Short Story: In 1987, garish power numbers helped Blue Jays’ LF George Bell edge out Tigers SS Alan Trammell for the American League MVP. The bad news? Bell was – at best – the 5th most valuable player in the AL that season. Read more
American League MVP
Most Valuable Player – certainly the most contentious award in recent memory. Maybe the controversy is built into the award itself because each person is left to decide their own definition for “valuable.” Maybe that’s what also makes it so much fun to debate (it is fun, right?). We’ll look at big power numbers v. all-around contributors, players before their time, and the voters stuck in the past.
We will be staying somewhat within the “confines of history” with these, meaning that the “re-vote” will at least consider the original vote order. The biggest effect of this will be valuing position players more than starting pitchers – if we went simply off of the stats, starters would have won a lot more MVP awards and re-voting all of those would become boring.
Here are some of the American League MVP votes that should have gone differently.