Roberto Alomar (1999)
Sandy Alomar was a constant for the Cleveland Indians for a decade. He wasn’t the only All-Star talent in his family, however, as his younger brother was also pretty dang good. So when the Indians acquired younger-brother Robbie in 1999, the Indians were off to the races.
Roberto Alomar had three really good seasons in Cleveland, with his second-best year coming in 2001. He ended up fourth in the MVP voting that year, one spot above teammate Juan Gonzales. It’s hard to argue that Alomar had a good enough season to win the MVP. While Jason Giambi (2nd) was a PED player and Bret Boone was playing far above his normal talent level, just look at what Ichiro Suzuki did that year and tell someone that he wasn’t the MVP that year. He had 242 hits that year, hit .350, scored 127 runs, had 30 walks, and only struck out 53 times. Sure he was a rookie, technically speaking, but he really wasn’t. He had been playing pro ball in Japan since he was 18 and from 1994 to 2000, Ichiro never hit below .342.
Ichiro more than deserved to win the 2001 AL MVP. He just didn’t deserve to win the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year; because he wasn’t one.
It’s in 1999, however, that Alomar got robbed by his address. Another case of an Indians player losing out due to his zip code. That year, Red Sox’s Pedro Martinez came in second and the Rangers’ Ivan Rodriguez came in first. Let’s ignore that a pitcher should rarely if ever, win the MVP award (and definitely not in 1999), and let’s just throw Martinez out. Position players affect more games than starting pitching, ergo a position player should always rank higher than a starting pitcher for MVPs.
As for the winner, Rodriguez, Alomar had a flat out better year. Alomar had a higher on-base percentage, a higher OPS, had more RBI’s, more stolen bases, more walks, more runs (138 for Alomar, 116 for Rodriguez), and led his team to a better season than Rodriguez.
Again, a Cleveland player falls due to the fact that Rodriguez played in Dallas, (Arlington) and Alomar played off the beaches of Lake Erie.