Jose Altuve was otherworldly in 2017, hitting .346/.410/.547 (160 wRC+) en route to nearly 8 fWAR. We now know, of course, that this otherworldly performance was less than legitimate, thanks to the trash can banging scandal which has enveloped the Astros this offseason. As such, articles and petitions have sprung up, arguing that Houston’s 2017 championship and Altuve’s 2017 MVP award be forfeited.
There’s a good argument to be made that the Astros’ accomplishments from 2017 should be stripped away; after all, the team broke the rules to gain an unfair advantage, and therefore its accomplishments are tainted. On the other hand, Rob Manfred’s counterargument, that the World Series trophy is just a piece of metal, seems rather unconvincing. So I decided to do Manfred’s job for him, and explain why the championship and MVP award should not be taken away by the League.
- Because nothing about baseball is fair
In 1930, American League MVP Joe Cronin hit .346/.422/.513 with 13 home runs and was named MVP. That same year, Babe Ruth hit .359/.493/.732 with 49 home runs and didn’t win the AL MVP because then, the award could only be given once. Meanwhile, in a far greater…