Boy. it has been a long time since I posted for everyone. I have been busy with venomstrikes.com, my other home away from this blog. Other things have kept me from here including the beginning a new season coaching soccer. But you don’t care about any of that. You want the good stuff. So here it goes.
Derek Jeter should be the American League MVP.
Not Mike Trout.
Not Miguel Cabrera.
During an amazing, illustrious career that has seen the Yankees Captain win just about every award possible., this 2012 season is the year Jeter should win the most recognized individual award given to a player. No, this is not a selection for lifetime achievement. This has nothing to do with two of his jerseys hanging in my closet. This is based on the fact that when you start with numbers, add in intangibles and then mix in team record, Derek Jeter simply has been the most valuable player in the American League this season. I get it, you are going to attempt to dazzle me with the numbers that may get Cabrera the Triple Crown, something not done in 45 years. You will show me the all-around spectacular play of Trout and his equally eye-popping stats particularly for a guy who was born two months after I graduated high school. Jeter’s numbers speak for themselves, batting .322 with over 200 hits and nearly 100 runs scored. While they are significantly less that Trout’s 28-78, .323, 122 runs scored and Cabrera’s 42-133, .331, 105 runs scored, the key word in the award is VALUABLE. I am sure there are a ton of more numbers you will throw out that will enhance either of the other two’s chances as pposed to Jeter. Numbers are great, I love them. But just like everything else, they can be abused and then become meaningless. Trust me, there is a post coming about that very topic. Anyway, here is why Jeter deserves it more than Cabrera and Trout.
We will start with Trout because……why not? Wait, I think he just leaped over the wall to rob another home run. Trout’s 2012 rookie season may go down as one of the greatest initial campaigns of all time. Actually, the Angels’ phenom played in 40 games and had 123 at-bats in 2011 and started 2012 in Triple A. He was brought up for good at the end of April replacing Bobby Abreu. The Angels were struggling at time of his recall and since then, have been playing the kind of ball that was expected of them before the season started. There is the rub. LA was expected to be World Series contenders and that is with Trout not making the club out of Spring Training. So the fact they are making a late push now thanks to Trout, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver among others says to me that Trout has had a lot of help this Summer.
The case against Cabrera is more difficult. How can you vote against a guy who may do something no one has done since before Richard Nixon was first elected President? If Miggy does in fact win the Triple Crown, I wouldn’t have a major problem with the selecting him to win the MVP. however, there is precedent to this. Ted Williams won the Triple Crown in 1941 but lost the MVP award to Joe DiMaggio. A crooked writer didn’t even list Williams on his ballot. OK, that is a pretty weak precedent. But here again, it is not as though Cabrera has been doing this alone, having the Tigers within a game of first place. Prince Fielder as had an outstanding year as usual and the rotation boasts the two leaders in strikeouts, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. This was another team that in April was predicted by many to be playing deep into October and now they are not even in a Wild Card position.
Take a look at the Yankee team in 2012. Yes, while the payroll is still huge most of the parts of it have had below average years. Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez have been hurt or ineffective or at times both. Sure Curtis Granderson has 39 home runs but he is also batting .230 with 184 strikeouts. Robinson Cano has had a good year but also at times has disappeared both at the plate and in the field. Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes both have set career highs in wins but have not had the seasons the other three pitchers mentioned have had. Rafael Soriano has been marvelous filling in for Mariano Rivera, he has been the team’s most valuable pitcher. While Soriano has been great, Derek Jeter has been the best player on the team since Day One. He has never gone into a prolonged slump and has gotten every clutch hit and every desperately needed jump throw for a team that has had more injuries and underachievement than most contending clubs.
If I haven’t convinced you yet about the worthiness of Derek Jeter being the AL MVP, think about this. Would the Angels be in third place in the AL West if Mike Trout was not on the team? I think it is a pretty safe bet the answer is yes. Would the Tigers be in second place in the AL Central if there was no Miguel Cabrera? Considering the third place team is 12 games under .500, I would make that assumption. Now would the Yankees be 24 games over .500 and in first place without Derek Jeter? The answer to that question is an emphatic NO.
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com