Monday, November 21, 2016
The voters should be congratulated for their diligence, hard work and perceptive thinking in selecting the m.v.p.s and compiling their ballots. I suppose it’s the modern way of performing this onerous chore. Why think when you can just copy names from a list already computed elsewhere?
Why not change the name of the award from m.v.p. to W.A.R. Lord?
The point is there is more to a player’s value to his team than simple statistics. Certainly statistics play a large role in a player’s value to his team, but so do other factors, not all of which can be measured with numbers.
As good as Trout might have been, the Angels could have finished last without him. Could the Red Sox have won the A.L. East title without Betts or Ortiz? Could the Astros have contended without Altuve, the Blue Jays without Donaldson, the Orioles without Manny Machado?
Did any of them contribute more than the others in ways that were not quantifiable? I don’t know; I lost too much of the season to make a judgment. But did the voters, who presumably watched closely all season, consider other factor, or did they decide to take the easy way out and not go to war with W.A.R.?
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Two for two.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout earned his second career AL Most Valuable Player Award, while in the NL, Cubs slugger Kris Bryant became the fourth player to win the MVP Award a year after being the Rookie of the Year.
Posted: November 17, 2016 at 07:08 PM | 64 comment(s)
Monday, November 14, 2016
1941 Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox LF: 11.0 WAR; 143 G; 135 R; 37 HR; 2 SB; .406 AVG; .553 OBP; .735 SLG; .568 wOBA; 221 wRC+; -8.8 DEF
Williams’ 1941 campaign was one of the greatest in baseball history. Seventy-five years later, Williams is still the last player ever to hit .400 in a full season. He cemented the feat by going 6-for-8 in a doubleheader on the last day of the season. Aside from batting average, he also led the majors in WAR, runs, home runs, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, wOBA and wRC+.
But Joe DiMaggio had his league-record 56-game hitting streak in 1941, too, and Williams finished second to him in the American League MVP voting. Williams was also the runner-up in 1942 when he had an 11.6 WAR and batted .346 with 36 home runs and 141 runs scored. He won MVPs in 1946 and 1949.
Posted: November 14, 2016 at 09:27 AM | 17 comment(s)
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
As you may have heard, some very important election results are just around the corner: The MVP will be announced in just a couple of weeks! (Wait… what did you think I meant?)
This isn’t a “news” item, per se, but wanted to alert NY/NJ-area primates to a fun event taking place Nov. 10. Stop by if you’re in the area!
Posted: November 01, 2016 at 04:25 PM | 0 comment(s)
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Altuve may himself be on his way to Cooperstown, as through his age 26 season, he has 1,046 hits, a career line of .311/.354/.437 and 199 stolen bases. The only second basemen with more hits at such a young age were Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Bobby Doerr and Mazeroski. This award is not about Altuve’s career path, though. It’s about this season, and this season, he was spectacular.
Voting by MLB players
1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros-84
2. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox-64
3. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox-41
4. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs-36
5. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals-26
6. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels-22
7. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies-20
8. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles-14
9. Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers-5
10. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers-4
Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins-4
11. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles-2
Monday, October 17, 2016
The auto magnate launches one hell of a marketing campaign; shenanigans and scandal involving the sport’s two biggest stars; the birth of the MVP award.
Posted: October 17, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
Monday, October 03, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
Williams. Musial. Pujols. It looks like Trout is about to join some very exclusive company.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Black players don’t claim MVPs in the American League. Hispanic players are ignored by National League voters. Has an ugly bias influenced the MVP vote?
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
It’s going to happen. I can feel it’s going to happen. And while I understand why it’s going to happen, we need to stop inventing reasons to elect someone other than Trout, the Angels’ brilliant center fielder. We are making ourselves look dumb.
Trout, 25, has been the best player in baseball for five seasons now, yet he has won only one MVP, finishing second three times. The reason to rob him this year — there’s always a reason, some new narrative — is that the Angels stink. As if that is Trout’s fault.
I confess — I prefer my MVPs to come from contending teams, believing that they perform under greater pressure than players from non-contenders. But Trout this season is far above the other candidates, several of whom are stumbling in September. How can the voters justify snubbing him again?
Thursday, September 15, 2016
You know part of the story - but not the most galling part.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
Mike Trout is a few “Mike Trout” games away from notching his second 10-WAR season. Combined, the rest of major league baseball has zero.
Trout’s career has essentially been one long milestone to this point, so marking another 10-WAR season probably doesn’t warrant a plaque in his personal trophy room (though there’s plenty of room where his multiple MVPs should be).
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Thursday, September 01, 2016
When you’re hitting over .300, leading the league in homers, and a lock to knock in 100 runs, you’re going to be in the heart of the MVP discussion. At 24 years old, Kris Bryant has put up these numbers going into the final month of the regular season, not only making his case for top value in 2016, but also making it known that he could be this productive for the next decade.
Yet when you try and check his defensive box, you can’t. Bryant is one of the best “super-utility” players of this era, playing multiple positions, each requiring a different skill set and preparation. It has made him an irreplaceable asset in the Chicago Cubs’ machine and set the tone for all of baseball to take notice of the power of versatility. Bryant is a utility player who isn’t just there to give better players a day off. He’s a fixture in one of the best lineups in Major League Baseball.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Go to Rio for a month and look at what happens. Babe Ruth is resurrected, and he’s hitting right-handed and playing catcher. The Giants, the best team in baseball at the All-Star break, are literally the worst since. Ian Kennedy’s ERA in August can be spelled out in binary code. Baseball does this. Every month is its own little season of the absurd, the impossible, the unrepeatable, the glorious.
Only two things are the same.
a) Clayton Kershaw, on the disabled list for two months, still has the best numbers of any pitcher in baseball. (This is patently absurd, by the way.)
b) The American League MVP race is a completely jumbled mess.
Posted: August 30, 2016 at 08:26 AM | 91 comment(s)
Monday, August 29, 2016
Has anyone else tried to quantify the value of position flexibility? I’ve investigated the topic a little myself for my WAR system for the simulation league I play in. Despite some effort I’ve always ended up using WAR without any additional adjustment.
But while Bryant is only in his second season and Musial is a Hall of Famer, the two could end up sharing a unique distinction.
Musial is the only player to win an MVP award after a season in which he started 30 games in both the infield and outfield, according to STATS LLC.
Bryant could become the second.
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