The Orioles are conducting their annual media vote to determine the team's most valuable player for the 2011 season, and no, it's not ridiculous that a last-place team could have players who are deserving of praise.
Over on the Orioles Insider blog, my colleague Dan Connolly said he was torn between Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy, who have cooled off of late -- Jones has missed time with a thumb injury -- but have probably been the most consistent Orioles this season. I would throw Matt Wieters' name into the conversation, too.
In his third season in Baltimore, one in which he earned a trip to the All-Star Game, Wieters is batting .263 and has set career highs in home runs (20) and runs batted in (63). More importantly, he has established himself as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball and will garner consideration for the Gold Glove.
Each of those players deserves recognition for their production and their effort, even though the Orioles trail the first-place Yankees by 30 games and the fourth-place Blue Jays by 13 in the A.L. East.
But since a few of you feel that the Orioles shouldn't hand out MVP hardware after another disappointing summer, I'll give you a chance to tee off: Who has been the team's least valuable player in 2011?
I would prefer to use the term "most disappointing player," but you can define this however you like.
If we're talking most disappointing, for me, it's easily Brian Matusz. Before the season, it appeared he would ascend to the top of the Baltimore rotation. But I think -- and I hope -- he has hit rock bottom.
If we're talking least valuable, I'd go with Justin Duchscherer. The guy didn't throw a single pitch and would prefer to play tennis.
As always, give me your take on this in the comments section. And feel free to leave your pick for Orioles MVP, too.
Your turn: Who has been the Orioles' least valuable player?