As a Yankees fan, I am always quick to give my Yankees unbridled support and cheers. Last year it was Derek Jeter: he was ever so clutch, and had what in my mind was a career year for himself. I thought he deserved to win the MVP Award. I thought his .334 batting average and 66 RBI out of the leadoff spot and his captaining of the Yankees to their 27th World Championship was enough to earn himself such an honor. But apparently, the voters had other ideas. Ever so typically, the voters voted strictly according to the stat sheets, supporting Joe Mauer and his .365 clip. Mauer won the MVP last season. And I still disagree with that - it should have been Jeter.
Why do I think that way, you may question? You think I'm just some biased Yankees fan - blinded by my love and admiration for each an every man who wears the pinstripes (well, the "love and admiration" part is true, though I am certain that I am not biased or blinded). I think that way because I don't think the definition of MVP is just "the guy with the best stats." It is way more than that.
My definition of MVP: the one player who if he was taken away from the team, the team would not be where it is. The team's season would be dramatically different if this MVP was not there to contribute.
My definition implies that the MVP Award should not be given to any player on any team that is not contending. Rather, it should be awarded to the player whom if a contending team did not have, they would not be contending.
I think Robinson Cano deserves the AL MVP Award this year.
Robinson Cano has always been a fine player, but 2010 has been completely different: he finally has shown his full potential. And oh, what potential Robbie had! Cano is having what so far is his career season, currently batting .319 with 26 home runs and 93 RBI. Those are great numbers, especially considering they are stats made up from games mostly played against AL East teams.
Now surely there are a couple guys on other clubs with better stats than Cano. Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers is hitting .336 with 33 home runs and 110 RBI. And Josh Hamilton of the Rangers has an average of .361 with 31 home runs and 97 RBI. And yet still, if I had a vote, it would go towards Robinson Cano of the Yankees for the MVP.
Let me speculate: where would the Detroit Tigers be if it wasn't for Miguel Cabrera? They are currently 67-68, 11.5 games out of first place. Miguel Cabrera is a nice player, but take him away from the Tigers, and they are still losing - still are nowhere near close to contending. What about Hamilton? He's having another magical season. His Rangers are 75-60, sitting cozily atop the AL West 8 games ahead of the next team. But take Josh Hamilton out of the Rangers's equation, and most likely they still have a good lead in the West.
But if you take Robinson Cano away from the Yankees, who knows where they might be? The AL East has been tight all season long, and right now the Yankees are 86-50, and currently have a slim 2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Without Robinson Cano, the Yankees may go from leading the division, to not even contending. And for that, Robinson Cano deserves the AL MVP Award.
But who am I to say who wins. I don't have a vote anyway. It's an imaginary vote. I just hope that someday the definition of MVP is more like mine: where the player most valuable to his team and their season actually wins.
Robbie, if it means anything, you have my imaginary vote.
by Virginia Califano
Virginia also writes for Fan Huddle and has her own Yankees blog, "Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees," at http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com
Questions? Comments? Contact Virginia at [email protected]