MILWAUKEE — I keep hearing Californians say there’s an East Coast bias and that the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani needs serious consideration to win the American League MVP. Sorry if this reveals my bias, but I’m starting to think that all this avocado toast must be affecting their thinking.
Is Ohtani the most amazing baseball player we’ve seen? Very probable. Is he the most versatile player? Certainly.
But is it the most valuable? Logic, priority and common sense say no. Not this year. No way, no how.
Is he even the best player this year? The numbers tell us no too.
If anyone has an obvious bias, it’s surfers, wannabe soap operas, and space cowboys. As far as I look, as much as I try, I find no justification for voting for anyone other than Aaron Judge for MVP.
I can freely speak my mind on this subject, as I was relegated to vote for NL Rookie of the Year this year. I am not complaining. It is as it should be. That’s because there’s no East Coast bias — at least not in the electoral system.
Personally, I may have a very small, almost imperceptible bias, although I once backed Ohtani against Miguel Andujar in a close Rookie of the Year race, and faltered for Ohtani as MVP last year. . But the electoral bloc as an entity and the electoral system are certainly not biased. If it is biased, history teaches us that it tips the scales towards the West.
Each team’s city gets two votes for each award. This includes New York, the largest city in the world (sorry, I couldn’t resist), and also Anaheim, which isn’t even really a city, but an endless playground of amusement parks and of wacky themed motels.
If the Californians are off the mark suggesting Ohtani should win again, they’re not even in the ballpark of claiming there’s an East Coast bias in the voting system. The Angels win far more MVP awards than actual playoff games. Over a decade, it’s 4-0 for personal material.
Meanwhile, the Yankees must cheat like crazy to win the MVP. Alex Rodriguez has been their only MVP since Don Mattingly legitimately won the award in 1985. None of the Core Four have ever won. Dishes ? In 60 years, they’ve never had an MVP. In 1988, the Mets had two guys on the hunt, but the prize went to Kirk Gibson, who hit a memorable home run, raised his fists a few times as he limped around the bases and made some place on his mantle for the prestigious honour. .
The west coast is central. Half of the Dodgers roster appears to have won the award. And remember when the Dodgers won Rookie of the Year several years in a row? If anything, there is a case of California bias.
But we’re not complaining. As we say, East Coasters, that’s what it is.
Of course, players on non-competing teams can gain a few years, which is how Angels star Mike Trout is the most decorated active player, and how Ohtani deservedly won last year. But this only happens when there are no players even close to the competing teams. In this case, not only is there a close player, but there is also a player who outplays everyone. Judge’s year is one of the best ever. I covered this game long enough that as a drummer, I covered Bob Boone as a player…in California. I’ve seen a ton of them. But I’ve never seen anything like it.
Judge has Roger Maris’ season, but he hits 40 more points. The judge also does this without Mickey Mantle behind him. Judge has seen every other good Yankee go down with various injuries at one time or another, and he just keeps getting better.
All about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:
Judge is a 9.1 WAR player, which puts him ahead of Ohtani and on pace to join Trout and Mookie Betts as the only active 10 WAR players. That 9.1 war means he’s responsible for more than 9 wins, which means without him the first-place Yankees would be in third-place, or exactly what that badly predicted East Coaster predicted for them. .
Without Ohtani, the Angels would still be playing for nothing since June. He’s valuable, okay, valuable in the sense that owner Arte Moreno will get many more millions for his team when he sells him.
Judge may not be as versatile at Ohtani, but he leads the league in RBIs (and all other significant offensive categories) from Holes 1 and 2, which isn’t easy. And he plays exceptional center field, which is one of the Yankees’ defensive needs.
Above all, he hits valuable home runs. He entered the game on Friday with 57, which is 19 more than anyone else (or exactly 50% more). It’s also 57 dingers more significant than Ohtani, whose big two-way feats are in Disney country, more for fun and spectacle than true value, at least this year.
In La-La Land, they claim that we voters can have Ohtani fatigue. The only thing we grow weary of here is their assertion of East Coast bias as they continue to win every award without winning any meaningful games.
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