I wanted to write about the MVP award yesterday. I wanted to rant and scream about some of the idiots at the writers association getting the vote wrong. I wanted to go on and on about this antiquated group of individuals who can't see past their own bias and traditional stats. It would have been great and cathartic to blow off steam.
You might ask "Well Johnny where is it then?", and the answer to that isn't all that complicated. For one, I am very very lazy. Next, many writers around the blogosphere (who are mountains more talented than I) already expressed the same sentiment. And finally , was anyone really surprised about this?
I mean honestly, was there anyone out there reading this blog or anywhere for this matter that didn't expect this or something similar was going to happen? It seems that every year we go nuts for these awards and every year there is something that the majority of people seem to point at and go "You picked that guy? Are you on glue?"
A lot of people like to point at the writers as being the ones to blame and while they certainly are the easiest target (Michael Young? REALLY??!@?!?). I don't think they are the biggest problem. The biggest problem that I see with this award is actually quite simple. Go into any room that has a number of baseball fans and simply ask the question, "What do you think Most Valuable Means?". You are going to get a different answer from just about everyone in that room.
We can disagree with the writers (and we do) as much as humanly possible. The bottom line is with the current structure of the awards, they aren't wrong. Since the most valuable player seems to take on whatever the individual voter wants it to be, then whatever they do is right. If you want to make Michael Young your MVP by whatever crazy idiotic off the wall ideas you have then go ahead. Granted if you are going to do something that nuts you better be prepared to back it up.
This of course leads into the second issue that I have with the awards. They can't be impartial. You can argue that professional writers are impartial people all you want. I call BS. There is no way possible that the fact that you have to interact on a daily basis with players and the team doesn't affect your decisions. Like having access to certain player? It can't get any easier to get on someone's good side then by writing a nice fluff piece about them. If the voting was done in secret we wouldn't have as big of a problem, but it isn't. Writers like to post their ballots with their reasoning, this drives page views. You think John Lott's ballot is generating as many page hits as Evan Grant's? Over the past two days Evan Grant (the guy who voted Young and put Bautista 7th) is getting a crazy amount of page hits and attention on twitter. You better believe he is sitting at home laughing like crazy. He just guaranteed his job and can rationalize it to himself that his vote didn't change the overall results.
Overall I am disappointed with the results, but I am biased obviously. I would not have voted Verlander for MVP, but I get the argument behind it. He had a great year as did Bautista and Ellsbury. I am not as angry at the overall results as some but I am still irked that something like MVP balloting can be used to further a personal agenda.
Please baseball, Im begging here. Take back the awards, Make them all voted on by the Players association or by owners/gms or league officials. Give the awards guidelines so everyone knows exactly what they are for without pause. If you want to have most valuable that contributed to his team making the playoffs go ahead! Just tell everyone that up front to avoid the damned headache. Let the BBWAA have their awards with vague definitions. Soon enough the more important ones would be the official MLB ones anyways.
My wish List
Most Valuable player - Player that provided the most value both offensively and defensively to their teams season success.
Most Outstanding position player - Best overall player, awarded regardless of team success
Most Outstanding pitcher - Best overall pitcher, awarded regardless of team success
And all the rest.....
Sound off in the comments, How would you want the awards to break down? What criteria and who votes on them?