I was taking a walk this evening and listening to the Padres game on the radio. During the broadcast Ted Leitner was talking about an article in the LA Times suggesting that Clayton Kershaw may win the NL MVP because so many valuable hitters have been injured this season. Leitner sided with Albert Pujols who thinks that pitchers have their own award, the Cy Young, and the MVP belongs to hitters.
"You don't see the players win the Cy Young," said Pujols, now the Angels' first baseman. "The Cy Young award is the MVP for the pitchers, and the MVP should be for the best player in the league . . . unless you don't have any players in the league who have had a decent year.
"If you have guys who have big years, and you give it to a pitcher, I don't think that's fair."
Leitner argued that pitchers only play in 1 out of every 5 games and hitters play everyday. I think I disagree with this argument. Starting pitchers may only play in 20% of the games, but the good ones are far more active than a position players in that game, in my mind making up for the other 4 games. Kershaw won the Cy Young last year and faced 908 batters. Andrew McCutchen who won the MVP had 583 at-bats. That's the only stat I've got in my corner. Now that I think about it some more though, a pitcher no matter how well they pitch can only win that one game, while a hitter can help earn a win in all 5 games. I'm torn.
I'm sure stat hounds will make an argument involving their batting average and earned run average proving that the point one way or the other. When that happens I'll cede my point and fall into a more wishy-washy point of view like Adrian Gonzalez.
"Clayton's got better numbers," Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "If you have a hitter neck and neck with a pitcher, I'd give it to a hitter. If you have a pitcher that is flat-out dominant, you can give it to him. From my perspective, he deserves it."
I'll post a poll, you vote in it, that'll decide things.