Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The interleague MVP

Again, under the headline of you learn something new every day, the Japanese professional leagues have just completed their 5 weeks of inter-league play. That's not unusual. Both the US and Japan, with two leagues each, participate in inter-league play, whether or not it's a sign of the apocalypse. It's become a common event, and most people don't question the two leagues playing each other. In fact, some revel in it and think they're the only games worth watching throughout the year. I kind of feel the World Series is the perfect example of inter-league play, but no one is really listening to me.

What is unusual, at least as far as the US leagues is concerned, is the naming of an MVP:

Softbank Hawks left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi was named interleague MVP on Wednesday after helping the team have the best interleague record for the second straight year.
I tried doing a search of MLB players to see who would be the US inter-league MVP. Oddly, it's almost impossible for someone like me to find this stuff. Sure, it's out there somewhere, but it's not easy to find just doing a casual search. However, I don't think there is much doubt that after what Albert did last weekend in Kansas City that he would have to be the unanimous choice.

Anyhow, the inter-league MVP isn't something that happens in the States yet. But I'm willing to bet it will catch on soon. If only for this reason:

Sugiuchi, who was 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in six starts, won 2 million yen in prize money after five weeks of interleague play.
2 million yen is approximately $21,000. How much longer before some agents finds out about this and starts getting it written into a player's contract. With all the other incentives added in these day, this can't really be that far off. The fact that it isn't an official award and not knowing who would vote on it probably isn't a drawback.

Somehow, this seems to be a perfect advertising tie-in with some smart company out there.

Some people might laugh about that comment, but give it 5 years and lets see what happens?

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