Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sorry, Red Sox Nation, but Bautista's more valuable than Adrian Gonzalez

SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2011

Okay, Red Sox Nation!  You aren't going to like what I'm going to say, but I still have to say it.  Jose Bautista is a more valuable player than Adrian Gonzalez.  Now before you tar and feather me in Fenway Park or throw me over the Green Monster or charge me with heresy and high treason, let me explain my reasoning.

First of all, a disclaimer.  I'm going to declare my bias.  I live in Toronto and I am a die hard Toronto Blue Jays fan.  Just remember, though, Red Sox Nation, you have your bias too.  So that makes us even.

Second of all, let me state clearly that I think that both men are outstanding ball players.  This is not to disparage or demean Adrian Gonzalez; however, I believe that Bautista is a more valuable player than the Boston first baseman.  Here's why:

* Jose is more versatile.  He's a terrific outfielder and a superb third baseman.  He can play both positions with the same adroitness and proficiency and he possesses a great throwing arm.  He also swings the bat with authority.  Last season he slugged 54 home runs, making him a member of major league baseball's exclusive 50-home run club.  Only 26 players, including Bautista, belong to the club. This year, he has already slammed 31 homers and is well on this way to a second consecutive 50-home run season.  As I write this, Jose is out of the lineup with a twisted ankle.  He is expected to be back soon.

Adian Gonzalez is having an incredible season and he will probably win the American League MVP award.  I doubt that Bautista will be chosen because the award does not usually go to a player whose team does not make the playoffs.  As much as I'm a Jays fan, it's obvious that they are not going to be in post-season play this season.

* Adrian has 17 homers so far this season, not anywhere close to Jose's 31.  Gonzalez, however, has a higher batting average.  His current batting average is a robust .346.  Jose's average is .336.  Gonzalez has 77 RBIs while Bautista has 65.  Remember, though, that Gonzalez plays for a team with a better record.  Can you imagine how many RBIs Bautista would have if he played for the Red Sox or the New York Yankees?  Remember too that Jose has been given a large number of intentional walks this year.

* The slugging percentage really tells the story.  As of this writing, Jose has a slugging perctage of .701 while Adrian Gonzalez has a slugging percentage of .570.

For my money, Joey Bats is the more valuable player.  I rest my case.  By the way, the court of public opinion seems to agree with me.  Jose set the all-time Major League Baseball record for the most All-Star votes ever received by a single player with 7,454,753.  Over to you, Red Sox Nation.


I have visited Boston once in my life.  I was in Beantown in July of 1997 when Roger Clemens returned to Fenway for the first time since his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Jays and Red Sox played a four-game series.  The Jays won three out of the four games.  I attended two of the games but I was unable to procure tickets for the game that Clemens pitched.  Clemens threw a magnificent game that day.  He gave up only 4 hits and 1 run over 8 innings, striking out 16 Red Sox batters.  The Blue Jays defeated Boston by a score of 3 to 1. 

Since I could not attend the Clemens game, I took a bus tour of Cape Cod instead.  I have great memories of my trip to Boston and I plan to go again.  I absolutely love the city.  As a souvenir of my 1997 visit, I have a mock Wanted Poster of Roger Clemens that was distributed around Fenway Park.

- Joanne