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A Yankees MVP ballot

Tweet [1]

[2]A regular MVP ballot has room for 10 players. Here’s what my Yankees MVP ballot would look like.

1. Derek Jeter
2. Robinson Cano
3. Hiroki Kuroda
4. Rafael Soriano
5. CC Sabathia
6. Nick Swisher
7. Curtis Granderson
8. Dave Robertson
9. Phil Hughes
10. Mark Teixeira

Logically, I know that Cano had the best season. I know that he’s the Yankees best player. I know that every stat available says he was the hands down, no doubt team MVP and a top five MVP candidate in the league.

But after watching this team all year, I find it hard to wrap my head around him being this particular team’s most valuable player for this particular season. Maybe expectations are too high, or maybe his failures are more memorable than his successes. Whatever it is, I’m willing to conceed that Cano is a nearly impossible-to-argue choice at the top, I just think that this particular team needed Jeter more than it needed Cano. The Yankees didn’t have anyone else to do what Jeter did at the top of the order, plus Cano had significant struggles against lefties and, for huge chunks of the season, with runners in scoring position.

Just like on my Cy Young ballot, I have a hard time saying a closer is more valuable than an ace. And Kuroda pitched like an ace through most of the season. That said, Soriano’s up high because I remember what that clubhouse felt like on the day Mariano Rivera was hurt. To me, there’s no question those four were the Yankees most valuable players.

The rest is making sometimes absurd choices between players who really have nothing in common. How do you compare the team’s home run leader, against its wins leader, against its setup man? How do you account for Ichiro Suzuki’s partial season (which came at exactly the right time) or Eric Chavez’s terrific year (which came when they needed help at third base) or Andy Pettitte’s injury-shortened return (with outstanding numbers when he was healthy)?

Associated Press photo