Since I'm on the starting pitcher theme I'm going with another year where a starting pitcher was in serious contention for the award. Pedro Martinez went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA in 1999 and finished 2nd in the A.L. MVP voting. He would actually receive more first place votes than any other candidate, eight, but fell 13 voting points behind the winner Ivan Rodriguez. 1999 was the height of the offesive explosion during the late 90's which is now labeld the steroid era. It's not surprising Martinez received so much support as a pitcher putting up those kind of numbers with the game being dominated by offense.
Rodriguez's MVP win has been ridiculed heavily by the stathead crowd. With so many great offensive performances during the year his numbers paled in comparison to many others. Of course his excellent defense earns him bonus points and his numbers in many other years would have been MVP calibar but not in 1999. Given his win and Pedro's strong showing maybe it was a little writer backlash against the "arena baseball" that was being played that year. In all of this though the biggest contributer to Rodriguez's win may have been teammates Roberto Alomar and Manny Ramirez splitting their votes as they finished with the exact same number of first place votes and ended up tied for 3rd overall. If a couple of first place votes had been switch to the other one of them would have won the MVP.
So how bad of a choice was Pudge? Was Pedro Martinez really the MVP? Should have one of the Indians won it?
1) Ivan Rodriguez 2) Pedro Martinez 3t) Roberto Alomar 3t) Manny Ramirez 5) Rafael Palmeiro 6) Derek Jeter 7) Nomar Garciaparra 8) Jason Giambi 9) Shawn Green 10) Ken Griffey Jr 11) Bernie Williams 12) Carlos Delgado 13) Juan Gonzalez 14) Mariano Rivera 15) Alex Rodriguez 16) Omar Vizquel 17) Matt Stairs 18t) John Jaha 18t) B.J. Surhoff
.309/.384/.588, 136 RC, 143 OPS+, .317 EQA, 69.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares
.315/.422/.553, 134 RC, 148 OPS+, .332 EQA, 75.6 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.285/.384/.576, 132 RC, 138 OPS+, .312 EQA, 75.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares
245 ERA+, 8.46 K/BB, 0.92 WHIP, 101.0 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.324/.420/.630, 151 RC, 160 OPS+, .336 EQA, 86.1 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.323/.422/.533, 127 RC, 140 OPS+, .324 EQA, 86.4 VORP, 35 Win Shares
.357/.418/.603, 133 RC, 152 OPS+, .335 EQA, 97.0 VORP, 32 Win Shares
.342/.435/.536, 139 RC, 157 OPS+, .330 EQA, 90.6 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.333/.442/.663, 151 RC, 174 OPS+, .352 EQA, 89.3 VORP, 35 Win Shares
.349/.438/.552, 149 RC, 161 OPS+, .337 EQA, 118.0 VORP, 35 Win Shares
Really who else could it have been? The guy is the MVP every year! FACE OF BASEBALL~!
Anyways for the all the hype Jeter gets as a living legend, 1999 was truly the one year where he was out of this world and he's never really come close to it since. It's so far above any other year he's had you could call it a fluke at this point. But it is interesting that in this year he didn't come that close to winning the MVP. As much as I mock the Jeter lovefest by New York media/fans, ESPN, and Fox I do feel that he is some what underrated by non-Yankee fans who are so sick of the hype. Maybe it's possible non-New York writers are the same way. Also when you look at the little support Bernie Williams had there could have also been a bit of a Yankee backlash after their historically dominate 1998 season. Who knows, maybe Jeter's legend didn't truly reach ridiculous levels until his insanely overrated play in the Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS when THAT FAT FUCK JEREMY GIAMBI DIDN'T SLIDE!!!!
Oh and going back to the original subject of the thread, Martinez like every year had to a skip a few starts and that has always hurt his potential MVP credentials. It's really a tribute to his great season that despite only making 29 starts he would crack the Top 10. And yes Rodriguez was a very bad choice as MVP although he came very close to being in the Top 10 and I flip-flopped between him and Green for the 10 spot.