Baseball Crank
"It gets late early around here." - Yogi Berra
October 5, 1999
BASEBALL: My 1999 AL MVP Ballot

This is an email I sent to friends on October 5, 1999, reformatted for publication

The AL MVP race, to my mind, is one of the easiest in memory. There are many fine hitters, including several who play key defensive positions, but no one of them towers over the others. The one irreplaceable commodity in the American League this season was Pedro Martinez.

Pedro: 23-4 .852
Rest of Red Sox: 71-64 .526
Oakland A's: 87-75 .537
A's without Gil Heredia: 74-67 .525

There you have it -- the rest of the Red Sox weren't good enough to catch the wild card, and were only slightly over .500 without him. Take out Pedro and Gil Heredia -- an average pitcher, close to the league average in ERA, who was in the A's rotation all year -- and the race is too close to call. I thought last year that Martinez meant more to his team than any other player, and last year was an off season next to this one. I mean, look at the Red Sox, seriously -- they're basically the late-50s Cubs, one great shortstop and a whole lot of nothing else special. Want Nomar as your MVP? Explain why Pat Rapp, with an ERA half a run below the league, went 6-7. Why Brian Rose, with exactly the league ERA, went 7-6. Why Bret Saberhagen, with a 2.95 ERA, had a lower winning percentage than David Wells (4.82 ERA), Orlando Hernandez (4.12 ERA), Freddy Garcia (4.07 ERA) or Gil Meche (4.73 ERA). Remember how well the Sox played while Martinez was on the DL? Not.

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Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:33 AM | Baseball Columns | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)