Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 3, 2009
BASEBALL: MV Who?

I'll have to go more thoroughly, as we reach the end of the season - much always depends on September - through the MVP arguments. Hard as it is for me to imagine the case for robbing Joe Mauer yet again, Allen Barra makes a game effort at defending the Derek Jeter MVP bandwagon.

Were Mauer not having such a historic year, Jeter is certainly playing well enough to be part of what would usually be the MVP discussion. Then again, how crucial is he to the Yankees offense? He's first on the team in batting, OBP and tied for first in runs, but none by large margins; he's third on the Yankees in total bases, fourth in OPS+, and 8th on his own team in slugging and RBI. The depth of the Yankees offense can't be held too much against Jeter, especially since he plays a critical defensive position, but it does suggest some caution in declaring him the team's indispensable man.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:33 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

As much as I like Jeter, he's a tough choice for MVP on the Yankees, particularly with Texeira in the line-up. Plus, it was also noted how the return of A-Rod in the line-up after his hip surgery really sparked the Yankee offense, particularly the effect it had on Texeira seeing better pitches.

Posted by: MVH at September 4, 2009 10:09 AM

Jeter's having a very good season and should be in the top five, but actually giving him the award would probably be more of a make-good for other seasons (1999, 2006) when he possibly should have gotten it and didn't.

At any rate, Mauer's the best player in the leaque this year by a wide enough margin that the Twins borderline non-contention shouldn't really matter.

Posted by: Jerry at September 4, 2009 11:41 AM

I've never liked how sportswriters seem to put so much emphasis on how a player's team is doing when considering them for MVP. If a guy leads the league in HR's, RBI's and bats .325 (but doesn't win the batting title), and is among league leaders in other categories (OBP, Runs Scored, etc...) but his team finishes 75-87, that doesn't mean he's not the MVP by virtue of not elevating his team. It means the other 8 guys in the lineup suck.

I recall first being annoyed with this during the 1992 season when Gary Sheffield was flirting with the Tripple Crown. Despite being near the top of those 3 categories, sportswriters continually dismissed his chances because he played for a mediocre Padres team (they eventually finished 82-80). He finished 3rd in MVP voting behind Bonds (who deserved it that year) and Terry Pendleton (no way Sheffield should have been behind him.)

Posted by: Mark D at September 4, 2009 4:09 PM

Ah, it's 1947 & this young Yankee fan is happy that Joe D has just won the MVP, having led the NYY to the AL Pennant (& the WS).

The legend lived on, but after WW II Joe D never had a pre-War Joe D. statistical season except 1948, & '47 was no exception. OK, I had memorized the legend about how he played while sick, sore, lame & disabled & was more inspirational than any Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, heck than Jesus himself.

Ted Williams, playing on a third place team finishing over a dozen games out (don't make me look it up - OK, I just did it was 14 games), however, as my NL-loving adult relatives told me, was 1st in every critical offensive stat (third in hits but over 300 in BB +hits) & won the triple crown. He wuz robbed as they said.

My answer, probably memorized from some NYY sportswriter, was that Ted was a selfish, childlike guy who couldn't inspire anyone & was valuable only to himself.

Hard to argue my side when one looks only at stats. I still think the respective selfish part & the inspirational part had much validity, however. And I think I was a victim of child abuse by my relatives. ☺

Posted by: From Inwood at September 6, 2009 10:40 PM

BTW, I think that Derek may get his lifetime-achievement MVP award in 2009 if he hits >.325 & gets >200 hits, 100 runs, & 70 RBIs. Unless Cano, now with 66 Extra Base Hits vs Derek’s 43 & 14 more RBIs gets more hits & a higher BA, which is possible &/or Tex gets 40 HR & >125 RBIs. Hard to pass over Mauer, tho.

Posted by: From Inwood at September 6, 2009 10:58 PM

Sent your Blog comment to some friends along with my replies.

One reminded me that Ted Williams was an average fielder, whereas Joe was one of the smoothest and most graceful outfielders.

And I would add that Joe D played Center Field & took charge whereas Ted talked to himself in Left Field & seemed to think only of his next AB.

Posted by: From Inwood at September 7, 2009 12:30 AM

As a big fan of Jeter on and off the field, I cannot fault Crank's logic here. And we cannot ignore the incredible improvement in the team's record after A-Rod's return.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 7, 2009 1:39 PM
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