It’s a crowded race for NL MVP this season. A lot of deserving candidates. Prince Fielder is leading the league in homers and helping keep the Brewers in contention. David Wright has been a monster down the stretch for the first place Mets. The only knock on Miguel Cabrera is that he plays for the Marlins. And Chipper Jones — I can’t believe I’m saying this — has been a hitting machine.
The Phillies have three guys who should all receive votes. Ryan Howard, last year’s MVP, is second in the league in RBI with 115 and third in HR with 38. Chase Utley is leading the league in doubles and number of times hit by a pitch. He’s second in batting average and if he hadn’t missed a month of the season with a broken hand, he’d be well over 100 RBI. As it is, he has 96.
But I’m ready to call the race today for Phillies short stop Jimmy Rollins, who has quite simply walked the walk this season.
You can measure Rollins’ value in a lot of different ways. Consider this:
A few weeks ago, a lot was made of Curtis Granderson joining the 20-20-20-20 club. Granderson became the third player EVER to hit 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 homers and steal 20 bases in a season.
Rollins is now one triple away from joining Granderson in the 20-20-20-20 club. Moreover, he’s only one triple and three homers away from joining the 30-30-30-20 club. That, my friends, is what we baseball insiders call “totally badass”.
And there’s this:
At the beginning of the season Rollins said that, based on the Phils’ offseason moves, he thought they were the team to beat. The Mets were offended. The media took the quote and ran with it. Nobody dared let Jimmy forget what he said.
How has Rollins responded? Obviously, he’s had a tremendous season. But he’s saved his best for the big games. Going into today’s game, Rollins had hit .355 against the mets this season, with 7 sb, 6 HR and 14 RBI.
Not bad, right?
But it’s more than just numbers. Rollins has gotten in the Mets’ heads. Yesterday, Rollins won the game with a 2 RBI triple, which was misplayed by Carlos Beltran. Today, the Mets made errors in each of Rollins’ first three at bats. First, he walked, stole second and advanced to third on a LoDuca throwing error. In his next at bat, Jose Reyes booted a grounder. In his third at bat, Moises Alou dropped a fly ball.
It his fourth at bat, the Mets didn’t make an error. But Jimmy did hit an RBI single to right field.
Jimmy Rollins owns the Mets. And he’s been pretty good against the other teams, too.
This season, Rollins talked the talk. And then he walked the walk. And that’s why he should be your NL MVP.