recalling ken griffey jr’s purity

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (August 9, 2013, page C1) is a piece by Bob Finnegan titled “2 great talents, only 1 happy ending.” Finnegan covered the Mariners for the paper from 1982 until 2006. Here re recalls his vote for Ken Griffey Jr as the American League MVP in 1996, the year that Alex Rodriguez won instead. *

I am not going to quote the whole of Mr. Finnegan’s opinion piece, just this part:

“I voted for Griffey as American League MVP that year over Rodriguez, and my own rationale was simple. I believed that Griffey was the Most Valuable Player —not the best player that year, which inarguably was Rodriguez—but most valuable to his team. Many Mariners fans disagreed with my choice, which cost Rodriguez the AL MVP. (He narrowly lost to Juan Gonzalez of Texas, 290-287, with Griffey a distant fourth.)

As Rodriguez went on to bigger things and we found out he had turned to better hitting through chemistry, I found myself wondering if Seattle fans would like to take back some of their bitterness over that 1996 MVP ballot.”

That is the reasoning of many voters: the choose the player who was most valuable to his team. Others vote for the player who had the biggest impact on a tam in contention. Still others opt for the player with the most awesome stats. If you are following A-Rod’s personal and professional implosion—whether as a bereaved fan or a jeering anti-fan—this article is well worth the time it will take to read it. 


*   Oddly, on the Times’ own website, the title has been changed to “Recalling Ken Griffey Jr.’s purity, A-Rod’s insincerity.”