Jarrett Perches, Staff Writer

Who is the most valuable player in the MLB?

Jarrett (Mike Trout, LA Angels, OF): Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the MLB’s best player. Nobody in the game fits the definition of a complete player better than Trout. Trout is the only player who can completely change the outcome of a game no matter where he is on the field. Whether it be at the plate, in the field, or on the basepaths, Trout gives Angels fans an unreal sense of confidence that he will get the job done. Although Trout’s batting average is down relative to his last two seasons, he is still hitting around .290 with his best power numbers ever. Trout has hit 35 home runs and has driven in 107 runs with a slugging percentage of .562. Trout’s incredible first three seasons are lining him up to be one of the greatest players of all time and his attitude in the clubhouse makes him just as valuable as his game on the field. Despite being the MLB’s best player, Trout has continued to stay humble and not draw attention toward himself off the field. The ability of Trout to lead by example and play for the team has contributed to the Angels’ success this season, as they own the MLB’s best record and AL west crown.

Clay `(Clayton Kershaw, LA Dodgers, P): No player in baseball has had a more positive impact on their team than Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. Not only does his 1.77 era lead all of baseball, but, in only 27 games, Kershaw has won 21, and only dropped three of those. When he pitches, the Dodgers are 23-4; no other pitcher in baseball has numbers even close to his. The main issue many people have with him winning an mvp award, is the fact that he is a pitcher. While it is true that most pitchers can’t make the impact that a star hitter can, most pitchers aren’t Kershaw. In fact, only two pitchers other than Kershaw have posted an era under 2.00 since 1990. Kershaw has done it twice in a row. On June 1 the Dodgers trailed the Giants by eight games. Four months later the Dodgers are NL West champions and are primed to make a deep run in the postseason. Only three times this year has Kershaw not pitched six or more innings, and only once has he surrendered more than three runs. This dominance was the reason the Dodgers were able to win the NL West and the reason Kershaw is Major League Baseball’s most valuable player.

Who will win the Heisman Trophy this season?

Clay (RB, Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska, Sr): While many consider the 2014 Heisman race to be between the three top quarterbacks, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Kenny Hill, a darkhorse for the award is Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. After two straight 1,000 yard seasons, Abdullah is primed to repeat his success. So far this year Abdullah is averaging a gaudy 6.8 yards per carry, and has also added 100 receiving yards. The Big 10 is a very weak conference this year, and Abdullah and the Cornhuskers should be able to exploit that. With the only strong defense he will go up against being Michigan State, the rest of the season should be a walk in the park for Abdullah. Whether the Cornhuskers are able to have a good season rests strongly on the shoulders of the senior running back.

Jarrett (Mariota): Junior quarterback Marcus Mariota has kicked off the season on fire, as Oregon’s offense put up more than 40 points in each of their first three games, including one against 7th ranked Michigan State. As Mariota looks to lead the Ducks to the BCS championship game, there may be another award he can earn to make his mark on history: the Heisman. In order to join Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders and other greats as a Heisman trophy winner, Mariota will have to knock off last year’s Heisman winner Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel’s successor Kenny Hill, who has started off the year on a tear. Hill has thrown for over 1,000 yards with 11 touchdowns while Mariota has throw for 806 yards and 8 touchdowns. However, Mariota has put up those numbers against a top-tier defense in Michigan State and should continue to put up monster numbers against Pac-12 competition. Hill did have his best game against a solid South Carolina team in the first game of the season and good games against Rice and Lamar, however, SEC defenses should be able to figure him out. Mariota has already proved he can put up big numbers playing in the Pac-12 as a freshman and a sophomore so there is no reason he can’t continue to do so in his junior season. Mariota’s ability to run the football and avoid sacks is another reason he will win the Heisman. Mariota has rushed for 156 yards in his first three games while Kenny Hill and Jameis Winston have only rushed for 60 yards combined.

Is Derek Jeter deserving of the praise he has gotten this past season?

Jarrett and Clay (Yes): After, ESPN’s Keith Olberman’s rant about why Derek Jeter shouldn’t be praised as much as he’s been this last year, many MLB fans have begun to question if Jeter is deserving of the accolades he’s acquired from other teams this past season. Olberman pointed out that Jeter has never won an MVP and that other players with similar WAR’s to Jeter were not given any farewell ceremonies. However, what Olberman didn’t mention was how clutch of a player Jeter is and what a great leader he is. Jeter may not fill out the stat sheet with video game numbers, but he brings many intangibles to the table that are unmatched by his peers. The captain always showed up when it mattered most, and that was again proven in his last at bat at Yankee Stadium, as he hit a walk off single to win the game. The cheapest tickets to see this game were about $250. This just embodies how much he meant to the city of New York, the Yankee’s, and the MLB.