posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 07:59 PM
Now that the season is nearing it's end, it is time we discuss who the MVP candidates are, who will win them, who will lose them, and why. There are
many candidates in each league, but I will only go through the top 3 in each league. I will first give ESPN's view on the player, and his likelyhood
of winning the Award.
Rolling another outrageous year off his assembly line for a Cardinals team that has had to stuff everyone except the hot-dog vendors into the
trainer's room. Top three in the league in all three Triple Crown categories -- plus runs, hits, slugging, on-base percentage, OPS, multi-hit games,
total bases and extra-base hits. But his team wrapped up its division around Memorial Day. And only two of the last 40 MVPs (Bonds in '03, Ichiro in
'01) have come from clubs that won their divisions by margins as large as the Cardinals' current lead (14 games).
Pujols will always finish in the top 3 of MVP voting when he plays a full season. He has finished Second to Bonds every year he has been in the
league. He puts up monstrous numbers, but he has one downfall... He has backup. The pitching there is great, as well as the other bats in the
line-up. Pujols wasn't the most valuable player in the NL, for there was another who actually made a BIG difference in their team. He will finish
second in the voting.
According to the stat gurus at Baseball Prospectus, no player on any team has had a better year, as measured by value over an average replacement
player (VORP), than Lee. And that Triple Crown isn't out of the question, either -- since Lee still leads the league in hitting and is barely off the
pace in homers and RBI. Oh, by the way, Lee also ranks No. 1 in hits, extra-base hits, slugging, on-base percentage, OPS and doubles. But as the Cubs'
season gurgles down the drain, he'd probably have to win the Triple Crown to win an MVP election. Only three of the last 93 MVPs (A-Rod in 2003, Cal
Ripken in 1991 and Mike Schmidt in 1986) came from teams that finished 20 games or more out of first place.
Derek Lee obviously is a MVP candidate... if we only played half a season. Had Derek lee kept pace with his first-half production, he would be the
top candidate. he has slowly dropped off the radar, as has the Cubs chances of making the playoffs. The only reason Lee will finish in the top 3 in
voting, is because some fans out there fail to realize there is more to baseball than stats. He will finish 3rd in voting.
It isn't true that everyone else around him in that Braves' lineup has been in the big leagues for about three weeks. But it seems like it. So as
Jones steams toward 50 homers, with the Braves' playoff reservations still not guaranteed, we're sensing major MVP momentum in Andruw's neighborhood.
Leads the league in homers and RBI, but Baseball Prospectus ranks him only ninth in VORP. Nevertheless, as one NL assistant GM put it, "When you think
about where the Braves would be without Andruw, it's a lot worse off than the Cardinals would be without Albert Pujols."
I will start off by saying I am as big Braves fan. Though it will be hard for you to believe me, this is completely un-bias. Andruw Jones is going
to be MVP of the NL. Why? Because in spite of all the Braves have been through, with having a roster chock-full of Rookies, he's managed to
single-handedly carry the Braves to the top of the NL East. He is closing in on 50 HR's, and has 108 RBI. He is the only reason why the Braves will
continue their Divison title streak with their 14th. Expect Jones to easily capture the NL MVP Award.
Would an MVP award make him a true Yankee? We might find out. Statistically, nobody has had a better season than A-Rod -- a man leading the league in
homers, slugging, OPS, total bases and VORP, and lurking just off the lead in batting, runs scored and on-base percentage. But we still hear his
critics pointing out that his numbers with men in scoring position (.267, with just six homers) are eminently mediocre, and that Mariano Rivera is the
Yankees' real MVP. Well, all we know is that this is a huge September for his franchise, so A-Rod has every chance to prove he's MVP-worthy (among
To begin, I rarely watch the American League, so I could care less who wins the AL MVP. A-Rod has already won an MVP in Texas when they finished
last-place, so why not win one in NY with a playoff team? A-rod has had a monster year, passing many mile-stones. He is a highly probable winner,
but only if... ONLY IF the Yankees make the playoffs. The Yankees are in trouble, and seem as though they won't be making the playoffs this year.
For that, A-Rod will finish 2nd in the voting.
His team and his fans feed off him. He's leading the AL in RBI and extra-base hits. He's heating up (first in his league in RBI and runs scored in
August). And those Red Sox will need all the Big Papi Mania he can ignite in September. But Ortiz faces the same problem this year that kept him from
winning the last two MVP races (when he finished fourth and fifth): Too many attractive candidates on his own team.
My views are almost exactly that of ESPN. I could include Manny Ramirez in this list, but I feel Big Papi has more of a Chance than Manny. Ortiz is
a HR and RBI machine, and will be a big part of Boston's success till the end of the year. He won't win the award... but he will finish higher than
he ever has before... at 3rd place.
It's sure been a bizarre year for the ever-dangerous Vlad: .351 in April, .224 in May, .443 in June, .208 in July, .348 in August. But if he can ever
climb off that roller coaster, and if the Angels can just get Garret Anderson healthy and rolling to complement him, there's no reason to think the
Vlad Man isn't just as capable of heavy-lifting his team into the postseason this year as he was last year (when he had a .371, 10-homer September).
It tells you something that he was intentionally walked almost as many times in August (12) as he was all last season (14).
Why is Vlad gonnawin the MVP award? Simply because he is more valuable to his team than any other player in the AL. He has been key player in the
A's and Angels battle for the Division lead. He will have a better chance of winning if his team conquers the AL West, but even if they just take the
Wild Card... He's sure to win his 2nd MVP Award.
Vladimir Guerrero, RF of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Andruw Jones, CF of the Atlanta Braves