Change-UpSeptember 05, 2008
Prescience, thy name is Sullivan
By Patrick Sullivan

A few weeks ago in a post I put up on the Chicago White Sox, I wrote the following:

The White Sox do it all pretty well, and there are some excellent macro signs for the club as well. Alexei Ramirez, now the team's full-time second baseman, is slugging .515 and shows no signs of slowing down. With Ian Kinsler out for the remainder of the season, no AL team will trot out a better player at the position.

That was August 19th. Here are Dustin Pedroia's numbers compared to Ramirez's since August 20.

             AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
Pedroia     .455  .500  .836  1.336
A. Ramirez  .280  .288  .540  .828

Pedroia's unconscious stretch seems to have vaulted him into MVP consideration, and with good reason. Here are the American League VORP leaders (thanks, BP):

1. A-Rod         63.2
2. Sizemore      62.2
3. Huff (Huff!)  59.0
4. Pedroia       58.5

This means that Pedroia has been the very best offensive player in the American League on a contending team. And even if you don't like the "contending team" qualifier when it comes to MVP candidacy (I don't, just acknowledging voter reality), his "plus plus" defense may well vault him to the very top of the list anyway.

With regard to my credibility, looking on the bright side, maybe this absolves me of some of my Red Sox fanboy rep.


"Red Sox fanboy"? I wouldn't call you that, Sully, but you're a fine baseball writer.

Until the title of the award is changed to Best Player in the league, the award should go to a contending team member.

Huff (Huff!) made me LOL. I agree. WTF?

Pedroia has been impressive. This irritates me, as a Yankees fan (especially given Cano's disaster of a season), which probably makes it all the more pleasing to Sox fans.

As for the MVP... well, he's got a number of things going for him there. He's hit very well, played good defense (plus-plus, really?), he's on the Red Sox (contention + big market = plenty of exposure) and he's... SCRAPPY.

It's in the bag, folks.