0

Lowrie needs some respect at end of strong season

Someone I’ve known for a long time, someone who has an annual vote for baseball’s glamour awards – the MVP and the Cy Young – just asked me who, other than Josh Donaldson was worthy of a “bottom vote’’ for MVP

That would be eighth, ninth or 10th on a ballot that asks voters to go 10 players deep.

I forwarded Jed Lowrie’s name.

“Really?’’ he asked.

    Yeah, really. It’s not that Lowrie’s numbers are unabashedly gaudy – he came into the final week of the season with a .288 average, 14 homers, 44 doubles and 71 RBIs.

It’s that he’s played virtually every day, he’s batted everywhere from first through seventh in the batting order and he’s been someone the A’s have relied on in every way a team can rely on a veteran player.

The MVP vote, in my view, has to go to players who have extraordinary value to their teams. Donaldson certainly is the first name among the A’s for that, but Lowrie can’t be omitted.

The three-run homer hit blasted in the third inning Monday to take the A’s lead over the Angels from 2-1 to 5-1 is typical of what he’s meant to a team that has struggled at times with offensive consistency.

Oakland wouldn’t have the American League West locked up at this point without Lowrie having been a huge part of it.

That being said, I don’t see Lowrie getting lots of votes, even at the bottom of ballots. The numbers are good, but there are plenty of players with numbers that are as good or better. Name recognition helps. Location helps, too, if you’re on the East Coast, where ESPN and its replay machines are located.

Lowrie will get a little recognition, but likely not as much as he deserves.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.