Yes, yes he can.â†µ
In his latest blog post about something I covered on The Crawfish Boxes a month ago, Richard Justice takes the side of the Astros organization, taking the Baseball Writers Association of America's Houston chapter to task for voting Hunter Pence as the Astros MVP.
He may have a solid argument that Hunter Pence shouldn't be the team MVP. He's not the one I would have voted for. He's also right that there is a problem with a voting system that doesn't let Brian McTaggart vote on things or Jim DeShaies or Brett Dolan or Dave Raymond. Those guys have just as much insight as the rest, but of course only one actually writes.â†µ
I'd never be foolish enough to suggest I should be in the Houston chapter, even though I covered the team more thoroughly than at least one voting member did. I didn't, however, cover any gamess, sit around the clubhouse to get a feel for the team, talk with the coaching staff or see any of the little things that set players apart.â†µ
Voting Hunter Pence was a slap in the face to the team. The team should not have called anyone and asked them to change their votes. But, he shouldn't have been named MVP, either. Justice gets both of those points right.â†µ
What he gets wrong is suggesting Carlos Lee meant more to the team and should have been named MVP. He's hung up on home runs and RBIs for his argument, ignoring defense. You can't even make the case that his veteranyness helped the younger guys, because this team lost just as much with young players as with the old ones.â†µ
No, Lee wasn't the most valuable, at least in my book. If I had to vote, I'd have picked Clint Barmes, not Pence or Lee. I wouldn't have been in the majority, but I could make a better case for him than either of those other two guys. Lee wasn't the best hitter on the team when Pence was here and he didn't finish the season as the best offensive player. J.D. Martinez held that title. Barmes was the best defensive player on the team at the end and may have had a better season than Michael Bourn. Of course, defense doesn't win MVPs and so he wouldn't have won.â†µ
So, Justice got it right and then got it wrong with his finish. It happens. I'm frequently wrong on entire posts, so he's ahead of me on that one already. He's just not going to convince me Lee should have been MVP.â†µ