The Chicago fire.

There has been a ton of writing and sound over the last week or so tossing around the idea that Michael Young is an MVP candidate and asking whether it has legs.  A surprising number of you have requested that I weigh in.  So I will.  Sort of.

I tweeted this two days ago:

My 1st & only comment on whether MY should be “in conversation” for AL MVP:  It doesn’t matter to me.  At all.  All I care about is team wins.

Honestly don’t care about MVP, All-Star vote, Gold Gloves, HOF, etc.  Just wins.

Now, if you want to talk about whether I think Texas has won more games in 2011 than it would have had Young been shipped in the off-season to Colorado for Eric Young Jr. and a prospect, that would be a more interesting discussion, if it weren’t a silly one.

I don’t frown on any of you who get fired up about the MVP issue one way or the other.  I don’t watch the Home Run Derby, have little use for the annual All-Star “snubs” debate, couldn’t tell you who won the Cy Young Awards last year without really thinking about it.

The selection process that I have far more interest in, exponentially so, is the one that’s getting underway on the North Side of Chicago, where Cubs ownership dismissed General Manager Jim Hendry yesterday and announced a preference for Hendry’s successor to demonstrate “a commitment to player development” and “have a little stronger analytical background than maybe some of the guys we have here” and, ideally, be “someone who’s been in a winning culture and who can bring the lessons of that over and [who] has a track record of success.”

Whether Thad Levine (or A.J. Preller, for that matter) wins that job or not, I have more interest in that possibility than I do about Michael Young’s chances of succeeding whoever it is that won the AL MVP Award last year.  (It was Josh, right?)

I’d be happy for Young if he won it, but if you were to ask me which I’m thinking more about – whether Young is worthy of being crowned the league’s Most Valuable Player or whether Texas can get on the scoreboard early against John Danks tonight – well, that’s not even something I can force myself to contemplate for more than about two seconds.

As for whether I’d be happy for Thad Levine if he were to take the baseball operations reins of the Cubs or any of four or five other clubs whose GM positions may open up this winter, of course I would, because he’s qualified and deserving and ready, but at the same time I’d prefer to see him announce to reporters this afternoon: “No, I’m not interested in that job.  I’ve reached my life’s goal in filling a key role on this crew in Texas, and I could not be happier.  I hope to have this position for 100 years.  How dare you ask if I’d want to work somewhere else!  How dare you, I say!”

That’s not going to happen, Levine’s going to run his own team someday, maybe someday soon, and we’ll all be glad he was here for the time he was, essential to the process of getting this team from where it was to where it is.

Cliff Lee moved on, too, and the Rangers have managed to pitch just fine without him, which isn’t to say “good riddance,” but instead to make the point that the personnel game in baseball is a fluid and itinerant thing, on the field and off, and to recognize that the reality that Levine and possibly Preller are going to get interviews to move into a higher post with another franchise is, for now, a reminder that a lot of people who don’t have their own baseball cards or shoe deals or weekly radio segments have played a large, instrumental, noteworthy role in this thing, and will be rewarded for it in ways that may hurt here a little bit.

A lot more than if Michael Young doesn’t win the AL MVP.

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