Fans, blogs and the media alike have been up in arms after the American League MVP award was announced Tuesday. The arguments haven’t necessarily been about who won (Justin Morneau) or who was robbed (Derek Jeter) as much as they’ve been about the knowledge (or lack thereof) of those who voted.
Specifically, everyone appears to be in agreement that Joe Cowley from the Chicago Sun-Times is a complete fuck up for voting Jeter sixth and leaving Joe Mauer entirely off his ballot.
To me, it was obvious Jeter had separated himself from the pack. Unquestionably however, that opinion comes with a northeast prejudice. I don’t like the Yankees but I sure as hell watch them, the Sox and the Mets far more than I watch anyone else. I appreciate Jeter for what was arguably his best year on what was arguably the Yankees worst year (with the injuries) of his career.
But did Cowley or anyone outside of the northeast for that matter take into account the Yankees injuries? Moreover, were they supposed to?
The answer is no. Well, probably no. These writers vote based on what they’ve seen and what they perceive to be right. Fact is Cowley saw the Yankees six times live this season and Jeter’s one big game came in a 14-3 rout. ARod, Giambi, Cano and Abreu all probably looked like better MVP candidates to him.
Obviously, it’s not fair to judge a player off six games, but it’s also not fair for Mike and the Mad Dog to blast him for not knowing that Jeter single handedly ended the Red Sox season during that five game series in August.
A beat writer in fucking Chicago is not supposed to be keenly focused in on a series happening a thousand miles away. That would make him a shitty beat writer.
That’s what people aren’t seeing.
It’s not the voters who are at fault here. These guys cover specific teams for half the year and we don’t expect to see certain biases? The problem is with the voting in general. It leaves too much of a chance for a writer to put his hometown guy on the ballot in place of someone deserving – Cowley did that too (with A.J. Pierzynski) by the way.
The logical thing to do would be to appoint a panel of national baseball correspondents to narrow down a list of finalists, similar to the Heisman Trophy. Then the rest of the country could vote on the final group of players and pick a winner.
Of course, selling that idea will be difficult. Logic and sports are usually at odds.
Cowley interview – WFAN via Baseball Musings
Joe Cowley, Resident Ass. – Things that annoy me
Jeter: The Fallout – The House that Ruth Built