Pitcher or not, Verlander is most valuable in AL
Ace should win award for carrying first-place Tigers all season
The "V" in MVP has long been one of the more debated letters in professional sports.What, exactly, defines Valuable? Is it pure productivity, or must there be some added layer of import? In other words, can the most productive player in a given league play for a last-place or otherwise out-of-contention club and still be considered that league's Most Valuable Player? But this year, more than any other in recent memory, the "P" figures to engender argument, too. And we owe it all to Justin Verlander, whose value will be debated by the voters and, in the meantime, by myself and my MLB.com colleague, Alden Gonzalez, who has an opposing view. As you know, the "P" stands for Player, and the ballots handed out to members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America make it clear that "player" is an all-encompassing term that accounts for both position players and pitchers. So, in my view, there is absolutely no reason why Verlander, he of the 20 wins and 25 quality starts, shouldn't be given consideration for the American League MVP Award.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.