Looking at 7 of the top 8 finishers of this year's AL MVP voting it is hard to make a case AGAINST any of those guys. (The 1 out of the 8 is Johan Santana, you have to be an everyday player to get the nod of MVP in my book) From top to bottom everyone of those guys had great seasons - Morneau, Jeter, Ortiz, Dye, Thomas, and Mauer.
Despite Jeter's serious character flaws - here is why he was the MVP. A consistent level of high production all season long. Take into consideration stats other than RBIs and HRs - such as batting avg., on base %, stolen bases, hits, and runs - top 3 or 5 in every category. Add on top of that a Gold Glove in the field. When the other headliners in Yanks line up were injured or slumping he was producing, and producing all season long and led the Yanks to the best record in the American League.
Here's why he was not the MVP: Anti-NYY bias (most notably from the idiot in Chicago who voted him 6th), Anti-Jeter bias. Not enough RBIs (less than 100), not enough HRs (less than 20). Most of the writers who are supposed to be experts, but are truly morons, think the MVP is just who led in HRs and RBIs, often ignoring the rest of the scope of baseball qualities. Those that do have a vote in this race are also stricken with short-term memory and got caught up in the sexy story of the Twins resurgence (three players in the top 8) in the last half the year to take the Central Divison led by Morneau.
This may have been Jeter's best shot at winning the MVP, as he can expect more competition (and thus split votes) from his own line-up with A-Rod staying and the emergence of Robinson Cano who if he can stay healthy could be the next big time star.
At the end of the day, all the Yankees on the 40-man roster, and the fans, would prefer a championship over an MVP award. Absent the ultimate prize we are stuck debating individual awards - 2007 spring training cannot get her soon enough!!!!