There have been numerous articles written in the past couple days discussing Justin Morneau as MVP and Derek Jeter as first loser. I can’t tell if the following writers are Yankee fans, Jeter lovers, Twin haters, Morneau bashers, or plain confused.

Dayn Perry of foxsports.com doesn’t agree with Morneau getting the award. In fact, he says it’s “downright criminal”. Obviously, it’s fine that he doesn’t think Morneau should have gotten the award; we all have our own opinions. However, what he says to back up his claim is incredibly odd. “Morneau had a strong season, but he was only the fourth most-valuable player on his own team. Yes, that’s right: only the fourth-best player on the Twins. Joe Mauer, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter (once you account for his stellar defense at an up-the-middle position) were all more critical to the team’s success than Morneau.” I have to think that Mr. Perry missed Game 2 of the ALDS, when Hunter made a dive for the ball in center and came up short, surrendering the lead to the A’s. Granted, MVP voting was completed before that game, but Hunter’s defense all season was less than stellar.

There certainly could be a case for Mauer being more valuable than Morneau. Mauer is the first American League catcher to win the batting title and hopes to be the second next year. To the dismay of Perry (“..his election betrays a long-standing MVP bias on the part of voters: they look at the RBI rankings and pick the top guy, provided he played for a contending team.”), Morneau drove in more runs than Mauer. And even though Mauer led the ML in batting average for the season, Morneau’s was tops in the bigs from the All-Star Break and on; usually when teams either fall out or stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Now there’s Johan. Two-time Cy Young Award winner. Pitching Triple Crown winner. 6th place in the MVP voting. A great case could be made as to why pitchers should be included in MVP voting. Probably the best argument: a pitcher has more control over the outcome of a game than a hitter does. Why? In 2006, Johan averaged facing a little over 27 batters per game. Morneau, in 2006, averaged 3.77 at bats per game. For the sake of discussion, I’ll round that up to 4. Opponents had a chance to change the outcome of the game about 27 times per game against Johan. Justin had a chance to change the outcome of the game only 4 times per game. The fact that Johan pitched exceptional while still facing so many batters, in my opinion, outweighs the fact that Justin drove in 130 runs.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Gary Matthews Jr. on Wednesday to a deal worth $50 million over 5 years. His signing makes Hunter’s $12 million for one year deal look great. Matthews might be best known for his over-the-fence, leaping catch he made last season.

Advertisements