Clearly, you all saw this post coming from a mile away, but it's high time BLB weighs in on the controversial "Joe Mauer For MVP" debate. No homerism here, we're just gonna lay out the facts. The cold, hard truth. Yes, we love his sideburns and humble MinnesotaNice with all of our hearts, but sideburns don't earn most valuable player awards. Neither do P's and Q's.
The first naysayer will take the "he's on a losing team" route. To that we say, what about your ever-loving A-Rod? Alex Rodriguez won the AL MVP award in 2003 in his final season with the Texas Rangers, who were dead last in the West with a 71-91 record. His 47 home runs, .600 slugging percentage and 124 runs scored were top in the league. (Too bad he totally cheated that year.)
If the 2009 season were to end today, Mauer would lead the entire game with a .380 batting average and .448 OBP, and would be high atop the AL with a .675 slugging %. He's also ninth in the league in home runs with 25, and tenth in RBIs with 77. Mauer's no monster slugger, but he's got one of the sweetest swings in baseball when he makes contact, which is often.
Sure, Mark Teixeira is having a super swell season (.288 AVG/.385 OBP/.562 SLG) with 30 homers and 32 doubles. He also spends half his time hanging out in a shopping mall with a ballfield in the middle of it: a.k.a. The New Yankee Stadium, which has become one of the biggest hitter's parks ever. In fact, he's hit only 11 bombs away from home this season. Tex's defense at first base is pretty amazing, but Mauer's position puts far more strain on his body. And the Metrodome just plain sucks to hit in. And Joe managed to put these numbers up after missing the entire month of April. And... so there.
For you stat geeks, here's a neat little table set up by Dayn Perry over at FOX Sports. He's one smart cookie...
So is there really even a debate here? I think as long as Man Muscles continues to kick ass over the next six weeks until those 28 newspaper writers cast their votes, he'll run away with the MVP Award -- along with his record-breaking third batting title as a backstop -- whether the Twins play baseball in October or not.
P.S. Check out BLB's 12 Second Trivia #3! We'll stump you eventually. Maybe.
[Larry Brown Sports] | [MinnPost - Gleeman] | [Josh Q. Public]