People, at least for a while, seemed to believe a pitcher couldn’t be the most valuable player. The talk during the season was that Verlander couldn’t win the award because he only played one of five games. I’m sure these same people are going to vote Peyton Manning MVP. This sarcastic, petty tone to award voting spawned from sports programming endlessly debating worthy recipients. Stop screaming the words most valuable player in my face like they’ll attain new meaning with a higher volume. I understand the award is for the player that’s most important to their team. Verlander still deserved the award. His team made it to the ALCS. He dominated nearly every game he started, and was almost always chalked in as a win. This makes him valuable.
The bar is pretty high for pitchers receiving the award. It must be a transcendent year. Verlander went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA. For 24 games this season, he almost single-handedly won the game for his team. That is dominance. Dominance is Roger Clemens, the last starting pitcher before Verlander to win both the Cy Young and the MVP. He was 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA. Pedro Martinez deserved it in 1999, when he went 23-4 with a daunting 2.07 ERA. These are three of the great pitching seasons in the last 50 years, and those who stubbornly push back and claim they weren’t “valuable” enough to their team aren’t paying attention to how important 20 sure games are to a season.