The winner of the American League MVP will be determined over the next six weeks. This is nothing new, of course. Nobody in the league is having a dominant season and since the voters usually select a player on a contending team, there is still much to be be decided. There are three guys from up in Boston with a shot (Ortiz--.303/.400/.584, Manny--.287/.385/.595, Damon--.334/.382/.474), and a couple of guys on the Yanks with a chance too (Rodriguez--.320/.421/.611, Rivera). Tejada (.316/.364/.556) and Guerrero (.327/.389/.596) can't be discouted, especially Vlad. It's remarkable that Guerrero has only played in 100 games this year but still has more homers than Tejada, who has played in 118 (26-22), as well as more RBI (88-77). However, if Alex Rodriguez finishes the season well, and/or the Yanks make the playoffs, he could be the front-runner. The only significant flaw in his game this year has been his defense, and even that has been much-improved of late. Joel Sherman noted in the Post today:
Early in the season, Rodriguez looked worse at third base than he did in his first year at the hot corner. But something clicked about two months into the season, and Rodriguez has played at a Gold Glove level since. He has not committed an error since June 22.
As Jay Jaffe put it to me in a recent e-mail, "As for A-Rod, we're getting the one in the catalog now." I know he's not going to stay hot forever, but I sure do enjoy watching him shine. There is nothing quite like watching great players, and Rodriguez certainly is a great player.