Cliff checks in on the MVP races over at SI.com. Leading the AL? That man Morneau:
Last year, Joe Mauer led the American League in all three slash-stat categories (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging), led the majors in the first two and was a nearly unanimous selection for AL MVP. On Sunday morning, Mauer’s teammate Morneau was leading the AL in all three slash stats and the majors in the first two (Miguel Cabrera passed Morneau in slugging on Sunday). Morneau plays a position with a much higher average level of production and isn’t as highly regarded defensively as Mauer even there, but the slash-stat triple crown should be enough to guarantee a hitter the MVP award. To put the accomplishment in context: Mauer was the first American Leaguer to accomplish the feat since George Brett in 1980; only four NL hitters have pulled it off since Stan Musial did it in 1948, the most recent being Barry Bonds in 2004. I’d be surprised to see Morneau regain and maintain the lead in all three categories, but given how close he is to that accomplishment at this point in the season, he has to be the favorite for AL MVP.