November 20, 2007
There are times that I am left scratching my head trying to understand what the Baseball Writers of America define as the Most Valuable Player. Should the definition be the Most Valuable Player who puts up the best combination of offensive and defensive statistics thereby defining themselves as the best overall baseball player in each specific league? Or should the award describe which one player meant more to the success of his team? This could include statistical categories but really relies more on intangibles such as clubhouse presence, mentoring and leadership ability, and who motivates their team to greatness? The latter category would somehow take into consideration the individual’s role and importance in a team game. How for example do you quantify the importance of the leadership skills of someone like Tony Clark to a young Arizona Diamondbacks roster? How much significance does a team’s success have on the deciding the value of an individual player? Are you judging a player’s value to their specific team or are you judging their value to the league and the betterment of baseball? These are the ponder able questions that arise around this time of year when baseball awards begin to be handed out.