joins the show to talk about the amazing races in baseball. That doesn’t just mean we talk about the standings, as the races for Cy Young and MVP are just as interesting as who will make the playoffs.

We go from east to west and back again, breaking down and prognosticating what will happen in each division in baseball. We also talk about how much talk there is around the game for who should win certain awards (and much of that seems to be from smart baseball writers trying to educate their not-so-smart voting brethren). Yes, we fall into the same trap of talking about the candidates, but shouldn’t we really wait until the end of the season to start awarding people trophies? So many people have just given the or the NL MVP to Joey Votto, but what if they have a really bad month? Or what if Carlos Gonzalez bats .600 in September and the Rockies win the NL West? This is the most important time of the year, so writing that certain people are locks to win certain awards completely devalues the pennant races.

And what about those races? Should they be a determining factor on who wins awards? Is there merit to the idea that a pitcher in a pennant race has more pressure than one throwing for last place team? Should that factor into the Cy Young award — or should the opposite be considered, with regard to the fact that a pitcher on a bad team is always faced with pitching against better opponents when a pitcher on a good team knows that his small mistakes are more easily correctable by a powerful offense, or a solid bullpen — or should we just focus on the straight pitching numbers, independent of wins, defense, ballpark or opponent?

How does that differ from MVP awards? Isn’t the MVP usually considered the best player on the best team, with a notable exception being the year A-Rod won from a last-place team? So what value do we put on the word “value?” Why is the MVP more about how valuable a player was to getting his team to the playoffs (not that actually getting there is a determining factor but being in the race is almost always a deal breaker) and the Cy Young is strictly who the best pitcher was that year based on the numbers? We don’t suggest that the Cy Young should change, but will the MVP race lean more that way in the future.

Or, as I say on the show, will Carlos Gonzalez win the NL MVP over Joey Votto if the Rockies make the playoffs? Have a first-place team all year and you’ll always lose votes to a guy whose team got hot and made the playoffs right before the votes are tallied. There is a human element to everything.

We touch on more than just baseball, too. Kaduk and I also talk about the gut-punch for the Lions (he’s a Bears fan) and settle our Tastykake bet from the Stanley Cup Finals.

(MVP image taken from Yahoo)