In last night's 8-1 Yankee win over the Twins, Curtis Granderson was yet again a contributor. During the broadcast, Yankees announcer Michael Kay made a claim that Curtis Granderson, if he can get his batting average to .290, is a shoo-in for the AL MVP. Yankee analyst John Flaherty believed that Curtis didn't even have to bump his average up, and that he was fine at his current .284 for the MVP.
I have been saying all season long that I believe Curtis Granderson deserves the AL MVP, even though I think the writers - who are all fawning over Adrian Gonzalez the way Chris Matthews fawned over Obama - will remain on the A-Gon bandwagon.
At first I thought I was the one that was biased. I mean, I watch Curtis Granderson every day, I adore the guy. He's my guy. But then I took what Michael Kay said into consideration. I looked up some stats.
I'm really not that far off, am I? Curtis Granderson is having an MVP type season, and if he's lucky, he can potentially beat the anointed winner, Adrian Gonzalez.
Let's look at the three "main" stats for C-Grand and A-Gon as of August 20th:
Curtis Granderson: .284 avg, 34 HR, 96 RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez: .346 avg, 18 HR, 93 RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez is leading the AL in batting average, but Michael Young of the Texas Rangers is right behind him at .341.If Young can pass him, that would be huge. Second in average is not nearly as impressive as first. Jose Bautista remains one home run ahead of Curtis Granderson for the lead (the two have been flip-flopping all year long, and they probably will continue to do so), but Gonzalez is nowhere near the top in that category. Granderson sits atop baseball as the RBI leader, with Gonzalez in third.
Another stat that Granderson has dominated in is runs scored. He leads all of baseball with 113 runs, and no one else is even close - the next closest is Toronto's Jose Bautista with 90. This isn't just impressive - it's historic. My Curtis might reach 150 runs scored. Some other players to reach that milestone? Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Rogers Hornsby, just to name a few.
So Granderson isn't just leading in driving in runs - he's scoring runs. He's knocking guys in, and putting himself in the position to be knocked in. How's he doing that? Well, unlike A-Gon, Granderson is a 5-tool player, and one of those tools is his speed. Curtis is in the top 10 amongst AL stolen base leaders with 23. A-Gon has 1. My Curtis has that rare but lethal combination of speed and power - oh so sexy! (Sorry, I had to). He runs as fast as he drives the ball far. That's why he leads the AL in triples with 10.
Here's a fun stat. It was the trivia question in last night's Yankees game, and I actually knew it (lucky guess)! It was something like this:
"Curtis Granderson is in the 100s with runs, 30s with home runs, the 20s with steals, and the 10s with triples. Who was the only other player in the history of baseball to do such a thing?"
Jeez, my sweet Curtis Granderson making history alongside Willie Mays? Don't think A-Gon can put that on his resume!
I'm not done yet.
Curtis Granderson is also way ahead of Adrian Gonzalez in slugging percentage. His .596 is over 50 points higher than A-Gon's, and is good for 2nd in the AL. Granderson leads all of baseball with 271 total bases. He also guarantees a good at-bat. Granderson leads the majors, seeing 4.47 pitches per at bat, and he has seen more pitches than any player this season. It took me a while to find Gonzalez on that list. He was 47th in the AL.
My Curtis is doing what he's doing this season at the premier position of centerfield, and he has spent a good chunk of the season batting third for the potent Yankee lineup. Many criticized Granderson last season (who didn't start playing up to his capability until last August), because his numbers were not where they thought they should be. I expected big things from him this season, but I admit it - I am a little surprised that he is this good. Maybe the "WOW" factor can help Curtis win. I mean, when the Red Sox made the big splash by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, people automatically assumed that he'd be an MVP candidate. Not sure how many people thought Curtis would do this.
If nothing else, Curtis Granderson is giving Adrian Gonzalez a run for his money. Granderson leads in wins above replacement on the team that leads the AL East - that right there proves how valuable he is.
I don't think he is going to win, because I think the writers are stupid biased Yankee haters. Jeter got screwed out of the MVP a in '09, CC was screwed out of the Cy Young for two years in a row, and unfortunately, I expect the trend to continue.
But the numbers don't lie. If the writers choose to ignore the numbers, that's their own stupid decision.
I know who would have my vote.
by Virginia Califano