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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Clubhouse Confidential: AL MVP Race (video)

Clubhouse Confidential takes a closer look at the race between the primary contenders for MVP.

Xander Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:48 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel cabrera, mike trout, mvp

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   1. boteman Posted: November 08, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4297701)
Executive summary: Brian Kenney prefaced his comparison of Trout and Cabrera by saying "We won't use WAR or fancy calculus", then proceeded on a tour-de-force of offensive and defensive metrics AND scouting reports to conclude that Trout was the more valuable by quite a margin.

I have to say that if you blinked or inhaled you'd miss a tidbit here or there as he must be racing under enormous time pressure, plus Kenney looks like a high speed, low drag kind of guy anyway, so he might have given reason for doubters to tune out mentally or physically. But it was a pretty persuasive argument for Mike Trout as the most valuable player of the A.L. based on the facts, not on "I *think* he's most valuable".

Of course, he had the obligatory appearance by Larry Bowa who admitted that Trout was the best player, but Cabrera would win the MVP. I think Bowa was trying to make the point, unsuccessfully, that the writers would award Cabrera the MVP, not necessarily that he deserved it.
   2. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 08, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4297719)
Why don't we all just agree right now that we won't lose it when Miggy gets the MVP. Its gonna happen.
   3. Booey Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4297971)
Why don't we all just agree right now that we won't lose it when Miggy gets the MVP. Its gonna happen.


We had this discussion over a month ago, and a few people refused to agree to this and criticized those of us that did. Apparently the wrong person being given the MVP has never happened before and would be the greatest injustice in the history of human civilization.

Or something like that.
   4. vivaelpujols Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4297976)
It's kind of a shame we can't use WAR to look at MVP debates considering that WAR is the only stat that actually tries to quantify *total* value (as oppose to RBI's, OBP, defense) which only tries to quantify a certain part of a players value. I don't know why people think they can just eyeball and array of numbers and decide who was better. If you don't like WAR, modify the parts you don't like, be they park factors or UZR, but it's dumb not to use it.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4297978)
I'm already on board with the stipulation, but I'm not ruling out a Trout win. I think Miggy will take it, but I think it will be close (in Silverian terms, I'll go 55 percent chance for a Cabrera victory).

The difference, of course between Nate and I is that's he's using math to come up with the figure while mine is more of a JoeScar gut-level thing.

   6. vivaelpujols Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4297981)
We had this discussion over a month ago, and a few people refused to agree to this and criticized those of us that did. Apparently the wrong person being given the MVP has never happened before and would be the greatest injustice in the history of human civilization.


Nah, I could care less who the BBWAA give the award too. "A few people" we're just shocked by the idea that you'd use this idiotic version of the triple crown (where one category is heavily correlated with the other, and which ignores defense, baserunning, and, lets see, runs scored) as a criteria in the vote.
   7. Booey Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4297986)
It's kind of a shame we can't use WAR to look at MVP debates

We can, and I think pretty much everyone here does. WAR is certainly debateable with how they come up with some of the numbers, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone here say that it's complete nonsense and has no value whatsoever. The arguments seem to come when people use WAR and only WAR as the final word in any MVP/CY/HOF discussion.
   8. vivaelpujols Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4297991)
I don't think anyone here had used unadjusted WAR as the final word. I have seen a hundred comments saying "don't even use WAR, you can prove his candidacy without it". And that's when you get into "numbers scouting" which is the opposite of the point of numbers in the first place.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4297992)
I think there's a pretty humongous gap between "losing it" and "criticizing a bad decision using data and logic."

If/when Miguel Cabrera wins the MVP, I'll criticize the bad decision by the writers. I might even use data and logic, though I think that's pretty well settled at this point.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4297994)
I have seen a hundred comments saying "don't even use WAR, you can prove his candidacy without it".


I think you're mistaking "you don't even need to use WAR to prove his superiority" with "don't use WAR." The former is quite common (generally as a tool if you're trying to convince the WAR skeptics of Trout's bona fides), the latter not so much.

I think there's a pretty humongous gap between "losing it" and "criticizing a bad decision using data and logic."

If/when Miguel Cabrera wins the MVP, I'll criticize the bad decision by the writers. I might even use data and logic, though I think that's pretty well settled at this point.


Permission granted, though I can't recall anyone trying to take that right away from you.

   11. Booey Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4297997)
Nah, I could care less who the BBWAA give the award too.

Really? That's pretty much what everyone else was saying last time and it caused an argument somehow.

"A few people" we're just shocked by the idea that you'd use this idiotic version of the triple crown (where one category is heavily correlated with the other, and which ignores defense, baserunning, and, lets see, runs scored) as a criteria in the vote.

Except that those people weren't doing that. From what I remember, pretty much everyone said they'd vote for Trout, Triple Crown be damned. They just said that they expected the BBWAA to see things differently and that they wouldn't lose any sleep if they did. Which is basically exactly what you said in your first sentence in #6.

Question to all: why do so many people dismiss RBI's as being overrated (which they are), but keep bringing up runs scored as a huge point in Trout's favor? Aren't runs scored every bit as team dependant as ribbies?

(and again, I'm a Trout supporter. I'm just wondering...)
   12. JJ1986 Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4297998)
WAR shows that Trout is a better candidate, but (almost) no one is claiming Trout is a better candidate because of WAR.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4298001)
Permission granted, though I can't recall anyone trying to take that right away from you.
Ok. I didn't ask for permission, and I didn't say or suggest or hint anything about my rights.

The first comment was about what we're going to say in a hypothetical thread. I figured I'd clarify what I plan to say in a hypothetical thread. That's sort of a silly thing to do, but it's also exactly what you did in your first post.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4298004)
Question to all: why do so many people dismiss RBI's as being overrated (which they are), but keep bringing up runs scored as a huge point in Trout's favor? Aren't runs scored every bit as team dependant as ribbies?
Because leading the league in runs is equally as impressive an accomplishment as leading the league in ribbies, but it gets unfairly ignored.

It should be noted that leading the league in ribbies is an impressive accomplishment. There are only a small handful of examples of league RBI leaders who didn't have very good and valuable seasons.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4298014)
Ok. I didn't ask for permission, and I didn't say or suggest or hint anything about my rights.


No one said anything about not criticizing the decision, or the "humongous gap" that you mentioned.

Then again, I didn't read Rants' comment as binding.

And, as Booey noted, after reading from a handful of posters during earlier threads that "not losing it" was the equivalent of pulling the lever for Miggy ourselves (and abandoning all claim to intelligence and reason), we may be a little touchy on the subject.

   16. Booey Posted: November 08, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4298016)
It should be noted that leading the league in ribbies is an impressive accomplishment. There are only a small handful of examples of league RBI leaders who didn't have very good and valuable seasons.


And most of them were probably Rockies...
   17. Booey Posted: November 08, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4298026)
And, as Booey noted, after reading from a handful of posters during earlier threads that "not losing it" was the equivalent of pulling the lever for Miggy ourselves (and abandoning all claim to intelligence and reason), we may be a little touchy on the subject.

Yeppers. Apologies if any of my posts come across as snarky, but the above is pretty much the gist (gyst?) of it.
   18. vivaelpujols Posted: November 08, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4298059)
I'm not saying you should dismiss RBI's. I'm saying if you choose to use RBI's as part of player valuation you have to use runs as well, which the triple crown does not.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: November 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4298103)
Question to all: why do so many people dismiss RBI's as being overrated (which they are), but keep bringing up runs scored as a huge point in Trout's favor? Aren't runs scored every bit as team dependant as ribbies?


Both are overrated, but guys who are perennially among the league leaders in both tend to be the better players; and guys who lead the league in both tend to have had good years (even Rockies).

The real point is that there are measures of value that are far superior to R and RBI because they are not context dependent.


Because leading the league in runs is equally as impressive an accomplishment as leading the league in ribbies, but it gets unfairly ignored.


What makes it really impressive is that he led the league by 20 runs, while missing a full month of the season. Even as a context dependent stat, that is an impressive testament to his overall ability to get on base, get in scoring position with XBH, taking the extra base and SB, and get himself home through smart baserunning.
   20. Srul Itza Posted: November 08, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4298110)
As an aside, the reason I would not be upset about Miggy getting the MVP is that I think he is putting up a deserving HoF case, and this will burnish those credentials for many old-line BBWAA voters.
   21. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: November 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4298187)
Speaking of MVP, what is the deal with award "finalists"?

link

The Baseball Writers' Association of America has announced the finalists for the 2012 round of major individual awards. And here are the names that will vy for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year in each league ...


I don't recall finalists before. Does this mean no one else can get a vote? Does it mean that these are the top vote getters?
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4298215)


I don't recall finalists before. Does this mean no one else can get a vote? Does it mean that these are the top vote getters?


It's definitely a first.

It would have to be the latter. They vote after the regular season, at which point they can vote on anyone. There isn't a second vote.

I guess it's to "increase suspense" for the award announcement, but it seems silly.

As Dayn notes, it's interesting that Braun made the Top 5 in the NL.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4298367)
They announced "finalists" for the GGs too. Yes, it's to try to create phony awards show drama.

I actually think Trout's going to win MVP. We haven't really heard from that many MVP voters saying they would vote for Cabrera. Granted, we haven't heard from Trout supporters at all that I recall but that doesn't bother me -- complaints always run 10-1 over expressions of satisfaction.

By the way, Curtis Granderson is the man of run-scoring! I did a search on seasons where a player scored a run more than 45% of the time they reached base. Granderson did it in 2007, 2008 and 2011 and for his career -- the first to do it for a career since ... the great Gerald Williams. :-) Also Joe DiMaggio.

In the integration era, only 17 have topped 42% (min 3000 PA) and it is mainly a list of very good baserunners and not great hitters. Oddibe, Williams, Patterson, Goodwin, Womack, Nixon, Coleman. Also lots of very good players like Granderson, Lofton, Kinsler, Damon, Bobby Bonds. And then there's AROD -- that really is impressive. Not surprisingly most of them played at least a big chunk of their careers during the sillyball era. Bonds is easily the best post-integration, pre-sillyball hitter to do it.

There's nothing magical about 42% of course other than if you put the cutoff at 40% you get 70-something players which is just too many to deal with. Purely arbitrary and you can find some impressive hitters in that 40-42% range -- Aaron, Mays, the other Bonds.

(And, no, P-I doesn't let you get complicated enough to pull out HRs)
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: November 08, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4298379)
I actually think Trout's going to win MVP. We haven't really heard from that many MVP voters saying they would vote for Cabrera. Granted, we haven't heard from Trout supporters at all that I recall but that doesn't bother me -- complaints always run 10-1 over expressions of satisfaction.


I haven't seen anything from a single MVP voter at all. One Cy voter said he would have voted for Trout (and he was giving his CY vote to Price).

I do think it will be close because the recent votes (and the occasional piece supporting the vote) indicate the beat guys are becoming more comfortable with advanced metrics.

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