Originally Posted by Brainiac
I still haven't heard anyone explain how Trout leading the Angels to a 3rd place finish makes him the MVP. Spare me the talk about the Angels' tough division and all the other crap. The fact is that he was leading the league in hitting on August 1st, and he didn't perform nearly as well down the stretch when the Angels were actually in the pennant race. He hit .284 after August 1st. That is not an MVP performance.
You don't decide the MVP on August 1st. You decide it after ALL of the games have been played.
How a player closes the season is important in the MVP race, no doubt about it. You're fresh/hot in the mind of voters, most importantly. But the stuff that happens early counts, too. I'll point out that despite hitting .284 after August 1, Trout still posted a sterling OBP (.377).
If the award is truly "Most Valuable Player, " it should go to the player who was the best player in the league over the course of the whole season. Not just the first four months of the season, and not just the last two months.
You can make a fine case for Miguel Cabrera. Same thing with Trout. It's not a slam dunk in either direction. Neither choice is egregiously wrong.
I've long thought that the whole "Did his team make the playoffs" thing is ridiculous. Basing an individual award on team performance is about as dumb as basing a Gold Glove on offensive performance. So OF COURSE it happens all the time.
Matt Kemp was the best player in the National League last year (that WAS a slam dunk), but didn't take home the hardware.