Coffee and Clippings: Cabrera, McCutchen worthy of MVP awards

Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) of ESPN writes that both Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen are worthy of their MVP awards…

You know what we should be turning our attention to right now? The greatness of Miguel Cabrera. That’s what.

This should be a time, on the night we learned that Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen had won the 2013 MVP awards, to celebrate one of the most remarkable right-handed hitters most of us have ever laid eyes on.

A man who just became the second player in the past 50 years — and the first since Frank Thomas in 1993-94 — to win back-to-back AL MVP awards.

Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) of the LA Times talks about Dodgers’ relief pitcher, J.P. Howell, and his experience with bullying…

Of all the images you might have of how a major league pitcher spends his November, this probably is not the first one that comes to mind: J.P. Howell squeezing himself into a kid-sized rocking chair, turning the pages of a colorful storybook, smiling before a room full of children he has never met.

He is holding the book, pointing to the illustrations of the adorably playful monkey. His wife, Heather, is reading the book. She wrote it.

Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) of Gonzo and ‘The Show’ highlights comments from the AL MVP voters… reached out to the 30 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America regarding their ballots for the AL MVP Award, which saw Mike Trout finish a distant second to Miguel Cabrera for a second straight year. Below were their explanations for why they sided where they did in the seemingly-never-ending Trout vs. Miggy debate (their full ballots can be seen here; * denotes those who voted on the AL MVP a second straight time) …

Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) of the Washington Post discusses Scott Boras’ statement regarding Stephen Strasburg pitching through discomfort in 2013…

Stephen Strasburg pitched with discomfort in his forearm, the result of small bone chips in his right elbow, for a “good amount” of the 2013 season, his agent Scott Boras said yesterday at the GM Meetings.

Strasburg underwent surgery Oct. 25 to describe what the Nationals described as “loose bodies” in his pitching elbow. The Nationals expect Strasburg to be prepared for spring training and to resume his throwing program one to three weeks from now.

David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) of the NY Times reports that the last-minute dispute has jeopardized the new posting system for Japanese players…

A last-minute dispute placed the new posting system for Japanese players in jeopardy as small-market teams in Major League Baseball tried to put into effect a rule that would inhibit big-market teams, particularly the Yankees, from spending large sums on prospective Japanese stars like the ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

After M.L.B. officials presented their Japanese counterparts with a proposal for a new system, which was ratified by the Japanese players union and was expected to be approved by Nippon Professional Baseball, the revolt emerged Thursday at the baseball meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN), Bill Madden and Kristie Ackert (@AckertNYDN) report that Yankees and Pirates executives got into a heated argument about the system used to sign pitchers such as Masahiro Tanaka…

Despite a snag in the efforts to reach agreement on a new posting system, Masahiro Tanaka should still be available as one of this winter’s top free-agent prizes.

For a moment Thursday morning in Orlando, it appeared as though the age-old dispute between small-market and large-market clubs — including a heated argument between Yankees president Randy Levine and Pirates CEO Frank Coonelly — could stall one of the Yankees’ biggest offseason plans.

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