Tag Archives: MVP

Doin MLB Predictions

I think part of college is passing out with Sister Cleo telling you to call around 3-4AM. Bust out those Tarot Cards Cleo! I need to make my predictions!

Just like anyone else, we like to be right about things, and what better way to see if we can predict the future as good as Sister Cleo than to put them in writing. We’ve decided to put up our predictions on a new tab as we make them, so it’s easy for the readers to refer back and laugh in our faces. At the end hopefully one of us can claim the coveted “I called it” moment at the end of the year. Who knows, maybe nobody will get anything right, but if that’s the case it would be one of the wackiest seasons we’ve ever seen, and unlike Cleo, we don’t have tarot card!  It’s a long year, and we could look pretty ridiculous by the end, but here’s how we see the division and wild card winners, World Series, MVP’s, Cy Young’s, and top stat categories for each league playing out.

AL East Winner:

Mceezy:  New York Yankees – No reason to suggest anything would change here.

Chappy: New York Yankees – No surprises here. The defending champs look as good as last year, and could be the first team to go back to back since, well, themselves.

By:  Boston Red Sox – Why?  Because I hate the Yankees, ’nuff said.

Dyslecix: Boston Red Sox – Meh….something about the Yankees getting it done back to back doesn’t feel right.

Cali4dre: NY Yankees.  Once they move Granderson up to leadoff for good, they will be unstoppable from 1-6 and they’re 7-9 will still be better than half of MLB’s 3-5 hitters.  Not to mention they’re pitching is very solid, and frankly the coach could be an orangutan and still be successful but it’s not, it’s a very serviceable Joe Girardi.

AL Central Winner

Chappy: Chicago White Sox – I just have this weird feeling that they will be good. Not that I’m overly confident in Rios and Peavy, but they are pretty solid up and down. The Tigers are talented, but don’t ever seem to put it together. I feel like the Twins will have more problems with injuries than Nathan going down for the season.

Mceezy:  Detroit Tigers – I think they get big years from Cabrera and Verlander, and there’s no clear frontrunner in the Central.

By:  Minnesota Twins – Why?  Because Joe Mauer went to Cabo with the Playstation guy!

Dyslecix: Minnesota Twins – Not sold on the White Sox or Detroit the Twins are always there.

Cali4Dre: Detroit Tigers.  The pitching staff is strong and young at the top, with Verlander and Porcello ready to carry the load.  The offense is still pretty strong… love Austin Jackson as fantastic replacement for Grandy.  Magglio’s bat looks to be back, Cabrera is sober, and Sizemore will be another great rookie-producer on this team.  This is the year they get it together and hold off a weak Twins and White Sox combo. Continue reading

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Durant is Playing Like an MVP… Seattle Must Hate Life…

I have to admit the only time Durant has failed me was during the NCAA tourney as a Longhorn. He made me a believer that he could single-handedly win a title during the year hitting a few buzzer beaters. Unfortunately, he had a god awful performance in the 2nd round of March Madness, and was out of college basketball forever. Needless to say it destroyed my brackets that year. When he went to Seattle I was pretty happy, and grew a mini-mancrush on him through his rookie season. After Presti hi-jacked the team, I’ve found it very hard to watch them. I feel like I should be boycotting anything that is the Thunder. Another reason why every picture I put up of Durant on posts is him in a Seattle uniform. Alas, it’s impossible not to watch this amazing young team hitting full stride, and Westbrook has grown a TON since he came into the league. The main reason for their success has been Kevin Durant, and how he has put them into contender status at the vetran age of 21 years old.

He's a PC with Windows 7 at least!

The Sonics (still resisting calling them the Thunder) are like that up and coming boxer that is knocking out everyone that they face, skyrocketing up the rankings. Most likely they will fall to the champ in a fight for the belt, but it’s always fun to see the potential of the young guns. Rattling off 9 straight wins has made them relevant in the west, and I don’t see losing the last two being overly devastating. It hasn’t been a small story that KD had 29 straight 25+ point performances, until he scored a measly 21 tonight. He’s turned into the full package, and if he ever learns how to start dishing it, watch out. Then again, why would he pass, when he’s going to score no matter how he’s being defended. I’m already more impressed with his offensive game more so than I am with Melo’s. It doesn’t matter who the other team puts on him or what kind of double team he is facing, he figures it out and finds a way to score! If Melo is a PC, then KD has to be Mac. There’s one thing I’ve always liked about Durant, and that is the fact that he only cares about basketball. I mean, could you ever see him shooting up a night club or even having a gun for that matter? Making a rap video? Sending naked texts of himself? That’s what I thought. He’s a pretty clean cut guy, and only seems to care about getting better at basketball. I wonder if he’ll get arrogant like Kobe and Jordan are. You see something different with him, he’s just one of those competitors that won’t allow himself to waste away his talent.

One thing he has going against him is that he’s playing in the Lebron era, because in any other year, he’d get my MVP vote. It’s wild that if you took Durant or Lebron off either these teams, both would probably be counting how many ping pong balls they had for the John Wall lottery. That is why, I’m picking both of them above Kobe. Their importance to their teams is invaluable. I can still see the Lake Show making the playoffs with the supporting cast they have in place. Lebron looks like he’s hitting his Michael Jordan type stride, where it’s going to be nearly impossible for anyone to get an MVP but him for a few years. I guess Jordan wasn’t given the award a couple times in what many felt was the league getting tired of giving the award to him, and just wanted a change of pace. It seems like as long as Lebron is healthy, and has a good enough cast to get the top seed, it will be his award to lose. I’m praying that I’ll get to see his Big-O impersonation one year, and average a triple double for a entire season. My question is, when are we going to see the third puppet come out in the MVPuppet commercials? KD is already sponsored by Nike, why wouldn’t they throw him in there!  He’d be my favorite character of the three.


The Big Hurt Will Be Missed!

Frank Thomas hung up the spikes today, after his VERY hall of fame worthy 19 year career. He was easily one of the most dominating hitters while I was growing up, and I’m sure I still have a few of his rookie cards laying around in some boxes. I’m not sure if his trade mark will be his large set figure or his big smile. Admittedly I wasn’t a White Sox fan, but always enjoyed watching Frank battle at the plate as he never took a pitch off, and was great at figuring out where pitchers were trying to attack him. He never said the word “retire” in his statement, but did say things like “life goes on”, and “I’m done.” He feels he can still play, but seeing friends like Jermaine Dye struggling to get a contract agreement, he felt his time was probably up.

He compiled some Hall of Fame worthy stats over his career; .301 batting average, .419 OBP, 521 home runs, and 1,704 RBI’s. He walked more than he struck out. He won back to back MVP’s in 1993 and 1994. He won a batting title in 1997 (.347). His numbers through the 90’s are reminiscent to what Pujols has been doing over the past decade. Big Frank is number one in twelve of the all-time categories for the White Sox, and will surely be wearing their cap when he is enshrined into the HOF.

He wasn’t on the A’s for long, but I’m grateful for him for single handedly helping the A’s get to the ALCS in 2006. He hit .270 with 39 HR’s, and 114 RBI’s that year, and it was his last year as a true star at 37 years young. He’s a guy with no ties to steroids, and it’s refreshing this day in age to assume a great player didn’t use PED’s especially since his double 0 decade was filled with injuries. It makes me that much more sure he didn’t use PED’s, because he never came back quickly from those injuries.

Sharing that smile and power with the A's made me even more of a fan of his!


NBA Early Season MVP Rankings

1. Lebron James (66 pts)

This race is nowhere near decided. In fact, it’s barely getting started. Lebron only got one first place vote from our panel, but coming in at the top based on our points system just shows that we all agreed he’s one of the frontrunners. As is the case with all superstars, the Cavs have been trying to surround Lebron with quality talent to compete for a championship. Nonetheless, it’s still a one-man show, as James is accounting for about 30% of his team’s scoring. After starting 0-2, the Cavs have rung up 13 of their last 16, placing them at the top of the Central, and Lebron at the top of our list.

2. Steve Nash (65 pts)

Nash is back to his form that he won his back to back MVP awards with! Even more impressive, is how well his team is playing! They look like contenders again with Nash leading them to a 14-4 record! He’s averaging nearly 12 assists per game, and is the best on-court offensive general of this era.

3. Kobe Bryant (64 pts)

Interesting that Kobe fell behind Nash in our voting, alas at such an early stage of the season I might not begrudge it. Nash has the underrated Suns playing at a high level, while Kobe is doing what he has done for years, on a team that is suppose to win every game they play. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the numbers Kobe is putting up. Through December 2nd his 28 pts, 5 brds, and 4 assists are extremely impressive. And his early November stretch of three 41 point games in four games was an early warning shot to the rest of the league he intends to grab his second MVP award.

4. Carmelo Anthony (62 pts)

Melo, seems to have kicked his habit of showing up two out of every three games. Maybe he finally realized that they NEED him every game and he is the main key to their success. If he can keep from having those down games and continues to play D, he should be in the MVP conversation at the end of the season.

5. Paul Pierce (54 pts)

Pierce has been Mr. Everything for the Celtics, and has been the superstar of the team. He’s shown that he can single handedly win games for them, and he knows when to take a back seat to let the others make plays. The question for him is, will his age catch up to him later in the season?

6. Dwyane Wade (48 pts)

Miami has cooled off since their hot start, and they’ll struggle to keep up with Atlanta and Orlando in the Southeast, but it’s no secret who’s running the show. They still have a respectable 10-7 record at the moment, and it’s no wonder where they’d be without D-Wade dropping 27, 5, and 5 each night.

7. Dirk Nowitzki (46 pts)

I’ve got to say Dirk is being screwed here at the 7th spot. Boiling it straight down to numbers, Dirk is averaging 27 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists a night. Factor in his 88% FT and 47% FG and he is making a massive impact on a surging 13-5 Mavericks team. I’m pissed… forget the rest of what I was going to write.

8. Joe Johnson (45 pts)

Atlanta has been taking steps forward each season, and this year looks like they might finally be on the brink of contention. They aren’t quite mentioned with the likes of the Lakers, Celtics, and Cavs, but they’re nipping at their heels. The Hawks are one of the more balanced teams, with huge contributions from Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford, but this is still Joe Johnson’s team. He could probably afford to cut down his 3 point attempts, but the sky is the limit for this team. If they’re in the thick of things come April, Joe could very well find himself getting a handful of second and third place votes.

9. Kevin Durant (39 pts)

KD made his leap into the fantasy elite last season, and now is poised to make MVP runs regularly as he continues to improve his game. He’s a better version of Dirk in my mind, and has a lot more room to grow. I don’t see him winning the award this year, but as the Sonics, I mean Thunder get better he will surely be a candidate!

10. Deron Williams (22 pts)

Trailing only Steve Nash DWill is having himself a special season out in Utah. He’s very close to averaging 20 and 10, and if you round up, that’s exactly what he is. He’s helped make Boozer turn back into a superstar, and looks to make the Jazz a force come playoff time!

11. Brandon Roy (15 pts)

Has Portland keeping pace (2 games back) with division leader Denver. Plays 37 minutes/night while carrying Greg Oden around so he doesn’t hurt himself.

12. Josh Smith (11 pts)

Finally stopped jacking up threes and is blocking more shots instead.

13. Chris Bosh (9 pts)

He’ll get more love if Toronto’s record improves – or he makes more Youtube videos.

14. Dwight Howard (9 pts)

Probably should be a little higher, but collective effort in Orlando has taken away from his shine.

15. Tyreke Evans (8 pts)

A lot more likely to win the ROY than MVP, but he’s the primary reason for the NBA’s biggest surprise team in Sacramento (9-8)

16. Trevor Ariza (5 pts)

Like the Kings, the Rockets were supposed to struggle. Instead, Ariza is dropping 18 per game and leading the Rockets to an impressive start.

17. Brandon Jennings (4 pts)

Had the world in his hands after his 55 point outing, but his scoring, and the Bucks record, has been sliding of late.

18. Carlos Boozer (3 pts)

Back to his old form, averaging 20 and 10, just in time for a contract year.

19. Vince Carter  (1 pt)

Averaging 20 ppg, but jacking up wayyyyyy too many shots. Pass it to Rashard, Vince.

20. Rajon Rondo (0.5 pts)

Easily the most debated spot on our list. Rondo gets the nod over Kidd for being a better PG on a great team.


NFL MVP… Brees or Manning? (…or Favre, or Johnson, or Peterson?)

1. Drew Brees, QB – New Orleans Saints

It’s impossible to pick anyone else for MVP at the moment. He leads this Saints team with his rallying warcrys before the game that even gives fires me up! He is also the main reason the Saints have the #1 offense in the league, and it looks like that should continue. If they end up undefeated and the Colts do too, we could easily have another Co-MVP year…

2. Peyton Manning, QB – Indianapolis Colts

He’s a tough luck number two in this race. I’d say it’s mainly due to the fact that he’s had a few rough games lately, and has been a little more mistake prone than we’re used to for his standards! He’d probably drop down the list if they actually lost any of those games, but they’re still undefeated! There’s nobody you’d rather have in the 4th quarter right now than Manning. He’s led 5 straight 4th quarter comebacks, and that alone puts him close to or at the top of most peoples MVP lists!

3. Brett Favre, QB – Minnesota Vikings

You won’t find any of us at Doin Work clamoring over Favre like the guys on TV, but you can’t deny what he’s done this year. He’s got the second best QB rating behind Brees, the second most TD passes, also behind Brees, and the second highest completion rate, behind Manning. Add to that, he’s only thrown 3 interceptions all year. That’s a good game for Jay Cutler!

4. Chris Johnson, RB – Tennessee Titans

With each week that Tennessee further turns around there 0-6 start to the season, Johnson’s place in this discussion elevates.  He leads the NFL in rushing by over 270 yards, and his six consecutive 125+ yard performances puts him in Earl Campbell / Eric Dickerson territory. If Tennessee makes the playoffs, he makes it a four man race. If they lose their next two games, he drops out of the discussion completely.

5. Adrian Peterson, RB – Minnesota Vikings

It’s amazing that Favre’s play has made us overlook what a great season All Day is having. Maybe it’s just becuase the media has made it Favre’s team, but I’m betting if Peterson wasn’t around, Favre wouldn’t be #3 on our list today. Since he has to be accounted for, it’s no wonder Favre is having the type of season he is having! AP already is over the 1,000 yard mark, has 12 TD’s, and at 4.7 yards per carry. If he was on a worse team, he’d have better numbers than that! Really scary!

Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego and Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville


Sometimes you have to play 163!

Twins Tigers Inge

The Tigers could be struggling at the wrong time!

Somehow the Tigers have found themselves in a tie atop the AL Central after a mild implosion coupled with a red hot Twins team. This marks the third straight year that we will have a pre-playoff playoff game. This will be the Twins second consecutive year that they are playing in a tiebreaker game as they lost last season to the White Sox. The game will be held Tuesday in the Metrodome in it’s second farewell to the regular season. As today was supposed to be the last game played there, and 51,000 showed up to show their support of a great longtime stadium. Now they have one more game with the winner advancing to the ALDS ti face the Yankees. The Twins own the regular season head to head tie breaker between the two clubs, and have the right to home field advantage. The starters for the game will be rookie Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.04) for the Tigers, and Scott Baker (15-9 4.36) will be tossing for the Twins. I think this is the first time I’ve been even mildly excited about the MLB playoffs so far, mainly because whoever comes out of this game as the winner, I’ll likely be forced into rooting for them take the AL Championship.

It’s been quite an amazing run for the Twins since former MVP, Justin Morneau, went down for the season. They’ve picked up their game and have gone 16-4 in their last twenty games to give themselves one final chance to get in.

Home hankies will be in full effect Tuesday!

Home hankies will be in full effect Tuesday!

They’ve been getting contributions from everyone including decent pitching (not the middle relief) but overall effective, and some very timely hitting. Delmon Young hasn’t been a stranger to receiving  standing ovations  at the Metrodome lately. He has been coming up with clutch RBI’s in a lot of games, which is very reminiscent of  the way BJ Upton heated up for Tampa Bay in their playoff run last season. Joe Mauer has been quiet for his standards, but it’s mainly due to getting pitched around and walked more often. With this type of playoff push I hope this convinces MVP voters that Mauer is the obvious choice over Derek (I get way too much media hype) Jeter. When you look at the playoff matchups on paper, I think the Tigers would have a better chance of taking down the Yankees lineup wise, but the Twins are white label hot right now so it seems like you can never count a team on a roll out. As Billy Beane once said “It’s a crapshoot once you get in the playoffs, you just have to get there first!”

I’m predicting the Twins to win 5-4, and advance to play the Yankees.


Fantasy Baseball Awards: A Season to Remember or A Season to Forget

mlb logo baseballFantasy sports are always frustrating. A win feels mildly satisfying, but a loss can make you hate everything about the sport or want to quit fantasy sports altogether. I’ll be honest, many of my man crushes come from players I’ve had on my fantasy teams, and pure hatred for a player has also come from fantasy short comings. With the fantasy baseball championship round upon us, I find myself in the finals in one league and a battle for 5th place in my other league. I figured this would be as good a time as any to run through the fantasy MVP’s, and steals of the draft for the season. I’ll only focus on the league that I’m in the Championship for, which also happens to be the league that I’m in with the blog mates. Here was our draft results for your refrence (Chappy 81 – Salsa Valverde, MCeezy – Holy ShirtsandPants, Dyslecix – No Use For A Name)

Chappy81’s Awards

MVP’s: Hanley Ramierez, Matt Holliday, and Joe Mauer deserve  Co-MVP honors, and were three out of my first four picks.Joe Mauer Twins They are all ranked in the top twenty for the season, and undoubtedly helped my team get to the Championship round. Mauer should win the MVP award this season, but due to lame eastcoast media Jeter might skip away with the award much like Pedroia did.

Offensive steals of the draft: My team wouldn’t be where it is without Raul Ibanez (10th round) Carlos Pena (9th round), and Shin-Soo Choo (17th round). They were catalysts in my offensive power numbers combining for 86 of my teams 248 home runs on the season, which probably helped me win as nearly categories as the previous three mentioned players.

Offensive Bust of the Year: Milton Bradly. Although I didn’t pick him that high, I held onto him way too long. His season of below mediocrity explains itself.

Chris Carter fastball CardinalsPitching and Steal of the draft: This year was always changing, but Felix Hernandez and Chris Carpenter were no doubt my horses. Chris Carpenter was the biggest steal I got on draft day as I picked him in the 19th round, and he ended up being the sixth ranked pitcher in Y! games.  He is also looksing like a lock for his 2nd Cy young award this season posting 16 wins and a 2.34 ERA.

Honorable Mention: Jair Jurrens, my 16th round pick,  had an outstanding year putting up 12 wins and a 2.45 ERA with 138 K’s.

Mceezy’s Awards

MVP: Matt Kemp – This was a no brainer, as Kemp is the only player I had in the Top 25.Matt Kemp Dodgers Home Run  He’s ranked #7 overall, as he’s amassed 25 HR and 34 Steals.  He’s also on pace to eclipse 100 runs and 100 RBI as well.  Nevermind the fact that he was a steal in the 3rd round (28th overall), Matt Kemp is a definite fantasy franchise player.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Broxton – Anchored a shaky corps of closers contributing 35 saves and 107 Ks in only 70 IP.

Steal of the Draft: Justin Verlander – I called this pick the steal of the draft before the season started, and his first few outings made me look like a fool.  However, to this point, Verlander has 16 wins and a 3.44 ERA to go with his MLB leading 245 Ks.  His slip in the draft is attributed to an injury riddled 08 campaign that produced some pretty ugly numbers.  So, getting a player of his caliber in the 11th round (124th overall) and seeing him ranked 27th in the fantasy ranks is a steal indeed!

Honorable Mention: Adam Lind – 17th round. 196th overall.  30+ HR, 100+ RBI.  None of the other 16 guys I picked before him put up bigger numbers.

David Wright hit in the headBust of the Draft: David Wright – Hard to call a guy who’s ranked #52 a bust, but when you chose him 4th overall, and you really wanted to take Braun, who ended up the 6th best fantasy player this year, it stings a little.  Actually a lot, seeing as how I don’t even want to keep the guy as one of my three keepers.  His average and stolen base totals were nice, but I was really expecting more than 10 HR and 60 RBI from my first round pick.  Could’ve been worse…. I could’ve had Jose Reyes or Grady Sizemore.

Honorable Mention: Mike Aviles – Tempting to include Nate McLouth (5th rd) or Scott Kazmir (8th rd) since they were picked higher, but Aviles’ complete lack of production gives him the nod.  I chose him in the 12th rd, two picks after Nelson Cruz, and basically handed him my SS spot.  1 HR and 8 RBI later, Aviles was done for the year, exiting with a stellar .183 batting average.

Dyslecix’s Awards

Ryan Howard Chase Utley PhilliesCo-MVP’s: Chase Utley & Ryan Howard – I remember logging on to our baseball draft at the start of the year and being sick that I was drafting at 11. Typically sitting at the backend of a draft can pay off and has its distinct advantages, however I typically want to avoid this draft spot in baseball for a variety of reasons. That despair quickly turned into optimism when big slugging Howard and his fabulous Philly counterpart Utley fell to 11 and 15 respectively. Any big baseball fan will be well aware of there numbers so I skip them, however offensively I have ridden them to a fantasy final for a 2nd time, and feel extremely good riding them the last two weeks for the title itself.

Honorable Mention: Jason Bay – Shocked he survived the entire turn back to me in the 4th round, his 35 home runs have been the perfect power addition to Utley and Howard. Although his batting average of .268 leaves much to be desired from a fantasy geek perspective, he easily deserves mention in anybody fantasy team MVP discussion.

Andre Ethier DodgersSteal of the Draft: Andre Either – At the time I thought little of this pick in the 11th round, I knew the upside was there along several different categories but didn’t think much more about it. 31 home runs and 101 RBI’s later he easily goes down as my steal of the draft. By the way are you picking up on the trend here? My fantasy team this year was sporting some real power this year!! The real question I have now with Either is what’s his possible peak? Do I keep him next year over Jason Bay? Alas, a different topic for another day.   

Honorable Mention: Heath Bell – In years past I’ve always discounted closers during my fantasy drafts, and by and large ignored them completely. However, over the last couple of years I have a new strategy with how to utilize them, and thus look for upside closers like Bell late in drafts. 37 saves later along 72 K’s he was a core aspect of my pitching staff all year long. With a price tag of a 16th round pick, he could easily have been my main steal of the draft as well.

Francisco Liriano TwinsBust of the draft: Francisco Liriano – I’ll admit I was blinded by his pre-Tommy John career and thus most likely reached drafting him in the 5th round of the draft. Granted there isn’t a way to have forecasted such a terrible year, but I most likely should have looked else where drafting my first pitcher. In hind sight Adam Wainwright was the clear choice I dropped the ball on. As the baseball season winds down, Liriano can boast a brief stint in AAA, a demotion to the bullpen, and an ERA of 5.71 in only 119 innings. The word “bust” can’t describe my draft pick any better, and maybe it’s to understated, perhaps “Nuclear Implosion” is a bit better?

Honorable Mention: Cameron Maybin – Not much to say about this one. We drafted this year with the understanding that we were going to keeping three players for the following year, and Maybin was a gamble on the keeper front. Less then a month into the season it was readily apparent he couldn’t turn on MLB pitching and was getting over powered on a regular basis. Perhaps his upside will surface in the years to come, but this year wasn’t it for him. The cost of a 14th round pick was pricy for a player who I cut less than a month into the season.


Early Predictions for the MVP

Joe Mauer batting

Mauer has been my fantasy teams MVP this season, but does he have a case for the AL MVP this year? Currently ranked 3rd in Yahoo fantasy games, Mauer figures to be a top contender in the running for AL MVP. You can’t say that he’s been a huge surprise, because he’s always been an elite hitter consistently in the batting title race, but it’s his home run totals that have made his case much stronger for being the MVP this year. It’s pretty tough to argue with the man’s stats so far, .383 average (1st in majors), slugging .643 (1st in majors), 1.088 OPS (1st in majors), 25 homers (10th in AL), and 77 RBI’s on the season even after missing nearly the whole first month. It’s too bad the Twins are starting to fade back in the race for the central, but I feel he should win the AL MVP if he keeps his current pace. Who knows, a .400 batting average may not be out of reach either!

I don’t blame people for picking Mark Teixeira as he is having a great season with 30 homers and 86 RBI’s, but he hasn’t had the better overall season that Mauer has.Mark Teixeira home run They are both top notch gold glovers on the defensive side at their positions, so that’s a wash. Besides, nobody picks the MVP based on their defense, because that’s what gold gloves are for. If I did for argument’s sake, I’d have to say playing catcher would have to be a little more difficult than first base. In evaluating an MVP, you have to include other factors like the ballparks they play in. The new Yankee stadium is obviously a hitter’s park, while the Metrodome is much more of a pitcher’s park. Maybe that doesn’t even out the home run totals, but when you look at the fact that only 11 of Teixeira’s homers are on the road, it has to be weighed in. The Yankees have scored sixty more runs than the Twins this year. I’d assume that that is why Teixeira has more RBI’s as he has more chances. Stats would support that as well as Mauer is hitting .403 with RISP, and Tex is hitting .258 with RISP. Who is more clutch for their team? Numbers say Mauer.

Many argue that the MVP should come from a team that is going to the playoffs. This definitely hurts my Mauer argument, but it’s unlike basketball where it’s basically a requirement to be on the best team.Kobe Bryant Shooting Baseball’s voters don’t limit their view to the best teams as there have been 47 MVP’s that didn’t make the playoffs. It is one of the criteria, but it isn’t weighed nearly as heavily as football and baseball. If Kobe wants to try to take the MVP he can chuck up 50 shots a game, and surely he’ll average 35 per. Drew Brees can throw the ball 50 times in a game to put up crazy numbers (Wait, he already does that. Bad example.), but in baseball a hitter only comes to the plate once every nine players. He can’t control how many times he bats or if his teammates don’t do anything at the plate. So penalizing Mauer because his teammates are worse is unfair.

As for the NL MVP race, it’s pretty clear cut that Pujols is leading the way. He doesn’t look like he’ll win the triple crown, but it’s still not out of reach for him. He should be going for his fourth or fifth MVP by now, but for some reason the voters decided to pick someone that is more valuable to a team than him a few times. Most recently, I don’t see how Ryan Howard won the MVP over him last season. Not that Howards numbers weren’t incredible, but how can anyone really say that Pujols isn’t more valuable to his team than Howard?Albert Pujols home run The Phillies have three guys that can potentially win the MVP  every year. The easiest way to prove this theory is seeing how well Ibanez has benefitted from moving to a hitter friendly park and hitter friendly lineup. He is even in the race for the NL MVP if he can shake off the post injury rust. It’s like the Teixeira argument; he just has better players around him to help him put those stats up. Now that Pujols is matched with Holliday, his numbers should be indisputable by seasons end.


His Airness Vs. The Black Mamba

With the conclusion of the NBA finals, we finally saw Kobe get the” he can’t win without Shaq” monkey off his back. Kobe’s career is far from done, but his window of greatness could be closing as he transitions to the jump shooting phase of his career. I say that for one reason, he has averaged less free throw attempts per game each year for the last three seasons (10+ from 04 to 07, 7.6 in 08, and 5.9 in 09), which makes me think he would rather not take it to the hole, so instead he’s pulling up for jumpers. Has Kobe had enough “greatness” so far to be considered close to Jordan? Kobe is turning 31 over the summer, so this should be a good point in his career to compare what he’s done so far to Jordan at the same age. I don’t think this is going to be close, but we’ll run it by two categories: stats and bio. I can’t say that Kobe’s resume is as impressive as MJ’s, but adding the fourth championship should make it close!

The Stats

His Airness – Jordan at the age of 29, went into retirement after winning three straight Championships with Phil in Chicago. He left the game he ruled to play professional baseball, but many think that it was an undercover suspension for MJ’s gambling habits (I’m a believer in that theory). He was at the top of the game and his resume was impressive at his first retirement winning; 3 MVP’s, 8 first team All NBA awards, 88’ Defensive Player of the Year, 6 first team All Defense awards, and 3 NBA Finals MVP’s. He won the scoring titles every year from 87 to 93. Many felt that in 93 Jordan deserved the MVP, but they were tired of giving it to him, so they gave it to Barkley.

Black Mamba – I’m sure we’re all a little fresher on Kobe’s stat’s to date, but here they are anyways. Keep in mind that MJ took his year off at 30 years old. Which is when Kobe won his 4th Championship, and added his 1st NBA Finals MVP. He also rounded out the resume with 1 League MVP, 2 time scoring champion, 7 first team All Defensive awards, and 7 first team All NBA awards. At this point I don’t think their stats are comparable, but Kobe did win one more championship than Jordan.

The Path

His Airness – Jordan had his struggles coming into the league since he joined a team that basically sucked. He learned how to win in college hitting a NCAA Championship game winner in 1982. The early Bulls teams were terrible, so he had to compensate by forcing it at times. His greatness still allowed them to win and make the playoffs only to be knocked out early (1st or 2nd round) throughout his first five seasons. In his second playoff series, against the 85-86 Celtics, considered by many to be one of the greatest in NBA history, he made his first playoff mark by scoring 63 in one game (still the record). Two seasons later, Jordan won his first MVP, and the defensive player of the year award.

MJ’s first three Championship years were none other than domination. In the first championship run, it was the first time that Jordan realized he had teammates averaging 8.4 assists in the playoffs, and 11.4 in the Finals. Jordan’s stats seemed to go up when he was in the playoffs. He averaged 34.6 Points, 6.8 Rebounds, 6.6 Assists, and 2.3 steals in his first 9 playoff appearances.

Black Mamba – Kobe came into the league a couple of years younger and less experienced, but was put into the starting rotation in his second year at the age of 20, and showed that he would be a star in the league. Already being teamed up with a superstar in Shaq, he had the chance to figure things out in a winning environment, drastically different than Jordan’s early years.  The strike season of 98, shortened Kobe’s first year as a starter to 50 games, but league wide everyone knew that he was going to be a star. The following year Kobe was given the greatest coach of all time in Phil Jackson. With an amazing core, the Lakers would go on to win 3 championships. Kobe would continually increase his all around stats each year, but never won a finals MVP. He became a fixture in the fourth quarter as everyone would wonder when it was going to be “Kobe Time”. At the age of 23, he was the youngest player in the history of the NBA to have three titles.

There wasn’t a fourth championship run, and that’s when Kobe’s struggles started. He wanted to be the “man” in LA, and basically forced the owners to decide what the Lakers future was, him or Shaq. The Lakers chose Bryant as they traded away their star center and gave Kobe the fat wallet he desired. Kobe, was the man and he won scoring titles, but just like Jordan in his early years, he couldn’t really trust his teammates since they weren’t all that good. Kobe was unstoppable, but teams realized he was playing selfishly and just like Jordan didn’t want to pass to a lesser player to let them miss a shot. Kobe’s playoff averages aren’t bad, but comparing them to Jordan’s playoff stats at the same point in his career makes me appreciate just how good Jordan was. Kobe’s playoff stats look like this 25.0 Points, 5.1 Rebounds, 4.7 assists, and .5 steals (His first two seasons totaling 20 games brought down those stats).

Since championships matter most out of all the stats, I guess we can say that Kobe wins! MJ 3 Kobe 4, at the age of 30. There, I said it. I didn’t want to, but I did. This ultimately isn’t a race to win 4 championships though! Kobe still needs two more championships to be standing on the same pedistal as Jordan. He’s going to have to be the Finals MVP for both before I will truly put him in another comparison to Jordan. Looks like Kobe’s got some work to do!