The sight of you with your head hung low

Joe Mauer at Fenway in 2008 (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission)

Joe Mauer at Fenway in 2008 (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission)

Over the weekend I uttered a phrase that many have spoken when they feel a player is overrated, especially if that player is being considered for the MVP award.  “He isn’t even the MVP on his own team!”

Doesn’t take a psychic to guess that I was referring to Derek Jeter.  I was thoroughly convinced that somehow the writers getting the AL Cy Young and Manager of the Year awards right meant that the MVP was absolutely going to Jeter.  The idea of Mark Teixeira getting it had, honestly, never crossed my mind.  So I was doubly surprised when not only did the writers get it right by giving the award to Joe Mauer, but that they got it even more right by voting for Mark Teixeira over Jeter.

According to Kelly Thesier at

Mauer finished with 327 points, well ahead of Teixeira, who had 225, and Jeter, who had 193. Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who received the only other first-place vote, was fourth with 171 points.

Special shout-out to Keizo Konishi, the writer from the Seattle chapter of the BBWAA who had the temerity to give Miguel Cabrera his one first-place vote.  Every group needs their renegade, Keizo, and this year the BBWAA can look to you to keep the well-held belief that some members of the BBWAA barely follow the sport they cover.  Well done.

Mind you, I’m not saying that Mauer HAD to get the vote unanimously, but voting for Cabrera over any of the top three vote-getters is absolutely baffling to me.  Cabrera had a really good season, but not first-place MVP voting good (given his competition – yes, even I have to admit that Teixeira and Jeter were pretty damned impressive).   Going 0-11 at the end of the season in the White Sox series when the division was on the line…well I’m not sure that’s MVP-worthy right there.  You judge a player on his entire season but to be MVP of the league…well isn’t part of that coming up big when your team needs you?

It doesn’t really matter which player Konishi gave a first-place vote to when Joe Mauer got 27 others…so let Cabrera have his little ray of sunshine.  The bottom line is that, all in all, the writers got the voting right this year.  I’m sure the Yankees aren’t losing any sleep over not winning these superlatives given they all have the World Series trophy to keep them warm this year but I do enjoy the media acknowledging that while the Yankees are a team full of MVP-caliber players, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the league doesn’t have players who can keep up or excel above them.  When I called my dad to tell him that Mauer had won he responded “Maybe the writers are sick of the Yankees too?”.   I’d like to think they’ve decided to truly focus on the tangibles and realize that the Bronx doesn’t house the only team in baseball with great players on it.

And update for those who keep checking in :  Kyle Snyder pitched in another game and the Wolves (Lobos de Arecibo to be correct) are tied for first place.  Given my limited knowledge of Caribbean baseball, I can’t figure  out if it’s the manager’s choice to pull his pitchers early or Kyle was injured (given it seems there are 20 pitches on the roster – can that be right – maybe it’s just a matter of getting everyone some work in) but in his second game, even though he continues to pitch well, Kyle only pitched one inning.   I’d love it if anyone with an understanding of how things work in this league would drop me a line and give me a clue!

The Boston baseball writers announced their own awards as well on Monday.  Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and Nick Green will all be receiving awards at this years baseball writers dinner in  January.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon was named the 2009 Red Sox Fireman of the Year. For the fourth time in his four seasons, Papelbon was named to the All-Star team. The hard-throwing righty posted 38 saves and notched a 1.85 ERA. Papelbon is Boston’s all-time save leader with 151.

Daniel Bard, who became a mainstay in the bullpen for manager Terry Francona in short order, was selected as the club’s Rookie of the Year. Bard, backed by a fastball that reached 100-mph fastball several times, registered 63 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He held opponents to a .228 average. The right-hander placed sixth among qualifying AL relievers with 11.49 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Nick Green, who went from non-roster invitee to starting shortstop for the first four months of the season, was given the Jackie Jensen Award for spirit and determination. Green, who hit a walk-off homer on Father’s Day against the Atlanta Braves, is now a free agent.

I think all three are pretty damned deserving.   Congratulations fellas.

Less than three months until Truck Day, folks!  We can make it!

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