After blowing a 17-3 lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, the Denver Broncos now sit at a pathetic 0-4.  Coincidentally, the Colorado Rockies ended their nightmare-of-a-baseball-season by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers to finish with a record of 71-91.  A baffling 20 games worse than the previous year.

But I’ll tell you who rarely goes 0-4.  Nolan Arenado.  After signing one of the most lucrative baseball contracts in MLB history, Arenado went out and hit .315 with 41 HRS and 118 RBIs.

So, speaking of homers, and you’re allowed to call me one for stating this, but….

Nolan Arenado gets my vote for the NL MVP Award and I’ll explain why.

  • Established Precedent – The first thing you are probably thinking is how can Arenado win the MVP Award when the Rockies lost 91 games, finished next-to-last in their division, and ended the season 35 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. Andre Dawson, that’s how.  I can see how one would lean towards choosing a player off a playoff team, or at least a winning record, but in 1987 Andre Dawson won the NL MVP for a Chicago Cubs team that went 76-85 while finishing in last place.  The precedent has been set.
  • The V stands for Valuable – The most obvious choice for the MVP is the Dodger’s Cody Bellinger. Bellinger hit .305 with 47 HRs, 115 RBIs, 34 doubles, and scored 121 runs.  Bellinger’s play was outstanding the entire year and a huge reason why LA ran away with the division going 106-56.  But let’s be honest.  Bellinger was great, but not necessarily that valuable.  Let’s say, hypothetically, that Bellinger would’ve missed the entire season due to a groin pull or something.  The Dodgers still would have finished with more than 90 wins, still would have won the division by more than 20 games, and still would have been the favorite to win the NL pennant.
  • Coors Field Stats Are No Longer Inflated – Remember when Todd Helton, Larry Walker, or any of the Rockies hitters would be penalized for playing at altitude? The balls were put in humidors in order to keep them from flying out and double-digit scoring on Blake street was the norm.  Well, after more than 6,700 HRs this season, 20% more than ever hit before, everyone’s stats are inflated, as is the ball, as is the game.  My mom could hit 30 HRs and drive in 100 RBIs.  Which means we need to disqualify any players that didn’t hit .300, smack 40 HRs, or drive in 100 runs.  Sorry, Pete Alonso (53 HRs, 120 RBIs, .260), Freddie Freeman (38 HRs, 121 RBIs, .295), and Eugenio Suarez (49 HRs, 103 RBIs, .271).  I get that you injured your knee, Christian Yelich, and that .329, 44 HRs, and 30 stolen bases gets you a batting title and a big paycheck.  But 97 RBIs just doesn’t do it.  And Ronald Acuna Jr.?  4l HRs, 101 RBIs, and 37 stolen bases is outstanding.  But with 188 strike outs and just a .280 batting average, we must say Acuna Matata to you. (Wait, did I use that right?)
  • Which Leaves Me with Anthony Rendon – The Washington Nationals third baseman set a career high in batting average at .319, after only being a career .290 hitter. Rendon hit 34 HRs, which was almost ten more than he’d ever hit previously.  His 126 RBIs led the league despite only averaging 76 over his six-year career.  Career best in doubles with 44, and runs with 117?  It’s almost as if he’s (cough, cough) much stronger (cough, steroids, cough) than ever before.  I’m just kidding (Ryan Braun).  I assume you’re clean (Sammy Sosa).  An MVP candidate would never (Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Ken Caminiti…) do that to himself.  Not in a sport as clean as baseball.

 Look.  Is it possible that I’m a little bitter because the Rockies have been irrelevant for months, leaving me little to write about?  Maybe.  Is there a chance that the Broncos 0-4 start has me worried that my next story of interest will have me writing about JV soccer, or frisbee golf?  Could be.  But all I know is that almost 3 million fans turned out to see Nolan Arenado play third base this season, and the team lost 91 games.  That’s what I call valuable.

 

Images via sports.yahoo.com, usatoday.com, cbssports.com, bleacherreport.com

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship.