Jon Morosi: finding new ways to support Miguel Cabrera for MVP depending on the circumstances

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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.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.