I thought I’d give 32 a break and try and write one of these things. I hope your Plumber’s Hell is just about over.
Just about the only interesting thing that has come out of the ’11 Dodger season (other than following the dropping attendance of course) has been the possibility of the NL MVP and Cy Young Awards going to Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.
It dawned on me the other day that the Dodgers’ poor record, while a hindrance to Matt and the MVP, could actually aid Clayton’s Cy bid. Especially in a year when the Phillies’ vote will be split between Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the voters might well have some sympathy for Kershaw toiling for a crummy team, while Kemp is fighting uphill against the “How Can He Be Most Valuable” sentiment.
Any decent baseball fan can cite Andre Dawson’s ’87 great stats (with a last-place club) against Kirk Gibson’s good stats (with a Series-winning team) in ’88 in arguing whether either one really deserved it. And every now and then we’ll have a season in which the MVP debate brings the club into it, but never the Cy. Why? Obviously, it’s the “Most-Valuable” thing. Here’s my solution: The Player of the Year.
“Whoa!” you say. “The other sports have MVPs.” “There’s already enough awards in baseball.”
I say, “Why not?”
The Cy is only for pitchers, one in the AL and one in the NL. Make the MVP only for position players, and keep it one in each league. After all, how “valuable” can you be if you’re only on the field once every five days? OK, there’s another argument, but let’s leave it for another day.
The Player of the Year (the Associated Press names an offensive and a defensive Player of the Year in the NFL) would not involve the fortunes of his team. I’d make both position players and pitchers eligible for it. I’d even think of making only one for all of MLB.
Of course, I know of the inherent “danger” of threatening to remove some of the debates. Baseball fans love to debate more than any other fan of any other sport. But I think, especially if you keep it to one PotY (yeesh, that’s a horrible acronym), there might even be more debate.
But what’s better, is that the MVPs would indeed be Most Valuable and the Player of the Year would be quite impressive.
This Day in Dodgers History
August 27, 2005 – Jeff Kent becomes the first player to hit 300 homers as a second baseman. The Dodger infielder, who has surpassed Ryne Sandberg’s total of 277 last September, is the major league leader at this position with Joe Gordon holding the American League record with 246 round-trippers.