280 or higher), and have a career year in OBP, he could easily win the award over the glamour choices of ARod, Longoria, Teixeira, Jeter, Youkilis and any number of big names you can add to the list.
Like I said – that was from March of 2010. I’m a regular Nostradamus.
Except Granderson won’t win the 2011 award. It’s already been determined by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and others. Your MVP will be Justin Verlander. Mark it down. Or mark it zero if you are Big Lebowski fan. Either way – you can mark it, and count on it.
The ESPN and SI influence over this years choice is as I previously mentioned – a fall-in-line-vote. Verlander is having a great year, but I for one, and many of you, don’t believe a pitcher should win an MVP award over any substantial everyday player.
So, the question you may ask me is “who should be MVP if not Verlander?’ Excellent question – I’m glad you asked.
This is where I’m going away from the other glamour picks (Granderson, Bautista and Ellsbury) and my own pre-season choice (Adrian Gonzalez) to throw the name of Michael Young into the mix.
The Rangers are a day or two away from clinching a playoff spot/divisional title. They are a very good ball club and the defending AL Champions. So who is there MVP?
Before you just blurt out Josh Hamilton keep in mind that he has missed over 40 games this year do to various ailments and broken bones. What about Adrian Beltre? Again – he to has missed roughly 40 games. Nelson Cruz? Surely Nelson played in – oh wait – damn. He’s missed around 40 to 45 games as well. Well how the hell have the Rangers been so damn good if their studs have missed nearly a season of combined games do to injury.
Say it with me – MICHAEL (expletive deleted) YOUNG.
Young hasn’t missed 40 games - as a matter of fact – if he plays in the final 6 or 7 games this year he will have played in 160. He leads the Rangers in hits (203), batting average (.334 – and is just a few points shy of leading the AL), on-base percentage (.377), and RBI (104). Oh, and thoser 100+ ribbies have come on only 11 homers. Which means he’s getting his hits with men on base and not just racking up a huge hit total that isn’t producing runs for his team.
And he’s done all of this inspite of multiple All Star caliber teammates not being there to help him all year.
So I see ESPN’s Justin Verlander push for MVP and raise them with one of my own – Michael Young. Jump on the bandwagon now – we have plenty of room.
As per usual I demand you throw your opinion (good or bad, right or wrong) at my MVP choice via the talk back section. Join in….the Michael Young MVP push (or derailment) begins now!!!