As noted yesterday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant’s decision to cast a first place MVP vote for hometown trade-demander Michael Young over Justin Verlander caused a mild ruckus on the internet, with Jim Ingraham of the News-Herald‘s choice to ignore Verlander entirely receiving some acknowledgement as well. Surely aware he’s inches away from becoming a trending topic in really desperate households, Ingraham explains, “my not voting for Verlander had nothing to do with evaluating what he accomplished this season…I don’t believe pitchers should be eligible for the MVP Award.” Except, y’know, they are.
Obviously, I’m in the minority in this year’s MVP voting. I expected to be. I’m sure many wonder why I didn’t at least have Verlander somewhere on my ballot — second, third, fourth — if not first. My answer to that is this: If Verlander was going to be on my ballot at all, he was going to be first.
But once I decided I didn’t think it was fair to compare pitchers with position players for this award, meaning I wasn’t going to give Verlander a first-place vote, it would have been hypocritical of me to have him anywhere else on my ballot.
In the 34 games (21 percent) of the Tigers’ season that Verlander appeared in, he was obviously overpowering, and in most games virtually unbeatable. But in 128 of the Tigers’ games (79 percent), he was no factor at all.
Twenty-one percent of an NFL season is three games. I highly doubt an NFL quarterback could be voted MVP if he only played in three games.