“Yankee’s MVP? It’s gotta be CC” – No, it doesn’t

No one provides a bigger stage for sports journalists and personalities to showcase their lack of common sense than ESPN, the worldwide leader in terrible sports journalism.

Today, an article by Johnette Howard attempts to convince the reader that CC Sabathia is the Yankee’s MVP this season. Let’s see how Ms. Howard supports her claim.

***Spoiler*** Not very well.

NEW YORK — It’s funny to think the New York Yankees could have this year’s American League Most Valuable Player on their roster in Curtis Granderson and he might not even be the MVP of their team.

Is it really funny? I don’t find myself laughing at this, and I know that I have a great sense of humor. Not to mention, what a non-sense statement, way to really grab the reader’s attention, Johnette! Curtis Granderson might be the best player in the American League, but he might not be the best player on his team… What? So Granderson might be better than every player in the league, but there is someone that exists in his very own organization that is better than him. Proceed.

But the question was worth asking Sunday after CC Sabathiafollowed up his workhorse victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday by steamrollering the Toronto Blue Jays at the stadium shortly before Yanks manager Joe Girardi refused to make a decision on the Great Pitching Rotation Debate of 2011 — this after he teased everyone in his pregame talk by saying they’d have to wait until after the game for his announcement.

Keep in mind, this article is about CC Sabathia being the MVP of the Yankees.

Punting wasn’t among most people’s multiple-choice answers for what Girardi might decide. Most money was on Phil Hughes heading to the bullpen, and A.J. Burnett and that fabulous neurosis that always rides in a sidecar next to him avoiding the same fate, at least until the end of the month. Bartolo Colon was Girardi’s possible surprise choice because of the way his performances have dipped lately. Colon has logged more innings this season than he has anytime since 2005.

The longer Girardi spoke after the game — first about how “incredible” and gutsy Burnett was while allowing two runs in five innings against the Red Sox on Thursday after making a slight mechanical change in his delivery, and then about how Hughes looked more terrific than usual (ignoring how he again faded by the seventh inining) — the more something else came into sharper focus: Saying who’s the odd man out wasn’t the most important news that could’ve come out of Sunday.

I just did a CTRL + F on my web browser to see how many times CC Sabathia’s name came up, the result, zero. How about MVP? Zero again! Well, I must be way to critical, so I’ll read it over one more time. Nope, however, I did get to learn about A.J. Burnett’s guts and neurosis, which in case anyone wasn’t aware, directly correlates to CC Sabathia’s “team” MVP candidacy.

Blah Blah Blah, nothing really added for another seven paragraphs, and then this:

Sabathia improved to 19-7 this season. Until Tuesday, he was 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Red Sox and 17-3 with a 2.40 ERA against everyone else. Had things gone better in those Boston games, he’d be right there in contending with Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award and chasing a 25-win season of his own.

How interesting! If the Mariners had just won twenty random games instead of losing them, they would be contending for a playoff spot! Sports journalism! Do you think that Justin Verlander’s numbers may be helped out a bit if we changed the result of four of his worst starts? Just maybe?

Regardless, CC Sabathia is contending with Justin Verlander for the AL Cy Young award. Justin Verlander’s WAR is 6.4, CC’s is 6.3. So it’s not like those four starts have put him out of reach of being the best pitcher in the American League. Whether the idiots that vote for these awards recognize this is a topic for another post.

It’s great that Granderson is a run-scoring machine and he’s in a fight for the league lead in homers.

I noticed how she failed to mention that Granderson’s WAR is 6.7, meaning that he has been worth more wins above replacement than CC, and therefore, undoubtedly has been the most valuable player on the Yankees.

In the end, Ms. Howard leaves us with this gem.

Most starters never come close to making the transition from most valuable pitcher to most valuable player for their clubs. But Sabathia makes it look possible, no matter how many pitches it takes.

What does that even mean?

CC has pitched extremely well, on a less than stellar staff, which Johnette addresses, and may very well be deserving of the AL Cy Young, but Granderson, as evident by his greater WAR, has been more valuable to the Yankees. Granderson’s value is also being dragged down a bit by his defensive numbers, which are less reliable than offensive metrics.

Good luck next time, Johnette.




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