September 23, 2008
I've got no quarrel with Jason Bartlett. The Rays shortstop seems like a good guy, he has a pretty wife and he's probably picked up a few steals for that fantasy team I abandoned sometime back in April.
But like JoPo and the FJM folks, who must secretly be giddy to have a replacement for their David Eckstein worship posts, I honestly have no idea why the Tampa Bay baseball writers just named Monsieur Bartlett the Rays' season MVP, well ahead of Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena.
Granted, the Rays don't have anyone you'd single out as an MVP candidate on an AL-wide basis and injuries prevented a good part of the lineup from logging Ironman games-played totals.
Also, the honor doesn't mean all that much, considering the Tampa Bay writers probably didn't pool their money to buy the winner a new Chevy Blazer or anything like that.
But instead of getting into the statistics like the fellas above (an 83 OPS+, really?), just ask yourself — When's the last time your or anyone said, "Wow, that Jason Bartlett really is leading the Rays to the promised land. I sure like watching him play. He's the key to this team?"
No, go ahead. Take your time. I'lll just be over here writing Mr. Longoria an apology.