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2 Sluggers, a Captain and a Pizza Place MVP
Monday, September 04, 2006
The 2006 AL MVP race has been hotter than the ’04 presidential election and there’s just about a month to go for the candidates to finish up their campaigns for the title. AL big shots like Jeter, Mauer, Thome, Dye, Papi have been kissing babies and shaking hands with war veterans all season to get the fans and baseball writers on their side and each one of them makes a good case for the award. Jeter, Ortiz and Dye have emerged as the big 3 in the competition, but whittling those down to just 1 is tough. Papi and Dye have both been RBI and homer machines and Jeter has been hitting for the best average of his career. All three are obviously very important to their respective teams, but which one is the most valuable?

Let’s have a look at the 2006 numbers for the frontrunners:

Generally speaking, the MVP is taken to mean “best player” and the best athlete in the league wins. By this definition, Jeter should be the clear winner. His numbers are incredible and he hasn’t hit a slow spot all year; there is little room for argument that he has played better than Papi and Dye throughout the season. If the award were truly for the Most Valuable Player, though, I would see a strong argument for Papi to take the cake (figuratively…he does not need to eat any more fattening foods). Jeter’s numbers are better, but the Red Sox would not have lasted in the post-season running for nearly as long as they did if not for Papi’s clutch hits and walk-off homers.

"I don't 'do' defense"
Papi may have saved the Red Sox from a truly miserable season, but I still foresee the MVP going to Jeter. Not only are his offensive numbers superior to Papi’s and Dye’s—he may not have the homers, but I’ll take that batting average and OBP any day!—but he plays great defense daily, which should not be discounted. I know it seems obvious for the Yankees Chick to root for Jeter over Papi, but I consider myself to be a fairly objective baseball buff and the bottom line is that the award is not just an offensive award, nor is it an award for the player who is most helpful to his team. Papi and Dye are having great years and are doing their best to keep their respective teams in the playoff running, but Jeter is simply head and shoulders above the competition in the AL.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, September 04, 2006  
  • At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Nick said…

    To me, a "player" is someone who both hits AND fields.
    If the award was most valuable hitter, I'd give it to Ortiz. I have a feeling if he was in the field everyday like Jeter is, his power numbers wouldn't be as great as they are.

  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger singlessss said…

    Good article. If you include RBIs, I think you should include runs scored. I'm surprised to see Papi in the lead here, with Jetes then Dye at: 99, 97 and 89. Also, Jetes CS% is less then 10%, which is amazing for a guy with 29 steals.

    It should be mentioned that importance of position plays a factor. Rarely does a (leading) SS has a higher OPS or HRs then a (leading) DH or corner outfielder. An OPS over .900 for a SS is pretty rare (since ARod became a 3rd baseman anyway).

  • At 8:07 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said…

    you left out justin morneau of the twins. he should be considered, but jeter should win it, especially if he wins the batting title.

  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Carl Pavano said…

    Isn't anyone considering me?

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hafners been the best hitter in the American league this year. Too bad he's done for the year

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