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Mike Trout should probably be the American League MVP. No offense to Mookie Betts, who, by some measures, was nearly as good and also led the Red Sox to the postseason — that bit might not matter to you, but it does matter to some voters, and Betts being on a playoff team is a thing that happened. Trout was better in a vacuum, though, just like he was better than 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson in a vacuum, just like he was better than 2012 and 2013 AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. You realize that ignorance of a generational player on this scale is what supposedly made Barry Bonds into the PED-using monster y’all think he is, right? What are you trying to do to poor Mike Trout?
Trout has won a single MVP, in 2014, which oddly enough happened to be the one "weak" year in his career — weak being a relative term, as he was only like, an eight-win player instead of on his own tier. The Angels made the postseason in 2014, though, and Trout finally got an award for being the best player on a playoff team. No such luck this year, so even though he’s had a better season than Betts — who again, like Donaldson and both Cabrera seasons before him, truly had a great year that far eclipsed what, say, likely NL MVP Kris Bryant managed in 2016 — we’re all sitting around expecting Trout to get hosed. Again.
It all comes down to preference. Enough voters disagree over what the "valuable" part of "Most Valuable Player" refers to, so you’re going to get situations like this where the newer exciting player gets the nod as he leads his team to postseason glory. Or, you’ll get something like the Triple Crown coming up as it did for Cabrera. It feels like there’s always something in Mike Trout’s way, even though he’s far and away the top talent in the game. Maybe he needs to vary his game a bit. Take up acting like Donaldson, or bowling like Betts. This weather obsession isn’t making you any BBWAA friends, Mike.
- Max Scherzer became the sixth pitcher to win a Cy Young award in each league.
- Rick Porcello, not Justin Verlander — more on that in a second! — won the AL Cy Young Award. Porcello rebounded from a poor 2015 in large part caused by an injury and a pitching coach who made him move away from his sinker to retroactively justify Ben Cherington’s faith in him.
- What? I like being right.
- Kate Upton, Verlander’s fiance, did not take the loss so well. A couple of BBWAA dudes have some questions to answer.
- Ken Rosenthal doesn’t agree the writers who left Verlander off their ballot need to be fired, but he does agree with Upton that the BBWAA needs to be a better job of picking writers to vote for these awards.
- Also, the BBWAA sure could use someone who actually knows what the players’ names are.
- Has Cardinals’ ownership become complacent after years of success?
- The Braves have some serious offseason decisions to make, as Grant Brisbee details the many directions they could take this winter.
- Atlanta is already getting moving on those decisions, too, as they are "aggressively swapping offers" for starting pitchers.
- The Blue Jays might not be re-signing Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista, but their plans are coming into focus and still look like those of a contender.