Josh Hamilton won the AL MVP on Tuesday despite the fact that he played all of five games after August 31st. Was that honor deserved? Let’s explore this and other issues surrounding the 2010 AL MVP Vote.
Back in early October, I wrote a piece entitled Who is the AL MVP? I chose Miguel Cabrera as the winner of the award, over Hamilton, and here is the most germane point to my belief that Hamilton should not have been the winner. Hamilton became the first player to appear in fewer than 15 games in September to win an MVP award since 1960 (Dick Groat). Think about that. Hamilton played the fewest September games of any MVP in half a century. Given that Cabrera was virtually the same performer over the course of the year, and that he did “it” over 27 more games, it seems obvious to me that he should have been the selection. Apparently, I’m in the minority as people seem to still cling to the belief that the winner of the award should come from a playoff bound team if everything else is basically equal. Apparently “equal” is achieved when a guy plays a full month less of the season than someone else.
Some more facts.
(1) This marked the sixth time a Ranger won the award: Juan Gonzalez (1996, 98), Jeff Burroughs (1974), Ivan Rodriguez (1999) and Alex Rodriguez (2003).
(2) Hamilton was the 10th CF ever to win the award in the American League (a CF has won the award five times in the NL).
Now on to the rest of the voting.
27 first place votes went to Hamilton and Cabrera. Where did the last one go? It went to major league home run leader Jose Bautista who came in 4th overall. The one man to vote for Jose Bautista as the winner was Shi Davidi from Toronto.
Carl Crawford came in 7th in the voting with 98 points as he was left off seven ballots. He could have earned a $700,000 bonus if all seven of those empty ballots had placed him 7th or higher. Another Ray, Evan Longoria, cam in 6th in the voting with 100 points.
Delmon Young finished 10th in the voting. I admit the .298-21-112 line is mighty solid, but do you really think Delmon was the 10th most valuable player in the AL in 2010 when he posted a .333 OBP an a .826 OPS? I certainly don’t, not when the AL average for OBP was .327 or when you realize that his OPS was merely 20th amongst qualifiers.
Twins’ teammate Jim Thome finished with more MVP points (two), than guys like Mark Teixeira (one) and Joakim Soria (one). Thome was terrific this season hitting an impressive .283/.412/.627, but he was limited to only 25 homers because of just 276 at-bats. How he got any AL MVP love is totally beyond me.
As for hurlers, the highest ranking pitcher on the list was another Ray – Rafael Soriano – who finished with 21 points. I think he did a wonderful job, but I still find it odd that he was the top pitcher in the voting. To further build on the voting madness with pitchers, AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez received six points, runner up David Price zero, and third place finisher CC Sabathia got 13. If you don’t understand that join the fricken club.
By Ray Flowers