Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the American League Most Valuable Player award for 2011. If you are of the belief that pitchers should be able to win the MVP, then he was the right choice. It seems that most voters did agree with that philosophy so the award was bestowed upon a deserving candidate. However, after picking Verlander, the voters apparently started getting drunk and throwing darts. Here is how the vote went down:

 

Voting Results Batting Stats Pitching Stats
Rank Tm Vote Pts 1st Place WAR HR SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS W ERA WHIP GS SV IP BB SO
1 Justin Verlander DET 280.0 13.0 8.5 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 24 2.40 0.920 34 0 251.0 57 250
2 Jacoby Ellsbury BOS 242.0 4.0 7.2 32 39 52 .321 .376 .552 .928
3 Jose Bautista TOR 231.0 5.0 8.5 43 9 132 .302 .447 .608 1.056
4 Curtis Granderson NYY 215.0 3.0 5.2 41 25 85 .262 .364 .552 .916
5 Miguel Cabrera DET 193.0 2.0 7.1 30 2 108 .344 .448 .586 1.033
6 Robinson Cano NYY 112.0 0.0 4.6 28 8 38 .302 .349 .533 .882
7 Adrian Gonzalez BOS 105.0 0.0 6.9 27 1 74 .338 .410 .548 .957
8 Michael Young TEX 96.0 1.0 2.4 11 6 47 .338 .380 .474 .854
9 Dustin Pedroia BOS 48.0 0.0 6.8 21 26 86 .307 .387 .474 .861
10 Evan Longoria TBR 27.0 0.0 6.3 31 3 80 .244 .355 .495 .850
11 Ian Kinsler TEX 25.0 0.0 5.4 32 30 89 .255 .355 .477 .832
12 Alex Avila DET 13.0 0.0 5.4 19 3 73 .295 .389 .506 .895
13 Paul Konerko CHW 11.0 0.0 3.6 31 1 77 .300 .388 .517 .906
15 Adrian Beltre TEX 9.0 0.0 5.2 32 1 25 .296 .331 .561 .892
16 Victor Martinez DET 7.0 0.0 2.9 12 1 46 .330 .380 .470 .850
16 James Shields TBR 7.0 0.0 6.1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 16 2.82 1.043 33 0 249.1 65 225
16 Ben Zobrist TBR 7.0 0.0 5.1 20 19 77 .269 .353 .469 .822
19 Mark Teixeira NYY 5.0 0.0 2.4 39 4 76 .248 .341 .494 .835
20 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 4.0 0.0 3.7 25 17 44 .273 .332 .460 .792
21 Alex Gordon KCR 3.0 0.0 5.9 23 17 67 .303 .376 .502 .879
22 Josh Hamilton TEX 1.0 0.0 3.6 25 8 39 .298 .346 .536 .882
22 David Robertson NYY 1.0 0.0 3.9 0 0 0 4 1.08 1.125 0 1 66.2 35 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/22/2011.

You want proof of East Coast bias? Look at that table. Look how much higher undeserving Red Sox and Yankees are than their non-East Coast brethren.

Ellsbury over Bautista? no

Granderson over Cabrera? uh, hell no

Cano over Longoria? Oh, %&@$#*  no.

I bring this up because one of the best players in the American League barely made the list. Alex Gordon was given three 10th place votes by the BBWAA writers. First, I’m shocked that three voters decided him worthy of mention, but 10th place? The guy was one of the best defensive left fielders in the AL and he was easily one of the top hitters in the AL with his 9th place wOBA. I’m not saying that Gordon should have won the award, but he should’ve been above guys like Mark .248/.341/.494 Teixeira. There literally isn’t a single thing that Teixeira did better than Alex Gordon. The ONLY reason that he got more recognition is because he played in New York.

It wasn’t just Alex Gordon who got the shaft. Alex Avila had an offensive output roughly the same as Alex Gordon, but he did it while also being a superior defensive catcher.  He got a little bit more love than Gordon, but nobody picked him above 7th. Meanwhile six different voters had Michael Young on their ballot higher than Avila. One of these voters had Young at the top of his or her list. Michael Young, who ranked 15th in wOBA and played poor defense at an unimportant position. He’s the MOST valuable player?

I know, I know, it’s just a vote for a stupid award. I shouldn’t care so much. But these awards will stand forever and I want guys like Alex Gordon who deserve recognition to get it. If the lesser players in New York get more recognition, then it’s just another reason for players to flee the smaller markets and head to the larger ones. Does anyone think that if Gordon or Avila had been in Boston that they wouldn’t have gotten more than a few first place votes?

If you’re still not convinced, look at the last name on the list. David Robertson. You might be saying right now outloud to your computer “But Nick, the guy is an NBA hall of famer, he has to be like 50 or something and he pitched excellent for the Yankees. The dude deserved it.”

Hold on there a second, that’s not The Admiral from the San Antonio Spurs, it’s some guy named David RobERTson. He pitched 66 innings in relief for the New York Yankees and some insane person put him on the ballot instead of Alex Gordon. Some person who gets paid to watch baseball decided, using his own brain that this Robertson character was a better player than Alex freaking Gordon. The thought that any pitcher could be more valuable than Gordon or damn near any other regular position player in only 66 innings is the height of insanity.

The only way I’d give an MVP vote for 66 innings is if Doc Ellis made a return from the dead, dropped acid and pitched 66 consecutive innings of no-hit baseball, walked off the field and consumed the brains of the bench coach (because he is a zombie after all). Even then, I’d pause before putting him on the ballot because, you know its still only 66 innings in a 162 game season. I’m not too familiar with David Robertson, but I’m pretty darn sure it’s not a pseudonym for zombie-Doc Ellis. Therefore NO VOTE FOR YOU!

 

 

Nick Scott hosts the Broken Bat Single Podcast and writes a blog for the Lawrence Journal World. You can follow him on Facebook or email him at brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.