I haven’t yet weighed in

I haven’t yet weighed in on the baseball discussion from early–very early–this morning. Here are my opinions, for what they are worth: 1) Doug Mientkiewicz is by far the best fielding first baseman in baseball. Giving John Olerud the Gold Glove is a travesty. 2) As to the MVP award, I think there has always been ambiguity about what the award represents. In some sports, there is a “Player of the Year” award. So designated, I think everyone understands that the award goes to the player who has the best year, regardless of whether his team is good enough to win a title. In baseball, the “most valuable” designation has always inhabited an uneasy middle ground in which there is an implication that to be most valuable, a player must have helped his team to win (or at least come close to) a pennant. Thus, for example, Steve Carlton didn’t win the MVP in 1972 even though he was clearly the outstanding player that year. Alex Rodriguez may be in the same category this year. It seems to me that baseball needs to decide whether its MVP award is the same as, or different from, a Player of the Year Award. If it is different, someone should figure out how and to what extent a team’s performance factors in. If it is the same, A-Rod should win it.

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