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Delgado Should Have Won AL MVP, Other Notes

By Gabrielle Paese

November 21, 2003
Copyright © 2003 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.

Delgado Should Have Won AL MVP, Other Notes

Say it ain't so! Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez for AL MVP over Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado?

Delgado got five first-place votes to MVP winner Alex Rodriguez's six and 32 fewer points. In what was a close race among three Latinos (Rodriguez is Dominican), New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada finished third with five first-place points and 194 points to Rodriguez's 242 and Delgado's 210.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood Most Valuable Player to mean the player who was most valuable to his team's winning efforts. Sure, Alex Rodriguez put up good numbers, but is he valuable to his team? Without him, they would be, well, in last place -- right where they finished.

Granted, the Jays didn't win the World Series, but in the grand scheme of things, Delgado did more for the Jays than Rodriguez did for the Rangers.

I heard the arguments against Aguadilla's All-Star. That he trailed off after the All-Star break. That he slumped in September. OK, but his all-around numbers were still as good, if not better than Rodriguez's. And the Jays finished third in their division, not dead last.

Rodriguez led the league in home runs and runs scored, but Delgado knocked in more runs, 145 to Rodriguez's 118. In fact, Delgado led the league in RBI for the better part of the season, with 97 at the All-Star break, the third-highest total in history. Rodriguez hit .298, Delgado's average was .302.

On Sept. 25, Delgado hit four home runs in four at-bats, the fourth being a grand-slam. He was just the sixth player in history to hit for that cycle. To his credit, Delgado refused to stew over the announcement once it was made.

"I was hopeful but things don't always turn out your way. I'm not going to get upset over something I can't control and I can't control what [the Baseball Writers] think," Delgado said from his parents' home in Aguadilla. Jorge Posada Sr., father of the Yankees catcher and a major league scout blamed the BBWA voting process.

Posada Sr. said some of the baseball writers don't necessarily see the connection between putting up good numbers and helping your team win.

"That's a problem year after year. It's the discordant note," said Posada Sr. "The voting is sometimes contradictory. But Alex and Carlos are great ballplayers and when I talked to Jorge today he said he was just happy to be included and to be ranked third among 150 ballplayers. Of course, he would have been even happier had the Yankees won it [the World Series], but that's the way it goes."

Posada Sr. said two aspects of this year's vote cheered him. "It was so close, that was a surprise to see," said Posada Sr. "And three Latinos were 1-2-3. That's great."

According to Major League Baseball, the MVP has been given to players whose teams failed to finish with winning records only seven times, the most notable of whom was Chicago's Ernie Banks, who won back-to-back awards in the 1958 and 1959 seasons.

"I had a good season. I put up good numbers and I did the very best I could do," said Delgado. "That's something I can be proud of. That the voting didn't go my way, well, that's something I have no control over."

Delgado said he has no plans to play winter ball, but has already begun working in the gym with next season in mind.

"I don't like to let too much time pass before I start working out again," said Delgado, who has been training for the past five weeks in Aguadilla. "It's not something you can leave for the last minute."

Dieppa Still Without A Title Defense

The much-heralded fight card in Fajardo headlined by WBO junior flyweight champion Nelson Dieppa versus Colombian challenger Kermin Guardia was literally a washout.

One day prior to the event, promoters canceled, saying the heavy rains that pounded Puerto Rico's east coast impeded them from putting on the fight.

The cancellation was the fifth in the long history of the on-again, off-again fight card, and the last straw for many including the International Boxing Association, the sanctioning body for featherweight titleholder Angel "Avispa" Chacon (29-4-2, 15 KO), who was to have fought on the undercard versus Mexican Joe Morales (19-7, 4 KO).

The organization is reportedly planning to strip Chacon of his title since he has not defended it in 11 months.

Yamil Chade and Regino Babilonia, who put up the money for the card put together by Don Khan, drew sharp criticism from Best Boxing promoter Peter Rivera, who manages the career of Dieppa. The fight has been tentatively rescheduled for January.

Dieppa has not fought since April of 2002 after his defense against Colombian Jhon Molina ended in no-contest due to a head-butt. With Molina not able to fight a rematch, the mandatory defense went to purse bid in August and Chade bought the rights to stage it. The WBO put Guardia in as the interim challenger.

Indios Fire Manager

The Winter League season had its first casualty this week after just 10 games played when Mayaguez manager Edgardo Romero was fired following the Indios' 8-2 loss to Ponce Tuesday night. Mayaguez was 3-9 and 5 1/2 games behind league-leading Caguas at midweek.Indios GM Carlos Pieve replaced Romero with veteran Orlando Gomez.

"We need a reaction. It's a short season and we have to get things going in the other direction," said Pieve. "The blame for our poor start doesn't rest only with Romero, but you can't fire the players."

Gabrielle Paese is the Assistant Sports Editor at the San Juan Star. She is the 2000 recipient of the Overseas Press Club's Rafael Pont Flores Award for excellence in sports reporting. Comments or suggestions? Contact Gabrielle at

Her Column, Puerto Rico Sports Beat, appears weekly in the Puerto Rico Herald.

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