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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Posnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes

Theory 1: Because they don’t want performance enhancing drug users in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

...The Hall leadership may not want [Barry] Bonds or [Roger] Clemens elected, but it never really looked like they would be anyway. And I don’t think the Hall of Fame directors are manipulative in this way. I’m sure they’re not weeping for Bonds or Clemens, but I don’t believe that was the impetus here.

Theory 2: The Baseball Hall of Fame wants to maintain exclusivity.

... My sense in talking with people who have intimate knowledge about the Hall is that, if anything, the Hall of Fame would like to add MORE players from the last 40 or so years…

Theory 3: The Hall of Fame wants to clean up some of the BBWAA untidiness.

Now, we are getting to the point… The 15-year process has always been clunky. And it’s even harder in today’s world, where everything moves so fast and everything is so magnified. We in the BBWAA spend way too much time arguing about players and leaving them in limbo… Ten years is plenty. If anything it is too long.

But, I don’t think it stops here. I have one more theory.

Theory 4: The Hall of Fame is setting up for some major changes.

A few years ago, the Hall of Fame created a Special Committee on the Negro Leagues… a screening committee created a 29-person Negro Leagues Hall of Fame ballot… I have been told this by people who would know – getting Buck O’Neil into the Hall of Fame was the biggest reason the Hall of Fame had created these committees and set up this vote in the first place… Buck still fell short… And I think the Hall of Fame leadership learned a hard lesson: Museum or not, you can’t just give up complete control of your own business… By taking away five years of the BBWAA’s voting, the Hall can have their own committees consider players five years sooner…. They understand the BBWAA is evolving, baseball coverage is evolving, the idea of baseball credibility (which the BBWAA always provided) is evolving too…

So, this is my theory: The Baseball Hall of Fame is making some smallish changes now to set itself up for bigger changes soon. I’m sure they would deny this, and I would bet even they don’t know what those changes are. But they’re coming. I think in 10 years, the Hall of Fame will have a more open Hall of Fame voting policy that the BBWAA will have a part in but will not control entirely.

The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, buck o'neil, hall of fame, joe posnanski

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Neyer: Kissing the Rolaids Relief Award goodbye

In 2006…. the Rolaids brand was acquired… Johnson & Johnson drastically reduced its distribution of Rolaids-brand products, and the attendant promotion of those products… [Heath] Bell and Rafael Soriano, the winners in 2010, didn’t get their trophies. José Valverde and John Axford, the winners in 2011, didn’t get theirs, either…

The way the Players Association saw it, the Rolaids Relief Man Award was still being promoted on a corporate website in 2010 and ’11, so somebody owed four pitchers their trophies from those seasons….

Tuesday morning in Cleveland, Axford became the last known recipient of the Rolaids Relief Man Award…

While Jim Johnson did receive a bonus for finishing atop the (unofficial) Relief Man standings in 2012, neither he nor NL winner Craig Kimbrel received the hardware, nor are they likely to. The owners of the Rolaids brand didn’t maintain the Relief Man standings that year… Johnson told me last month, “I want my fireman’s helmet.”...

I agree with Jayson Stark: It’s time—actually well past time—for the BBWAA to introduce an award for relief pitchers. I wouldn’t call it the Jerome Holtzman Award, as Jayson would. It’s not a bad suggestion. I just think naming an award after a writer isn’t a great idea. I’ll suggest instead the Mariano Rivera Award for the American League, and the Trevor Hoffman Award for the National League…

POSTSCRIPT: Major League Baseball must have a spy somewhere. Before the above was published but after I submitted it, MLB announced two new awards for relief pitchers, named after ... Rivera and Hoffman.

The District Attorney Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, relievers, rob neyer, rolaids relief award

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MLB: Relief Awards named for Rivera, Hoffman

The American League’s top reliever will be given an award named for Mariano Rivera, and the National League winner will receive a trophy named for Trevor Hoffman. Rivera and Hoffman, Nos. 1 and 2 in career saves, spent their entire careers pitching in their respective leagues. . .

The new honors, beginning this season, will replace MLB’s Delivery Man of the Year Award, which was given to one reliever each year, as opposed to one reliever per league. . .

The award winners will be determined by a vote of other great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman will be joined by Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter, who are the four living relievers in the Hall of Fame, and Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner, all of whom are among the top five in career saves.

The nine voters will rank the top three pitchers in each league based solely on regular-season performance, and each of their ballots will use a 5-3-1 weighted point system.

That’s an interesting way to pick an award.

The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:16 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hoffman, mariano rivera, relievers

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MVP Ryan Braun to speak at dinner

BBWAAH, must we?

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, is expected to speak at a banquet where he will accept his award for being voted National League MVP.

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

“He will be there and he will accept his award,” Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

...He has not made a public appearance since news of the positive test broke on Dec. 10. Hiltzik told The Times that Braun does not intend to do interviews Saturday. Braun was named MVP on Nov. 22.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, rumors, steroids

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pedro Martinez on The Big Show: Of MVP and Cy Young snubs, the Steroid Era

Weeee! More fun than Whack-A-Gerbil!

Still, the fact that Tigers ace Justin Verlander was named the AL MVP re-opened an apparent wound for Martinez about his distress in being snubbed in the 1999 MVP voting, a year when Martinez went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts but was left off the ballots of two writers (George King of the New York Post and LaVelle Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune), resulting in Martinez finishing second to Ivan Rodriguez in the race. Martinez also rankled at the memory of finishing second to Barry Zito in the 2002 AL Cy Young race.

“I was kind of pissed off at first [when Verlander won the MVP], but then I went to realize that they are the [voters] are going to have to live with that label on their back. If anyone calls them prejudice or racist for not voting for me, everyone will have to understand that it’s their responsibility for not voting for me at that time,” said Martinez.

...“I was ripped apart,” added Martinez. “I’m not afraid to say that the way that George King and Mr. LaVelle Neal III went about it was unprofessional.”

On pitching during the Steroid Era:

At the time, all I wanted was to compete. To me, it was normal. There were so many players doing it that it was normal. … You could see the guys being beefed up from one year to the next. I told so many guys, I remember Brady Anderson going from 40 homers to nearly seven the next year. I saw Luis Gonzalez go from 57 to, what, 17 the next year? It was weird. It was weird.

Everybody just admired what I was doing. Everyone was so caught up in my success. But I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. All I wanted to do was to compete, to help the Red Sox win. It didn’t matter to me what I did individually. If I left Boston without that ring, without that championship, I’d feel like a bitter man right now. It didn’t matter to me that I was called a prima donna when I would miss two or three starts. I never did a steroid to [recuperate] in the time those guys would recup. I know how much a quad would probably hurt someone or a hamstring, how long it would take. I saw guys like [Clemens] sometimes get a hamstring or a quad or something, and in two days, he was right back and throwing 97.

I don’t know what went on. I certainly know that he recuped a lot quicker than I would, and I was younger. I pitched less, a lot less, than Roger did. He wasn’t young. He was a Hall of Famer before he got into that.

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, red sox, sabermetrics

Brisbee: Alan Trammell: Victim of Context

[Barry] Larkin getting in after a couple of decades or a Veteran’s Committee ballot wouldn’t add to Trammell’s cause. But Larkin got in on his third year of eligibility with 86 percent of the vote. Larkin wasn’t a borderline case—he didn’t satisfy the extra-super-special-first-ballot-bonus-points ninnies, but he was clearly a Hall of Famer in the voters’ eyes right from the beginning.

It’s that last statistic up there that’s the reason for the gap between the HOF perception gap between Larkin and Trammell. CRiL is a proprietary statistic I developed specifically to measure shortstops against each other. It’s a park- and era-adjusted stat that can sum up a shortstop’s Hall-of-Fame chances in a single number. It stands for “Cal Ripkens in League.” Larkin outpaces Trammell easily on this one.

Again, it’s not that Larkin wasn’t better than Trammell. By most metrics (and obviously in the court of public opinion), he certainly was. But if Larkin is a Hall of Famer, Trammell certainly deserves a closer look. The gap between them wasn’t that big…

Another difference between Larkin and Trammell is that the latter had a sidekick who was also worthy of the Hall of Fame. For just under two decades, Lou Whitaker played along Trammell, making All-Star teams and hitting at a position where most teams shouldn’t have a hitter. The two rode around on tandem bikes and finished each other’s sentences, and there might have been a tendency to pretend that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. If Trammell played a couple decades with Doug Flynn, maybe he would have stood out more.

I’m sure many of us remember the Trammell/Whitaker Starting Lineup figures.

The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, tigers

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Neyer: Elect Jeff Bagwell To The Hall, And Cooperstown Will Bloom Again

Apparently “Craig” only needs a first name, like Cher, Madonna or Snooki.

This morning, Craig [Calcaterra] wrote a couple of compelling Hall of Fame-related posts.

In the first, he noted that attendance at the Museum is way, way down: more than 20 percent just from 2007 through 2011… In the second, Craig gave some Calcaterrian whatfor and whatnot to three Chicagoland Hall of Fame voters who have (again) not voted for Jeff Bagwell because of suspicions that he used performance-enhancing drugs (not including amphetamines, because hey if Willie Mays used greenies it’s cool)...

While I believe Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame, I’ve never quite understood the argument that a Hall of Fame voter—if he thinks steroid use is germane—should ignore every scrap of evidence that doesn’t appear in the Mitchell Report or wherever… I believe that it’s intellectually indefensible to disqualify a player solely because you think he used steroids ... but I also believe it’s perfectly defensible to decide for yourself, based on everything you’ve seen and heard, if a player did use steroids.

Some of that makes sense, I hope. And I really didn’t intend to get into this whole thing. Really, I just wanted to express my mild surprise that Craig didn’t make any connection between Hall of Fame voting and Hall of Fame visitors. The Hall of Fame derives 98 percent of it publicity from one thing: new Hall of Famers. But lately—and for some years into the future, I’m afraid—a great deal of that 98 percent is going to be negative. It will be about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield and Mike Piazza and all the terrible things they did, and there might well be years when literally nobody is elected to the Hall of Fame. You think attendance has been down? You ain’t seen nothing.

The District Attorney Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM | 240 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, awards, baseball geeks, hall of fame, history

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HOF Ballot: William Faulkner

There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will the ballot be stuffed up?

Edgar Martinez – Called ‘gar’ after the fish that has lurked in reed lined waters still and waiting since there were fish and waters and lesser animals condemned to a perdition life of preydom and chased by higher forms make thinbodied and needleteethed by time or Godhand and touched with the breath of life. Called that by the denizens of a rain-soaked city not because he was thin but because his bat would hold still and then lash out at the rotating sphere of cowhide and twine stitched by women in Costa Rica who will hear tonight the low call of the yigüirro and catch sight: a shift of red-gray holding briefly the last rays of light coming through the canopy above.

Dave ParkerAnd you are?
Dave Parker.
And you have been on the ballot –?
Fifteen years.
And your career was—?
Up and down. Undone by cocaine.
Cocaine?
Yes, cocaine.
And you have been on the ballot—?
Fifteen years.
And you are?
Dave Parker.

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, special topics

Davidoff: My 2012 Hall of Fame ballot

Also featuring interesting commentary on the also-rans!

Mark McGwire : I’ve documented my feelings previously (see the older ballots) on why I’ve switched on McGwire; it ties into my comments on [Jeff] Bagwell that I see my role as upholding the laws at the time, rather than retroactively legislating…

Jack Morris : ... Morris felt like a Hall of Famer. He did to me, for sure… And I voted for Morris in my first two years with this privilege.

But there are simply no numbers to support his candidacy. I don’t see one…

Rafael Palmeiro : OK, so last year, he was a No for me, for this reason: I had 11 candidates that I really liked, and you can list only 10… he cheated, he was caught and he served the time, all fair and square - and for what it’s worth, that ‘05 positive test pretty much ended his career. But should that be a disqualifying factor for his Hall of Fame candidacy, or merely a damaging one?

I’m going with “damaging.” Next year, with the influx of candidates, I might find myself with a surplus once more and keep Palemeiro off. Right now, though, he’s a Yes ...

Lee Smith : I’ve gone from No (2007) to Yes (2008) back to No (2009-11) on him, and I’m staying on No . The big debate on closers is, “How much can one separate himself from the pack?” My belief is, “Not very much, unless you’re Rivera.” And you can’t get the dominance part of the equation if your Wins Above Replacement aren’t high…

Tony Womack : No , although, in his defense, he wasn’t a very nice guy .

End result: Bagwell, Larkin, E. Martinez, McGwire, Palmeiro, Raines, Trammell, L. Walker

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Murray Chass on Baseball: METS STILL SHUT DOWN

IT’S ALMOST 2012 AND THE METS ARE STILL LISTENING TO THE BEACH BOYS, MR. PRESIDENT.

AWARDS POSE PROBLEM FOR WRITERS

I offer the same suggestion for the Conlin award, though in his case there is a more difficult decision because his alleged acts of sexual abuse occurred so long ago – apparently in the 1970s – that the statute of limitations bars prosecution. In other words, the BBWAA will not have a conviction or an acquittal on which it could base a decision if it wants to decide whether or not to strip Conlin of the award.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was on the three-man committee that nominated Conlin and two other writers for the award last year. I have never been a Conlin fan and reluctantly voted for his nomination because of a dearth of good candidates.

In the election itself, I voted for Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, whom I have long admired for his contribution to baseball knowledge and understanding in Canada. Conlin, however, won the election, outdrawing Elliott 188 votes to 160 in one of the closest outcomes since the current format was adopted in 2000. Elliott won this year.

...Conlin is a different issue and would take much more serious consideration. He is accused of committing an act far more abhorrent than using steroids or testosterone, and the writers should not be in the position of celebrating someone who allegedly is a child molester. But more time and more information are needed to sort out the sordid allegations and allow us to make an informed, intelligent decision. Conlin won’t have a trial, but he will have an opportunity to acquit himself. I’m skeptical, but I’m willing to listen.

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2011 at 03:38 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, business, history, media, mets

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bill James Online: Elston Howard

I’m not saying that Elston Howard was slow-footed…but the old Elston Howard Travel Agency in Fort Lee, NJ. did have a contract with Dinghy Cruise Lines.

Maybe they could all go in at the same time? Elston Howard? I was a wee lad, but hindsight suggests there was perhaps no greater beneficiary of the Yankee mystique in All Star and MVP voting than Howard.


I’ll look at that MVP race, but few players in history suffered more from circumstances than Howard.  First, he played in Yankee Stadium, which at that time was huge to left field, and he hit far, far better on the road than in his home park. ... one of the largest home field DISadvantages of any player who ever played (will detail shortly.)  Second, although he was a player of immense ability he was past 30 before he got a chance to play regularly, because he was trapped for years behind the greatest catcher of all time. Third, of course, he was a black player; I think Elston was three years younger than Duke Snider, but whereas Snider was in the majors by 1947 and was finished with his prime by 1956, Howard (although he made the All-Star team in 1959) wasn’t really a regular until 1961.  Howard really was only a few years younger than Berra.

The 1963 MVP race. ....there just really wasn’t an MVP season in that league.  I think the true MVP might actually have been Tom Tresh or possibly Carl Yastrzesmki, but Tresh and Yaz didn’t really have MVP seasons, either; it’s just a question of somebody has to win, and Howard’s probably not a bad pick.

Howard’s home/road splits. ..In 1959 he hit .237 with 5 homers, 21 RBI at home, .305 with 13 homers, 52 RBI on the road.  In 1962 his average was pretty even (.275 at home, .283 on the road) but he hit 3 homers, drove in 31 runs at home, as opposed to 18 and 60 on the road.  In 1963 he hit .263 with 10 and 37 at home, .300 with 18 and 48 on the road.    In 1964 he hit .279 with 3 homers, 35 RBI at home, .344 with 12 homers, 49 RBI on the road.    In 1965 he hit 9 homers—all of them on the road.    In his career he hit 54 home runs at home, 113 on the road.

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2011 at 03:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, yankees

Friday, December 16, 2011

Japan Times: Asao, Uchikawa win league MVP awards

This news is actually a couple of weeks old, but I’m posting it mainly because I thought people might be interested to know that a set-up man, Chunichi Dragons reliever Takuya Asao, won the MVP Award in Japan’s Central League. After the controversy about Verlander’s MVP win, and some writers questioning whether pitchers should be eligible for the MVP at all, it’s interesting to look overseas and see not a starting pitcher, not a closer, but a set-up man walk away with the hardware…

“I can’t believe it,” Asao said at a news conference.

...

Asao played a vital role out of the bullpen for the pennant-winning Dragons, making 79 appearances and recording 45 holds. He finished the season with 10 saves, 100 strikeouts, a 0.41 ERA and didn’t allow a single home run in 87? innings on the mound.

“I was determined to do my best the entire year,” Asao said. “I didn’t believe I would ever be named MVP. I’m really surprised.”

vortex of dissipation Posted: December 16, 2011 at 07:15 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, international, japan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hal McCoy: May I have my MVP ballot back, please?

“HAL: I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”

In light (as dark as it is right now) of the Ryan Braun affair, may I please have my MVP ballot back.

Yes, I voted for Braun after thinking it over and changing my mind more often than my wife, Nadine, checking her menu at a restaurant.

Braun? Matt Kemp? Kemp or Braun. Braun or Kemp?

Even though Kemp had better numbers in most categories I finally decided to vote Braun No. 1 and Kemp No. 2. MVP voters pick their top ten in descending order.

...So Braun won — and now it comes out that he tested positive for an illegal substance and faces a 50-game suspension. Braun says there are extenuating circumstances and he is protesting the test through arbitration.

OK, I’LL WAIT for now. But I’d still like to have my ballot back. If Braun draws that 50-game suspension, I’d like to change my vote to put Kemp No. 1 and Braun nowhere, nowhere in my top ten.

Repoz Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:55 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, dodgers, steroids

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Doug Glanville: If Ryan Braun doesn’t win his appeal, he doesn’t deserve to be the NL MVP

Hey…how can Hank Aaron’s home run record get “asterisked away” when his was a single (guffaw) pep pill-fueled record to begin with?!

But in Braun’s case, if he’s guilty, this wouldn’t be hard at all. Everything would be right in front of us, in plain view. Just a short time before he got the award, he had failed the drug test; it was a banned substance, banned for the reason that it supposedly creates an advantage. Therefore, his season was advantaged. His MVP award was not based on playing within the rules, so why can’t the award be taken away?

Slippery slopes only stop being slippery when you take a stand, when you take off your skis and put on some mountain-climbing boots. So let’s go against the grain with a precedent-breaking, unapologetic stand. It is hard, it bucks the system, but no greater exclamation point could be made on the steroid era than this. It is not like we would be asking to void contracts and World Series titles (ideas welcome, however). People still got paid and paid well for making the PED choice.

I get it. I love baseball too and I hate that the records are tarnished. I hate thinking about the racism that Hank Aaron endured to be a home run champ, only to watch it get asterisked away. Baseball fans don’t really like change very much. We are slow to adapt, and we like to know where we are in the big picture. I also get it that every baseball era had its issues: The exclusion of people from the game based on race, or war-time challenges, not to mention cocaine, the deadball era and gambling. Today’s players are no more or less morally sound than those of yesterday—that is the stuff of wishful nostalgia—but we can take another dramatic step in a no-tolerance drug culture, today.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, steroids

Monday, December 12, 2011

Plaschke: Ryan Braun needs to follow his own advice

I’ve got to follow your advice wherever that advice may lead
I’ve got to follow your advice to find the love I needle…

No, this is not about doing the right thing by the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, who finished second in the voting despite being better than Braun in nearly every important statistical category except victories. Yes, I’ve written about the injustice dealt to Kemp, but this is much bigger than two men.

Kemp should not win if Braun gives up the award.

Baseball wins if Braun gives up the award.

The National League MVP should forever remain vacant for the 2011 season, serving as an eternal reminder of the cost of cheating while representing the only real punishment for an active cheater.

Braun would need to give up the award because, really, he won’t have to give up much else.

...If Braun is the cheater that the evidence says he is, he needs to listen to himself from three years ago, face himself today, and finally become the real MVP by giving it up.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:18 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, steroids

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

BBWAA Awards Show Coming Next Year

In conjunction with the MLB Network, there will be four separate awards programs aired, with (as I understand it) a pair of awards per program, Monday through Thursday. Should be good programming, and more compact than in past years when the process was spread over a couple of calendar weeks.


That’s the lesser change. The greater change is this: According to the plan, during the week before those four programs, there will be a special to announce the finalists: three apiece for Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Cy Young Awards; five finalists for each of the Most Valuable Player Awards.

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jim Kaat: All deserving of the awards

Please, this is not to be meant as a condescending comment — Kaat has never won a Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

I’m happy for all the winners and the ones who didn’t win should feel good about being in the discussion, because they had to have very good seasons to be in consideration. Justin Verlander winning the AL MVP may have been somewhat of a surprise to some because you have certain voters — and there was at least one again this year — who don’t even give a pitcher any consideration for MVP. I understand their thinking, because — and please, this is not to be meant as a condescending comment — they have never played Major League Baseball and don’t realize the impact a starting pitcher has on the outcome of a game.

...With pitch counts, innings restrictions, and relief specialists, that has changed. I think that those things I referred to make Justin Verlander a better choice than ever because he did what pitchers did decades ago in an era where it is more unusual. When you saw his name listed as the starting pitcher, you knew the Tigers were going to be difficult to defeat. I’d give plenty of credit to the closers as well, like Valverde…  and how many titles would the Yankees have won in the past 15 years without Mariano Rivera?

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2011 at 01:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, tigers

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BBWAA: NL MVP: Ryan Braun

Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun, whose slugging and clutch hitting helped the Brewers win the National League Central title, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Braun, who turned 28 last Thursday, was listed first on 20 ballots and second on the rest of the 32, submitted by two writers from each league city, to score 388 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th. Braun led the league in slugging (.597), on-base plus slugging (.994) and extra-base hits (77) and ranked second in batting average (.332) and runs (109), fourth in RBI (111), tied for sixth in home runs (33) and seventh in stolen bases (33). He hit .351 in 148 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who flirted with the Triple Crown all season, received 10 first-place votes and was the runner-up with 332 points. Kemp topped the NL in home runs (39) and runs batted in (126) and was third in the batting race at .324 behind New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (.337) and Braun. Kemp also led the NL in runs (115) and total bases (353).

Repoz Posted: November 22, 2011 at 07:48 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers

Ingraham: Why I left Justin Verlander off my MVP ballot

In Graham Land…things can get very lonely.

image

Obviously, I’m in the minority in this year’s MVP voting. I expected to be. I’m sure many wonder why I didn’t at least have Verlander somewhere on my ballot — second, third, fourth — if not first. My answer to that is this: If Verlander was going to be on my ballot at all, he was going to be first.

But once I decided I didn’t think it was fair to compare pitchers with position players for this award, meaning I wasn’t going to give Verlander a first-place vote, it would have been hypocritical of me to have him anywhere else on my ballot.

He was either going to be first on my ballot or not on it at all.

Repoz Posted: November 22, 2011 at 07:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, sabermetrics, tigers

BTiA: Evan Grant: Wrong By Any Measure

Mor on, the Evan Grant MVP ballot.

Evan’s ballot, however, is not a disagreement between traditional statistics and advanced statistics. This is a question of credibility and whether Evan Grant has any after this absurd vote.

At best, this vote is disingenuous. I simply cannot believe that Evan Grant truly felt that Michael Young was the most valuable player in the American League this year.

... If Evan Grant decided that he wanted to use the ‘eye test’ to determine his MVP, then he needs to at the very least take into account the fact that he watches one team far more than any other. Voting for Michael Young for the reasons that he listed completely ignores whether anybody else could have met these (strange) criteria. If everybody voted according to Evan Grant’s guidelines, then every year, the MVP would go to the most media-friendly player in the market that harbored the most members of the BBWAA.

...How did Evan Grant miss the boat so badly that he cannot even identify the most valuable player on the team that he covers? Again, even by traditional measures, Young’s .338 average is less valuable in light of his paltry 11 home runs and visibly/measured poor defense, especially when one considers the three 30-homer players who all played excellent defense. This is not a WAR-based argument, where the selection of Young looks many times more absurd. Evan Grant is embarrassing himself amongst national baseball writers who seemingly have as much of a distaste as he does for FanGraphs.com.

Repoz Posted: November 22, 2011 at 03:41 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, rangers, sabermetrics

Baseball Prospectus: Internet Baseball Awards

AL summary, NL summary, and the main link is to the super-complete voting results.  But, to get to the nitty-grit:

AL MVP: Jose Bautista, TOR
NL MVP: Matt Kemp, LA
AL Cy: Justin Verlander, DET
NL Cy: Clayton Kershaw, LA
AL Rookie: Michael Pineda, SEA
NL Rookie: Craig “Casey” Kimbrel, ATL
AL Manager: Joe Maddon, TB
NL Manager: Kirk Gibson, AZ

The District Attorney Posted: November 22, 2011 at 01:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Monday, November 21, 2011

Peter Abraham: Explaining my MVP ballot

that had Zobrist 5th and Miggy 9th.

I do not put much stock in general character, disposition or loyalty as it’s impossible for me to get an accurate gauge of these qualities. These guys are what they are on the field, unless they’re proven cheaters.

In making my vote, I relied heavily on the statistics at Fangraphs.com, particularly WAR. I also spoke to players, managers, coaches or executives of 11 AL teams, other writers whose opinion I valued and many fans.

My personal opinion, and certainly many would disagree with this, is that value is also seen in the standings. If two players are similar statistically, I would favor the player on the better team. I believe it’s more impressive to put up good numbers when more is at stake.

5. Ben Zobrist (Rays): I was settled on the first four before the final few games of the season. Then the Rays won the wild card and I felt they should be represented fairly prominently on my ballot. Zobrist has been a quietly consistent and excellent player for Tampa Bay for several years now. He also had a WAR of 6.6 and started 33 games in right field in addition to his duties at second base.

9. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): You have to give him credit for posting a .344/.448/.586 season after that DUI in spring training and all the subsequent controversy. He also hit 30 homers and drove in 105 runs. His WAR was fifth in the AL. You can certainly make a case he was just as valuable as Verlander. But Victor Martinez and Alex Avila provided the Tigers with plenty of pop, too.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:49 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, media

Tigers’ Justin Verlander adds AL MVP to his award haul

Justin Verlander is the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

Verlander is first starting pitcher to win the award in 25 years.

..Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who led the league in home runs (43), slugging (.608), on-base plus slugging (1.056) and walks (132), received five first-place votes and placed third overall in the balloting with 231 points, behind Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (.321, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 119 R, 83 XBH, 39 SB), who had four first-place votes and was the runner-up with 242 points.

New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson (.262, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 136 R) received three first-place votes and was fourth in the voting with 215 points. Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (.344, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 48 2B) got two first-place votes and ranked fifth with 193 points. The other first-place vote went to Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young (.338, 11 HR, 106 RBI, 213 H), who finished eighth in the voting and received votes in all 10 spaces on the ballot.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, tigers

Bisher Unleashed: On Closers

Can You Take Another Dose of PERCEPTO?...for Furman Bisher Has Been Unleashed Once Again!

This is, of course, a reflection of my vintage, but it strikes me as being totally sinful that the Rookie of the Year in the National League is a pitcher who played only one inning at a time. True indeed, that Casey Kimbrel played his part in the Braves’ charge toward the National League pennant, but consider where they might have finished without Freddie Freeman’s daily appearance at first base. This “closer” thing has become a baseball disease.  Freeman was in the lineup every day, with a .282 batting average, 76 RBI—only Dan Uggla drove in more — 21 home runs, 32 doubles and a bulwark of defense at first base. Kimbrel—an inning at a time, nicely done. I’m repeating myself, I know, but I never have, and never will cast my Hall of Fame vote for a “closer.”  Never.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, braves, hall of fame, history

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shaikin: So who didn’t vote for Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw?

The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award on Thursday, getting 27 of 32 first-place votes.

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies got four first-place votes. Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks got the remaining first-place vote. You can see the complete voting here.

The Baseball Writers Assn. of America selects two voters to represent each National League market. The logical suspicion among Dodgers fans: Did the Philadelphia voters go with their hometown guy, Halladay? Did an Arizona voter go with his hometown guy, Kennedy?

In both cases, the answer is no.

The first-place votes for Halladay were cast by Ken Davidoff of Newsday (N.Y.), Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Keith Law of ESPN and Scott Miller of CBS Sports. The first-place vote for Kennedy was cast by John Maffei of the North County Times, representing the San Diego chapter of the BBWAA.

Thanks to Evan.

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2011 at 05:20 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, dodgers, sabermetrics

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