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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Barra: Baseball’s Most Fascinating MVP Race This Century Gets Decided Today

Quite moving, as Barra checks in with the “more statically minded ones”...like Murray Chass!

“I don’t know how anyone can get around the fact that Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years,” said MLB Network’s Peter Gammons two weeks ago, summing up the opinion of much of the pundit class. Retired New York Times columnist Murray Chass has blogged that Cabrera is “the real thing” and “has demonstrated that throughout his 10-year career.”

But the argument for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout has become a cause célèbre for baseball analysts, especially younger, more statically minded ones. The lens of history be damned, they say: When you dig deep into the numbers, Trout is, as SB Nation’s Rob Neyers put it to me, “a much better all-around player.” And the thing is, if you follow their math, team Trout is actually right.

...Then, finally, there’s WAR. I don’t mean the battle being waged between traditional sportswriters and the new breed of baseball analysts; I mean the so-called superstar stat WAR, which stands for Wins Above Replacement. As the official definition reads: a single number that presents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add.

For the 2012 season, Trout led the AL at 10.7 while Cabrera’s WAR value was 6.9. You don’t have to accept WAR or even understand it to see that Trout was the most valuable player in the American League this season. The difference between his performance and Cabrera’s is not so great that a victory for Cabrera should be considered a disgrace. But in nearly all statistics, simple or complex, that contribute to winning games, Mike Trout is just a little better.

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: November 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4303274)
Re the MLB roundtable: Hunh, Olbermann is almost..likeable...when he sticks to sports.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4303674)
The difference between his performance and Cabrera’s is not so great that a victory for Cabrera should be considered a disgrace.

Huh? If somebody wants to question WAR and recalculate things to show that it's closer than WAR portrays then fine. Or if you want to argue there's stuff WAR misses or that Cabrera was super double clutchy or something then OK. But the WAR difference is nearly 4 f'ing wins. Trout, by WAR, has provided over 50% more value than Cabrera. How big does a gap have to be to be a "disgrace"? (Which is not to say it would be the most disgraceful (by WAR) decision in MVP history.)

“I don’t know how anyone can get around the fact that Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years,” said MLB Network’s Peter Gammons two weeks ago

a) it's not hard.

b) as we all know, many TC winners didn't win MVP.

c) When Yaz won it, he had 12 WAR, leading the AL. (He led the AL in 3 or 4 years); when Robinson won it, he led the AL in WAR at a Cabrera-esque 7.3; when Williams won in 42 and 47, he led the AL in WAR (also in the 2 years they did give him the MVP and two more on top of that). If anything, a WAR-based MVP would probably have "recognized" the TC winners more often than the actual MVP voters.

d) Getting back to Robinson, WAR is saying that Cabrera this year was as good as Robinson in 66 -- what a horrible insult! It's Cabrera's bad luck he ran into a guy having a Willie Mays type season.

Huh? B-R has added JAWS.
   3. steagles Posted: November 15, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4303695)
When you dig deep into the numbers,
you really don't actually have to do that. cabrera was a marginally better hitter, but trout was a better baserunner and a better defensive player by miles.
   4. steagles Posted: November 15, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4303722)
oh, and for those of you trout supporters, michael wilbon just called you sabr-loons on ESPN.
   5. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4303725)
Honestly, I feel like I did during the '04 election (if you'll forgive the analogy). Don't expect that my guy (Trout) will win, but demographics favor my position in the long run.
   6. Tschingsch Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4303729)
“I don’t know how anyone can get around the fact that Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years,” said MLB Network’s Peter Gammons two weeks ago, summing up the opinion of much of the pundit class.


OK, Maybe I'm missing something, but Gammons has already stated that his vote would have been for Trout. So, apparently he doesn't know how he himself was able to get around the fact that Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years?
   7. silhouetted by the sea Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:04 AM (#4304041)
I am sure this has been mentioned in some thread on this subject, but the argument “I don’t know how anyone can get around the fact that Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years,” is saying that they would vote for Mike Trout if josh Hamilton had hit 2 more home runs.

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