Actual work to do at the day job + an extremely busy weekend + a two day hangover = slow posting at good ol’ 500 Level Fan…
But I have had enough time to throw together a few random thoughts about a few random subjects.
1. Toronto’s own Joey Votto won the National League MVP award yesterday. Congratulations are in order for Votto, who joins Ferguson Jenkins, Larry Walker, and Justin Morneau as the only Canadians to win MLB awards.
Let’s be honest – Votto had an outstanding season in 2010, but to this date nothing touches Larry Walker’s 1997 MVP campaign. Compare the two:
Walker 1997: 49 HR, 130 RBI, .366 avg, .452 OBP, 1.172 OPS
Votto 2010: 37 HR, 113 RBI, .324 avg, .424 OBP, 1.024 OPS
Before looking it up, I assumed that Walker’s numbers were heavily inflated from playing half his games in the thin air of Colorado, but he actually produced better numbers on the road than at home:
Home: 20 HR, 68 RBI, .384 avg, .460 OBP, 1.169 OPS
Road: 29 HR, 62 RBI, .346 avg, .443 OBP, 1.176 OPS
Throw in the fact that Walker stole 33 bases to Votto’s 16, and it’s hard to deny Larry. Even after giving Votto bonus points for leading his team to the playoffs and for being from Toronto, he still falls a bit short.
2. I love looking at the voting results for all awards, but especially love the MVP because each voter chooses a ten-man ballot. Choosing ten players almost always leads to some curious names, and 2010 didn’t dissapoint. Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia catcher) finished tied for 17th. Corey Hart of Milwaukee was 25th. But the most bizarre of all was Martin Prado of Atlanta finishing in the top-10.
Yes, he was an All-Star. But come on. He hit 15 HR and had 66 RBI. His batting average was .307. His OPS was .809, lowest among any non-pitcher named on a ballot. I could understand a few votes for him, but 51 points? He was named on 17 ballots, as high as 5th place. The 51 points meant that he was deemed to be more valuable than Ryan Howard, Buster Posey, Matt Holliday, Brian Wilson, Ryan Braun, Adam Wainwright, and two of his own teammates Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. Stunning.
3. The AL MVP award will be announced in a few hours. I expect the winner to be Josh Hamilton. I would hope that Jose Bautista would finish second, but I expect to him finish 4th. Maybe even lower. My ballot would have Hamilton followed by Bautista, Cabrera, and Cano, but no way the Yankee finishes behind the Blue Jay. No way.
4. I would love to see more than one Blue Jay earn MVP votes. I think Vernon Wells might be good for at least one, and if Carlos Ruiz can get some votes, why not John Buck?
5. News out of Detroit this morning is that the Tigers have signed Victor Martinez. If that is true, than congratulations to me for guessing that correctly in my “Where Will They Sign” column.
6. I like Justin Upton as much as the next guy. I would love to have him roaming the outfield in a Jays powder blue next season. But if getting him means losing one or more of J.P. Arencibia, Travis Snider, Kyle Drabek, Ricky Romero, or Brett Cecil, then no thanks. I said it before and I’ll say it again: pretty sure we just watched the San Francisco Giants win the World Series because they refused to part with a stud young catcher, and young power arms. Don’t do it.
7. With all the talk about Movember these days, I started thinking about one man I would love for the Blue Jays to sign. He would be a great fit on the team, providing veteran leadership and some additional power. Unfortunately, signing him is impossible. Not because he would ask for too much money, but because he is fictional. That’s right – Jack Elliot, a.k.a. Mr. Baseball, played by Tom Selleck. Imagine a batting order of Wells, Bautista, then Elliot? If only it was possible…