Baseball awards are excellent for many reasons - the history, the feather in your team's cap, the feeling that the season is just a little longer than it is - but the debate that ensues may be the best (and worst).
- Well, it happened: Miguel Cabrera won the AL MVP over Mike Trout in a BBWAA vote that was not particularly close, and the nearly settled sabermetric dust was kicked up once again. However the vote turned out, there was going to be debate for years, so maybe the fact that Cabrera won isn't even a story?
- Of course it's a story. Grant Brisbee goes all satirical on the decision. Rob Neyer says it was no surprise. Matthew Pouliot says he's OK with the vote, but also shreds every popular explanation for Cabrera over Trout (Triple Crown, playoff team, moved to third base for "good of the team").
- (For me, it isn't any overly complicated - or even sabermetric - argument. Trout's and Cabrera's offensive numbers are virtually indistinguishable (Trout's rate stats are slightly better, Cabrera's counting stats are slightly better), and Trout is vastly more valuable on the bases and in the field. So, there you go. Is it really that much of a stretch to say that Trout's the guy?)
- Buster Posey won the NL MVP in a far less controversial decision.
- Since team owner Jeffrey Loria couldn't be bothered to answer questions in the immediate wake of the massive player dump the Marlins sent to the Blue Jays, team president David Samson sat before the firing squad on the radio in Miami. As you'd expect, he was evasive, and not particularly interesting in his responses. And all credit to Dan Le Batard for not letting Samson off the hook. He hammered him late in the interview with questions like, "What it looks like is you got a new stadium, you got your deal and you pulled the equivalent of like a Ponzi Scheme where a year after spending it you have sold everybody a sham? You say what to those people?" and "Why should people trust you guys? There's little reason to trust you." To that latter question, Samson offered a wholly-lame, "Do you mean trusting the fact that we chose the right players? Now, I will give you that we haven't been choosing the right players recently. But the faith we have in our scouts and in our upper baseball management come to our fans with names of players to win more games, we still have that faith."
- Sources tell Joe McDonald that the Red Sox are working on an extension with second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who remains under contract through 2014. The Red Sox also hold an $11 million option on Pedroia for 2015, so it's hard to see why working on an extension right now with the 29-year-old would be much of a priority.
- The Yankees' AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are now the "RailRiders." And their mascot is some kind of angry porcupine.
- Ever wonder about the complexities of the MLB revenue sharing system? Well, Wendy Thurm does her best to unravel that twisted string of Christmas lights. It's an excellent read if you've got the time.