Major league baseball really needs to clarify the intent behind its various awards. The Cy Young award, at least is clear: The award is given to the East Coast pitcher with the best run support. Fine, got it.
The Comeback Player of the Year award, however, needs some work. I keep hearing that Carlos Peña is a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Remind me again, what is Carlos Peña coming back from? Being a disappointment every single year for five years and then finally not being terrible? Heck of a comeback, kid.
Look, if you want the award to be available to every player, whether or not they were ever injured, or are coming back from anything, of any kind, in any way, at all, then just call it the “Most Improved Player Award”. We all know that award well—it’s the award the clumsy kid gets on youth teams where the league says that everyone has to get an award. Rocco gets the MVP award, Jocko gets the award for leading his team in scoring, Studz gets the award for best defense, and the clumsy kid gets “Most Improved” because this year he didn’t trip Jocko on a breakaway layup.
Carlos Peña can win the Most Improved Player Award, no problem. But Comeback Player of the Year? C’mon. Go stink it up next year, or better yet try to break something, and we’ll consider you in 2009.
All of which brings me (and it only took 5 paragraphs) to the MVP award, in which no one really knows what the “V” part is supposed to mean. If “valuable” means best, then the award should go to Alex Rodriguez, who is the league’s best player this year. A-Rod wins the MBP award: Most Bestest Player. But if “valuable” means “most amazing season,” then the award should to Magglio Ordoñez. Guys hit 50 HRs occasionally, but power hitters just don’t hit .360. Ordoñez wins the MASD award: Most Awesome Season, Dude! But if “valuable” means you had the most value to your team, then the award should probably go to Vlad Guerrero. Without A-Rod, the Yankees are still an excellent offensive team with suspect pitching, and without Ordoñez, the Tigers will still score a lot of runs and the pitching won’t be any worse. Even with these guys, the Yanks and Tigers have a chance to stay home in October. Without Vlad, where would the Angels be? So Vlad wins the…what should we call this one?...ah, the MVP: Most Valuable Player. Though he isn’t most awesome, or bestest. This award needs some work.