Do you recall the 'Seinfeld' episode when the restaurant owner Poppy, shall we say, soiled Jerry's couch? That's what it seemed like Big Papi, David Ortiz did this week when he proclaimed that he should be the MVP of the American League, not Derek Jeter. Then he made the mess worse by saying his quote was taken out of context, that he wasn't trashing his 'man' Jeter.
Ortiz is having a great season for the Red Sox. it's the Red Sox who are not having a great season. But his statement to the Globe's Gordon Edes seemed hard to misconstrue: ``I'll tell you one thing, if I get 50 home runs and 10 more RBIs, that's going to be a round number that no one else in the American League will have. But they'll vote for a position player, use that as an excuse.'' No not an excuse, Papi, a reason.
"They're talking about Jeter a lot, right? He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club [aside here: huh?], the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games." Or maybe put up Jeter's numbers (.346, 13, 91) and played shortstop every night for the Yankees with the best record in the League.
But let's not leave it to Jeter. Let's look at Jermaine Dye who's at .322 with 41 homers and 112 rbi and playing a good right field day after day for the White Sox; let's look at Twins first baseman Justin Morneau,. 324, 33 homers 120 rbi and a .440 BA the last week while the Twins took over the wild card and threatened to take over the division lead. There's lots of other candidates but the real MVP might have no homers, no rbi, not even a hit--Johan Santana, the Twins lefty who is the one player who has made all the difference in their season, and so in the AL. (He's 0 for 2, by the way.)
Papi, Papi, Papi, you're too smart, too endearing, too successful to whine about the unfairness of all this. You're also too much of a designated hitter to really be the MVP with those other guys around.