Justin Verlander: “Pitchers Should Definitely Be Eligible (For Mvp)”

What a year it was for Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. Even though the Tigers postseason run ended earlier than they would’ve liked and the Tigers didn’t reach their goals as a team, Verlander had the best individual year of any player in baseball. After taking home the Cy Young Award last week as the best pitcher in the American League, Verlander added another trophy to his mantle yesterday. The AL MVP. There were a lot of worthy candidates this season. Jacoby Ellsbury had a strong case but his team collapsed down the stretch. Jose Bautista had an incredible year but the Blue Jays were an afterthought. You also can’t discount Curtis Granderson or even Miguel Cabrera, but the most worthy candidate was Verlander. It’s rare to see a pitcher get consideration for MVP. It hadn’t happened since. Well that was until yesterday. Some people feel like the Cy Young Award is for pitchers so the MVP should be for position players, but nobody meant more to his team’s success. Verlander carried the Tigers to their first AL Central crown and every time the Tigers needed a win they could count on Verlander. Detroit had a talented supporting cast, but without Verly they would not have had the postseason run that they did. Justin Verlander joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about how surprised he was when he got the phone call about being MVP, who he would’ve voted for in the MVP race, who he would’ve voted second, and whether or not he thinks the pitcher should be in consideration for MVP.

How surprised he was when he got the phone call about being the MVP:

“I was pretty surprised. I didn’t allow myself to think I would win it and especially after time started passing. I got the phone call about 15 minutes later than I got the phone call for the Cy Young so I had pretty much all but written it off and then right about that time the PR guy for the Tigers called me and at the time I looked at my phone and said ‘why is he calling me it’s too late?’ Then he just said ‘congratulations Mr. MVP.’ What a feeling of elation that was to hear that.”

On who he would’ve voted for in the MVP race:

“I mean I would have to say myself. If people say they’re not going to vote for themselves I disagree with that and I think they’re crazy. I think they would and just not tell anybody. I’m gonna be honest about it. I support it, not only myself, but a pitchers cause for MVP all year. Why would I support that and not vote for exactly what I’m supporting?”

On the person he would’ve voted for second:

“Second vote? I would have to say Miguel (Cabrera) just because of me seeing what he did all year was just amazing. He’s done it for years and really flown under the radar doing it which is a travesty I think. People need to recognize how good of a baseball player Miguel really is.”

Whether or not he thinks a pitcher should be considered for MVP as well:

“The one thing I look at is how much we affect the game. If we have a bad game we’re gonna lose that game 95 percent of the time. If we have a good game we’re probably gonna win that game 85 or 90 percent of the time. As opposed to a position player they can have great games or horrible games and not effect nearly as much. The other thing I look at is the way Cy Young voting is going lately. It’s going much more towards statistical analysis. For instance last year Felix (Hernandez) won the award. Not on a winning team, didn’t have a great record, but clearly was the best pitcher. But that gets away from the valuable part of the award. Valuable implies that something good happened so part of a winning team or that type of thing. I think that bolsters the case for pitchers being eligible for MVP unless there is another award where it’s the most valuable pitcher and not necessarily the most statistically best pitcher but the most valuable. If there is that type of award then I agree that there is two separate awards: one for position players and one for pitcher and that sets the standard. But as it’s written now pitchers should definitely be eligible.”

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