August 30, 2011

Why It's Okay To Consider A Pitcher For MVP

     No pitcher has won a major league MVP award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992.  The last NL pitcher to be named MVP was Bob Gibson in 1968, and all he had to do to get it was put up a 1.12 ERA.  So how did we get to this point, where pitching is stressed every season (even more so in the postseason), yet every year baseball people think there is someone more important in the league than its best pitcher?  Why are people so afraid to vote for a pitcher for MVP?

Pitchers already have their own award, the Cy Young.

     So make one for position players too.  The Willie Mays award for best overall position player.  Most Valuable means most valuable out of everyone.  Don't ruin that just because the current setup isn't fair. 
     And let's not forget that position players have the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards too.

Pitchers only play once every five games, or one inning per game.  Position players play every inning, every game.

     Position players also bat only 3 or 4 times a game.  Pitchers face every batter while they're in the game.  Need some stats to accentuate that point?  The MLB leaders in plate appearances tend to have around 750.  The pitchers who face the most batters tend to pitch about 1000 plate appearances.  So it turns out that pitchers actually do more work than position players as far as hitting situations go.  Add in defense and base stealing, and hitters make just as many plays as pitchers, if not fewer.
     Pitchers have to field too.  And even hit in the NL.
     So don't be afraid to throw Justin Verlander in the MVP race, or whoever else pitches really well in the coming years.  They're just as valuable as anyone else.

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