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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

JV for MVP? I'm not the only one who'd vote that way, given the chance

Well before Justin Verlander took the hill Saturday night, for the 34th time this season, in search of win No. 25 — making him the first in MLB since Hazel Park native Bob Welch won 27 for Oakland in 1990 — people were talking about the lanky Virginian for not only Cy Young, but for the American League MVP.

I finally weighed in on the topic for Sunday's editions. (For full disclosure, I do not have an MVP vote, although I am a BBWAA member. I vote for the AL Rookie of the Year this season.)

I'm hardly the first to sound off on the topic, however.

A ton of national columnists have already made their preference known — either for or against.

He was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, with the letters "MVP," followed by the subheadline: "At least he should be. There's no doubt he's the Red Sox' and Yankees' worst October nightmare."

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated wrote about how magic the number of 25 wins would be to his candidacy.'s Anthony Castrovince noted that the acronym MVP stands for Most Valuable Player — not just position player — and Verlander's a player, too.

ESPN's Buster Olney has said he's backing Verlander, while his colleague, Jayson Stark, argued why Verlander deserves it, as well.

The stories weren't all supportive of the argument.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan said that people shouldn't hold their breath for it to happen — because Verlander wasn't.

The New York Times' Neil Paine admitted the MVP votes are likely to go elsewhere.'s Ken Rosenthal didn't discount Verlander's candidacy, but said he didn't like the "groundswell" of support he sensed in support of the pitcher.

How do other players feel? A number of pitchers from the last 20 years — including John Smoltz — say no.

Bob Gibson, the last pitcher to win the MVP in the National League back in 1968, says yes.


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