Oh, the NL MVP debate. What a fun time. Instead of enjoying the unrivaled greatness of Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña Jr., some Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves fans have instead argued over who deserves the award more in an attempt to invalidate the other side.
If you're a member of the media, though, and your job is to take a stance on either side to make a point, forward the conversation, or simply weigh in on something that's trending, perhaps whatever you say should be more nuanced than the average fan.
Admittedly, that's hard to do when you only have a quick few moments to state your case after winning a game of "Around the Horn" on ESPN, but LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke didn't do himself any favors arguing in favor of Betts.
Come on, man! Dodgers fans want him to win! They don't want to be lumped in with these takes that are low-hanging fruit for Braves fans to rip apart and call us all foolish for! Even host Tony Reali had to stop Plaschke during his rant to let him know he was beginning to sound absurd.
Bill Plaschke gets roasted on 'Around the Horn' for Mookie Betts MVP take
"Don't give me that stolen bases stuff." OK, we'll be the first to admit that the novelty surrounding a 40-70 season doesn't mean much simply because it's a made up benchmark and Acuña's had an advantage with the enlarged bases (as has the rest of the league), but that doesn't minimize the accomplishment! And it's not a reason to give Betts the edge!
Why not use this valuable time to dive into more convincing stats and storylines, like the fact Betts has put forth the greatest season for a leadoff hitter ever? Might that go toe-to-toe with 40-70? Or that his ability to play multiple premier positions at a high level allowed manager Dave Roberts to craft the best Dodgers lineups possible, eventually leading to another NL West crown and likely 100-win season? Or that Mookie has been the engine for a Dodgers offense that has lost so many star players in recent seasons, while Acuña is surrounded by All-Stars and prominent home run hitters? Think about it. The Dodgers have Miguel Rojas, Chris Taylor, Jason Heyward, David Peralta and Kiké Hernández logging consistent reps, while the Braves counter with Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario. Just look at the numbers! It depends on your definition of MVP, but if it's the fact Betts has less talent around him, yet continues to play at an all-time pace, then there you have it!
We just can't be hot-take'ing the MVP race, since it's already been clear how much trouble that causes. At least Betts said he doesn't care about winning the award. Maybe that'll quiet down the unreasonable yelling.