The local basbeall writers took a lot of heat when Jason Bartlett was voted the team MVP last season (we actually kinda supported the idea). And Marc Topkin took a lot of grief when he wrote Jason Bartlett’s name on his AL MVP ballot as the fifth most valuable American Leaguer in 2008.
Well, Topkin is back in 2009 and he brought his fastball. He once again addresses the issue of Bartlett’s MVPness, but this time he brought more than a laptop. He brought the big gun, Joe Maddon.
For any of the Internet bloggers or hundreds of message board posters who had issues with shortstop Jason Bartlett’s selection as the Rays’ most valuable player last season, manager Joe Maddon has a few choice words of his own.
“We don’t win last year without him playing shortstop. Period,” Maddon said Wednesday. “It’s pretty simple — it just doesn’t happen.”
And he brought the Cat Carlos Pena.
“You can’t always go to a number,” first baseman Carlos Peña said. “I go on plays made. And he changes the game. Instead of a base hit, it’s an out. Instead of a double, it’s a single. Things like that are huge for the success of the team, and with his defense he contributes in such a substantial way. So he’s crucial to our success.”
So there you have it. Topkin just brought some big guns to a knife fight. Your turn internet bloggers. Whatcha got?
Tampa Bay Rays say shortstop Bartlett has value that is hard to measure [St. Pete Times]