NEW YORK – Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) shocked sports fans nationwide Thursday with the stunning announcement that they’d selected Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez as this year’s American League MVP.
The MVP race had been widely regarded as one of the closest ever, with Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and rookie sensation Mike Trout running neck and neck. The race was so close that the BBWAA voters felt uncomfortable honoring one player over the other, causing them to make their unexpected decision.
“We just kind of panicked, y’know?” said voter Larry LaRue from the Tacoma News Tribune. “A whole bunch of us writers got in on a conference call and hashed it out for hours, but we couldn’t come anywhere close to reaching a consensus. So finally we were just like, ‘Well, what about a guy like Alexei Ramirez? He seems nice.’ And then we all just sort of agreed on it.”
In a letter detailing their decision, the BBWAA explained that they really couldn’t think of much to complain about regarding Ramirez’s season, as his stats—though somewhat middle of the pack for shortstops—were consistent and reliable from month to month. They were also impressed with his Cuban heritage, noting that he deserves some credit for developing into a professional baseball player despite being raised in an impoverished country.
“His coach doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish, yet Ramirez is out there doing his job night after night without a problem,” the letter read. “Could a lawyer or a schoolteacher succeed if they didn’t speak the same language as their clients or students? Of course not. So you gotta admit, that’s pretty impressive.”
Speaking by phone through a translator, Ramirez accepted the award, stating that he was extremely honored and that he hoped he would now be able to secure some endorsements.
“I like Pepsi a lot, so maybe I could do a commercial and they could mail me some free Pepsi. I like Bloomin’ Onions, too, so please tell Outback Steakhouse that I am open to an endorsement deal.”
Meanwhile, Cabrera and Trout acknowledged that they were disappointed, but both congratulated Ramirez nonetheless.
“Alexei seems like a nice guy, and he should be very proud of his nine home runs and .265 batting average,” said Cabrera. “Maybe if I win a Quadruple Crown or something next year, then I’ll have a chance.”
Trout expressed similar sentiments: “Oh well, I would’ve thought being the first player in MLB history to hit at least .325 with at least 30 home runs, 48 stolen bases, and 129 runs was enough to get the MVP, but I’m just a rookie, so what do I know. Congratulations, Alexei. I’m sure when I’m a little older this will all somehow make a little bit of sense.”
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images