BCPuck32 makes a strong and thoughtful appeal for Johan Santana to be the AL MVP in his FanNation blog Cy Young for MVP. In fact, that position is similar to one we took not two weeks ago. We think BCPuck32 is a fine fellow. Why he rarely curses BU hockey players! But, on more reflection on the question of AL MVP, BCPuck32 is misguided and so were we.
The MVP is in the Bronx, not Minnesota, not Chicago and definitely not Boston.
Derek Jeter's season needs to be reviewed and marveled at and when the voters vote, he should be at the top of their ballots.
There's loads of compelling candidates this season:
- Santana, who should get the Cy Young right now (have a look at Jayson Stark's piece on Santana on espn.com Why Santana isn't AL MVP for more).
- Jermaine Dye, whose season has been outstanding and whose comeback from a severely broken leg a few years ago is to be cheered. But his White Sox ain't going anywhere.
- Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer (and Santana) give the Twins lots to look forward to and makes you wonder why the Twins keep developing great young players and some teams never do.
- David Ortiz's season has been great but his team went in the tank and he couldn't do anything to stop it. And, of course, Papi is a DH and there's more to baseball than hitting, even if he doesn't see it that way.
Jeter: He started out hitting this year and never stopped; his batting average went below .300 after one game in early April and went back above the next game. It's stayed well above that ever since. He's driven in runs, key runs, even with only 14 homers. Remember that Friday night at Fenway in August, the second game of the Yankee destruction of the Red Sox? Jeter went 1 for 6--the hit a 3-run double that put the Yanks on top and showed the Sox their season was about to come to an end. His day-to-day shortstopping has been as good as ever and it's time he was MVP.
While the Yankees were suffering their wrist epidemic, losing Sheffield, Matsui and Giambi, Jeter played on and played well and the team never lost a beat; while A-Rod preened and whined his way through another season of being baseball's prettiest player (just ask him), Jeter played on and played well.
Yeah, yeah, I know the Yankees have bought the most talent and should be on top. (An aside: they've also done a much better job at developing and keeping their own players than most teams--Jeter, Riviera, Posada, Williams, Cabrerra, Wang, Cano.) But if Jeter had missed any significant time, this team would not have another AL East title already and probably wouldn't have one at all. Does anyone really believe that his absence would have only cost the Yanks five victories?
Others have better numbers but none has had a better or more valuable season. If you really know baseball--and are really making an unbiased judgment you Yankee haters--Jeter's the MVP.