The voters from the BBWAA capped a shockingly good award season by handing the American League MVP to Josh Hamilton today. It appears the hard work of basement dwelling math nerds is finally wearing the mainstream media down. Hamilton was the best player in the AL and perhaps all of baseball despite missing the last month of the season.
Hamilton's feel good story has been well documented from being the first overall pick in 1999 to washing out of baseball in 2001 due to drug and alcohol addiction to his Phoenix-esque rise from the ashes in 2007. Hamilton was able to shake off his demons, except for a spring training wagon fall in 2009, to become one of the game's top players. Which brings us to his amazing 2010 season.
In a mere 133 games, Hamilton managed to out fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) all of baseball including NL MVP Joey Votto and the all around awesomeness of Albert Pujols. It helps, of course, that Hamilton played good defense in center and great defense in left field instead of manning first base. Hamilton hit 32 home runs and a .359/.411/.633 line while taking the Rangers to the AL West crown.
He collected 22 of the 28 first place votes leaving Miguel Cabrera and Robinson in a distant second and third respectively. I had Hamilton first and Cabrera second in my BBA ballot so I don't have much to complain about, at least in this post.
Congratulations, Josh. The next round of ginger ale is on me. Um, so if you have, like, a Pay-Pal, let me know and I can send you the $4.