SPidge Tales

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Baseball Musings

The big debate over the last few weeks of the season was over the AL MVP award. Should it go to David Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez. They had very similar stats. ARod led in batting something like .320 to .300, and in homers 48 to 47, while Big Papi led in RBI’s like 150 to 130. Many pundits claim that ARod deserves is over Ortiz because he plays third base, and Ortiz is just a DH. While ARod has to play both offense and defense, Ortiz doesn’t play the field, and the argument goes, “how can someone who is just in a specialist role merit MVP over someone who plays the whole game?”

It will probably be a very close vote, and the MVP could go either way. However, if the vote was taken after, say, the divisional series rather than the day after the end of the regular season, I think we all know that Ortiz would win in a landslide. Ortiz is a clutch player. He always comes up with the big hit. There is no more feared hitter in baseball (other than that Grinch on the west coast whose head has grown three sizes since his earlier playing days). As for ARod, we can all admit that there is no more feared hitter in baseball when the game is out of reach. Count on him for the three run homer in the 4th inning when the Yankees are already up by 5 runs. We have all played on teams with That Guy who scores his touchdowns in the 4th quarter when the game has long since been decided, or who gets his basketball points in garbage time. Stats are only a small measure of a player’s worth. It’s the guys who come through in the clutch who are the great players. Not guys who bat .133 in the playoffs and ground into a double play in the 9th inning of the deciding game when your team is down 2 and needs you. Let’s hope that the MVP voters picked wisely.


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