The Sports Pages: Jose Bautista for MVP?

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records man’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

- Earl Warren

Seems like all across America, the debate over the American League MVP award is centered around Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera. Sure, you hear occasional talk about Robinson Cano or even Adrian Beltre, but mostly it has been those two. One name that has been left out is that of Jose Bautista. All he did last night was club two home runs, including a grand slam.

Bautista is now 16 homers clear of second place (Cabrera and Paul Konerko) with 54 Bautista Bombs on the year and his five RBI night also brought him to within two of Cabrera for the major league lead in that category.

Is it time to give serious consideration to Bautista for MVP? I think so, but apart from the guys on the MLBNetwork set last night, I can’t find a national writer willing to make that case this morning. I’ll keep checking and update should I find one, but I’ll say this: If Cabrera is a legitimate candidate on a team with 80 wins, why wouldn’t Bautista be on a Blue Jays team that has a better record?

Turning to Tigers news, Kurt Mensching at Bless You Boys gives us the skinny on a proposed Stephen Drew for Rick Porcello trade that Arizona approached the Tigers about mid-season. Kurt sounds as if he would be in favor of such a trade should it be re-visited this winter.

While I like Drew, I’m content to go into next year with Porcello in the rotation and Jhonny Peralta at short. Afterall, Peralta’s only two years older than Drew and Fangraphs says Peralta has a UZR/150 of 6.5 at short since coming to the Tigers while Drew is at 7.4. That’s a pretty small difference and it doesn’t seem worth it to me to give up Porcello for an upgrade so small. I realize that Drew is a left handed hitter, but when you already have a shortstop that has proven capable on your roster, the hole isn’t as glaring as it was when this trade was proposed. if the Tigers turned it down then, I’d have to think they’d be less inclined to make the move now.

Speaking of pitchers potentially leaving the team, John Lowe of the Free Press says that Twins manager Ron Gradenhire has always loved the competitiveness of Jeremy Bonderman, who makes what could be his final start with the Tigers late this afternoon. Not sure why Gardenhire was even asked this question, seeing as the Tigers are taking on the Orioles and not the Twins, but whatever I guess.

As much as I have wavered about the idea of keeping Bondo, I have always admired his willingness to go after the hitter, even after injuries sapped him of his velocity.

And speaking of the Freep, Rogo at DesigNateRobertson has taken umbrage with a reader-submitted column they saw fit to post on their site. In the absence of FJM, Rogo never fails to bring joy to my heart with his unrelenting anger and vulgar humor. A guilty pleasure I suppose.

At Tigers Amateur Analysis, Erin (aka SabreRoseTiger) points out that with the injury to Cabrera, the Venezuelan Mafia is down to the last man standing (which was a very underrated Bruce Willis flick, btw).

That’s all I have for today, kiddies. Enjoy the links!

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Tags: Detroit Tigers Jeremy Bonderman Jose Bautista Miguel Cabrera Toronto Blue Jays

  • steve

    Looks like liver-lips bautista and big-sloppi ortiz found a new “ped” doctor.
    something tells me that drew is being over-rated, and
    if gardenhire likes jeremy blunderman so much, let the twins sign him, that might help the Tigersd

    • John Parent

      Steve- I like Drew, but I agree that he’s probably a bit overrated. When he came up he was supposed to become one of the best SS in the game, but his bat, while productive, hasn’t been great. His biggest asset seems to be that he hits left handed, which is rare for a SS.

  • Zac Snyder

    Not a great crop of candidates this year. Miguel has been great but the team has been mediocre. Josh Hamilton has had the best season on a playoff team but he has missed so much time due to injury that I have a hard time giving the award to him. Jose Bautista has the far and away better home run numbers but his .262 average doesn’t do a lot for me. He has earned a place in the conversation with me since he has raised it from the low .230s at the All-Star break. I take Konerko out of the discussion because his team hasn’t been much better than the Tigers and his numbers are like Cabreras but just a bit lower across the board.

  • john

    Why is it that whenever a player has a breakout year, some people automatically play the steroid card? It’s not like Bautista bulked up from last season, the guy is 6′ 195 pounds, which is pretty average by baseball standards. He found a great swing with the help of hitting coach Don Baylor and he ran away with it.

    • John Parent

      I have no idea why that happens, but it drives me crazy. There have been extensive studies done and none of them have concluded that steroids help much, if at all. Bautista hasn’t gotten bigger, he’s just become a better hitter. he always had the potential to become an above average player and working with two very good hitting coaches in Baylor and Gaston has unlocked that potential. It saddens me that players, who are tested often nowadays, still have to be saddled with doubt. I understand, I guess, but it’s unfortunate that a player like Bautista is being judged because players before him used drugs.

  • frank iker

    Bautista can also play defence. Check out his assists in the OF plus he can play an above average 3rd base.
    Besides his HR & RBI’s, Bautista became just the seventh player in major league history to record at least 50 home runs, 100 walks and 30 doubles in the same season.

    • Matt Snyder

      Bautista can play defense, he just can’t play it particularly well. He’s not better than average at any position.