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The Big MVP Debate, Finally Settled

16 August 2009

If we’re really going to award MVP honors to a player who puts his team over the top for the postseason, giving it to Mark Teixeira makes no sense. The Yankees are 7.5 games ahead of the Red Sox for both the AL East lead and the Wild Card. If they had someone else playing first base, they’d still be ahead in the playoff race, albeit by fewer games.

But Joe Mauer shouldn’t win either.

If you buy the argument that Mauer can’t be MVP because the Twins happened to field the worst double play combination since the heyday of Dougie Flynn and Angel Salazar, then let’s take it to its logical conclusion. Find the team that squeaks into the playoffs by the smallest margin, then pick a player who made a difference. Bonus points if the player was added via in-season trade or a call-up from the minors, since by definition he would have given the team something it didn’t have before. Picking a winner becomes a snap.

So let’s see:
The Red Sox lead the AL Wild Card race by half a game.
The Rockies lead the NL Wild Card race by one game.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 MVP winners:

AL: Victor Martinez. Since being acquired in a deadline trade from the Indians, Martinez is hitting .298/.365/.509 in 57 at-bats. I think he hit a game-winning homer or something the other night too.

NL: Rafael Betancourt. Since being acquired in a deadline trade from the Indians, Betancourt has posted a 0.00 ERA over 7.1 innings. You can’t do any better than 0.00.

In conclusion, if you want to find an MVP candidate, call up Mark Shapiro. I’m already backing Jhonny Peralta and Aaron Laffey for 2010.

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