At least in this MLB.com article detailing some of the American League MVP candidates. With 99% of the other post-season awards, I care not in the least about who wins. That being said, 22 names are listed in this article. 22 candidates. None have the surname Zobrist. None. Of 22 American League players who are candidates for the "Most Valuable Player" award. Oversights happen, but this is a pretty huge one considering some of the other names. Here are all 22 listed in order of appearance:
Michael Young, Jason Bay, Robinson Cano, and Torii Hunter are somehow more deserving of MVP candidacy than Zobrist? Nonsense. For one, Zobrist leads all American League players with at least 300 plate appearances in WAR. Now, catchers defense and baserunning isn't taken into account, so you can make the case that Mauer is better and I'm not going to cut off your fingers. Jeter had a great year (no, really) and so did Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez although neither is to be seen on this list. Shin-Soo Choo? Marco Scutaro? Ian Kinsler? Nada. But Michael Young is present for some unknown reason.
The writer doesn't know what WAR is most likely. That's no crime. Hell, he probably has no idea about defensive value either. Fine. Zobrist ranks third in AL OPS. That would put him behind Mauer and Youkilis, and just ahead of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Zobrist hit 27 homers - more than Robinson Cano and as many as Youkilis - and drove in 91 runs - again, more than Torii Hunter and numerous others. I can go on, I won't.
The worst part is that this writer makes it seem like Jeter/Mauer is an actual debate. And yet any statistical comparison between Jeter and Zobrist favors the latter which should mean Zobrist/Mauer is the debate of value. Oh wait, he pulled the intangible card and, despite being unable to quantify this in any way, shape, or form, surmises that those intangibles somehow "scream value".
The mysticism associated with Jeter is incredible. He's a great player, but can people who use this argument get a grip and realize he does not have pointy ears, small boots, and he doesn't hide out in the forest making baked goods in between starring in short stories about faeries? Because that would be great. This argument is akin to me proclaiming vigorously that Ben Zobrist's strong Christian faith kept the Rays together after Akinori Iwamura suffered a traumatic injury. Is it true? Doubtful, but that doesn't seem to stop the official site of MLB from pushing arguments of equal weight.
Ben Zobrist was one of the two or three most valuable players in the American League during the year 2009. No one is taking this from him. This isn't an argument about likelihood of replication or true talent levels, it's about what happened. Value happened. Whether the collection of voters decree this or not is irrelevant since real will always recognize real.