Justin Verlander won the MVP Award, and many people are questioning if Verlander deserved the award or not. The top five went: Verlander, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, and Miguel Cabera.
I have commented my personal ballot multiple times, but after reading through some tweets and comments, I have heard enough to change it.
First of all, I have always believed the ballot should say that pitchers cannot win the MVP award. A rule of no pitchers winning the award would remove a lot of unnecessary sixth-tenth place votes for relief pitchers and starters. Simply, the pitchers have their own award, the Cy Young Award. Batters cannot win the Cy Young, pitchers should not be allowed to win the MVP, even if the award needs a name change.
That being said, pitchers can win the MVP, so Justin Verlander, an outstanding pitcher that had a great season, did.
After the jump I will write my ballot and an explanation for the ballot.1. Jose Bautista- I originally thought that non-playoff teams players should not win the award, but when the award says "Most Valuable Player," it is not saying most value to a playoff team, but instead most valuable overall. I am not a fan of Jose Bautista at all, but the Toronto Blue Jays would have positively affected by his play more than any other team was by any other player.
2. Miguel Cabrera- Cabrera hit .385/.470/.630 after the all-star break, including .390/.454/.552 in August, and .429/.532/.758 in September. Those numbers, plus the fact that Cabrera is an every day player, add up to Cabrera being more valuable than Justin Verlander in the Tigers' season.
3. Jacoby Ellsbury- What many voters seem to not understand is that the Boston Red Sox collapsed despite Ellsbury, not because of Ellsbury. Ellsbury hit .358/.400/.667 in September for the struggling Red Sox. The speedy outfielder was a 30/30 player, and also played outstanding defense. The only knock I have against Ellsbury is that there were multiple other players in that lineup that helped him out, more so than the Tigers' or the Blue Jays' lineups.
4. Justin Verlander- I am against Verlander even being an option, but as long as he is, I have to give him a spot on the ballot. I question whether or not the Tigers would have made the playoffs without the ace of their staff (leaning towards they would) and that is more than I can say for the #5 player on the ballot. Verlander did not play every day, and that hurts his case in my eyes.
5. Curtis Granderson- Over the last month I have moved Granderson increasingly further away from the top spot on my ballot. Granderson originally had the top spot, but his case is hurt by a .300 OBP in September, as well as his help from Robinson Cano.
6. Robinson Cano- I was very close to putting Cano ahead of Granderson, and Cano should not be ignored. I expect Cano to be a top three candidate next year.
7. Michael Young- Young's case is explained here by a writer that actually voted for Young for first place.
8. Adrian Gonzalez- The Red Sox' next best hitter after Jacoby Ellsbury, Gonzalez led the Red Sox in the first half of the season. His worse, but still great, play in the second half is the reason Gonzalez is not higher on this list.
9. James Shields- If Justin Verlander gets a spot, why not James Shields? Big game James lived up to his moniker in 2011, posting a 3.29 ERA vs. Boston, a 2.33 ERA vs. the Yankees, and a 0.53 ERA vs. the Texas Rangers. Shields' eight wins after the all-star break helped lead the Rays to the playoffs.
10. David Robertson- Folks, I have to put Robertson on this list. Once Robertson came into the game for the Yankees, the game seemed over. With Rafael Soriano's struggles, Robertson carried the bullpen, and helped lead the Yankees to the division title.