Justin Verlander, the rightful MVP in a controversial way -- MLB News

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Tyler Winklevoss

Baseball News
  • Justin Verlander, the rightful MVP in a controversial way -- MLB News

Justin Verlander successfully secured the American Leagues’ Most Valuable Player of the year award. The only one thing that’s literally confusing the analysts is whether the young 28-year old deserves the award or not. This time the discussion is immensely technical. Both sides are bombarding each other with arguments that seem pretty convincing to the game lovers.

Difficulty to choose the right side or argument arises when these statements are backed up by facts, figures and historical accounts that prove both sides as justified. To be honest though the Detroits’ Tiger has showed an extraordinary performance that really deserves an MVP but analysts are a bit diffident to admit the results issued by Baseball Association of America (BBWAA).

The discussion or conflict is in between two factions; one supporting the fact that ‘a pitcher can be the MVP winner’ whereas the other one thinks vice versa. With the above introduction, let us now share some arguments put forth by both sides. The Pro-Pitcher group says that the award is named Most Valuable Player therefore statistics and worth of the player and his effect on any game should be taken into consideration irrespective of the fact that whether the player is a pitcher or a hitter.

The anti-pitcher validate their opinion by saying that pitchers already have an award specifically designated for them that is the Cy Young Award which is given to the best pitcher of the year after considering the concerned pitching stats. Apart from above award they also have the Pitching Triple Crown Award, though a positive argument but well answered by the pro-pitchers.

Pitcher lovers say that the award determines the most valuable player therefore nothing is written anywhere which states that ONLY hitters or sluggers are eligible for this award. This discussion among the masses and analysts continues with both sides giving intense proficient arguments and counter arguments.

Another most interesting argument discussed in the media is the number of games a pitcher and a position player or hitter plays. A pitcher such as Verlander can only be seen on the 5th day of a game whereas hitters or other position players are seen on the field for atleast 4 days i.e. they play maximum games in a season. The question thrown by the anti’s is how come a guy who just plays every 5th day becomes eligible for the valuable award?

For me personally this is a concern raising question since a lot effort is needed both mentally and physically when you are making appearances in much number of games as you have to face the pressure almost daily whereas for a pitcher it’s just the 5th day. Sluggers’ getting injured chance is much higher as compared to a pitcher whereas a lot of wear and tear also follows them. A look at this argument will totally change one’s opinion but then again you have to choose the one sole winner of the award.

Among other arguments the most disturbing one for me which basically pinpoints MLB or, to be specific, BBWAA’s blunder is the Pedro Martinez runner up position in the MVP race of 1999. Just glance at the legend’s statistics and compare them with Verlanders’ you will see who has the upper hand. Pedro had an ERA of 2.07 whereas Verlander posted 2.40, 313 hitters were struck out by Pedro whereas Verlander sent just 250 sluggers back to the dugout.

Apart from the above mentioned stats Pedro was a peoples champ in 1999. Fans, the game lovers they bought tickets just to see Pedro pitch irrespective of which team’s uniform he wore. Even with this remarkable awe inspiring performance and intimidating presence Pedro didn’t win the MVP race and was superseded by Ivan Rodriguez.

Now for me while keeping in mind Pedro’s loss of 99’, Verlander’s 11’ win isn’t impressive at all. It’s just like degrading a legend and considering a modern age young lad superior over the former. But then again I face this problem, you don’t have any Pedro in 2011 and you have to choose the rightful victor of the award.

With all the above mentioned arguments along, I still choose Justin Verlander for this prestigious award why? Because he did affect the 2010/2011 season big time. It was his prime twirling that helped Detroit Tigers become the divisional champions. It was his flawless performance that made him not only the Cy Young Award owner but also helped him in grabbing the Pitching Triple Crown Award.

It was all these awards that eventually helped out the lagging Detroit League and brought them out in the limelight. Apart from this feat if we take a look at Justin Verlanders’ overall career performance one thing is evident. Justin has proved in his 7-year affiliation with Detroit Tigers that he is a quick learner and knows how to perform well.

He is well aware of the fact that performance means a gradual increase in perfecting the game and the stats and Verlander definitely did so. With every passing year his stats have inclined upwards hence clearly showing that he is learning, grooming, and becoming more perfect in what he already does best. The way his statistics are getting better year by year have, in 2011, brought him close to Roger Clemens, the 1986 MVP starting pitcher.

Therefore I believe that if, keeping in mind the Pedro Martinez blunder, BBWAA gives an MVP to a starting pitcher purely for his stats and for his acceptance in the crowd along with his impact on the game, then I am certainly okay with that. What's Important is not to repeat the mistake but amend it and this time with Verlander becoming the Most Valuable Player, BBWAA has shown a changed mindset. Justin’s nomination and win over other contenders got a boost from his league leading the divisions and making its way close to the playoffs. Detroit Tigers lost to Texas Rangers 15-5 which led the Rangers clash with St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series title.

Justin Verlander was the guy who took his team all this way, definitely impressive as Tigers are nothing without their ace Verlander. Therefore let the 28-year old enjoy and boast a bit since he is after all the 2nd guy in the history to receive all the 3 BBWAA player awards in a year and wait to see whether he replicates the current performance or not.


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