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Thursday, August 10, 2006

ESPN.com: Jackson: It’s time to get Big Papi his trophy

Little game for you while reading: see how many times you find that Scoop Jackson uses stats/quotes from former years to justify Ortiz winning a MVP this year. Bonus game: can you spot the quote from this year that was supposed to hurt A-Rod’s case for winning the MVP last year?

The “value” in “valuable” was taken away from Papi last year because he only played half-innings.

“No DH shall inherit the MVP!” was the cry. “Not when the numbers between two players are so even,” was the reality.
...
Writers/voters held something against Ortiz that Ortiz had no control over.

Does ‘being so bad at defense that a manager doesn’t trust you to play it’ qualify as something Ortiz could control? Seems like it should to me. But what do I know? I can’t hit in the clutch, after all.

Garth found his way to daylight Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:57 AM | 142 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, teams

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   1. Zac Schmitt Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:32 PM (#2135071)
so, since a player can't help it if he sucks...

mvp trophies for everyone!
   2. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:37 PM (#2135078)
mvp trophies for everyone!

This summer, I've been able to see the Super Bowl and World Series trophies as well as Super Bowl rings up close and boy are those some impressive peices of jewelry. The Steelers Super Bowl ring is ridiculous.
   3. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2135083)
Pretty funny that Ortiz isn't even the best DH according to VORP.

I say Jeter is the MVP this year. Seriously.
   4. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2135085)
Pretty funny that Ortiz isn't even the best DH according to VORP.

I say Jeter is the MVP this year. Seriously.


I concur. Do you concur doctor?
   5. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#2135092)
If the Sox don't make the playoffs Papi won't and shouldn't win it.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2135100)
Since they won't make the playoffs, I guess we don't have anything to worry about then :-)

But I disagree that performance of teammates should have anything at all to do with the MVP award.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2135101)
Well, Justin Morneau plays in the field and it's hard to imagine a more clutch HR than the one last night. Twins win! Twins are first to take a series from the Tigers in Detroit in 2 months! Twins are first to take a series of any kind from the Tigers in a month! Twins take over 1st place in wild card race! All with one swing of the bat, and against the Great Zumaya, no less.

If Papi is so superhuman, how come there's two of him?
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2135103)
Seriously if the MVP is really just the Silver Slugger Award, then Ortiz is still out front. If you like some leather with that, it's hard to avoid Mr. Clutch.
   9. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:58 PM (#2135104)
Ortiz is going to win in a landslide, he is going to hit 50+ homers, and no other contender will have a half a player with stats like that.
   10. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2135109)
There have been several players who have won MVPs while playing lousy defense. For MVP consideration, which should be worse, Ortiz not playing D or a crappy defensive player playing D?
   11. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2135116)
If Papi is so superhuman, how come there's two of him?

Because Morneau's stats are inferior across the board except in the highly-overrated batting average?
   12. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2135118)
I wouldn't even give Ortiz the Silver Slugger at this point - I'd give that to Hafner sunnyday.
   13. AROM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#2135123)
I say Jeter is the MVP this year. Seriously.

For me its close between Jeter and a guy with a Jeter-like batting line who plays catcher.
   14. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2135128)
I agree rallymonkey - Mauer is the clear #2, not Ortiz, IMO.

Are you coming out at all for "Dial Weekend"?
   15. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:08 PM (#2135132)
Playing Lousy D is better than playing no D. If Ortiz could play D, the Sox could go get a big bat to play LF and DH Manny.

So, it could be this....

Manny's bat + Ortiz Bat/glove - Youks bat + Stud Corner Outfielders bat.

Post number 9 was all ###### up. I meant to say no one will have half the shiny big numbers that Ortiz has.
   16. Chris Dial Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2135137)
Ortiz is going to win in a landslide, he is going to hit 50+ homers, and no other contender will have a half a player with stats like that.


Andruw Jones says "hi".
   17. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#2135141)
But I disagree that performance of teammates should have anything at all to do with the MVP award.


Of course you do. One of these days you'll come to your senses.
   18. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2135145)
I agree rallymonkey - Mauer is the clear #2, not Ortiz, IMO.


Dimino - go back to the HOM where you can honor people with the best stats. Baseball doesn't do that, they actually TRY and give awards based on the players who positivly impacts his team most.
   19. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2135147)
I wouldn't even give Ortiz the Silver Slugger at this point - I'd give that to Hafner sunnyday.

I'd give Hafner the Silver Slugger too. As far as the MVP, I guess what it comes down to is, what is meant by "valuable". Should we give more weight to Ortiz, assuming that without him the Sox wouldn't be in contention for a playoff spot, or should we give more weight to Hafner, assuming that without him Cleveland would be miserable instead of mediocre?
   20. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:18 PM (#2135150)
Yes, becausing giving the award to the player who had the best year is clearly unjust
   21. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#2135176)
If Minnesota stays in the WC race and Mauer is the first American League catcher ever to win the batting title, it would be hard for me to pick anyone else.
   22. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:38 PM (#2135181)
Baseball doesn't do that, they actually TRY and give awards based on the players who positivly impacts his team most.

Which Hafner does more than Ortiz, going by the stats.
   23. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2135187)
Yes, becausing giving the award to the player who had the best year is clearly unjust

Character, though hardly quantifiable, *has* to be a consideration. Ortiz very likely has a very positive affect on a clubhouse, which may be one of the reasons Manny and others do well.

Which might be a reach, of course, but when you're talking about two players with similar stats, I'd go with the one that has the more positive effect on his teammates.

Since I am in East Coast Bias land, can anyone tell me whether any of the potential non-East MVP candidates (Hafner, Mauer, etc) have demonstrated positive effects on their clubhouses due to their characters?
   24. BDC Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2135189)
performance of teammates should have anything at all to do with the MVP award

Well, Manny Ramirez is hitting slightly better than Ortiz right now, which might argue against an MVP for Ortiz. :) I actually can't get my brain around whether Manny's bad defense is better or worse for the Sox than Ortiz's no defense at all. Arguments on both sides are cogent.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#2135191)
I guess some of us don't consider a season where a team doesn't make the playoffs as having zero value, thereby nullifying all accomplishments along the quest for a playoff spot.

Life's a journey, not a destination Matt. If you've ever been on a road trip, you the drive is usually more fun than the thing you are tripping for.

"Baseball doesn't do that, they actually TRY and give awards based on the players who positivly impacts his team most."


I agree. That's why Ernie Banks and Andre Dawson have 3 MVP Awards among them.

I'm pretty sure Hafner has positively impacted his team more than Ortiz this year. Unfortunately his teammates have negatively impacted the team more than Ortiz's have. I don't see that as anything that should reflect on either player's ability to win an award.

And I also think it's hysterical that you keep taking shots at the Hall of Merit for only being about stats. You need to get past your personal agenda and actually look at what we've done. Like honor a player from the 1860s who we have practically no stats for. Or 30 or so Negro Leaguers we've elected. Or the 19th Century guys.

You might want to check out the Dick Allen discussion too, why is that 230 posts and climbing, if all we care about are stats.

But yeah, stats are kind of important, we don't have much film on Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth (although I have seen that "Zabruder Film" of the called shot), and the film we do have makes it tough because they all circle the bases in like 4 seconds, they really were quick back then. I guess we could take contemporary opinion as the gospel, but we see where that has us today. Giving guys like Ortiz who aren't even the best DH in the league (it is close with him and Hafner I'll admit) MVP awards.

So yeah, we do look at the stats, which record what actually happened. But we also look at a lot of other stuff too. Just because we don't reach the same conclusions as you doesn't in the least bit mean all we care about are stats.
   26. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:50 PM (#2135196)
I actually can't get my brain around whether Manny's bad defense is better or worse for the Sox than Ortiz's no defense at all.

Put Ortiz in LF and that ends the discussion.
   27. ian Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:50 PM (#2135197)
Character, though hardly quantifiable, *has* to be a consideration. Ortiz very likely has a very positive affect on a clubhouse, which may be one of the reasons Manny and others do well.

Which might be a reach, of course, but when you're talking about two players with similar stats, I'd go with the one that has the more positive effect on his teammates.


Which player are you talking about that lags so far beyond Ortiz in not only the intangible Clutchness but also the intangible Character?
   28. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2135202)
I'd like to know which Red Sock has performed better this year due to Ortiz's happy attitude.

Because if that's what it takes to get the guy going in the middle of a pennant race, he should probably be traded to Kansas City or Tampa Bay.
   29. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2135203)
There have been several players who have won MVPs while playing lousy defense. For MVP consideration, which should be worse, Ortiz not playing D or a crappy defensive player playing D?

I consider the DH on the same level as a poor LF/1B type. Unfortunately for Papi, his main competition has been players at premium defensive positions, or at least 3B.

Andruw Jones says "hi".

Bud Selig says "MVP voting is done by each individual league."
   30. Jack of Arcades Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2135205)
It's going to be really hard for the writers to screw up this MVP award.

The MVP is going to come down to Ortiz, Mauer, and Jeter, who are all pretty deserving this year. It depends on which of Ortiz or Mauer make the playoffs, but I think Mauer probably has the strongest case. Ortiz might get a clutchiness exemption even if they don't make the playoffs, though.

You could make cases for guys like Manny, Hafner, Hafner, Thome, Wells, and Sizemore, but none of them are going to get serious consideration for various reasons.
   31. Furious George Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2135210)
Well, Manny Ramirez is hitting slightly better than Ortiz right now, which might argue against an MVP for Ortiz. :)

nonononono you're missing the point. Manny is hitting better than Ortiz because of Papi's "leadership." This is actually another reason why he is the MVP.
   32. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2135221)
Which might be a reach, of course, but when you're talking about two players with similar stats, I'd go with the one that has the more positive effect on his teammates.


The stats are only similar in a context neutral environment. The games aren't played in a vaccum.
   33. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2135224)
Which player are you talking about that lags so far beyond Ortiz in not only the intangible Clutchness but also the intangible Character?

I'd like to know which Red Sock has performed better this year due to Ortiz's happy attitude.

I'm not assuming anything here. Like I said, character is difficult to quantify. That's why I asked the question of positive character effects from other players. I can't give you any one player, nor am I homering on Ortiz here. I'm asking the question to get an indication of who might be contributing to an environment conducive to success. I believe Ortiz does that, by virtue of his attitude; I'd like to know about other players I am less familiar with.

To put it another way...If Milton Bradley was putting up Vernon Wells numbers, would we be considering him for MVP?
   34. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2135229)
The stats are only similar in a context neutral environment. The games aren't played in a vaccum.

True of course. I was tackling one issue at a time.
   35. DCA Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2135241)
To put it another way...If Milton Bradley was putting up Vernon Wells numbers, would we be considering him for MVP?

Considering that he'd be clearly the best player on a team running away with the AL West, despite down years from just about everyone else who swings a bat, yeah, I'd think so.
   36. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2135256)
happened. But we also look at a lot of other stuff too


You keep saying this but I see no evidence it is true
   37. karlmagnus Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#2135260)
Guys, Manny's OPS is currently 1070 vs. Ortiz' 1026, and he's a better defender than commonly admitted, only slightly if at all below average. Manny's a MUCH better MVP candidate than Ortiz, as the WS numbers at the end of the year will presumably demonstrate.
   38. Tony H. Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2135271)
Would anyone seriously take David Ortiz over Travis Hafner? I just cannot understand that. This will be the third consecutive season in which Hafner is the superior hitter. I admit that it's close, and that Ortiz is a great hitter, but I just don't see it.
   39. Count Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2135280)
David Ortiz does have 5 walkoff hits, which is pretty impressive. He's a deserving MVP candidate. He's also by far first in the league in WPA, the clutchiness stat of choice.
   40. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2135281)
Wake me when Pronk actually gets within 100 PA of Ortiz in a season and we can discuss who's more valuable/worth having.
   41. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2135284)
Guys, Manny's OPS is currently 1070 vs. Ortiz' 1026
Not just that, but the advantage is almost entirely in OBP. .433 plays .396. In addition, Manny plays the field, Ortiz doesn't. You need to give Ortiz a vast amount of credit for "intangibles" to overcome the difference in the raw numbers.
   42. Toolsy McClutch Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2135286)
How do they rate in POP?

Seriously though, I think the point about being a good teammate is silly. Do we know for sure Papi is a good guy in the clubhouse? Who knows, maybe Manny pulls him aside every day and gives him a pep talk. Maybe Youks is the glue that holds the whole thing together. Or more probably, it's a mix of about 5 guys who make that clubhouse better than the sum of it's parts. I think it's stupid for us to guess based on high fives and Sports Guy columns.

That said, I'll take Ortiz and the shiny HR numbers.
   43. Tony H. Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2135289)
David Ortiz does have 5 walkoff hits, which is pretty impressive.

One of which came off of Fausto Carmona, so it doesn't count. Everybody gets walkoff hits off Fausto Carmona.

Wake me when Pronk actually gets within 100 PA of Ortiz in a season and we can discuss who's more valuable/worth having.


He did that in '04, he'll do it this year I would imagine, and last season he got hit in the face by Mark Buerhle. It's not like he's had a lot of injury problems.
   44. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2135291)
WPA is useless for hitters in my opinion Billy. Completely, 100% worthless. It's only useful for Pinch-Hitters and Relief Pitchers, IMNSHO.

You can't leverage hitters, other than by lineup position. A 2-run HR is just as valuable in the 3rd inning as the bottom of the 9th, despite WPA.

Take WPA a step further, make it PPA (Pennant Probability Added). Is Bucky Dent the MVP of the 1978 season? Probably. I don't see how it works out any different on a game-basis.

Again, for relievers it's different, they can be leveraged.

But if Big Papi strikes out in the 3rd and hits a HR in the 9th it's not any more valuable than him homering in the 3rd and striking out in the 9th.

***********

I gave you the evidence Matt. Please tell what would make you happy, what would be the golden goose that convinces you that we look at stuff besides stats. Exactly what would you like to see from us?

I really don't know why I care what you think . . . I was listening to Stern last night, and here's a guy who is doing something he loves and everything is going well, and he's pretty good at it. And one guy calls up complaining because he spent too much time deciding on air whether or not he'd accept the offer to do Grandpa Al Lewis' eulogy. It completely brought him down, even though everyone else loved it. I was thinking - why does he care about what this one guy thinks?

Now I know . . . :-)
   45. Juan V Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:04 PM (#2135292)
If I could change just one thing about baseball, it would be the name of the MVP award to simply "Player of the Year"
   46. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:18 PM (#2135316)
But I disagree that performance of teammates should have anything at all to do with the MVP award.

Of course you do. One of these days you'll come to your senses.


1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.



Feel free to point out the part that mentions the team's position in the standings or WPA or whatever else you imagine to be among the award's criteria, because to me that reads like "the player who, having accounted for playing time, had the best season, provided he didn't 'retire' like Dick Allen or something."
   47. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2135327)
From #44: But if Big Papi strikes out in the 3rd and hits a HR in the 9th it's not any more valuable than him homering in the 3rd and striking out in the 9th.

Depends on whether you caluclate value in context or not. Now, whether you want to debate how much control a hitter has in flip flopping those 2 events on a given day, that's your frontier for debating value. I imagine the control is somewhere between what clutch atheists and clutch proponents would each have you believe...
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2135329)
If I could change just one thing about baseball, it would be the name of the MVP award to simply "Player of the Year"

I would go with the IBM Player of the Year.
   49. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#2135336)
He did that in '04, he'll do it this year I would imagine, and last season he got hit in the face by Mark Buerhle. It's not like he's had a lot of injury problems.

Okay, he was within 96 in 2004. Same difference. Still, I can't imagine why the Indians fan would try to say Hafner is a better choice for MVP.
   50. tfbg9 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2135343)
Do you man Howard Stern? You listen to Howard Stern?
   51. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2135344)
Still, I can't imagine why the Indians fan would try to say Hafner is a better choice for MVP.

Hafner has a higher VORP despite the PA difference. Not saying it's the end-all, but I wouldn't dismiss Hafner out of hand.
   52. Tony H. Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2135351)
Still, I can't imagine why the Indians fan would try to say Hafner is a better choice for MVP.


Well, that's fine. I'm not particularly worried about it, willing to argue too much on his behalf, or under any illusion that he has a shot in hell to win it (I'll settle for an all-star appearance at this point). But I maintain he is a superior hitter to Ortiz, and I think that has been borne out by their performances over the past three seasons.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2135355)
"Do you man Howard Stern? You listen to Howard Stern?"

Of course. And on Sirius he's on 24-hours a day, unedited. It's pretty amazing.

If you could combine Howard Stern and Jimmy Buffett and Bill James into one religion, you'd have my spiritual leader :-)
   54. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2135360)
Still, I can't imagine why the Indians fan would try to say Hafner is a better choice for MVP.

Because you have two DHs and the one who plays on the Indians is a better hitter.
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2135369)
I was all ready to go to sleep, glad I refreshed one more time and got to read #54. I'll be laughing out loud the whole time I'm trying to fall asleep now. Good night all.
   56. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#2135373)
Just in case it wasn't clear, I meant that (#55) because #54 was witty and funny, not because it's a laughable premise. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments as well.
   57. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2135383)
Lets say that tonight, Arod hits a grand slam in the Sixth inning with the yankees already leading 3-0.

With a 7-0 lead, the Yankees can rest Mo Rivera, and Kyle Farnsworth, both of whom have pitched in the last 2 games even if Proctor or Veras gets in trouble in the 8th or the 9th.

I would argue that the grand slam up 3-0 in the sixth is more valuable to the Yankees today than a 9th inning homer to break a 4-4 tie if both Mo and Farnsworth had to be used again.

The effect that the imaginary grand slam would have on the Yankees as a team can not be measured by a WPA stat.
   58. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2135387)
>Should we give more weight to Ortiz

Please, not more weight to Ortiz.

As for Mauer, I think most Twins fans (okay, some Twins beat writers) are now calling Morneau the Twins' MVP.

But as for character, apparently the gals think Mauer's got lots.
   59. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:48 PM (#2135394)
>1. Actual value of a player to his team,

Herein lies the problem.

If it just said "actual value of a player," then maybe all that stuff about how the team did, whether they made the playoffs, or didn't, or whether they coulda made the playoffs without the guy, or whatever, maybe then all that goes away. But I doubt it.

The MVP = the best player.
   60. Smelly is a Firework Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#2135459)
How does ortiz have 35 more PA than Hafner anyways? He has only played in three more games, which accounts for between 9-12 PA, leaving 23 to be accounted for.

The indians have played 57 home games and 59 away games. The red sox have have played 52 home games and 60 away games.

Hafner at home: 246 PA (4.316 PA/G)
Hafner on the Road: 218 PA (3.695 PA/G)

Ortiz at home: 230 PA (4.423 PA/G)
Ortiz on the Road: 272 PA (4.533 PA/G)

On the Road they are playing the same number of innings. So it would appear that the Red Sox just play better on the Road. Hafner plays just fine on the road, it is the rest of the tribe that is sucking it up on the road. How does that make Ortiz a better hitter in anyone's mind?
   61. Max Parkinson Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#2135471)
Didn't Hafner sit during the interleague games (at least the NL home games)? That would be the reason that his road PAs are so much lower than his home games...
   62. Juan V Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2135473)
How does ortiz have 35 more PA than Hafner anyways? He has only played in three more games, which accounts for between 9-12 PA, leaving 23 to be accounted for.


The Red Sox place Ortiz as a 1Bman in NL parks, while the Indians simply reduce Hafner to a pinch hitter? Just asking. But that big difference in PAs on the road, along with some memories, gave me the idea.
   63. Smelly is a Firework Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2135475)
Crap, I screwed that up. the indians have played 53 Home games, so hafner is at 4.6415 PA/G at home.

What is peculiar is that the offenses are about equal in total runs scored. I would have thought the descrepancy had two possible sources.

1. home games. if one of the teams was disproportionally behind going into the bottom of the ninth, providing that extra half inning of PA's for its hitters.

2. Total offense. Teams that score a lot bat around the order more, providing more PA's for everybody.

the total run scored implies 2 isn't a major factor, and the indians are the worse team, which should give hafner an advantage in home games(which it does). so whatever is happening, is happening severely on the Road since hafner has the advantage in PA's at home.
   64. Smelly is a Firework Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2135477)
Didn't Hafner sit during the interleague games (at least the NL home games)? That would be the reason that his road PAs are so much lower than his home games...

Yeah, that would be it. I forgot about interleague. Hafner only played 4 interleague games at first, which was one short of making him eligible in my fantasy league at first. I should have remembered that.
   65. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2135491)
Less 1b time in NL parks = less value. In any event, the PA difference is much bigger the last few years. And besides, so small margina of edge in OPS+ and VORP etc really truly CLEARLY define who's better?
   66. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#2135509)
If the Sox don't make the playoffs Papi won't and shouldn't win it.


I may disagree with you on your MVP criteria, but at least you're consistent. I like Vernon Wells for MVP so far, BTW.
   67. Tony H. Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2135510)

Less 1b time in NL parks = less value. In any event, the PA difference is much bigger the last few years. And besides, so small margina of edge in OPS+ and VORP etc really truly CLEARLY define who's better?


It's clear, yes, though that obviously doesn't mean he's a significantly better hitter. Just a better one. And you don't have to use OPS+ or VORP to reach that conclusion. It's seems pretty obvious which one is a better hitter, especially when you consider that Jacobs Field is a bad hitters park -- an especially bad home run park -- and that Hafner has Victor Martinez, not Manny Ramirez, hitting behind him.

I don't know about value. You guys can argue about that. My contention is that Hafner is a better hitter, which, yes, seems clear to me.
   68. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2135517)
Tony, fair enough. I would then argue that I'd rather have Ortiz due to playing time projections, the fact he seems more able to pick up a glove if need be and just in case this super duper clutch ability is real since it has been spectacular. YMMV.
   69. JMM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2135519)
For me its close between Jeter and a guy with a Jeter-like batting line who plays catcher.

Of course, that "Jeter-like batting line" is actually superior to Jeter's in just about every way (well, the true biggies, at least: higher OBP, higher SLG, more homers (with fewer PAs), higher BA, more BBs, fewer SOs; Jeter does a few more RBIs and SBs).
   70. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2135524)
How does Mauer rate by the defensive metrics and among the observers out there?
   71. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2135564)
Mauer is an excellent defender, well above average, though maybe not a Ramon Hernandez.
   72. JMM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2135573)
Mauer is an excellent defender, well above average, though maybe not a Ramon Hernandez.

So, does Mauer always flinch when it comes time to block the plate too?
   73. tomb Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2135593)
I love Ortiz, but please give Manny Ramirez his due. Ortiz would not be Big Papi without Manny behind him for protection. Ortiz certainly would not be given a chance to swing the bat so often in big situations if you didnt have an even more fearsome hitter behind him IMO. I'd take Hafner over Ortiz without batting an eye (younger+better-glamour), but Morneau is my MVP.
   74. WillYoung Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2135602)

But as for character, apparently the gals think Mauer's got lots.


I know one gal who thinks Morneau is better looking than Joe.

Morneau has to be ahead of Big Papi for one simple reason: Papi doesn't have to be a leader because the Red Sox already have a captain. The Twins don't have a set captain, so those leadership traits fall to all players (even you, Jason Bartlett) which adds a burden to their performance. I would like to see Big Papi put up his numbers while wearing a great big "C" on his chest (not to mention a glove on his right hand).

How does Mauer rate by the defensive metrics and among the observers out there?

Mauer provides an excellent target (duh!) and really helps the staff "steal" low strikes because umpires have a hard time seeing over top of him. He's solid at balls in the dirt (not great, but not bad either), and has an extremely accurate and powerful throwing arm. He's definitely well above-average defensively.
   75. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:34 PM (#2135633)
I love Ortiz, but please give Manny Ramirez his due. Ortiz would not be Big Papi without Manny behind him for protection. Ortiz certainly would not be given a chance to swing the bat so often in big situations if you didnt have an even more fearsome hitter behind him IMO. I'd take Hafner over Ortiz without batting an eye (younger+better-glamour), but Morneau is my MVP.

Opposing teams have walked Ortiz intentionally 17 times this year, and he's spent virtually the entire year batting in from of Manny. Not to take anything away from Manny....
   76. JMM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#2135638)
Morneau is my MVP.

Why Morneau over Mauer?
   77. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2135640)
To put it another way...If Milton Bradley was putting up Vernon Wells numbers, would we be considering him for MVP?
Considering that he'd be clearly the best player on a team running away with the AL West, despite down years from just about everyone else who swings a bat, yeah, I'd think so.


Running away? It's a three-game lead.
   78. Danny Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2135646)
Running away? It's a three-game lead.

Yeah, but if Milton was putting up Vernon's numbers...
   79. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#2135652)
The effect that the imaginary grand slam would have on the Yankees as a team can not be measured by a WPA stat.


Not fully know. However it does a better job than saying it was worth 1.4 runs.
   80. JMM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2135656)
If Bradley was having Wells's season though, the A's probably would be (all-but) running away with the AL West. And if Rich Harden wasn't hurt. And if a middle infielder would just hit the fooking ball vaguely adequately. Or if Chavez hadn't been playing the whole season all gimped up. Or if Esteban Loaiza didn't suck. Or ....

Angels fans can make their own similar list though, of course. Rangers fans, well, just list pitching 3-4 times.
   81. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#2135659)
The MVP = the best player.


In what world? Sunny's fantasy world? In major league baseball it certainly isn't often the case.

Not to mention some of you all don't seem to grasp that best player <> best stats.
   82. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#2135693)
Matt, I think that this referred to the voting guidelines, specifically Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.

I agree that best player does not necessarily mean best stats, and even that strength of offense and defense does not necessarily mean best stats. But the stats are an extremely strong indicator of such. It would take a very large weight of evidence (<--- INSERT PAPI WEIGHT JOKE HERE) to counter the fact that Player A has better stats than Player B.

That said, I think that Papi has a case even on that basis. What he has meant to the Red Sox offense this year, especially in very close games... pretty amazing.

We have a raft of great MVP candidates in the AL this year. On this thread alone, we've seen Hafner, Ortiz, Mauer, Morneau, Jeter and Wells mentioned. There's someone for everyone.
   83. TomH Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2135698)
ok, I'll bite.

PLEASE NAME ME A PLAYER WHO IS BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS BETTER 'STATS'.

Warning: by 'stats' I do not mean the silly sportswriter theory that only AVG HR and RBI aare worth anything.
   84. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2135711)
The funny thing is, in all those my own MVP choice (1st or 2nd actually, I can't decide) wasn't mentioned. Hint : he's only made one error all year.
   85. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2135728)
Grady Sizemore?
   86. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#2135732)
Curtis Granderson?

My ballot:

1.Mauer
2.Ortiz
3.Guillen
4.Jeter
5.Morneau
   87. Mister High Standards Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:25 PM (#2135735)
PLEASE NAME ME A PLAYER WHO IS BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS BETTER 'STATS'.


A-rod is a better player than Manny Ramirez, Jermaine Dye, Thome, Wells, Berkman, Guillen... and all have better stats.

PLEASE REFUTE ME.
   88. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#2135736)
PLEASE NAME ME A PLAYER WHO IS BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS BETTER 'STATS'.

I would say Ortiz is better than Pronk this year, despite having slightly lessor stats. The walkoffs, etc., did really happen.
   89. JMM Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2135745)
The funny thing is, in all those my own MVP choice (1st or 2nd actually, I can't decide) wasn't mentioned. Hint : he's only made one error all year.

Joey Gathwright?
   90. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#2135764)
PLEASE NAME ME A PLAYER WHO IS BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS BETTER 'STATS'.



A-rod is a better player than Manny Ramirez, Jermaine Dye, Thome, Wells, Berkman, Guillen... and all have better stats.

PLEASE REFUTE ME.


I smell a trick question
   91. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2135770)
Joey Gathwright?

Heh. Manny.
   92. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#2135778)
I rebuke MHS.
   93. Tony H. Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2135780)

I would say Ortiz is better than Pronk this year, despite having slightly lessor stats. The walkoffs, etc., did really happen.


Well, sure, but can someone seperate how much of this is just a matter of opportunity?

I couldn't find any statistics on walk-off hits, so I went back through Cleveland's schedule and looked at the game logs of every home game Cleveland played that they won or lost by 3 or less runs. By my count, Hafner has only even had four chances to even get a walkoff hit. On May 14th (fly out), May 16th (walk off HR), May 21st (walk) and July 9th (lineout). So he's 1-3 with a walk and a walkoff home run. I have no idea what, if anything, this means, to be honest. The whole walkoff things seems a bit silly to me in the first place.
   94. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2135788)
A-rod is a better player than Manny Ramirez, Jermaine Dye, Thome, Wells, Berkman, Guillen... and all have better stats.

PLEASE REFUTE ME.


A-Rod is hitting worse than they and not playing particularly good defense, so this year so far, he's not a better player. Plus I'm kicking a stone. Thus I refute Rauseo.
   95. Fridas Boss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:21 PM (#2135795)
Definitional arguments are fun!!
   96. Mefisto Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#2135802)
Plus I'm kicking a stone. Thus I refute Rauseo.

Ooh. A subtle Samuel Johnson reference. I like it.

Could you accomplish the same thing by kicking Rauseo directly? Just askin....
   97. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#2135809)
But, the walkoffs happened. Sure to some extent they are situational, like every other RBI opportunity. But what are people going to remember this season in terms of individual performances?

3)Chase Utley's streak
2)The great rookie pitching crop (Liriano, Verlander, Papelbon, Weaver et al)
1)Papi's walkoffs.

I don't see how a player who has contributed the biggest individual story of the year can be discounted. When Denny McLain won 31, it was situational too - but we still talk about it, 37 years later, as we should.
   98. Daryn Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2135829)
No one will remember Chase Utley's streak. Do you really remember the year Santiago had his streak? Or Castillo (do you even remember that streak existed)? Or Vlad's year? Or Molitor's?

I think the last memorable hitting streak was Rose's in 1978 (if I'm remembering the year right).


While we are at it, do you remember Cal Eldred's 1992? I do, but I kind of liked Eldred. Item #2 above will only be remebered if at least a couple of those guys cash in on their promise.
   99. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#2135833)
No one will remember Chase Utley's streak. Do you really remember the year Santiago had his streak? Or Castillo (do you even remember that streak existed)? Or Vlad's year? Or Molitor's?

Your ability to recall their existence proves how memorable they were.

If the stats remain the same, Papi will win, and I ain't gonna worry about it.
   100. The Original SJ Posted: August 10, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#2135835)
I think Jerome Walton's streak was memorable, as he was a rookie.
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