I never expected this.
The MVP this year was supposed to be between Derek Jeter of the Yankees and David Ortiz of the Red Sox.
The two Minnesota Twins candidates – Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau – were supposed to split the votes, causing both to lose out.
East Coast Bias®™ was supposed to render a small-market American League player hopeless, constantly overlooked by reporters and slotted as lower in talent than New York and Boston stars.
I guess that’s why they vote, isn’t it?
Congratulations to Justin Morneau – the man that led the Minnesota Twins to an improbable regular season comeback; who hit .321, had 34 homers and 130 RBI; and who made only $385,000 last season. Yeah. $385 thousand gets you an MVP these days. In the National League, where MVP Ryan Howard’s salary is $355 thousand, you’d even have 30K left to spend on concessions.
Some people call it a bad choice. Well, you know what? The votes are all that mattered. Derek Jeter probably deserved to win the MVP this year. In fact, I’m almost certain he did. I’d have voted for Joe Mauer, myself. I don’t even think Morneau is the best player on his TEAM.
But, you see, sometimes the votes fall in favor of a guy with more emotion behind him – the guy who can get his team to play better and can charge up a clubhouse like no other – instead of the player with better stats, more marketability, and sheer popularity.
Ask Steve Nash. It happened to him twice. And there’s no denying it. The baseball writers of the nation have spoken. The sports writers around the world have spoken. This year, at least, they’ve voted en masse for Canadians – Nash, NHL MVP Joe Thornton, and now Morneau. Which is pretty sweet, actually.
But it’s even sweeter that a Minnesota Twin is the Most Valuable Player of the American League for the first time since Rod Carew won it in 1977.
The Minnesota Twins had the best pitcher (Cy Young winner Johan Santana, which wasn’t a surprise and therefore didn’t make it to BMOWP’s front page) and the best hitter. And they still lost in the first round. Is this what it’s like to be a Twins fan?
If so; God help me.