American League MVP award debate continues

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Both Shohei Ohtani (Angels) and Aaron Judge (Yankees) have claims to the American League MVP award

Each Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Decide have claims to the American League MVP award
Illustration: Getty Pictures

The American League MVP race is a two-horse race between the Yankees’ Aaron Decide and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. Relying on who you ask, the award may go to both individual. Nonetheless, the adamancy of Ohtani followers is way better than that of the followers backing Decide.

Whereas the consensus amongst Decide backers appears to be “Certain, Ohtani can hit and pitch, however I consider Decide ought to win the MVP,” the Ohtani protection appears to lie extra alongside the strains of “For those who don’t vote for Ohtani, try to be banned from having an opinion on baseball ceaselessly” or “If he was the unanimous MVP final season, any season even near 2021 ought to end in an MVP for Ohtani as nicely.” Clearly, these are hyperboles, however neither is just too far off from actuality. Like, geez of us, settle down.

Personally, I’ve Ohtani above Decide in my MVP rankings, not that that issues in any respect, however it simply goes to point out that I’m not attempting to be a novel snowflake or play satan’s advocate. The actual fact of the matter is that each Decide and Ohtani are having insane, historic seasons and each must be given MVP recognition. Nonetheless, denying one in every of these gamers’ greatness solely makes your aspect of the aisle look insecure. Refusing to provide anybody with an opposing viewpoint the sunshine of day and claiming that they simply “don’t know baseball,” can solely hurt your candidate’s MVP case.

We all know that the BBWAA might be very biased. Completely different reporters from totally different areas of the nation are typically extra lenient to their very own gamers and their award candidacies. Nonetheless, different elements can play a task as nicely: Rivalries, public notion, public outcry, and private biases. For me, I really like plate self-discipline. I’ve additionally at all times hated Bryce Harper (don’t ask why). Therefore, had I had a vote in final yr’s Nationwide League MVP race, I might’ve put Juan Soto in first place.

In essence, the general public’s attachment to Shohei Ohtani is well-deserved. He’s the most effective baseball participant on the planet in my eyes and he’s doing issues no one alive has ever seen. Nonetheless, dismissing Decide fully will solely push the folks which can be on the fence about him. It’s like every argument. It’s human nature to aspect with the argument that appears extra rational, and the narrative of “in the event you don’t consider this, you shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion” will not be solely harsh, however unfair, and can push folks nonetheless attempting to determine towards your opposition purely out of spite.

I perceive that different elements could also be at play too. Old skool voters love crew success. Seeing as how the Angels have already been eradicated from playoff rivalry, that may most likely harm Ohtani’s possibilities immensely. The truth that Decide performs on the Yankees may also be an element. He’s placing collectively one of many best offensive seasons ever (he’s strong defensively and on the basepaths, too) within the largest market in America. He’s heart stage for your entire nation to see mainly each night time and has numerous drama surrounding him relating to his upcoming free company. That makes him marketable. That makes him eye-popping and intriguing. He additionally has by no means received an MVP earlier than, and voters are inclined to shrink back from individuals who’ve already amassed unbelievable success and award recognition as Ohtani has.

Primarily, as one-sided as it might appear to some folks, the voting shall be shut, actually shut. As an Ohtani backer myself, I implore anybody who desires to dismiss Decide’s 60 dwelling runs to rethink for Ohtani’s sake. Blame Yankee Stadium for its dimensions all you need, however Decide is having a historic season. Acknowledge that, and if the voters do wind up selecting Decide, stroll away with grace. Ohtani’s skillset will make him an MVP candidate yearly. Decide won’t hit 60 dwelling runs each season, particularly if he leaves the Yankees this offseason. He’ll be again, and he’ll possible earn a number of extra MVP awards by the top of his profession.

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