In just about every North American team sport, the top individual award is annually given to the player judged most valuable to his team.
Which begs the question: what the fuck do you mean by "valuable"?
Of course, everybody has their own particular view on what valuable means to them, so the voting for these top awards ends up being imbued with all sorts of nonsense and bunk that ha come to be a regular part of the process: You need to play for a contender, but you can't have too many other good players on your team (otherwise, how valuabe are you really?); you can't be a DH; you shouldn't be a pitcher; you'd be a better bet if you play a "premium" position...
It's all bollocks. The only thing that maintaining this whole "MVP" meme does is keep corpulent intellectually lazy hacks in sports columnists jobs. And really, how much value do they add to your everyday life?
Nothing, though, quite takes the cake as much Robert McLeod's blog post espousing Marco Scutaro as the Jays' MVP. This is taking the whole concept of "valuable" to its most absurd extreme.
Was Scoots "valuable", in as much as he was able to step in and provide above-replacement-level offense and good-sometimes-great defense at multiple positions? No doubt. And way back in November of last year, when the Jays went out and snagged him from Oakland, we figured that his position flexibility would be his greatest asset.
But seriously. Come on. Be real. If you want to say that Scutaro was the team's Unsung Hero, who might not get the headlines but who was important to keeping the season afloat, then fine. But don't go telling me that he and his .695 OPS were the key to keeping the Jays in the race.
Don't even try to compare his offensive totals to Alex Rios. Or if you insist, allow us:
Rios: 46 2Bs, 15 HRs, 78 RsBI, 31 SBs and an .801 OPS in 150 games played.
Scutaro: 22 2Bs, 7 HRs, 58 RsBI, 7 SBs and the aforementioned .695 OPS in 140 games.
Moreover, if you want to look at defensive flexibility, don't overlook the "value" of Rios' moving to centrefield for 59 games this year, which was as important to the Jays' fortunes as Scutaro's forays at short, second and third.
It's not that we don't appreciate Scutaro. We just wish that people would stop trying to be so cute about this and float out these stupid theories.
Fuck the MVP. Let's just call it "Player of the Year", and be done with it.
(Mind you, if you want to discuss Rios vs. Halladay vs. Scott Downs for Player of the Year, we're listening.)