Victor Martinez finishes second in AL MVP voting; Detroit voter places him sixth on ballot

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The Detroit Tigers reign of MVP supremacy ended at three straight when Los Angeles Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout took home the 2014 edition of the award, besting Victor Martinez who finished in second place.

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Trout was a unanimous selection for the 2014 MVP. It was no surprise that Trout won after two years of his supporters crying foul following finishing behind Miguel Cabrera. Also it is no surprise that he won handily. And also no surprise that V-Mart did not win–no full-time DH ever has and if they had, it’s a sure bet that David Ortiz, from the sports media darling Boston Red Sox, would have won at least once.

Despite this, Martinez fared pretty well nationally. He was left off one ballot from David Coleman of the Fort Bend Herald who apparently thought at least 10 other AL players had better seasons than Victor. No doubt his rationale was the no-DH rule that some sportswriters create in their heads to make themselves feel important.

More curious, Detroit Tigers’ beat writer Chris Iott of MLive placed Martinez sixth on his ballot. He placed him behind Trout, Michael Brantley, Felix Hernandez, Jose Abreu, and Corey Kluber.

Look, everyone has a right to their vote and I have generally enjoyed Iott’s work. But I found it interesting in his explanation, he says this:

"Martinez had a great season at the plate. If the award went to the Most Valuable Batter, he easily would have been in my top three, probably my top two and possibly my top one. But in the end, I just couldn’t put a designated hitter above any of the players I had in my top five."

That’s fine until you consider he placed two pitchers in front of Martinez. A DH plays much more baseball in a season than pitchers do. I will acknowledge they don’t play defense for the most part (37 appearances in the field for Martinez in 2014). Make no mistake, I am an equal opportunity MVP guy. Pitchers, DH and position players–they should all have an equal chance. If they had a great year, they should be considered for the MVP. But it seems to me Iott makes a case against pitchers in his anti-DH stance despite voting for two of them.

Interesting enough over in the National League race, pitcher Clayton Kershaw was voted MVP and didn’t face nearly the amount of scrutiny and whining from sportswriters over pitchers winning MVPs that Justin Verlander did in 2011. This is a good thing, it means voters are evolving on the subject.

I think Victor was the second-best player in the American League, so I have no problem where he finished (we here at MCB picked both Trout and Kershaw as our MVPs earlier). I do have a problem when a writer (in Coleman’s case and to a lesser extent, Iott) uses his controversial vote to ratchet up page views.

It happens every year from MVP voting to Hall-of-Fame voting and its a shame that people in power feel the need to politicize their votes.

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