Blog Entry

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Posted on: November 21, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 5:04 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander had a historic season for several reasons, and you can now add MVP and Cy Young in the same season to the list. He won the American League MVP, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Monday afternoon. Verlander becomes the first starting pitcher to win MVP since Roger Clemens took home the honors all the way back in 1986. This also marks the first time any pitcher has won since 1992, when A's closer Dennis Eckersley won. This marks the 10th time a pitcher has won both the MVP and Cy Young in the same season.

"Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought of this," Verlander said. "I want to say this is a dream come true. I can't say that because my dream had already had come true ... to win a Cy Young. And the next dream is to win a World Series. This wasn't even on my radar until the talk started. And then all of a sudden it was a this-could-actually-happen type of thing."

Verlander, 28, was clearly the best pitcher in baseball in 2011. He went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 250 strikeouts in 251 innings. He had four complete games, two shutouts and one no-hitter. He led the American League in wins, winning percentage, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts, WHIP, ERA-plus and hits per nine innings.

Verlander racking up awards
The only real question as to whether or not Verlander would win the award was based upon his position. Pitchers only work once every fifth day, so many argued that they shouldn't be allowed to win an award that is traditionally given to players who are seen in the lineup every single game. But Verlander was so good it was tough to ignore. And he tied Jose Bautista with 8.5 wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

"I think that a starting pitcher has to do something special to be as valuable or more so than a position player," Verlander said. "Obviously, having the chance to play in 160-some games in the case of Miguel, they can obviously have a huge impact every day. That's why, I've talked about on my day, on a pitcher's day, the impact we have is tremendous on that game. So you have to have a great impact almost every time out to supersede (position players) and it happens on rare occasions, and I guess this year was one of those years."

This vote was probably the most intriguing of all the BBWAA votes this season because it felt wide open. Should pitchers be allowed to win? Can a player on a fourth-place team be considered valuable? Can a player on a team who had a historic collapse down the stretch win? There were arguments all over the place for the last six weeks of the season. Here's how the final vote stacked up, with the final points in parentheses:

1. Verlander (280)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (242)
3. Bautista (231)
4. Curtis Granderson (215)
5. Miguel Cabrera (193)
6. Robinson Cano (112)
7. Adrian Gonzalez (105)
8. Michael Young (96)
9. Dustin Pedroia (48)
10. Evan Longoria (27)

In order: Ian Kinsler, Alex Avila, Paul Konerko, CC Sabathia, Adrian Beltre, Ben Zobrist, Victor Martinez, James Shields, Mark Teixeira, Asdrubal Cabrera, Alex Gordon, Josh Hamilton and David Robertson also received votes.

Verlander received 13 of the 28 first-place votes. Bautista got five, Ellsbury, four; Granderson, three; Miguel Cabrera, two and Young got one first-place vote. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News gave Young his lone MVP vote.

One voter, Jim Ingraham of the Lake Herald News (Cleveland) completely left Verlander off the ballot. Via the Associated Press, here was Ingraham's rationale:

"I'd wrestled with this for a long time. If I was ever going to vote for pitcher for MVP, it would be him this year," Ingraham said. "He hasn't appeared in 79 percent of their games, any starting pitcher really doesn't appear in 79 percent of his team's games in a year.

"Would you vote for an NFL quarterback for MVP if he only appeared in three of his team's 16 games, which would 21 percent? So that's part of it. Another part of it is I think they're apples and oranges. The guys that are in there every day, there's a grind to a season that a starting pitcher doesn't, I don't think, experience the way the everyday position players do playing 150, 160 games."

Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal gave Verlander an eighth-place vote while both Chad Jennings of the Journal News (New York) and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle voted him sixth.

Jacoby Ellsbury was hurt by a 10th place vote from Scot Gregor of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Chicago).

Other pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same year were Don Newcombe (1956), Sandy Koufax (1963), Bob Gibson, Denny McLain (1968), Vida Blue (1971), Rollie Fingers (1981) and Willie Hernandez (1984).

This is the ninth time a Tigers player has won the MVP. The others: Mickey Cochrane (1934), Hank Greenberg (1935), Charlie Gehringer (1937), Greenberg (1940), Hal Newhouser (1944), Newhouser (1945), McLain (1968) and Hernandez (1984).

The National League MVP will be revealed Tuesday. It's likely to be either Ryan Braun or Matt Kemp, but a few others will factor heavily in the voting.

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Comments

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

why dont people understand that there is an award for every postion. people whine saying that a feilder/batter cant win a cy young so a pitcher shouldnt be able to win the MVP because they have thier own award. well fielders/batters have thier own award called golden glove and silver slugger award. so are you say because a pitcher cant win the slugger slugger award a fielder/batter shouldnt be able to win the MVP? Know the awards before whining about who gets what!

cy young: best pitcher  (fileder/batter cant win it)

silver slugger: best batter/feilder at thier postion  (pitcher cant win it)

golden glove: best defensive player  (everyone can win it)

MVP: most valuable PLAYER!   (everyone can win it)






Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Jacoby Ellsbury was hurt by a 10th place vote from Scot Gregor of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Chicago).


Not for nothing, but how does this DB even have a vote? How could you look at the year Ellsbury had and think he was the 10th best player???? I'm not saying he should have won, but if you have an axe to grind against a player or team maybe you should give your voting privilege back.  



Since: Jun 2, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Mark Teixeira got votes? The fuck? The second half of the season I would watch games with people, and we would joke about turning on our pop-up blockers when he came up to bat. The man had an off year overall. Certainly not an MVP candidate, even on his own team.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

AND Kershaw had a year just as good on a team that was 11.5 games out of first and 2 games above 500. Kershaw and verlander had about the same percentage of their teams wins. To say Kershaw's year wasnt as good is ridiculous. 

Compared to the american league pitching in the national league is a joke.  If you don't know that, you don't know baseball or the Yankees are the only team you follow.   Please never again compare how anybody pitches in the national league with the A.L...

By the way, why do you think Greinke had a better season a couple years ago then Verlander did this year?  You couldn't be more wrong if you tried.  Oh wait, I know why you said that.  Because Greinke isn't on the team that knocked your team out of the playoffs 2 times in the last 5 years?  

Greinke's era was better that year, but that's it.  Verlander pitched more innings, more strikeouts, had a better whip and oppenents batted 40 points less against Verlander then they did against Greinke.  Not to mention Verlander had a few more wins then he did. If ERA was the only stat that mattered, there wouldn't be a vote for the cy young or mvp in this case... but anybody with a brain knows Verlander's season killed Greinke's season... he beat him up all over the place.  Pedro Martinez could have won it once or twice but just because he didn't doesn't mean Verlander shouldn't.  

Don't be so bitter man... Verlander isn't even the guy that beat you in the playoffs this year, you're taking it out on the wrong guy.  Be mad at CC who laid an egg.... be mad at Arod or Tex.... don't be mad at Verlander, it's not his fault.   



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Verlander did not have an all time great year. AND Kershaw had a year just as good on a team that was 11.5 games out of first and 2 games above 500. Kershaw and verlander had about the same percentage of their teams wins. To say Kershaw's year wasnt as good is ridiculous. Just in recent performance Grienke was better a few years ago and Pedro has some all time years and he never won the MVP. Verlander was great but pitchers do not deserve the MVP especially when that pitcher isnt even the MVP on his own team.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Argueably Kershaw had a better year on a much worse team and he will not win the MVP. I guess this is just my coach potato rant of an opinion.

No.  You can't argue that Kershaw had a better season then Verlander, not at all.  Why?  Because Kershaw faces pitchers or pinch hitters an average of 4 times per start, Verlander doesn't.  And another reason you can't compare the two is national league teams love to play small ball, they give up easy outs sacrificing and advancing runners all game long, where in the A.L there's a lot less of that.

And tell me again how Verlander's season doesn't fall into the "all time great" category that you mentioned?   I'm pretty sure 24 wins with a league leading era as well as leading the league in innings pitched, strikeouts and other stats certainly put his season into the all time greats category.

Or wait... are you trying to compare today's MLB stats with 30 or 40 or 50 seasons ago?  Do you want Verlander to put up Cy Young's stats to qualify for MVP?  Because if you do, stop watching baseball right away.... you can't compare players from an era 3 or 4 or even 5 or more decades ago with the players of today.

Anyway Yankee fan, best of luck to you for next season.  With any luck at all the Tigers won't make the playoffs and your Yankees will have a chance to advance past the first or second round.  We've seen what happens when the Yankees face the Tigers head to head in a 5 game series twice in the last 5 seasons and it wasn't pretty for the Yankees..... 



Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:57 am
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

AWESOME!!! CONGRATS!!! and very well-deserved. 



Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:55 am
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

Awesome! Next year I hope Jose Bautista wins the AL Cy Young award!




Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:53 am
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

rintintin Verlander wasnt even the MVP of his own team. Without Cabrera the Tigers are not even in the playoffs. I dont believe starting pitchers should get an MVP unless the season is just an all time great season which Verlander didnt have. Argueably Kershaw had a better year on a much worse team and he will not win the MVP. I guess this is just my coach potato rant of an opinion.



Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:33 am
 

Justin Verlander wins AL MVP

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