Dustin Pedroia Not Deserving Of MVP ?
Posted by Mike on November 19, 2008
Resident stat-geek at ESPN, Rob Neyer wasn’t someone who was fond of Red Sox second basemen Dustin Pedroia winning an MVP. Neyer feels that Pedroia was lucky to win the award, because of the injury to Carlos Quentin. The Bill James wannabe said that the award should of actually went to Twins catcher Joe Mauer, because “Joe Mauer was one of the three best players in the American League, and that Dustin Pedroia might have been”. What Neyer feels to realize, is how Pedroia carried the Sox down the stretch, even batting fourth when he was needed. He was a one-man show for the month of August. Without Pedroia the Sox playoff dreams would have went down the toilets. He may not have the star power name yet, he may not belt 30 HR’s or 120 RBI’s, or even steal 40 bases, but he brings leadership and focus to a team that desperately needed it after the Manny Ramirez fiasco, when the team need a clutch hit it was Pedroia who came through, and his gold glove defense help get the Sox out of many big innings. Joe Mauer had a fantastic year, but everything Pedroia does doesn’t show-up on the stat sheet. More from Neyer:
Unique? From Dictionary.com:
u-nique -adjective 1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
Aside from his height, there’s nothing unique about Dustin Pedroia. Unusual: yes. Unique: no. Chase Utley plays the game right, and is a better hitter and a better fielder than Pedroia. Utley stole 14 bases this season, and was caught twice. Pedroia stole 20 bases, and was caught once. I’m sorry, but one steal per month just doesn’t contribute much to uniqueness.
Clutch hitting? Pedroia’s career numbers in the clutch are nothing special.
The Red Sox wouldn’t have reached the playoffs without Pedroia? That’s a mighty tough case to make. At season’s end, the Red Sox owned a six-game lead over the Yankees in the wild-card standings. I dare say that even if Dustin Pedroia had never been born, the Red Sox would still have finished ahead of the Yankees in 2008. (And if it’s really Pedroia’s pure force of will that’s driving the Red Sox to win, then they won’t have to worry about retaining Jason Varitek. Might as well measure Pedroia for that captain’s C right now!)
It’s not so obvious that Pedroia was the American League’s Most Valuable Player. He didn’t do anything that Chase Utley didn’t do, and Utley finished 14th in the National League’s MVP balloting.
Which isn’t to suggest that Pedroia wasn’t an outstanding MVP candidate. This was an odd year in the American League. Of the four postseason teams, three — every team but the Red Sox — simply lacked a viable candidate. Chicago’s Carlos Quentin quite probably would have won the award if he hadn’t missed the last five weeks of the season. But he did, which left only Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis among those in the playoff money. There’s really not a great deal to choose from between them. If you value hitting most of all, Youkilis is your man. If you value the other things, it’s Pedroia.