Today the American League MVP was announced and to many people's surprise, New York Yankee short stop, Derek Jeter was not awarded this coveted award. Many in the sports world thought that he deserved this award for his stellar play this year.
Jeter was awesome this year...absolutely awesome! He rose to the occasion it seemed whenever his team needed him. The one home game I attended this year, Jeter hit a double to score the go ahead run. The Yankees ultimately lost the game, but he started a much needed rally. It was a rush to hear the roar of 55,000 fans as the ball rolled into the left field corner. As Jeter stood at 2nd base the same 55,000 fans chanted MVP at the top of their voices. I must confess to joining this massed choir, and it was a thrill for me.
Looking back over the last few years, the New York Yankees have been snubbed by the MLB offices and these awards. Many felt that the 2005 American League Cy Young award should have gone to Mariano Rivera last year, who was lights out for the entire season. I have heard a well known radio broadcaster who is a New York Mets fan, say that Rivera could be the MVP for all of baseball for the last 10 years, but he has never won such accolades from the baseball writers.
Why do you say? I believe that in the baseball world, there is a hatred for the New York Yankees. I believe it is the old philosophy that you either love or hate the Yankees. Clearly that may seem so in this case. Derek Jeter is excellence on and and off the field. He does whatever it takes to win. He may not have the best numbers, he did rather well this year, but players would rather be on his team than against him. Fans can remember the "Flip" play in the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland A's, or the dive into the stands on July 1, 2004. Red Sox fans cried out in the latter as their "star" shorts stop Nomah Garciapara was sitting on the bench sulking. They acknowledged the supremacy of Jeter. I heard it with my own ears on Boston sports talk WEEI.
Justin Morneau had a great season, but Jeter was clearly ripped off. I am sure he is a little saddened, but he has four world championships, and for Jeter he would trade all of the personal accolades for a team championship. He would say the award doesn't matter, he wants the championship.
That my friends is the attitude of a true team player, a winner, a true MVP.