There is little doubt that Alex Rodriguez will win this year’s AL MVP award. He has the best stats of any hitter in baseball this year. 54 home runs. 156 RBI. A batting average of .314. A slugging percentage of .645. Yep, he’s the best this year.
Funny thing about that MVP award, it sure doesn’t mean much when it comes to the playoffs. At least recently. In fact, if you look at the last 25 years, the MVP of either league has lead their team to a World Series victory a grand total of 3 times. Out of 50 regular season MVP’s only 3 of them went on to win the whole thing.
In the AL the last to do it was Willie Hernandez of the Detroit Tigers when they won it all in 1984. Oh, and by the way- he also won the Cy Young that season. Cal Ripken had accomplished the feat the year before, taking home the MVP and winning the series over the Phillies in ’83. The last AL regular season MVP to make it to the World Series was Rickey Henderson in 1990. In 1988, two MVP’s faced off when Kirk Gibson’s Dodgers beat Canseco and the A’s. That happens to be the last time the NL MVP won the series.
The NL MVP’s have had a little more success getting to the series however. Bonds made it in ’02. Of Course the Giants had 5 of the last 7 MVP’s with Bonds and Jeff Kent, and haven’t been super successful as a team. Chipper Jones gave it a run in ’99, but came up short against the Yankees. Kevin Mitchell (another Giant) lost the World Series in his MVP year of 1989.
So, as an Indians fan I say congratulations A-Rod! Fine accomplishment. Hand him the trophy Thursday night in Cleveland if you want. We won’t even boo. As for all those NL MVP candidates, maybe their fans should think twice before campaigning too hard.