30 August 2011

Should Pitchers Win MVP?

I've tackled another MVP debate so here I'll tackle another one. A pitcher has not won Most Valuable Player in either league since Dennis Eckersley took the AL MVP award in 1992 (last NL MVP that was a pitcher was Bob Gibson back in the year of the pitcher in 1968). Tigers' ace Justin Verlander has been tossed around as a potential MVP candidate as he has had an awesome 2011 and is leading his club towards the postseason. But should he even be eligible for the award?
The common argument against pitchers winning MVP is that since hitters cannot win the Cy Young, why should pitchers be allowed to win MVP? But that's a flawed argument on multiple counts. There's no rule saying that only position players can win MVP. Why can't the most valuable player to the team be a pitcher?
Another argument is that since position players take the field every day they have more effect on their team than a pitcher, who pitches every four or five days. But that's not always true, many times it is, but it's not bible. The pitcher has to get the opposing team's batters out and is involved in every at bat while a position player is only involved in one at a time (fielding does not count). Mike Lavery of The Baseball Page makes my point with more continued analysis. Now I'm not saying give the award to a pitcher but you can't ignore when someone like a Verlander has a season like he's having. Now I've already made my case saying that Jose Bautista is the MVP in the Junior Circuit but Verlander would be my second choice, in all likelihood. But more importantly, I feel that you have to include pitchers in the conversation.

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