Predicting This Year's MLB MVPs: Trout? Posey? Cabrera?

More

Jake,

First of all, Hampton's metaphor makes perfect sense. Let's remember: Our esteemed colleague is a Kansas City Royals fan, which is pretty much like being a Chicago Cubs fan, only without the Boston Red Sox-shaming beautiful loser mythos and the adult theme park that is Wrigleyville.

In other words, being a Royals fan is painful. Inescapably, irredeemably bleak. Sadomasochistic, in fact. So I'm not surprised by Hampton's 50 Shades of October reverie. Losing baseball does funny things to a man.

But yeah, let's talk MVP picks. For once, I find myself agreeing with both of you. Well, with a few quibbles.

Unlike Jake, I don't think Andrew McCutchen's second-half slowdown should be held against him, no more more than Buster Posey's late charge should carry extra weight. It's a long, punishing season—almost like a six-month spanking session, and thank goodness for that, right, Hampton?—and games played in April and May count as much as those played in August and September. That said, Posey almost certainly will be the choice. Team success always seems to matter when it comes to individual end-of-season honors, even in an intensely individualistic, near-Randian "team" sport like baseball.

(Hey, I don't make the rules, and definitely don't pretend to make sense of them).

As for the American League? Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander says it would be "bull[expletive]" if teammate Miguel Cabrera becomes the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski and fails to capture the MVP award. Maybe so. But this is baseball. Bull[expletive] comes with the territory. (Exhibit A: Roger Clemens, Sugarland Skeeter; Exhibit B: Jose Canseco, the complete Twitter Sessions; ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution rests). Me? I like Mike Trout. Not just because his Wins Above Replacement metric is compelling—Jake and Herman Edwards are right, you play to win the game—or because he has played in 21 fewer games than Cabrera, or because (according to the good people at Fangraphs) Trout's base running is way better than Cabrera's. (I know, shocker).

No, I'm going with Trout because so much of what he has accomplished is both unexpected and unprecedented, a reminder that even in our hyper-analyzed, post-Moneyball era, baseball can still surprise and delight in totally irrational ways, producing a season so remarkable we may never see the likes of it again. Like a summer love affair, I suppose, burning bright before burning out.

See? I told you Hampton made sense.

–Patrick

Jump to comments
Presented by

Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In