Just under three months to go until spring training begins, and the postseason award season finally concludes, I think, tonight.
The Orioles have won three Silver Sluggers, three more Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove and shared the Wilson award for best team defense. Buck Showalter even picked up a surprising third place vote in the Manager of the Year competition.
It’s Chris Davis’ turn tonight. He’s one of the three finalists for American League Most Valuable Player. Don’t expect him to win it.
Miguel Cabrera is the overwhelming favorite, and he should be. Mike Trout, the brilliant young start of the Los Angeles Angels came close to besting Cabrera last year, and he’s back in the final three this time.
Voters often defer to a player on a team that’s won a division or at least made it to the postseason. Votes have to be in when the regular season concludes. Cabrera’s team won its division. Davis’s and Trout’s didn’t.
It’s been 10 years since a player from a non-playoff team won an American League MVP. That was Alex Rodriguez, who won the first of his three in 2003 with the Texas Rangers. In the National League, Albert Pujols won it in 2008 playing with St. Louis.
Cabrera’s stats are impeccable. Davis’s are gaudy, too, but his 1.004 OPS trails Cabrera’s 1.078, and the Tigers won their division.
The Orioles’ last MVP came in 1991 when Cal Ripken won it for a team that lost 95 games. That was the last time a team with a losing record had an MVP.
Last year, Adam Jones came in sixth. Jim Johnson and Matt Wieters also got some votes. This year, Jones may get votes, Manny Machado should get some, too.
In 1997, the last year the Orioles won their division, reliever Randy Myers was their biggest votegetter, finishing fourth. Rafael Palmeiro, Arthur Rhodes and Roberto Alomar also got votes.
If the Orioles want another MVP, it’s best they win their division.