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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 01:55 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, brewers, dodgers, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#4015879)
Remember, we are 100% certain that none of these other players used PEDs.
   2. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#4015889)
May I have my MVP ballot back, please?

Sure. I doubt they have much use for it after they tabulated the vote.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:32 AM (#4015895)
But I’d still like to have my ballot back


Absolutely you can. You give me your future voting privileges, and I'll give you your ballot.


by the way...if he tested positive for Meth? Pot? Ephedrine? x? Nevermind, I have your vote now.
   4. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#4015898)
Take THAT, Nadine!
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:35 AM (#4015900)
Remember, we are 100% certain that none of these other players used PEDs.


we are pretty certain that none of these other players failed a PED test taken during the season(note:post season technically) of if they did, they won on appeal since MLB didn't announce any of them.

I don't agree with McCoy's stance, but I don't see him being totally wrong with his opinion here.
   6. Dock Ellis Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#4015901)
If this guy is so bothered by how his wife orders in restaurants that he passive-aggressively works it into an outrage column about Ryan Braun, then he's got bigger problems than Ryan Braun.
   7. Erix Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#4015908)
I don't feel like even reading the blurb. Did he finally realize Kemp had the better season?
   8. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#4015912)
I don't feel like even reading the blurb. Did he finally realize Kemp had the better season?


I don't know. I think they just had some water, queso, and free chips.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:07 AM (#4015917)
by the way...if he tested positive for Meth? Pot? Ephedrine? x? Nevermind, I have your vote now.

Well, like it or not, MLB and MLBPA, in the CBA, have designated that testing positive for "performance enhancing substances" is worse than those things. Perhaps more relevantly, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed that these are "performance enhancing substances" (or at least agreed to label them in that way). Given that, I don't see how anybody can object too strenuously to a MVP voter drawing the conclusion that Braun's performance was enhanced (pending further information about the possible violation of course).*

* This is not to say that we have conclusive scientific evidence of performance enhancement just that, given both parties have agreed, how worked up can you get that some third party isn't going to go to the trouble of determining if they are correct?
   10. Hugh Jorgan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:08 AM (#4015919)
Even though Kemp had better numbers in most categories I finally decided to vote Braun No. 1 and Kemp No. 2

But why? Does that sentence not say that Kemp was better in most measurable instances? Doesn't that define who was the more valuable player?

My Maserati goes 185, my Bugatti goes 225. I decided for the straightline 20 mile race to take the Maserati....
   11. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#4015922)
Yes, I voted for Braun after thinking it over and changing my mind more often than my wife,


I did a double take when reading this. When I finally got to finishing the sentence, I was disappointed.
   12. slothinator Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:39 AM (#4015934)
My Maserati goes 185


You lost your license, and now you don't drive.
   13. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:40 AM (#4015935)
Not to be too cute about it, but Braun did provide MVP-level value to the Brewers this year, did he not? This isn't college football, where the league's going to wipe the team's record away and strip him of his Heisman. Now next year is going to be an uphill climb, what with the possible 50 game suspension...
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#4015939)
Now next year is going to be an uphill climb, what with the possible 50 game suspension...


He'll still play in more games than Justin Verlander.
   15. I Am Not a Number Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:47 AM (#4015941)
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.

Except for McCoy, it seems, who seems to be confessing to opting for ascending order.
   16. Kurt Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#4015947)
Not to be too cute about it, but Braun did provide MVP-level value to the Brewers this year, did he not?

He did indeed. The games counted, and his performance counted. If he gets suspended that would put a serious crimp in his quest for the 2012 MVP, but 2011 is done.
   17. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:59 AM (#4015948)
I don't agree with McCoy's stance, but I don't see him being totally wrong with his opinion here.


If you understand his opinion, can you explain it to me? If McCoy thought Braun was the most valuable player in the league, how could Braun using steroids possibly alter that?
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#4015955)
It's Most Valuable, not Most Venal.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#4015958)
If you understand his opinion, can you explain it to me? If McCoy thought Braun was the most valuable player in the league, how could Braun using steroids possibly alter that?


He was cheating, therefore he doesn't deserve to be rewarded for cheating. His team has already reaped the benefits of his cheating and there is nothing that can be done about that, but for an award that is basically a trophy with a note attached, it's not that hard to take away without doing a disservice to the fans, his teammates or other players in the league.

As an aside, the nature of the testing procedure means that there is a very good chance that the player won't get caught until sometime after the season. Heck it's arguable, (but not likely) that the player caught could have been using just to perform best in the post season or the stretch run(if necessary) and again the method of testing doesn't have a fast enough turn around time to penalize the player for the games in which he was cheating.

I think a perfectly reasonable time limit(until the next game, match etc )happens, it's somewhat fair to punish the player after the fact. (mind you I would prefer for those punishment to be written into the rules before hand--rewriting the rules to serve an agenda or pr is bs--whether your name is Braun or Rose.)
   20. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:44 AM (#4015978)
#19, the value Braun provided to his team didn't change regardless of whether he was "cheating." The MVP ballot does have a "character" clause, but it has never been apparent before that the voters were applying it -- Dick Allen won an MVP, and Bonds won multiple awards -- and certainly not to rescind an award. Bonds and Caminiti and Giambi and Sosa and ARod and Tejada and Canseco and Clemens and Juan Gonzalez are "steroids tainted players" and they all won MVPs, and I heard no cries to strip them of it or re-vote.

The voters didn't cry to strip the award for amps players (Schmidt, Rose).

The voters didn't cry to strip the award for convicted felons (Denny McClain, Orlando Cepeda, Vida Blue)

The voters didn't cry to strip the award for cocaine users (Keith Hernandez, Vida Blue)

For the first time with Braun, all of a sudden character seems relevant.

We had a self-confessed cheater win multiple Cy Youngs (Gaylord Perry) and there was no outcry to rescind his awards.

The BBWAA MVP ballot:

Dear Voter:

There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:

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.

You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.

Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#4015992)
#19, the value Braun provided to his team didn't change regardless of whether he was "cheating." The MVP ballot does have a "character" clause, but it has never been apparent before that the voters were applying it -- Dick Allen won an MVP, and Bonds won multiple awards -- and certainly not to rescind an award. Bonds and Caminiti and Giambi and Sosa and ARod and Tejada and Canseco and Clemens and Juan Gonzalez are "steroids tainted players" and they all won MVPs, and I heard no cries to strip them of it or re-vote.


You keep harping on the character clause and it not making a difference in the results....so what, it's there and anybody from any era can make use it as a point to justify their vote. It's silly to think that every single writer MUST ignore the character clause, because historically it hasn't made a difference. When a person pulls the character clause out for their vote, guess what? it's their vote, and they are following the rules.

I mean if we go by history, then why would anyone ever argue for a statistical strong candidate over the RBI leader on a playoff team? I mean historically that is who gets the votes right? So we must go by history seems to be your argument. So you should come back and come with an argument that focus's on rbi, homeeruns, team in the post season, and bonus points to being a shortstop or catcher.
   22. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:08 AM (#4015998)
we are pretty certain that none of these other players failed a PED test taken during the season(note:post season technically) of if they did, they won on appeal since MLB didn't announce any of them.

Just curious, why are we "pretty certain" about this? We only know about Braun's failed test and pending appeal because news of it was leaked (which was not supposed to happen). Isn't it possible that other players failed tests, are appealing, and the news just hasn't leaked yet?

Heck, maybe Matt Kemp is nervously awaiting the results of an appeal at this very moment.
   23. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:23 AM (#4016003)
You keep harping on the character clause and it not making a difference in the results....so what, it's there and anybody from any era can make use it as a point to justify their vote. It's silly to think that every single writer MUST ignore the character clause, because historically it hasn't made a difference. When a person pulls the character clause out for their vote, guess what? it's their vote, and they are following the rules.


If they haven't voted this way before, or lobbied for a re-vote (such as with Gaylord Perry) they are not being intellectually honest. Unless they state that they have now had a change of heart on this issue.

I mean if we go by history, then why would anyone ever argue for a statistical strong candidate over the RBI leader on a playoff team? I mean historically that is who gets the votes right? So we must go by history seems to be your argument.


That's a terrible argument. With RBI voters were (are) trying to figure out actual value. They sucked at it, but they were trying to do it. The application of the character clause to rescind Braun's award would be unprecedented.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:37 AM (#4016013)
Just curious, why are we "pretty certain" about this? We only know about Braun's failed test and pending appeal because news of it was leaked (which was not supposed to happen). Isn't it possible that other players failed tests, are appealing, and the news just hasn't leaked yet?


True, that is correct, I imagine if any of the other candidates would have failed, it would have probably leaked.

That's a terrible argument. With RBI voters were (are) trying to figure out actual value. They sucked at it, but they were trying to do it. The application of the character clause to rescind Braun's award would be unprecedented.


I love your argument style that starts based upon your own conclusion of what the voters are voting on and then using that conclusion to prove you are right. It's absolutely hilarious. You claim they are voting on value and just don't have your brilliance to recognize true value therefore it's your mighty duty to educate the voters on what true value is.


Again, it's in the rules that character matters, therefore each and every voter has the choice to determine how much they want to include it. How tough is that for you to follow? Each voter is allowed to determine how much of a degree that each point matters to them, making it a consensus vote allows the masses to overcome some of the silliness, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a voter considering character in their vote. And I honestly don't have a problem with a voter eliminating a player based upon a confirmed conviction(otherwords failing the appeal proccess) It's cheating. If a boxer puts a horseshoe in his boxing glove, wins the heavy weight title and a month later is found out, I fully expect them to return the belt back to the guy he beat, especially if he hadn't already fought(one another event takes place, it's becomes a little more difficult)


Again, historically the voters have voted for RBI, not value, but RBI. You want to say that voters shouldn't vote about RBI, which they have done historically, while ignoring the character clause, because as a group they have historically ignored it. Historically there have always been people voting for most valuable player by your definition, just not all of them. Same with the character clause, catchers and shortstops traditionally do better than they should in MVP voting, for a lot of reasons and being the leader on the team is definitely one of them.

Edit: And historically they have given preferential treatment to those on playoff contending teams. Again not a value issue, except to say "making the playoff is more valuable than being in last place".
   25. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:45 AM (#4016018)
True, that is correct, I imagine if any of the other candidates would have failed, it would have probably leaked.

Probably, but the Braun news is only, what, 2 days old? I wouldn't be so confident yet that all the other candidates are "in the clear."
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:05 AM (#4016028)
Probably, but the Braun news is only, what, 2 days old? I wouldn't be so confident yet that all the other candidates are "in the clear."


Considering that I haven't read one writer saying that they would take his vote away before the appeal process is completed, I'm sure that if someone else pops up, it would have been the same time as Brauns 'official' sanction.
   27. Swedish Chef Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:21 AM (#4016036)
If McCoy thought Braun was the most valuable player in the league, how could Braun using steroids possibly alter that?

His performance this year cost him 50 games next year and that loss could be recorded on the same account as the gain.
   28. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM (#4016050)
His performance this year cost him 50 games next year and that loss could be recorded on the same account as the gain.


That will hurt his value next year. It has nothing to do with the value he provided this year. The account is closed; the flag is flying over the stadium.
   29. kthejoker Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4016252)
The biggest problem with your argument, Ray, is your constant use of "they", as if the writers are a monolithic hivemind.
   30. Bob Evans Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#4016384)
changing my mind more often than my wife, Nadine, checking her menu at a restaurant

dames, amirite?
   31. . Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#4016405)
#19, the value Braun provided to his team didn't change regardless of whether he was "cheating."

Love that the quotation marks are still there even after baseball "passed a rule" against 'roiding -- the former line of demarcation between fair and square, and cheating. The Maginot Line was, entirely predictably, sturdier than the anti-anti-steroiders "Cheating Line."

Yes, he factualy provided the value he provided, but like Ben Johnson's 9.79 in Seoul, or USC's 2005 victories in football, or Michigan's Final Four appearances in the early 90s, it would be deemed not to have happened even though it "did." That's really not a difficult concept to get a handle on, and we shouldn't all be subordinated to the philosophy of the zealots and the simps.
   32. . Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4016406)
For the first time with Braun, all of a sudden character seems relevant.

That's because most baseball writers distinguish between steroid use and all the other things you listed.(**) Now that steroid use is unambiguously "cheating," there's all the more reason for them to do so.

We've been through this eleventy billion times.

(**) For reasons not necessarily relevant to the character clause, as you blithely and wrongly assume. They could very well be adjusting.
   33. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#4016613)
Yes, he factualy provided the value he provided, but like Ben Johnson's 9.79 in Seoul, or USC's 2005 victories in football, or Michigan's Final Four appearances in the early 90s, it would be deemed not to have happened even though it "did."


But there is no proposal pending for MLB to take similar action regarding the Brewers 2011 results.

None of this would be a problem if the writers had picked the right guy for the award in the first place.
   34. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4016619)
None of this would be a problem if the writers had picked the right guy for the award in the first place.


Yeah, if Hal McCoy hadn't been an idiot the first time around in picking Braun, perhaps he wouldn't have to act like an ass this time around in asking for a do-over.

Earth to Hal McCoy: Braun never deserved the award, you fool.

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