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Wednesday night, the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.
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Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg won the World Series’ Most Valuable Player Award after a tremendous performance in the Fall Classic. He was 2-0 including a gem in Game 6, going 8 ⅓ innings pitched, allowing just two earned runs while striking out seven batters to keep the series alive for the Nationals.
The MVP award is named after MLB legend Willie Mays, who spent 22 seasons with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, which evoked a passionate rant from WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Thomas B. Shea/ USA Today Sports
According to Francesa, although Mays is an all-time great player, the best moments of his legendary career didn’t come in the Fall Classic. Hence, the award should be saved for a player who dominated in the World Series.
“Why would you name the World Series MVP the Willie Mays award,” Francesa said. “Without question, we could argue one of the five to ten of all-time greatest players ever hands down. Not even worth an argument but the one blemish on his career is he didn’t have great World Series. He made an iconic catch in 1954 but he didn’t hit .300 in that series. Never hit 300 in the World Series. His teams went 1-3. He never hit a World Series home run in 73 at-bats and hit .230 in the World Series…. He won one World Series his entire career that was over 20 years.”
Here are some of the names that came to mind to potentially replace Mays.
“His [Mays> best moments were never played in the World Series, it’s the one blemish on his career. You could’ve named it the Bob Gibson award. One of the greatest World Series performances of all-time….. the Reggie Jackson award, he won two World Series MVPs….the Mickey Mantle award. He hit 18 home runs, holds almost every World Series record, played in 12 World Series and won seven of them!”
“If you were going to sit in the room, how would you come out with Willie Mays as the award. I don’t get it.”
Click on the audio player above to listen to Mike Francesa’s full rant about the Willie Mays award.