Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to fix the MLB MVP award

Ryan Braun.

Justin Verlander.

Both great players, really good actually. Both young stars of the game and have bright futures. Hall of famers more than likely. Deserving of being heralded as the best players in their league for 2011? Sure why not.

But could there have been better choices, were there more valuable players on other teams?

(I actually prefer most outstanding player, since valuable is so objective).
What if there actually was a way to get a MVP award that more people agreed on.
I think there is and Ryan Braun told me so.

Last night on the FAN 590 (or I suppose sportsnet 590 the fan), Doug Melvin, GM on the Milwaukee Brewers, was speaking to Bob McCowan.
Side note - this was a bad interview, it was entertaining and good questions were asked. However Doug was on to talk about Prince (or Cecil as Bobcat says) Fielder. To talk about Ryan Braun and his Winnng the MVP. But bobcat was stuck on the news of a new collective bargaining agreement; the new restrictions on players with chewing tobacco and trying to get an opinion from Melvin about HGH. Which concluded with Doug admitting to nothing to add to the HGH conversation.
So instead of getting some insight into how a small market team goes into free agency (kinda like how the Jays run their team), Bob spends 3/4 of his time talking about the good ol days when you could bring a tin of tobacco on the field with you in your back pocket.

I am not trying to write an article ripping Bob McCowan, my kids know his voice since
he’s on in my car or home so much. But there was one thing that the "managing general" of the Brew Crew did mention that caught my attention. Doug Melvin quoted Ryan Braun regarding his thoughts on winning the MVP. According to Braun, he felt Matt Kemp was more deserving of the MVP award. He said that Kemp's numbers were better and lineup didn't have the same weapons as did Milwaukee's.

Surprisingly all of that is true.
Ryan Braun was deserving of the award, but said that Kemp should have won.
Kemp had higher numbers in all major offensive categories – Runs, Home Runs, RBI and SB, even OPS. Kemp was just shy of the batting title, and the Triple Crown. One home run shy of a 40-40 season. What more did he have to do. Could Braun have won if he was a Dodger, would Kemp win hands down if he was a Brewer. Was Jose Bautista better than Ellsbury or Verlander – would Verlander have won playing on the Jays and racking up 25 wins. Just imagine the numbers JoeyBats would put up playing on the Tigers.

Anyways, in case you missed the answer – we fix the MVP voting system, by letting the players decide. Instead of getting baseball writers (all of whom have their own agenda), to cast their lot as to who should win the award, the players should vote. They know who the best player is. They will all first say their own name, because great players know they’re great – right Brett Lawrie? But they see their competition, they know what great numbers look like – apparently unlike baseball writers who voted for the MVP in each league.

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