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Monday, November 17, 2003

NICK NOLTE WAS ONCE VOTED PEOPLE'S SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

I was hoping that the AL MVP award would produce some unexpected results and it sure did.

As Roger Ebert said in regards to Whoppi Goldberg winning the Oscar for "Ghost", and I'm paraphrasing here, "The award went to the right person for the wrong role.". (Meaning she should have won it for "The Color Purple" years earlier.) I pretty much feel the same way about A-Rod winning the MVP this year; the right guy but the wrong season. This almost feels like a lifetime achievement MVP award if ever a 28 year old can win a lifetime achievement award. I think Carlos Delgado had the better offensive campaign (a 1.019 OPS to A-Rod's .995) and so does Carlos. Carlos also played on a winning team while A-Rod's Rangers finished in last place again. Usually this makes a difference with the voters but apparently not this year. There's no question that the perception that Delgado is still a bad defender hurt him despite evidence that he greatly improved his glove work this season.

Did playing north of the border in Canada hurt Delgado as well? It's hard to know. It didn't hurt Roy Halladay. The better question might be, "Did Roy Halladay hurt Carlos Delgado?". The Jays were a good team this year but maybe not good enough to justify for a lot of writers the winning of both the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP. With Roy being a much clearer favourite for his award than Carlos it's possible that some of the writers who voted for Roy chose not to vote for Carlos. Since I don't have access to the way the individual writers voted I can't really evaluate the issue further. My guess is that for some of the voters this was the case.

Further evidence that having two top award contenders on the same team (that isn't the Yankees or Red Sox) was too much for the writers to process is the fact that Roy Halladay got 26 of 28 first place votes to easily win the Cy Young but he did not get a single MVP vote while four other pitchers (Martinez, Foulke, Rivera, Loaiza) did. That means that some of these writers gladly voted for Roy Halladay as the best pitcher in the AL this year but then decided that, even though Roy was better, another pitcher was actually a more valid MVP candidate. That really doesn't make sense and it really makes you wonder how these voters work these things out. It sounds to me like some writers didn't feel comfortable voting for Delgado and Halladay on the same MVP ballot. As far as the north of the border factor I can't think of any other reason why two bone-heads left Delgado completely off their ballots. How could you not consider him at least one of the ten best players in the AL this year? It baffles me.

And while were on the subject of bone-heads, who gave Jason Giambi a 1st place vote? I think Giambi is a great player and I could even understand maybe a 3rd place vote. But a 1st place vote? Also deserving a kick in the nuts is the guy who gave Jeter a 2nd place vote. (Quite possibly the same guy who voted for Giambi.) And guys, baseball writers of America dudes, tell me how Shannon Stewart was a better player this year, or any year, than Manny Ramirez? This voting tells you more about the writers who cover baseball than the players themselves.

Still, I can't criticize A-Rod as the pick for MVP; he is the best baseball player in the American League and has been screwed over for the award in his own right in the past. And he's much better looking than Nick Nolte. (Don't believe me about that Nick Nolte thing? Look it up.)

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