recalling ken griffey jr’s purity

Es­ti­mated reading time is 1 minute.

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 he 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 team 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. 




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