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He's had better years numbers-wise, but he definitely deserved it this year because there were no standout candidates on any of the playoff teams.
I don't believe the MVP needs to come from a winning team, though. I see the award as a player-of-the-year accolade. But if two MVP candidates have similar numbers, I would defer to a candidate from a playoff team (that would be a tiebreaker).
Some writers question how difficult it can be for a player to post big numbers on a losing team that's nowhere near first place. They say that it's more impressive for an MVP candidate to perform in the pressure of a pennant race. There might be some truth to that, but remember, A-Rod has played under plenty of pressure to perform ... pressure in the form of his $250 million contract.
Before and after he signed that huge deal with Texas, A-Rod has been such a consistent performer. His numbers are so good year in and year out, but he's been hurt in the MVP voting because the Rangers have been a sub.-500 team. And A-Rod's work ethic is incredible. He didn't rest on his laurels after signing that contract. He's worked hard to stay at the top of his game.
In the future, I'd like to see the commissioner's office define the criteria for the MVP award so all the writers are on the same page. This year, though, they got it right.
|AL MVP Award Voting|