Joe Mauer Is the MVP, End of Story.
I was enjoying what was truly a lovely evening (yes, that included a trip to the Olive Garden and some odds-on cotton panties), up until I came across a headline that just fouled up my entire mood. From Jeff Fletcher at FanHouse, who should fly to Minnesota next time he wants to get quotes about who the AL MVP should be, his headline read: Slow Start Firmly in Rearview Mirror, Teixeira Mounts Bid for MVP. Sure, Mark Teixeira is an excellent all-around player and certainly amongst the best in the league. But just because he happened to have signed a contract with the Yankees where he’s now on a team full of $15 million a year all-stars, batting in the middle of a loaded lineup, with an even more fully-loaded press corps, doesn’t mean he should be mentioned ahead of a player who deserves the award more than anyone else in baseball: Joe Mauer.
I’ve been on the Joe Mauer bandwagon ever since his rookie season and was calling for him to be MVP back in ’06 when his teammate Justin Morneau won it, largely for driving in Mauer most of the time. What Mauer is doing, especially considering his position, is simply unfounded. First of all, he’s making a run at .400 towards the end of the season. He’s leading the league in average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. This all after missing the first month of the season following kidney surgery over the winter.
The guy can run although he hasn’t had to too much this year, and he throws out runners trying to steal at a high percentage. Oh yeah, he also gets a lot out of what generally is a mediocre pitching staff. Sure Teixeira and other first baseman generally possess stronger numbers in the power categories of HRs and RBIs that voters love to see, but they’re just one in a group of many doing it. For every Teixeira, there’s a Kendry Morales, Miguel Cabrera, and Kevin Youkilis. For every Joe Mauer, there’s a … the guy is likely to go down as the best all around catcher we’ve ever seen. Too bad most writers and media members have their heads stuck so far up the Yankees’ ass they’re not noticing it. They’re missing out on a hell of a show.