June 3 - An MVP Argument

It's worth a cringe each time you hear an announcer refer to a player as "the MVP candidate..." when
the season is not yet half complete. So please bear in mind the following accolades are based on
play through June 2.

American League: Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
Anyone disputing this really isn't watching. His offensive numbers have been staggering
since Opening Day but the best part about this player every team would love to have is that
he's still going. As the leadoff man for one of baseball's best offenses, he has done a
tremendous job of setting the table for the O's potent lineup. But that's not all. Surpassing
his own personal best power numbers, Roberts has taken it upon himself to be a run
producer. Not only does he have his team leading the division, but they are setting the
pace for the Red Sox and Yankees, the two teams just about everyone had penned in for
postseason play.

National League: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are again dominating the National League and its Pujols' larger than life
presence in the middle of the lineup that gives them an aura of supremacy. Everyone can
read a stat sheet and see his eye-popping numbers, but like the true superstars of
all-time, their greatness can be seen by watching them on a daily basis, watching them
work each at bat, watching how opposing pitchers and managers scramble to make
adjustments.  Pujols consistently works bad counts into favorable ones, only to send
pitches off the plate hurtling into the power alleys or over the fence.  Whatever is needed,
he does. His name in the lineup card is enough to make an impact on any given game.
But that's just the talk. His bat, however, does the walk.
Joshua Sipkin
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