The case for giving Jeter the MVP award is made by many Yankees fans as well as some in the media (e.g. Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, and Richard Justice of MLB.com). It’s based on:
a) he makes the team better by being a great leader and doing the little things that matter
b) he’s never won the MVP award
c) and oh yeah, he is having a pretty good year.
And if there weren’t other players having GREAT years, the argument might be more palatable. But here is a look at the top players in the AL this season based on Wins Above Replacement, a stat that measures the all-around contributions of each player…
You know who is not there? Jeter. He is ranked 24th (3.3 WAR), tied with AJ Pierzynski, and behind Mike Moustakas.
Jeter is having a great season in the twilight of his career. It is a season that shines even brighter than his many other great seasons because many thought his tank was empty just two years ago.
And it is unfortunate that he has never won a league MVP award. But that does mean that a more deserving player should step aside this season so that we can take a one year hiatus and turn the MVP into a lifetime achievement award. That’s what the Hall of Fame is for.
Full Disclosure: As a Rays fan, I dislike the Yankees. But I am a fan of Derek Jeter. He’s a great talent that has always played the game the right way and for the right reasons. But this recent swell of support to vote him this season’s American League Most Valuable Player is homerism at its best.
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