You know you're out there; I know you're out there.
And it's OK, I'm glad you're out there.
Look, here in Utah, where we've got professional baseball but not Major League Baseball, we local journalists tend to forget about America's grand (old) pastime. We tend to get caught up in America's grand (new) pastime, football. Especially here and especially now, we in the media love to beat that college football drum until it starts to disturb the peace.
We type and we hype, that's what we do.
But I know you're out there, Major League Baseball fans. And this one's for you.
Before we launch back into football mode for Utah State-BYU on Friday and Washington-Utah and Weber State-Eastern Washington on Saturday, let's pause for a moment and note the conclusion of the MLB season, which wraps up today.
It was a good season. An exciting season.
In the American League we saw the Boston Red Sox build what they thought was a championship caliber team. Then then with a month left in the season they began making more choking noises than Uncle Eddie's dog, Snot, in "Christmas Vacation."
In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers trotted out one of the league's best pitchers (Clayton Kershaw) and hitters (Matt Kemp), but it still wasn't enough to overcome the team's deep, defenseless off-the-field issues.
We also saw ex-Ogden Raptor Prince Fielder play a huge role in getting the under-the-radar Milwaukee Brewers back to the postseason.
Those were just a few of the terrific story lines that emerged this season, but if you ask me, the most interesting angle of all is that of Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander.
Verlander, 28, is easily the American League's best pitcher. Although he failed to win his 25th game of the season last Saturday, he still owns an MLB-best record of 24-5 and is the first big league pitcher to win 24 games since Randy Johnson did it back in 2002.
What's more, he leads the AL in earned run average (2.40), strikeouts (250) and walks-to-innings-pitched ratio (0.92).
To baseball fans out there -- to the folks who still like pouring over boxscores with their breakfast -- you know just how dominant those numbers are compared to other pitchers.
To casual sports fans who may not have the same appreciate for numbers, all you need to know is this: Verlander is a serious candidate for the AL's MVP award, which rarely goes to pitchers.
The last time a pitcher won an MVP? Boston's Roger Clemens in 1986.
Clemens' stats that season were remarkably close to Verlander's this year: 24-4, 2.48 ERA, 238 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.96.
Much was made that season of how Clemens won 25 percent of the Red Sox 95 games. Oddly enough, Verlander has accounted for the same percentage of the Tigers' wins this season.
So, the question is: Does Verlander deserve the MVP?
His dominating numbers make a compelling case, but numbers alone don't always get the job done. The fact that he is the most valuable player on his own team -- a playoff team -- seems even more important.
The MVP voting process is as complicated as quantum physics. See, there isn't a clear set of criterion, so voters are essentially left to their own theories.
Some vote for the most dominant player in the league. Others vote for the player who is most valuable to his team. Still others wait to see which player seizes an "MVP moment."
The truth of it is, Verlander has all of those things this year. He dominated his opponents, elevated his team and also captivated baseball fans with a no-hitter on May 7.
The response, of course, is that pitchers have their own award, the Cy Young. That's why they're rarely considered MVP candidates.
In most cases, I'd agree. But this is baseball and the thing that makes the game so great are its uncomplicated complexities. In other words, there are exceptions to all its rules.
In this case, if I had a vote -- which I don't -- I'd happily break the rules and give it to Verlander.
Ah baseball, ain't it great.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner's sports columnist. He also covers the Utah Jazz and the NBA. He can reached at (801) 625-4265 or at email@example.com. He Tweets at http://twitter.com/jmb247