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:
- SI's Tim Marchman ranked the general managers. He put Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski in the middle of the pack at 13th. He wrote:
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.
- MLivie's Steve Kornacki wrote that Bobby Seay's shoulder still hurts some. Seay is concerned, but Tigers don't think it's an issue quite yet. Fortunately the Tigers have a lot of left-handed pitchers but you hate to see that happen to a veteran like Seay. Too early to worry (too much) though.
- Also at MLive, Tigers play-by-play guy Dan Dickerson spoke to radio station WBBL.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck wrote Boesch continues to recover well from being hit in the face.
- He has a story about manager Jim Leyland's thoughts on the pitching battle, too.
- Samara writes what will certainly shock many around these parts: People aspire to be Brandon Inge.
- Awesomely enough, she also has postcards from Paws.