David Ortiz is having a resurgent year for the Red Sox, and at times has practically carried the team on his back. He just hit his 400th career home run, and will be the lone Red Sox representative at next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City.
Josh Hamilton right now appears to be the leader in the MVP race. But Papi is right in there as well. And this is the first time he has been a serious candidate since his stellar year of 2006, when he broke the Red Sox record of 50 home runs, and blasted 54 on the year.
But naturally, the prejudice against him being a DH surfaced, and he wound up losing out to Alex Rodriguez. I heard from many so-called "experts" that since Papi only played the field in interleague games, that more or less should remove him from any MVP consideration.
And now I'm hearing the same thing again, and they are using the same BS again: that whoever is in the running with Ortiz is having a great "defensive" year, and that should make the difference in the voting. They said the same thing about Slappy in 2006. So tell me, was ANYONE talking about any MVP candidate's defense in any year's voting that didn't involve Papi or any other DH making a difference? Was anyone talking about how much better a defensive year Ryan Braun had over Matt Kemp in 2011? Of course not.
And can you remember the last time a guy had a great offensive year but was a lousy fielder and it cost him an MVP? I can't. There have been terrible fielders who've won league MVP awards (Reggie Jackson and Jose Canseco come to mind). An MVP is judged on his offensive numbers and where his team is in the standings. Defense means NOTHING.
In my opinion, ANY baseball player can be an MVP, and that includes
position players, starting pitchers, relief pitchers and designated
And I guarantee you that if Papi's numbers continue to grow larger and larger as the year goes on, you'll hear this "defensive" crap argument ("so and so is having a great year in the field this year") rear its ugly head once again with force.
Last time I looked DH's are part of baseball, and have been for four decades. David Ortiz is clearly the Red Sox' MVP so far in 2012. And he merits consideration for the AL MVP for 2012.
And BTW, speaking of Papi, it might be in his best interest to quit whining about his contract status. The other day, he gave an interview to USA Today and said how he was "humilated" and "embarrassed" by the fact he had to settle for a one-year deal last winter for $14 million.
Papi: the average fan is tired of hearing about athletes complaining about money, especially one who got a "paltry" $2 million raise over 2011. And I understand your frustration in a way, as there are players on your team with multi-year deals making more who've done squat this year. And do you remember who was "humilated" and "embarrassed" in 2011? It was all of Red Sox Nation, for what we went through last September. And you were a big part of that humiliation as well.
It was really a smart move by the Sox to offer Papi arbitration last winter, and it smart for him to accept it. The market for a 36-year-old DH was almost non-existent, and there's no way he would have gotten a better deal from any other AL team. (And he can't use the Yankees as leverage, because New York is doing a smart thing with their DH, using it as a "DH by committee" for their aging starters, and getting some good production from it.)
Fans, especially in this economy, are fed up with baseball players whining about money, Papi. Go out and win that MVP award. Worry about 2013 after this year is done. There's no "humilation" in getting an eight-figure salary.