09/14/2004: Thought for the Day:
Dodger fans think Adrian Beltre deserves the MVP award.
At least I think that's what they think. What tipped me off is the way they chanted "M-V-P! M-V-P!" after every pitch of every at-bat he took over the weekend. Now, call me old-fashioned, but I think you should only chant MVP when your guy is absolutely, positively the best player in the league, like for Robin Yount in '82 or Michael Jordan in '93, that sorta thing. In other words, it should be more a statement of undeniable fact than an argument. Which means it's sorta silly in the case of Adrian Beltre.
Well, maybe "silly" isn't the right word. I mean, Beltre's numbers this year are sick – at the rate he's going, he'll be the first guy since Mantle in '56 to hit .340 with 50+ home runs. And he might be having one of the ten best years ever by a third baseman (I'd put him in the top twenty, but still, you can make a good case for him). The problem is, Beltre plays in the same league with Barry Bonds, who does everything Beltre does (but field well at a demanding position), plus a lot of things Beltre can't. Bonds has been more productive than Beltre while expending 143 fewer outs. That means Beltre makes one more out than Bonds every single day. He's not the MVP.
And to throw even more oil on the fire, I wouldn't even give Beltre my runner-up for MVP. If the season ended today, I'd pencil in as my #2 Jim Edmonds. His OBP is 50 points higher than Beltre's, his slugging percentage is 40 points higher, he plays a more demanding defensive position, and he plays it better than Beltre plays his. I think that one's a no-brainer. (And please don't give me the argument that Beltre is better because "where would the Dodgers be without him?" I mean, suppose one guy has two cars, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. And another guy also has two cars, a Toyota and a car made of literal shit. Would you say that the guy with the Toyota has the best car because, without it, he'd have to drive a shitmobile to work? Of course not.) Maybe Beltre is #3 in the MVP race, but certainly no higher. Which means we're gonna have to teach all those Dodger fans to change their chant to "Top Five for M-V-P! Top Five for M-V-P!"
--Brian Gunn [redbirdnation.blogspot.com]
Len on 09.14.04 @ 05:59 AM CST