2008 has been a crazy year in Major League Baseball. The Rays are in first place in September, Manny Ramirez is wearing Dodger Blue, and the Yankees are basically out of the playoff chase. But perhaps nothing sums up just how weird this season has been more than this: DENVER POST baseball writer Troy Renck wrote in a column today that he is going to be voting for Dustin Pedroia for AL MVP. The weirdest part: he might be right.
Renck laid out some compelling reasons to select Pedroia: He’s leading the league in hitting, having gone 21 for his last 34. He had two less extra-base hits than main rivals Josh Hamilton and Carlos Quintin despite being a second baseman.
And he’s so darned cute. (Note: I made that last one up, but come on…don’t you just want to pinch his cheeks and put him in your pocket?)
In case you are wondering, Pedroia would not be the shortest AL MVP ever: the honor is shared by Bobby Shantz (1952) and Phil Rizzuto (1950), who were each 5′6″ - Pedroia towers over them at an imposing 5′9″. And yes, it kind of is like being the center on a midget basketball team. Ba-dum bump.
But I’m pretty sure that if he wins, he would be the first MVP ever to be compared to a horse jockey by an opposing manager. And of course Ozzie Guillen is the one who said it:
“I never thought I’d walk a jockey,” Guillen said. “I must be the worst manager ever, walking a guy that just came from being on top of Big Brown to beat the White Sox.”
Red Sox fans must be loving the fact that gritty lil’ Dustin Pedroia is in the running for MVP. But whatever you do, please don’t get too loud and excited - Dustin doesn’t like that. What with his tiny ear drums, he must be extra-sensitive to the loud noise.