Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AL MVP: out with the old, in with Morneau

AL MVP: Justin Morneau, Minnesota (320 points)
.321, 34 HRs, 130 RBIs, .375 OBP, .559 SLG, 97R

2nd) Derek Jeter (306 pts)
3rd) David Ortiz (193 pts)

This just in from the "You've got to be Kidding Me" Dept: Minnesota Twins right fielder Justin Morneau captured the American league MVP Award today, beating out Stankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

In other news hell has just frozen over.

In what will probably go down as one of the worst injustices in the history of the award the voters elected to go with a 1-year wonder who just completed his second full big league season over much more deserving vets like Jeter & Papi. Hell, most observers don't even feel that Morneau was the MVP of his own team, let alone the entire league. That honor has been given to AL batting champ C Joe Mauer, whose OBP was .54 points higher than his teammate's, and/or AL Cy Young Johan Cy-tana.

But perhaps due to New York backlash (believe it or not there are people out there who hate all things Gotham, and they're not all from Boston) Jeter was snubbed in his attempt to win his first MVP trophy. Although Morneau's numbers were decent, and he did help spur the second have surge the Twins rode to the AL Central title, Jeter put up fantastic stats (.343 avg, 118 R, .417OBP, 97 RBI) while providing the leadership to keep the injury-riddled Stankees in the playoff race.

If those candidates weren't good enough then what about the contributions of Big Papi, who slugged 54 homers, knocked in 139 runs and had a slugging percentage of .636 with an on base percentage of .413. All while missing 11 games in September due to an irregular heartbeat. And for that he finishes 127 points out of the running. Ridiculous.

It's clear that the purpose of the voting this year was to send a message to all MLB players & fans. Brandon Webb(NL CY), Ryan Howard (NL MVP) and Morneau are all players with less than 4 full years of major league experience, yet they beat out established star veterans for the trophies. Some have speculated that Pujols was passed over in the NL due to the rumors of steroid use that cropped up this year, Webb was rewarded over vets like Chris Carpenter & Roy Oswalt, and now Morneau over Jeter & Papi.

Message sent: MLB wants to steer their image away from anything even remotely related to steroids, and what better way to do it than honor a bunch of fresh new faces to usher the league into the post-'roid era.

I know they have succeeded at one thing for sure: people will be talking about this season's winners for a long time- almost as much as they will be talking about the losers.

"Last night even I was saying I don't expect to get it. I might have given myself maybe a 50-50 chance. I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment if I didn't get it." Guess who?

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