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September 26, 2012

BP Unfiltered

A Modest Point About the AL MVP Race

by Colin Wyers

I know the crowd I'm writing for, and I know where 90 percent of my readers (if not more) are going to fall on the issue of whether or not Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout deserves to be named the Most Valuable Player in the American League. And I know this has been discussed to death, but I do want to raise one little point—just raise it, nothing more or less.

According to the Baseball Writers Association of America:

Dear Voter:
 
There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.
 
The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:
 
1.  Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
 
2.  Number of games played.
 
3.  General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
 
4.  Former winners are eligible.
 
5.  Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.
 
You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.
 
Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.
So. The question I have for all of you is, given the third listed rule, what are we (or really, voters) to make of the fact that Cabrera has been known to get drunk and then drive a car?

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

51 comments have been left for this article.

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