You don’t have to have some set of hard and fast rules about how you feel about awards if you don’t want to. Feel free to go with your gut each year. Feel free to just vote for your favorite player all you want. Or not. I don’t care. And if you think Miguel Cabrera is the MVP this year I won’t quibble at all. Wonderful choice and I won’t squawk a bit if he wins the award.
But if you claim to have rules for such things, don’t change them every couple of years and claim you’re consistent.
Here’s Jon Paul Morosi a few minutes ago:
Jon Paul Morosi in 2010:
In 2010, of course, the Tigers finished 81-81 and were out of the playoff picture while Hamilton’s Rangers won the AL West with a huge assist from Josh Hamilton. I guess that whole thing about “helping their teams win division titles and make the playoffs” criteria for the MVP award only matters when it helps Miguel Cabrera and doesn’t matter when it hurts him.
For what it’s worth, here was Morosi’s full rationale for Cabrera over Hamilton in 2010. It can be boiled down to “the Tigers would be AWFUL if it wasn’t for their one awesome player. The Rangers, on the other hand, have lots of awesome players, so Hamilton is not necessarily as important.”
In other words: the exact opposite of what his argument for Cabrera would be this year, should he go with Cabrera. Which, given his “playoffs are essential” criteria seems about right.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.