Verlander, Braun win MVP
By Cam Cain 11-22-11
With 13 out of the 28 first place votes, the Tigers ace has become the first MVP in franchise history since closer Willie Hernandez in 1984. He is the first pitcher to win MVP since 1992 when A’s closer Dennis Eckersley won with 51 saves. There has long been a debate as to whether pitchers should win the Cy Young Award. Both sides have decent points. I am split on this decision.
Yes. Pitchers should win the MVP:
Pitchers should definitely be able to win the MVP if they are deserving. It is most valuable player, not just most valuable hitter. Since 1991, 6 pitchers have led their respective leagues in WAR. Verlander is the only MVP of the bunch. If they are the best player in the league, why not give the award to them?
No. Pitchers should not win the MVP:
I am not denying that pitchers should be eligible for MVP. I just wouldn’t vote for one if I had the choice. The thing is, pitchers aren’t everyday players like your first baseman. It rarely happens nowadays that your pitcher is on the field for 250 of your innings. I could see picking a pitcher if it was back in the ’20s when pitchers threw 350+ innings a season and complete games on 2 days rest regularly. This was before there was a real bullpen. But this is not how it works anymore.
As a side note, Ryan Braun won the MVP of the National League. Braun’s vote was boosted largely by playing for a first place team. Many people expected Matt Kemp, who led the majors in WAR and runs batted in, to win the MVP. Kemp also led the NL in home runs. I do think that the writers made the right decision in picking Braun. Braun led the NL in OPS, a simple measure of being effective at getting on base and hitting for power. He was also very valuable to the success of his team.
In other news…
Free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore will remain in Cleveland. “We look forward to Grady getting back on the field and having a healthy and productive 2012 season,” says Indians GM Chris Antonetti. When Sizemore declined his option earlier this offseason, it officially made him a free agent. Sizemore signed a 1 year deal with the club.
The Twins signed catcher Ryan Doumit and the Royals resigned pitcher Bruce Chen. Texas has signed closer Joe Nathan. Nathan had been a star with Minnesota since 2004, making 4 all-star games and saving at least 40 games 3 times with 47 saves in 2009. Nathan did not pitch in ’10 due to injury.
Cards Manager LaRussa retires after 33 years as skipper.
By Cam Cain 10-31-11
His legacy will surely never be forgotten. Tony LaRussa spent 33 years managing ballclubs, the most recent 16 with the Cardinals. This came as a huge surprise, not 48 hours after winning the World Series for the third time, and second with St. Louis. Just like that, 33 years of baseball for him have come to an abrupt end. LaRussa becomes the first manager to retire following a World Series victory. LaRussa also retires with the third most managerial wins of all time behind Connie Mack and John McGraw.
“I think everybody was a little sad,” said Matt Holliday. “But I think at the same time, for us to see a guy that’s had such an amazing career, 33 years of managing, you don’t see it very often, where a guy gets to go out on top with a team and a run that was very symbolic of the kind of manager and the kind of leader that Tony was.
This is truly the end of an era. He leaves behind a legacy. He is beside Sparky Anderson as one of 2 managers to win a World Series in both leagues. He has also won 6 pennants, going 3-3 in those World Series. I never knew Tony but I wish him best of luck in retirement.
In other news…
The Mets have moved portions of the fences in at the very large Citi Field. It was getting to a point that these hitter-unfriendly confines were disliked by the players. A good example, David Wright has hit nearly 30 points better away from home and has also had a significant increase in slugging percentage on the road. “I really do believe a ballpark like ours has a more dramatic impact on the home team than on the visitors,” says Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
C.C. Sabathia has signed a contract extention with the Yankees until 2016. They still will need a decent no. 2 starter with Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon likely leaving. Maybe C.J. Wilson? If so, New York must hope he doesn’t turn out like another A.J. Burnett.
The Indians have made a move to acquire pitcher Derek Lowe from the Braves. Lowe is 38 years old currently and hasn’t pitched well in years. They lost a single A pitcher for him. Also, Cleveland did not pick up Grady Sizemore’s option making him a free agent. Sizemore has played 8 seasons, all with Cleveland.