Originally Posted by PuffyPig
If they had wanted to give it to the best player, they would simply have said "best player". The very fact that they used different wording suggests they were trying to convey a different meaning. That's the first rule of interpretation. And, in fact, the voters have interpreted a different meaning.
How does "most valuable" differ in meaning from "best"? To the general public in all walks of life the term MVP means the best player in the sport.
I think it is clear that when the award was first created it was intended to go to the best player in the league. They chose the title Most Valuable Player Award because it sounds a lot more prestigious and desirable than the "Best Player Award. I don't think the creators fully intended the voters to parse the meaning of the word "valuable" in strange ways when they first created the award. I think that way of thinking came about much later when it became obvious that the writers needed an excuse for giving the award to a lot of undeserving players over the years.
They didn't call it the "Player Who Provided the Most Value Award" either, which is what some sportswriters think Most Valuable Player means. There is a difference between "provided the most value" and "most valuable". Technically, "Most Valuable" literally means the player with the highest price (value) if he were for sale. If every player in the league was put up for auction where any team could buy his performance for the season, which player would sell for the highest price? That is what Most Valuable actually means, but the writers don't think of it that way because that would obviously make the best player the most valuable player.
The distorted definition of Most Valuable Player used by writers is "best player on a good team", which is merely an excuse they use for voting for someone who was obviously not the best player in the league. It is a CYA excuse for making a poor choice. It is a cop-out for a voter to employ to defend himself when he gets ridiculed for supporting an undeserving candidate.
I can understand people voting differently because they disagree on which player was the best. I just don't understand why someone would even want to vote for a 2nd-rate player just because he was on a better team.
My advice to sportswriters with an MVP vote: cast your vote for the player whom you truly think is the best player and then you won't have millions of baseball fans thinking you are an idiot.