I’ve been a little busy lately, and besides, other than the awards, there hasn’t been too much baseball happenings right now.
The AL MVP will be announced tomorrow, and the NL MVP on Tuesday.
So…a trivia question (answer at the end, no cheating!). Justin Verlander could become the first pitcher since Dennis Eckersley in 1992 to win the MVP award, and first starter since Roger Clemens in 1986.
Eckersley and Clemens were both American Leaguers.
Who is the last NATIONAL league pitcher to win the MVP award?
Ok. I see the Post today, and someone is praising Torre for calling Posada a possible HOF player but criticizing Girardi for not catching Posada and for putting Posada ninth in the lineup.
C’mon. Open your eyes. What was Girardi going to do? The sands of time wait for no man, and it was obvious over the last few years that Posada’s defense was getting downright awful. Not only that, but Posada was hitting .147 after the games of May 10th. You can’t just keep him in the 6 or 7 spot. Jorge hit just .248 in 2010 (albeit with a 115 OPS+) and just .235 this past year (OPS+ 87).
This writer shouldn’t have criticized Girardi because of HIS blind loyalty.
It looks like Grady Sizemore is going back to the Indians. There was expectations that the Indians would let the free agent go. Sizemore, 29, was a 30/30 player in 2008, but has suffered through three injury-plagued years since.
The Twins signed Ryan Doumit, who hit .303 in limited time for the Pirates this year. He provides insurance for the recently oft-injured Mauer (C) and Morneau (1B) as well as RF protection in case Cuddyer leaves.
Meanwhile, the Pirates look to be getting Clint Barmes. The SS hit .244 for Houston in 2011.
Speaking of Houston, they’ll be coming to the AL West in 2013, necessitating more interleague play (which I hate) because each league would have fifteen teams. So there would have to be at least one interleague game. As for me, I’ll hate having to see Granderson or Gardner try to negotiate that silly hill in CF in Houston.
Yoennis Cepedes is all the rage in the Dominican. The Cuban defector had something like 33 HR and 90 RBI in 99 games. The 26 yr. old CF is said to want $35-50MM.
Which makes me wonder…could the best free agents on the market be people we don’t know much about outside their stats in foreign competition (Cepedes and Darvish)?
Back to Houston and the switch of leagues. Now a second wild card. I hate it. Instead of epic collapses, Boston and Atlanta would have made the playoffs under the proposed new scenario.
Yup. A team that comes in third in its own division can now make the playoffs. Yankee haters should hate that concept. After all, don’t they complain that they win too much or have an unfair advantage? Now here you have them, and every other team in baseball, getting a chance to get lucky at the right time and be crowned WS champs after a season in which they finish third. No wonder America is floundering. We reward mediocrity.
…and yes, two wild cards can be from the same division, as I wrote above. The “top seed can’t play a wild card from its own division” rule for the division series would be eliminated.
Worse yet, the “series” between the two wild card teams? One game. One game is football. Not baseball. Of course, the silly alternative is to have a best of three, but then the other teams are waiting around too long.
The best alternative? FEWER playoff teams. Whatever happened to the phrase that John Houseman used to say in those Smith-Barney ads.
Last but not least, and not to get political, Phil Mushnick has a great column in the Post on the ridiculousness of the presidential debates. How refreshing it would be for a candidate NOT to participate in the debates (moderated by someone asking silly questions to sometimes meet his or her own personal agenda) but to issue policy statements. Just state or print out what you stand for and what you will do. Have one to one interviews on the major networks stating your plan. As Mushnick states, a debate between eight persons seems more like a spelling bee…or a game of musical chairs. It sure doesn’t seem like this process of elimination is the proper way to pick a president.
Ok. The answer to the trivia question:
The last National League pitcher to win the MVP award was Bob Gibson in 1968.