Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heyman Votes Manny Ramirez for NL MVP

I know this has been much discussed as of late, but I hadn't seen any sportswriter of note actually take the plunge on this. But here comes SI.com's Jon Heyman, voting for the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez for NL MVP:

In the National League MVP vote, which should be fascinating, the question the voters will have to ask themselves is whether two players who came to the party late can qualify for that coveted seasonal honor.

That is, was a half season of CC Sabathia's dominance and heroics enough to carry him to this year's award? And was less than half a season plenty for that savant turned savior, Manny Ramirez?

My answer is an enthusiastic yes to both questions. Both candidates are deserving. I don't care that they were late arrivers to the National League this season. Sabathia (11-2, 1.65 ERA in 17 starts for Milwaukee) and Ramirez (.396, 17 homers, 53 RBIs in 53 games with L.A.) easily made the biggest impacts.

Ramirez is the MVP and Sabathia the runner-up on my ballot. Although the reverse works for me, too.

Ryan Howard still looks like the probable winner to me, as he had a big finish and bigger numbers (48 homers, 146 RBIs), which will sway a majority of voters. But just like Ramirez and Sabathia, Howard did almost all his real work over the final few months of the season.

Howard's season stats are larger. But the performances of Ramirez and Sabathia are more remarkable.

But hey, Manny isn't the only Dodger mentioned by Heyman!

NL LVP: Andruw Jones, Dodgers. He hit .158. What can you say? The worst ever. And at $18 million, no less. The anti-Manny.