An Oakland Writer Had AL MVP Mike Trout 7th On His Ballot, And I Don't Understand Why People Are Surprised
LBS- Mike Trout won the 2016 AL MVP award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Thursday. The honor marks the second of Trout’s career, although I’ll argue it should be his fourth (yes – he deserved in 2012 and 2013 over Miggy).
Trout won the award over Mookie Betts, who finished second. Trout received 19th 1st-place votes, 8 second-place votes and 356 points overall. Betts received 9 1st-place votes, 17 2nd-place votes and 311 overall points. The voters pretty much proved it was a 1-2 race between the two of them.
27 of 30 voters had Trout in the top two of the MVP voting; one had him third; another had him fifth; and then you had Oakland-based writer John Hickey, who voted Trout 7th.
Hickey, who covered the A’s, saw Trout in person multiple times this season, and the Angels outfielder shined in those games. Trout batted .418 with five home runs against the A’s this season, posting a 1.172 OPS against them.
Let me start by saying that - as a casual baseball fan - I didn't know too much about the AL MVP race. I did, however, know that by no count was Mike Trout staring at the ass of SIX people in front of him. So yeah, in that sense it is ridiculous that one particular media member had him ranked that way. At first I thought it was an unforgivable offense for a writer from a rival city to use his bias to try to deny an incredibly deserving player a fairly prestigious award. Then I asked myself "why do I know the name of said writer, why do I know he's from a rival city, and why do I know that he filled out his ballot like an overly subjective asshole?".
Literally the only reason that John Hickey ranked Mike Trout 7th is because he knew we would find out that he ranked Mike Trout 7th. I know baseball is a little bit behind the times, but this is the age of the hot take. The era of saying shit that you don't even necessarily believe just because it will get more people to tune in has been upon us, but apparently it has just sunk it's sharp, retweet-seeking teeth into baseball. I don't want to tell the MLB how to conduct their business but it might be a good idea to put a little ink to that unwritten rule book of theirs, because it's ambiguity just got taken advantage of by someone that valued clicks over candor.
I can't even say I knew that MVP voting wasn't anonymous/sworn to secrecy. Of course the fact that it isn't led to a situation like this. Mike Trout had a 7th place vote for the same fucking reason that 15,000 people tried to elect a dead fucking gorilla as President of the United States. Here's a hint, that reason isn't because they thought they would have a significant effect on the outcome. That reason is so that they could tell people they did and garner the subsequent attention. The sad truth is that this will make John Hickey more successful at his craft. They might be fueled by the hate of Angels fans or the love of A's fans, but those views are undoubtedly going up because - for better or worse - original opinions have become more sought after than good opinions.
P.S. Plus, look at the guy. Are you really surprised?