ESPN.com's baseball page has a poll up on the A's MVP. The choices are:
It's an interesting question, since the A's don't have a hands-down obvious MVP. Harden is leading the vote with 43%. Are the voters correct?
Let's look at the current top 10 A's players in VORP:
Joe Blanton: 29.8
Justin Duchscherer: 25.4
Dan Haren: 23.4
Dan Johnson: 23.2
Bobby Crosby: 22.3
Kirk Saarloos: 21.7
From this view, it looks like the voters have things right. Harden has a better VORP than Zito, even though he missed several weeks with an injury.
Here's a surprise: Blanton is tied for third in VORP! I never would have guessed would have been ahead of anybody on that top 10 list except Saarloos. I guess I better start giving Blanton some more love.
VORP doesn't take defense into account, though. With the A's leading all of baseball in defensive efficiency, we can give Chavez, Crosby and Johnson some extra props. But even so, Harden's VORP lead is pretty big, so he's still probably the team MVP.
The poll results are shifting from minute to minute, but as I write this, the electoral standings would look like this:
Harden: 40 state wins, 5 ties
Street: 2 state wins, 3 ties
Chavez: 1 state win, 4 ties
Zito: 1 state win, 0 ties
Street leads in Louisiana and Vermont, and is tied in Texas, Mississippi, and Maine. You gotta figure he'd be popular around Texas, where he's from and his dad is a hero...but Vermont and Maine?
Chavez leads in Alaska, and is tied in Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Mississippi. I guess they go for Eric in the less densely populated areas that aren't along the Canadian border (where Harden rulez).
Even though Zito is second in VORP, the only state where Zito even gets above third place in this poll is in Utah, where he leads. Why Utah, of all places? Do they love Zito there for some odd reason, or do they dislike Harden? I won't dare to guess.