Rob Neyer (ESPN Insiders Only)
I thought about this literally one day before Manny commented on “Manny” not being worthy of the NL MVP. I just chose not to write about it at the time, regrettably. And the “expert” Rob Neyer attacked the subject the following day after he heard the comments. I have to say, Neyer and I agree on the subject, along with Manny Ramirez.
But before I start on the subject…isn’t it funny how now Manny is being embraced once again by the public? This was a guy that did not even feel like playing for a championship contender because he was worried about whether or not the Red Sox would exercise a team option that they had. Now, out in Los Angeles, he knows that he can go out and get the contract he desires following the season, so he is back to being that fun loving Manny that most fans enjoyed.
Hint: He is still the same person. Teammates, media and anyone else following are being sucked into his game. I agree that LA needs a guy like Manny to make baseball seem more fun out there. He is actually in the perfect situation, but that great teammate stuff is obviously just a cover up from what he really is, and was just two months ago. And I don’t know that Manny was ever a BAD teammate up until this season, but he was definitely a bad teammate in 2008. Dodgers fans should cheer for him, because the team is more important. But I feel like the media is showing to much of the fun loving Manny in LA, and it is hindering the perception that we should of the guy, and the perception that we had of him only two months ago. And that perception was, well, not good.
But that is not why he is not the MVP. The reason that he is not the MVP is because he has only playing for an NL team for two months. One cannot win an award like this if they have played in the league for only 1/3 of the season. I actually don’t know that it is fair, because I generally want the best player to win, not just the best player on a team that stays in contention. But the award has qualifications, and what he did for four months in the AL just doesn’t transfer over. Not that I feel bad for him, he wanted this…and got it. But Albert Pujols has four extra months of great production, all within the National League, no way Manny can top that.
However it is funny, because an ESPN commentor on some article or blog had a good example of how it is kind of flawed. It went a little something like this: If Manny had been traded to another AL team then all of his stats would transfer and his cumulative numbers would be used. Yet he could not have helped each team enough to be the “MVP.” A four month period on one team, and a two month period on another team would not be valuable enough to a team, to help them enough. Yet, because all the numbers would be relevant toward the award he could win it. Seems kind of peculiar.
Manny, nevertheless, has been awesome since joining the Dodgers. Truly awesome. But Albert Pujols, one of the greatest players of all time, and arguably the best in today’s game, has been having a TRULY great season all year long. And more importantly for this discussion, he has accomplished it all season long in the same league. Of course, he isn’t a lock as people will find a way to vote for less deserving candidates just because they are on good teams. But that was the topic for another past blog that I wrote, and will once again be a topic when the awards are being determined after the year concludes.