> The AL MVP was handed out today, and, as I predicted, Justin Verlander won.
> But, there are a lot of people out there who think Verlander shouldn’t have won- because he’s a pitcher. Sure, the Cy Young Award is there for the best overall pitcher in each league. And they don’t need to play for a contending team. Felix Hernandez (Mariners) and Zack Greinke (while he was on the Royals) are the two most recent pitchers to take home the Cy Young Award while sulking on last place teams.
> A lot of people are going to disagree with this, but I think the MVP should play for a contending team. If the player couldn’t get his team into the playoffs, then was he truly that valuable?
> Anyway, regardless of my policy on the MVP, Verlander deserved the award. Let’s start with the numbers- he went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, becoming the 11th AL pitcher in history to win the pitching Triple Crown. I know some are saying, “What’s so special about a 2.40 ERA?” I guess there isn’t much. There were two pitchers with ERAs lower than 2.40, both in the NL- Clayton Kershaw (2.28), who won the NL Cy Young, and Roy Halladay (2.35). Verlander’s 2.40 ERA did lead the AL, however. And, he threw 250 innings and had a .920 WHIP, both of which also led the AL.
> And was there anyone more valuable to their team than Verlander? Try imagining the Tigers without Verlander and his 24 wins. Their rotation would look somewhat like this: Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Brad Penny, Phil Coke, and who knows who the fifth would have been. (I didn’t put Doug Fister in there because, with that rotation, the Tigers wouldn’t have been contending at the Trade Deadline, hence not being buyers and probably not acquiring Fister.) As I said, the Tigers wouldn’t have been contenders- maybe not even a .500 team.
> Anyhow, this is just my theory that I’ve believed in for awhile now. I can see why some disagree with it, but again- it’s my opinion; you don’t have to agree with it if you don’t want to.
> There was no Brewers news again today. Hopefully, there will be news tomorrow about Ryan Braun winning the NL MVP…
> Greg Halman has been on my mind all day, and if you know what happened to him, he’s probably been on yours as well.
Halman, who had been an outfielder for the Mariners, was stabbed to death early this morning in his native country, the Netherlands.
Sometimes, I don’t understand why our world is like this.
Halman, who was just 24 years old, had played seven Minor League seasons with the Mariners, being drafted when he was 16. This past season, he played in 33 Major League games with the Mariners, and probably had a shot at being a full-time outfielder with them next year. In fact, he was in the Netherlands preparing for that possibility.
But no. Everything- everything he worked for, everything he dreamed of- was taken away from him in an instant, because of the blade of a knife.
> This has been a scary offseason so far. First, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in his native Venezuela, but was rescued. Now, this. I hope nothing else like this happens for the rest of the offseason; I’ve had enough already.
But, this is my message to Major League players- don’t return to your native country. According to the events early this offseason, it can only bring bad things.
> The Rangers signed Joe Nathan to a two-year deal today. They’ve announced that they’re moving Neftali Feliz to the rotation, so this probably means that either Nathan or Mike Adams will be their new closer. But I don’t know about this- it appears Nathan is past his prime.
> The Pirates officially announced today that they signed shortstop Clint Barmes to a two-year deal. This makes the Brewers out of the running for the above-average defensive shortstop.
> Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Feel free to leave comments, if you’ve got them.