One of my big fears since around, oh, June, had to do with the Giants' playoff opponents. I wasn't scared about the Giants running into some kind of juggernaut -- I had made my peace with the idea of BRONSON ARROYO lurking in the wings -- but I was scared the Giants would play some sort of downtrodden team, like the Pirates or Orioles. Those teams would suffer for decade after decade, and when they finally made the playoffs, I'd have to root for them to fail.
I already feel spoiled enough. Rooting against the Pirates in the NLCS? That's somewhere between stealing a parking spot away from someone waiting patiently with his blinker on and pellet-gunning your neighbor's labradoodle in the ass because it won't stay off your lawn. It would be a craven sense of entitlement with a side of sociopathy.
I mean, could I even root for the Giants against the Pirates or Orioles in the playoffs?
But on Buster Posey Day, I realize how silly I was being. Because think of what an Andrew McCutchen MVP would mean to Pirates fans. They were running through the dewey meadow of the first half, exciting about life, learning how to love again, and then they fell down a mineshaft. In a lot of ways, this was the most painful season in a 20-year legacy of painful seasons. A McCutchen MVP would mean something to them, dammit. It would turn their season from, "Remember that year when the Pirates had to lose 25 of their last 24 games to finish under .500 ... and they did it?" to "Oh, right, the McCutchen MVP season."
It would be a big deal for the Pirates and their fans. Witness the excitement of Mets fans and R.A. Dickey, and that's a team that's been in the NLCS in the past few years. The Pirates and McCutchen would be like that, but five times more so.
Yet do I have any qualms about Buster Posey winning? Is there a voice in the back of my mind rooting for the Pirates to snatch away the award in something of a miracle? Do the riches of a second championship bring a magnanimous spirit of giving with it, with a largess that makes me prefer that the BBWAA to throw a bone to the Pirates and their fans?
Hahaha, no. Sorry, Andrew McCutchen. But I ran the numbers, and it turns out you are tied for second in the NL in BBP+ (being Buster Posey) with a big ol' zero. Next time, try being Buster Posey.
It would have been the same way for the playoffs. I don't have that fear anymore. Never underestimate the capacity of a fanboy to turn into something gnarled, selfish, and greedy. The transformation kind of tickles!
Here's the voting for the SBN Player of the Year in the National League:
|Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants||26||6||3||442|
|Ryan Braun||Milwaukee Brewers||7||16||6||4||2||330|
|Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates||2||7||14||8||3||277|
|David Wright||New York Mets||2||6||5||10||6||2||1||1||204|
|Chase Headley||San Diego Padres||2||13||6||7||3||1||1||190|
|Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals||4||2||2||7||10||5||3||1||189|
|Jason Heyward||Atlanta Braves||2||1||5||7||4||5||90|
|Aramis Ramirez||Milwaukee Brewers||1||1||3||5||3||4||48|
|Michael Bourn||Atlanta Braves||1||4||5||4||3||47|
|Matt Holliday||St. Louis Cardinals||1||2||1||5||1||28|
|Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds||1||1||1||4||25|
|Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers||1||2||1||3||24|
|Gio Gonzalez||Washington Nationals||1||1||2||1||21|
|Aaron Hill||Arizona Diamondbacks||3||4||4||21|
|Ian Desmond||Washington Nationals||2||3||2||19|
|Jay Bruce||Cincinnati Reds||1||1||1||14|
|R.A. Dickey||New York Mets||1||1||1||2||14|
|Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins||1||1||4||11|
|Carlos Ruiz||Philadelphia Phillies||1||1||10|
|Adam LaRoche||Washington Nationals||1||1||7|
|Matt Kemp||Los Angeles Dodgers||1||1||6|
|Johnny Cueto||Cincinnati Reds||1||1||6|
|Martin Prado||Atlanta Braves||1||1||1||6|
|Carlos Gonzalez||Colorado Rockies||1||5|
|Chipper Jones||Atlanta Braves||1||5|
|Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals||1||1||5|
|Allen Craig||St. Louis Cardinals||1||1||5|
|Melky Cabrera||San Francisco Giants||2||4|
|Ryan Zimmerman||Washington Nationals||1||2||4|
|Carlos Beltran||St. Louis Cardinals||1||3|
|Craig Kimbrel||Atlanta Braves||1||2|
|Alfonso Soriano||Chicago Cubs||2||2|
|Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks||1||1|
Ah, I see Tim Lincecum had a vote. That's nice. Here's how we here at McC voted:
Grant: 1. Buster Posey, 2. Andrew McCutchen, 3. Chase Headley, 4. Ryan Braun, 5. Yadier Molina, 6. R.A. Dickey, 7. Johnny Cueto, 8. David Wright, 9. Clayton Kershaw, 10. Michael Bourn
Bryan: 1. Buster Posey, 2. Andrew McCutchen, 3. Ryan Braun, 4. Chase Headley, 5. Yadier Molina, 6. David Wright, 7. Jason Heyward, 8. Ian Desmond, 9. Michael Bourn, 10. Aramis Ramirez
The important thing: Buster Posey. I'm thinking this is how the NL vote will go, too. Without the pair of 10th-place votes for Alfonso Soriano, at least.