First half AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez

Sure, we’re not to the All Star Break quite yet, but we’re halfway through. Over the next couple of days, we’re going to take a look at the best
players in each league thus far.

Magglio Ordonez: 13 HR, 68 RBI, .377 BA, .452 OBP

This was a tough pick. In the end, it came down to Magglio Ordonez
and Alex Rodriguez. And here’s where we start splitting hairs a bit. First off,
it is the Most Valuable Player award. So you have to ask yourself, who
does more for their team, Ordonez or Rodriguez? Rodriguez had more than twice as
many HR (28 to 13,) but Ordonez has 34 doubles to Alex’s 18. In the end, they
have about the same extra base hits, and Alex has 77 RBI’s to Ordonez’s 68. The
main difference, and what gave Ordonez the prize, was the average and OBP.
Ordonez has struck out 33 times to Alex’s 60. His batting average is 46 points
higher, and his OBP is plus 23 points. There isn’t a lot of difference there,
but it’s all we have to go on. Ordonez puts the ball in play more often, and he
rarely strikes out.

In general, Alex is probably the better hitter, and the stats are barely in
Magglio’s favor. Both of them are above-average fielders at their position.
However, Alex is not considered the leader of his team, and when his team is
slumping, there’s talk that he’s going to leave next year. It will always be
Jeter’s team, and if Babe Ruth started tomorrow’s game, it would still be
Jeter’s team. So we can’t hold that against him. But you get the feeling that
he’s just not the most important player on the team. He’ll never make a Jeterian
dive into the stands. I’m not going to hold the muscled-up ladies against Alex,
but it is a slight off-field distraction. And you get the feeling that Magglio
seems to have more of a team motivation in him. Of course, that could all be
****. I live in Michigan, not New York, so there might be some favoritism. But
the bottom line is that, when Magglio comes up to the plate, he’s more likely to
get on base or move the runners along than Alex is.

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