Judging from the response that Evan Grant got for leaving Dustin Pedroia off his MVP ballot, you'd think he had a) killed a puppy, b) started a forest fire, or c) killed a puppy by throwing him into a forest fire.
One blogger called the Texas Rangers beat writer a "MVP-voting moron." The ballonhead blowhards at WEEI called him up and screamed at him for almost 20 minutes. His email inbox was flooded with questions of his credibility and requests that he surrender his vote.
And for what? Getting a bit "cute" (Grant's word) with an AL MVP field that was about as inspiring as a driver's ed instructor? Not paying proper homage to a second baseman who might have not even won the award were it not for the "Boston" printed across his jersey?
Look, I'm not condoning Grant's omission of Pedroia from the top 10 — in retrospect, neither is he — but I seriously question the intensity of the witchhunt that has transpired here. Not only did Grant place another Red Sock (Kevin Youkilis) atop his ballot, his oversight didn't cost Pedroia the award. No harm, no foul. While a fair share of this criticism comes from the subjective nature of the award and the fact that us baseballers have nothing better to do these days, Grant doesn't deserve to have his integrity questioned over stating an opinion no matter how offbase it was.
(As for the annual blogosphere complaining about the BBWAA votes, I assure you that a group of bloggers voting on the awards would produce the same, if not wider, range of "out there" reasonings and cockamamie, nonsensical ballots.)
Actually, if you follow baseball online, you know that Grant is one of the MSMers that "gets it." His frequently updated blog always provides a wealth of timely info and his beat stories about a Rangers team I normally don't take much interest in are always worth a read. Though you're certainly welcome to question his choice of shirt up there with Don King (yeah), I don't think it's fair to fashion a scarlet letter for him just yet.