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Miguel Cabrera over Joe Mauer? MVP voter finally explains

When the American League Most Valuable Player voting was announced last fall, finger pointing began instantly.

Surely, only an idiot Detroit beat writer would be dumb enough to vote for Miguel Cabrera over Joe Mauer, some of the national bloggers wrote.


They learned not too much later it was actually a beat writer who follows the Mariners, Keizo Konishi of the Kyodo News. What no one learned after that, however, was why he would vote in such a way.

Until now. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times spoke to Konishi about it Thursday (hat-tip HardBallTalk). It turns out Konishi was on vacation when the press was interested in his side of the story, but he wanted to get the word out now.

He told Kepner:

"I thought that the Western division and the Eastern division were almost decided by mid-August. The only tight race was the Central division. Two teams went really deep, the Tigers and the Twins, so I thought the M.V.P. should be selected from those two teams.

"What I thought is, ‘Who has the most importance to those two teams?’ I imagined what would happen if you picked someone out of the lineup. For example, if I took Cabrera out of the Tigers’ lineup, I thought it would be a very different team. If I did the same thing for the Twins, if I picked Mauer out of their lineup, they would still have a better lineup compared to the Tigers."

Asked if Cabrera's drunken incident late in the season mattered, Konishi was unsure whether he'd change his vote if he had all the details he has now.

In other news:

Dombrowski hasn't had the best run lately between a string of dubious trades involving players like Jair Jurrjens and Curtis Granderson and the equally dubious contracts given players like Gary Sheffield and Dontrelle Willis. That said, you have to respect his incredible resume.