At one time, sports used to be about following the best players on the best teams. From MLBbro legends such as Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr and the list goes on about how they were as Reggie Jackson famously stated, “The straw that stirs the drink”, on winning teams that benefited from their talent and superstar contributions. In other words, players like these put their prospective teams in position to win championships.
But based on these comments by former Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia, winning is no longer a part of the equation. Despite the fact that Aaron Judge has dominated the baseball diamond and newscycle on baseball’s most iconic team, the New York Yankees, Sabathia still believes that Shohei Ohtani should be AL MVP and not our MLBbro.
Sabathia’s words via CBSSports.com…
“He’s the best player to ever play baseball,” Sabathia said regarding Ohtani. “He’s the MVP every year that he’s healthy. He continues to get better as a pitcher. You have to give him the MVP.”
“He’s having a better year than last year. I understand everything that Judge is doing,” Sabathia added. “I think it’s going to be incredible to watch him chase down 61 home runs in a Yankees uniform. If it wasn’t for him, they probably wouldn’t be in the playoff picture. This guy (Ohtani) is literally the best player we’ve ever seen.”
No, Ohtani has the advantage of being a two-way player which is almost unprecedented, so therefore captivating. Not since Babe Ruth has a player been a pitcher while being a home run threat the way Shohei has. He hasn’t been the best player all year as Sabathia claims…Aaron Judge has and it’s not even close.
It’s unanimous here. And so should AL MVP voting be this year. pic.twitter.com/1mN2iy26SD
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 15, 2022
Compare those stats with Ohtani’s .265 batting average with 34 home runs (tied for sixth in the league) and 88 RBI. As you can see, Shohei trails Judge in almost every statistical category at the plate. Furthermore, even though Ohtani has a 12-8 record with a 2.55 ERA (10th lowest in baseball) with 188 strikeouts (ranked 8th), the fact that the Angels are struggling should not factor in the mediocrity of his record. Back in 1972, Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young with a record of 27-10, an ERA of 1.91 and 310 strikeouts on a Phillies team that finished last in their division by a whopping 37.5 games.
But Judge’s numbers wouldn’t be as impressive if they didn’t tie into a championship situation. Although 57 homers can stand alone as an obvious MVP campaign. Everyone in MLB can play and there has to be one player on each team that has to be the best, no matter how bad the team is.
That’s where these two players are separated.
Superstars will lead their teams to victories no matter what is going on behind the scenes. It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Angels are one of the worst teams in baseball. It’s also no secret that no matter what stats Ohtani produces, the team will continue to struggle mightily to the point that he may leave when his contract is up.
Nothing illustrates this point more than the 14-game losing streak the Angels had earlier this season that got manager Joe Maddon fired. In a period where the entire organization was being criticized for its play on the field and the front office, Ohtani struggled on the mound and the batter’s box with a .192/.333/.383 slash line and a two start ERA of 9.00 while opponents bombed homers at an alarming rate.
Our MLBbro on the other hand, did not allow contract negotiations to derail maybe a historic campaign that is sparking debates that he would be the single season home run king if he breaks the AL home run record of 61 held by Roger Maris. While MLBbro.com founder, Rob Parker broke down his thoughts based on what Barry Bonds had to deal with in his era, MLBbro.com’s very own Manny Brown and Mark Gray weighed in with their opinions…
Debatable | Would 62 Dingers By Aaron Judge Be Greatest Home Run Season Ever?@thesportsgroove and @TheManuelBrown debate the greatest home run seasons in history.
📺: https://t.co/2jLrJ1uwPn pic.twitter.com/WVNdNOJoMt
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 16, 2022
Sports shows do invent subjects to debate about, however this race was over about six weeks ago. If anyone was trying to hang on with advanced stats to make their claim for Ohtani, those discussions died this week when Judge deposited two more home runs in the seats when the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
When the Boston Red Sox fans rain down MVP chants on a New York Yankees player, that speaks volumes and closes the book on the MVP race this year. That’s history in itself…
Aaron Judge is getting MVP chants at Fenway Park pic.twitter.com/QzAi0SEpMk
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 15, 2022
MLBbro.com could bring up the fact that Aaron Judge has 57 homers with 123 RBI with an excellent chance of breaking Roger Maris’ record. It could be pointed out that he’s doing it in one of the biggest markets in the country. We could even say the Yankees would be irrelevant without Judge and his offensive mastery this season.
But what makes this MVP race a landslide for Judge over Ohtani is the basic theme of this report…team wins. Something our MLBbro understands.