I would like your feedback on what I submitted to the MLB Dream Job application. I wish I had found out about it sooner than today, but this was what I could come up with on short notice. Please let me know what you think.
I had to come up with two short essays (no more than 500 words) about "Why I Love Baseball" and "Potential MVP Candidates for 2011". I also had to submit a video. I completely improvved the video, so I hope it wasn't too terrible.
This was also a good test of the my camera and check out the sound quality for the soon to come group break. (announcement at the end of this week). Thanks for reading and watching.
Why I Love Baseball
I love baseball because it is a multi-faceted experience. On the playing field, it's an idealization of physical skill and mental concentration to bring about a larger goal on a competitive level. Each game is a story and each discrete event in the game has been predicated by previous thoughts and actions. It is a graceful tug of will and ability.
It’s a fan experience in which ideas and discussions can be generated from the events and hotly contested debates can be had about who deserves recognition more, the overrated underdog or the underrated favorite. The vicarious thrill and defeat and experiencing your team’s day-to-day journey during a season can be both heart-wrenching and exhilarating in turns. One can be so disappointed in July and so excited in August with the turn of one road trip.
It’s a life experience in which any piece of baseball can be incorporated into life. Enjoyment and games (simulation games and fantasy baseball), work and anxiety (furtive glances at the computer screen in the office), and family life (playing catch and planning trips together to stadiums) are all aspects where baseball can take a fairly central role.
I love baseball because it brings people together with a common bond. My friends are Mets fans, White Sox fans, Giants fans, A’s fans, Red Sox fans, and Phillies fans. We all can get together and talk about the days happenings during the season and complain about how are respective team’s chances are doomed or so assured. Baseball creates an eternal pessimist and optimist in all of us.
Most of all, baseball, for me, is a legacy that stretches back through the annals of American history and provides a perspective that all of us can relate to. It may be a sport, but it gives us a reflection of ourselves. I see myself in every young player coming up for their first appearance and every player seeing their careers fade away. Beginnings and endings are a part of the human experience and a part of me as well.
MVP Candidates in 2011
The voters for MVP award have seemingly changed their perspectives and their standards from year to year for MVP voting. However, over the last 10 years, there have been three truisms that increase the likelihood of garnering a winning MVP vote.
1) Be on a winning team: Since 2000, there have been only three MVP winners that have been on teams that had less than 90 wins in a season and not made the playoffs (Alex Rodriguez in 2003, Ryan Howard in 2006, and Albert Pujols in 2008).
2) Be a young, experienced, possibly great player: In the non-Barry Bonds division of the past 10 years, only one MVP has been younger than 25 (Dustin Pedroia in 2008) and two MVPs have been older than 30 (Jeff Kent in 2000 and Alex Rodriguez in 2007)
3) Be an OPS leader: The only NL MVPS not in the top 3 of the OPS leaderboard during this decade were Jimmy Rollins in 2007 and Jeff Kent in 2000. The similar AL counterparts were Ichiro in 2001, Miguel Tejada in 2002, Justin Morneau in 2006, and Dustin Pedroia in 2008.
With that recent history established, players between 25-31 in age with combined abilities of getting on base and having power (with a propensity towards those with moderate to high batting averages) on teams with will probably make the playoffs this year will be examined. Based on this criteria, the following general list can be created that will encompass the probable possibilities.
In the National League East, the potential MVP candidates are Ryan Howard, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Martin Prado, and Hanley Ramirez.
In the National League Central, the potential MVP candidates are Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Hart.
In the National League West, the potential MVP candidates are Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp.
I choose the playoff participants to be Phillies, Braves, Brewers, and Rockies. Therefore, my choice for MVP is Troy Tulowitzki with Ryan Braun (and Albert Pujols) close behind.
In the American League East, the potential MVP candidates are Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Evan Longoria.
In the American League Central, the potential MVP candidates are Joe Mauer, Alex Rios, and Miguel Cabrera.
In the American League West, the potential MVP candidates are Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Daric Barton, and Kendry Morales.
I choose the playoff participants to be Red Sox, Rays, Twins, and Rangers. Therefore, my choice for MVP is Adrian Gonzalez (with Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera close behind).