Game On…with Rob Kriete – NOVEMBER 17

What are the qualifications of a Most Valuable Player?  Most see this distinction as one that is bestowed upon the very best player.  However, others believe the award should truly go to the most indispensable player in the league.

These conflicting arguments are part of an annual discussion around the voting for Major League Baseball’s Most Valuable Player awards.  This week, Shohei Ohtani should be named the MVP of the American League.  A true two-way player, Ohtani had a historic season with tremendous hitting statistics to couple with his starting pitching numbers.  This season came in yet another year wherein the Anaheim Angels failed to be a winning team or playoff contender.

For “Showtime,” as he has been nicknamed, it can easily be argued that he is the most indispensable as well as the the very best player in the league (quite frankly, both the AL and the NL.) So, conflicting schools of thought around MVPs is not one I’m interested in entertaining this season.

There are some great players that had great seasons in 2021.  Vlad Guerrero, Jr. surely will be recognized by many.  But Vlad can only hit and play first base.  And, when I wrote “only” in the previous sentence, it is purely based on the fact that Showtime can create runs, with his 46 home runs and 100 RBI, but also prevent runs.  Shohei had a 9 – 2 record with a below-league-average of 3.18 ERA, while striking out 156 in 130 innings.

This type of two-way player has not been seen in MLB since, well, Babe Ruth.  How can anyone argue against that history?

How would you vote, annually, for the Most Valuable Player?

Be safe, everyone!