- As sure as we are to bicker about the BCS this time of the year, there is another argument guaranteed to be had every November: Should a player whose team misses the playoffs be able to receive the MVP or Cy Young Award?
In other sports, this would be unimaginable. The NBA’s MVP has never failed to get his team to the playoffs and the same goes for modern professional football, but baseball just watched three of its most significant awards go to guys who spent October playing golf. Only AL MVP Dustin Pedroia led his team to the playoffs, and it could be argued that he had the worst offensive season for an MVP since Barry Larkin in 1995.
The one gripe many had with this year’s awards came in the NL Cy Young race, which Tim Lincecum won despite playing on a team that considered 72 wins an overachievement. But the truth is, the voters were correct in choosing the Giants pitcher because history shows that baseball’s best players rarely lead their teams through the playoffs. In fact, no MVP or Cy Young has appeared in a World Series since Barry Bonds in 2002 and only Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux have picked up a significant award and won a World Title in the last 20 years.
You might win World Series Rings as a team, but baseball is largely a one-on-one sport, so I say that a group’s performance should not hurt an individual player’s resume.
- Speaking of Lincecum, as nice of a season as he had, it should only make us appreciate what Randy Johnson did from 1999 through 2002 that much more. In the heart of the steroids era, the Big Unit averaged 20 wins and struck out at least 330 hitters for four straight seasons.
- Quick, name the only team in the preseason top 25 that hasn’t won a post season game since 2006.
The answer? Second ranked Connecticut. It’s nice to see everyone back to considering the Huskies a national powerhouse, but people are jumping the gun by calling them a final four lock. This is a team that still has a lot to prove and we won’t know anything until the second semester of school when the team will look a lot different than it does now.
But boy do you have to love Kemba Walker.
- I realize that my disdain for Mixed Martial Arts might be getting old. But honestly, how can the biggest star in the sport have a record of 16-9? That’s Randy Couture’s record following his loss to former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar.
Football coaches get fired for performaces like that.
- Memo to Syracuse football: You know you’ve reached rock bottom when Connecticut’s coach turns you down before an offer is made.
- You won’t find anyone who thinks the Big 12 and the SEC aren’t the best college football conferences in America, but what’s strange is everyone will be shocked if the two unbeatens from those respective leagues are playing for a National Title.
- What if Stephon Marbury ends up on the Lakers and wins a title?
- The Big East Conference is the best basketball league in the country, but it’s got some of the worst teams in major college basketball at the bottom. Providence just lost to Northeastern and Seton Hall and St John’s are going to stink again.
That’s three founding members on the conference and none of them would be completive in the Big Sky Conference, let alone the Big East.