First Mets MVP in shortened 2020 season wouldn’t feel so hollow
By Tim Boyle
It still matters if 2020 is the first year a New York Mets player wins the MVP Award.
Among the over 1,000 men who have suited up for the New York Mets, none has ever won an MVP Award while representing the blue and orange. Some have come close. There’s an argument to be made about a few seasons where if the team performed better or two players on the roster didn’t split the vote there would have been at least one man who took home the hardware.
Alas, the Mets share the distinction of not having an MVP with two other teams. They have more of an excuse as each of them, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, have only been around since 1998.
In 2020, it’s feeling like anything can happen. The season is only 60 games long which means a lot of weird can happen between now and the end of the season. This includes the long-lasting MVP drought experienced by the Mets.
Even in a 162-game season the club has some serious candidates who could win the award. Jacob deGrom has won two straight Cy Young Awards and is certainly capable of having a year on the mound worthy of MVP candidacy. I wouldn’t bet on it in 2020 when at least one position player should have some ridiculous splits because of the limited time he could go into a slump.
deGrom isn’t the only player on the Mets capable of becoming the first MVP in Mets history. Pete Alonso earned some mild consideration last year as a rookie. He’ll need a big turn around after this weak start to get his name tossed into the hat for 2020.
We could consider some other players as well. I won’t bother listing them because the point isn’t how possible this is. Instead, I want to look at how meaningful it would be even in a year with less baseball.
The debate many baseball fans have had is whether or not a championship in 2020 would be as meaningful. I understand those who would like an asterisk placed next to the World Series victory. Clearly, if a team with less talent than others on paper wins it all, there’s going to be plenty of shock and awe along with some disgruntlement.
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After waiting so long for baseball to begin, what if we end up with a champion that doesn’t look like they were worthy of the trophy?
Major awards are a little different. While the same thing could happen—let’s say Wilson Ramos has one ridiculous month and wins a batting title because of it—I’m not so sure anyone is handing back his MVP trophy. Every player and team is playing under the same rules in 2020. Although not ideal circumstances, I don’t see how winning an MVP in fewer games is less meaningful.
The man would have still been the best player in the league albeit in an abbreviated season.
I suppose we won’t know how anyone will really feel about this season until we see results. The more unexpected things that happen in 2020, the worse I think some people may feel.
There are certain expectations for the standings and end-of-year awards. When those expectations are not met, people are going to blame it on the shortened campaign.
As far as the Mets are concerned, having their first MVP winner in a 60-game season won’t feel so hollow. Sure, it’s not the perfect situation and we’ll hear plenty about how “it doesn’t count.” However, this is something every fan base will need to deal with whenever they experience success this year.
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If a few extra tweets from New York Yankees fans about how Michael Conforto wouldn’t win the MVP in a full season is what we have to deal with, bring it on. There’s a mute button for a reason.