Explaining my AL MVP ballot: Why I had Betts first, Britton ninth - Page 3 of 12 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Explaining my AL MVP ballot: Why I had Betts first, Britton ninth

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Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

2.      Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels

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Not much left to say here. I guess a fair argument is that Trout has spoiled us to the point that some writers look for an excuse not to vote him first. But this is the first time I’ve had a MVP vote (for 11 seasons I was prohibited from voting for any awards while an employee of the Baltimore Sun) and I tried to look at it with fresh eyes.

For me, it just came down to the fact that I didn’t think he separated himself enough from Betts to make up for the fact that the Angels were never higher than fourth in their division from June 3 on. So, while others were performing at the highest level in a months-long pennant race, Trout didn’t have that same spotlight glare. Again, not his fault. I get it. I completely understand the argument for him, and I have no problem with him winning it.

But so long as valuable is in the title of the award, and it’s not specifically defined, a team’s pennant-race viability will be factored into my interpretation. By the way, Trout wasn’t Mookie-like against the Orioles in 2016, but he wasn’t a slouch – going 7-for-23 (.304 average) with six singles, one double, four walks, six strikeouts, one steal and two RBIs in six games. He’s awesome. No argument here.

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