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MVP Argument

On the SB Nation email list we have a Yankees and Red Sox writer and recently one of them emailed the list saying that the race for MVP is strictly between Derek Jeter and David Ortiz. That may be the case because apparently all the other teams in the American League don't have players who've been excellent in 2006, or even carried their respective teams. People like Jermaine Dye, Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez. I like to focus in on the teams that are competing for division crowns because for me, winning and MVP go hand and hand.

As for the A's, you might be able to make a case for Nick Swisher if the A's go on to win the West and he has a monster September. But the truth is that the A's have no clear cut candidate. I'd nominate the A's bullpen, but they might have to come up with a new category called Most Valuable Pen instead. Chavez would definitely be a consideration if he'd been having a much better offensive year because he's won some games with his defense alone.

My question is, why are players like Jeter even mentioned? He's surrounded by utter superstars, isn't leading the league in any offensive category (although he's second in batting average behind Mauer). I realize that it's because we live in an era where the Red Sox and Yankees are the only teams that warrant national mentions. The power of the media that follows the Red Sox and Yankees is unquestioned. I wouldn't pretend for a second that Ortiz shouldn't be a frontrunner, although I still think an MVP should excel in more than one area of the game.

To me, even thought Gardenhire said that Morneau, not Mauer is the Twins MVP I would argue for Mauer as MVP because of his hitting and the fact that he regularly catches some of the best starting pitching and bullpen in the AL. He plays the most grueling position in the game while maintaining an amazing level of offensive production. Mauer is a special, special player. To me, 125 games or so into the year, there's no question that Mauer deserves the MVP.

What do you say AN? Is Ortiz the MVP (he'd be either second or third place on my ballot behind Mauer and Pudge)? Should Jeter even be in the running on a team filled with superstars?