May 30, 2024

Baseball writers sending wrong message

This archived article was written by: Robert Hanson

Let’s start with the one that doesn’t bother me that much, the National League MVP.   The selection of Ryan Howard is at least defensible.   He did have more home runs and RBI’s than Albert Pujols, but still, Pujols had the higher on-base percentage and the higher slugging percentage (two stats that are more valuable than RBI), and he also was far superior in the field and with   his base running skills.   His average, on base percentage and slugging percentage when there were runners on base and also when they were in scoring position, were all higher than Howard’s numbers.   But the  voters don’t seem to go that in depth.
Yes, maybe the choice of Howard can be defended, but the choice in the American League of Justin Morneau is downright criminal.   Let me say that I am a third-generation Twins’ fan, love the thought of one of my Twins winning this award and do follow my team through its highs and lows.   I cannot understand this pick, when he is only the fourth most-valuable player on his own team, yes, my opinion is he is only the fourth-best player on the Twins’ club.
Joe Mauer, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter were all more valuable to the team’s success than Morneau.   On the Twins’ season, you had a catcher (Mauer), that won the batting title and was the best defender in baseball at his position (truly the real MVP of the American League).   You had the best starting pitcher in the game (Santana), you had a Gold Glove center fielder (Hunter) who hit for power and then you had a defensively challenged, looked as if he was always running uphill, slow first baseman (Morneau), who put up some reasonably impressive numbers, but not that impressive once you consider his peer group of first basemen (remember David Ortiz for one).
The voters picked the least valuable of that Minnesota foursome.   Unbelievable.
As I wrote earlier, the choice of Ryan Howard does not bother me that much, that choice can be defended and argued, since the votes are cast prior to the post season, but with the selection of Morneau, this is one of the worst MVP selections in history.   I also almost feel sorry for Jeter and Ortiz this year, almost.
Given the foolishness of this round of voting, the league either needs to change the process by adding more voters. I wonder if the baseball writers that vote even take this seriously.   Maybe we need to stop paying attention, because when ridiculous decisions like these are made, the meaning of the award is devalued.   Ultimately, it is the players and the fans who lose.