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Thursday, November 15, 2012

BBWAA.com: Miguel Cabrera wins AL MVP

About a month ago, I said something to the effect that, although I thought Trout was the MVP, I wouldn’t get all worked up if Miguel Cabrera won. After a month of reading and discussing the topic with people on the site and with my friends and co-workers, and hearing all arguments pro and con about it, I find that I am worked up about Cabrera winning. So, to all my sabermetric friends out there, we’re right, and they are wrong. We are, not because the metrics make us right, but because the logic does.

Cabrera, 29, was listed first on 22 of 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city and second on the other six to total 362 points. He led the AL in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and runs batted in (139) in becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera also topped the league in slugging percentage (.606) and on-base-plus-slugging (.999) for a Detroit club that won the AL Central and eventually advanced into the World Series. Voting is conducted prior to the start of postseason play.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout (.326, 30 HR, 83 RBI), the AL leader in runs (129) and stolen bases (49), received the other six first-place votes, was second on 21 ballots and third on one for a runner-up score of 281. He is the first rookie to finish second in MVP balloting. The award was won by two first-year players – Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn in 1975 and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel cabrera, mvp

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4303762)
I thought it would be much closer.
   2. Darren Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4303768)
Well, trying to see the bright side: This is a great player who had a great year. It's pretty clear he didn't just fluke into this honor. He earned it on a number of levels. That's the positive.
   3. fra paolo Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4303769)
Feel free to join-in with the Most Meritorious Player 2012 vote over at the Hall of Merit if you want to offer a polite gesture of disagreement in the direction of the BBWAA.
   4. Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4303774)
I like it when Harold Reynold says, "Forget those numbers. When you win the Triple Crown, it's kinda like the trump card. Boom!" Ah, Harold, the Triple Crown is based on numbers.
   5. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4303775)
The down-ballot vote for Raul Ibanez, from Detroit no less, is an excellent example of the species.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4303776)
Gee, this is a shock. Score one for blind worship to a flukey three-headed piece of trivia.

"But he finished first in ALL THREE categories! Don't you see!? That means we should suspend logic and be ok with the result!"
   7. hokieneer Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4303777)
Cano left off 4 ballots.
Jim Johnson with a 3rd.
Raul Ibanez with a vote.

I just can't even...
   8. Ryan Lind Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4303780)
As usual, it's the "anti-stats" folks basing their arguments and decisions solely on a handful of highly flawed statistics.
   9. franoscar Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4303781)
I posted this on August 24th:
There is still time left in the season. I'm biased, but I could see Mi. Cabrera finishing strong, lifting the Tigers into the division title, and getting a lot of MVP support. I know what you all say about his defense, but there's a narrative (goes back to 3rd to make room for Prince), Dan Dickerson & Jim Price keep telling me he's playing fine defense, and the Tigers have really been lacking this year in many things that are not Cabrera. Add in a triple crown chase.... But, I <3 Cabrera.

I'm so smart!
   10. Dale Sams Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4303782)
Can I again please register my disgust with the pedantic component of 'Valuable'??
   11. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4303790)
Nice work by Akron's Sheldon Ocker, who had Trout third behind Adrian Beltre.
   12. Sean Forman Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4303791)
Feinsand had Jeter 3rd, Soriano 8th and Cano missing.

John Lowe had Ibanez 10th and Cano missing.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4303792)
The dude who voted for Ibanez either owes him something, or didn't submit his ballot until the postseason.
   14. Moeball Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4303796)
He is the first rookie to finish second in MVP balloting. The award was won by two first-year players – Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn in 1975 and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.


...and Trout had a MUCH better season than either Lynn or Suzuki did, but his team didn't, so he gets left out in the cold (sigh).

Yes, I think many of us saw the writing on the wall for this result, so I can't say I'm surprised, but it is still disappointing that there is such a long way to go before the old guard dies out and gets replaced by some writers who actually follow the sport of baseball.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4303797)
gaming

ballots have to be in immediately after the last game.

at least that was the rule
   16. Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4303801)
OK, who's currently responsible for taking people's children away? I have a few assignments.
   17. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4303805)
If the MLB Network is any indication, they should take Miguel Cabrera's child away before he blinds his dad.
   18. smileyy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4303812)
Eh. If this is the worst the MVP balloting gets, I can't find myself complaining too much.
   19. Gamingboy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4303816)
gaming

ballots have to be in immediately after the last game.

at least that was the rule


Yes, I know. I meant it rather facetiously.
   20. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4303817)
Let's get to the real important question:

Why is the BBWAA's website so crappy?
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4303820)
gaming

sorry. another poster the other day was not aware of that
   22. Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4303823)
Why is the BBWAA's website so crappy?

You should have seen it a few short years ago.
   23. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4303824)
You should have seen it a few short years ago.


Was it as bad as this website?

http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm

[No political statement intended.]
   24. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4303829)
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
   25. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4303834)
Was it as bad as this website?

http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm

Infinitely worse. It literally hurt your eyes to look at it. I've seen a lot of terrible web design, but the old BBWA site was in an entirely different league.
   26. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4303842)
I was one of the "Cabrera's gonna win and I'm not gonna get worked up because the Triple Crown is pretty cool" people and...I'm worked up. First on 22/28 ballots?!?!?
   27. Gotham Dave Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4303846)
I would’ve voted for Trout but I’m not especially moved to anger by this result.

For one, nobody is sure that Trout was actually worth 25 runs or whatever on defense. That’s probably an outlier, either in performance or measurement. Also, although Trout had a higher bWAR than Cabrera, is it really likely that he’s a better hitter than Cabrera? I know that what happened happened, but Trout could have a Hall of Fame career and never have a year on offense close to this one. He was almost certainly hit-lucky. (I’d love to be proven wrong and have Trout sustain this level of performance and improve on it over the next 15 years.) Those hits have value and so I think they should factor into the decision, but I can understand arguing that they shouldn’t.

Finally, non-performance criteria for MVP is obviously not very popular around here, but Cabrera’s shockingly competent move to third base allowed the Tigers to sign another elite hitter. I think that’s a variety of intangibility that’s, well, more than a little bit tangible.

And Triple Crowns ARE cool.
   28. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4303850)
Looking at the voting, I thought "Alex Rios? Wasn't he really terrible just last year?" And yes, he was, but he had a great year this year. In fact he's had some extremely wild swings stat-wise the last four years. (Meaning the White Sox should be worried for 2013.)
   29. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4303854)
Infinitely worse. It literally hurt your eyes to look at it. I've seen a lot of terrible web design, but the old BBWA site was in an entirely different league.


Twas a vomituous green, IIRC. Ben Hamper's a Tiger fan, AFAICT, but he's probably not pleased.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4303857)
His team made the playoffs, his top competitor's team did not. He switched to a more difficult position before this season to make room for another All-Star and handled it like a pro. He won the freaking Triple Crown. If you truly believed Miguel Cabrera wasn't going to win...
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4303860)
I would’ve voted for Trout but I’m not especially moved to anger by this result.

Same here on both counts. Ideally I would've given it to both of them, since neither of them was undeserving.
   32. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4303861)
Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Saavik, not the end. Do not grieve for Trout, for his day will come. Do not disown your mother, either.
   33. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4303871)
Feinsand's justification on Twitter for leaving Cano off is that he was inconsistent and was below-average with RISP. Cano had a 125 OPS+ with RISP, Jeter 113. Adam Jones, who was 5th on Feinsand's ballot, had 108. Speaking of inconsistent...

-- MWE
   34. AndrewJ Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4303876)
Eh, Bob Fosse (Cabaret) beat out Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) for a Best Director Oscar. Now that's unconscionable.
   35. Srul Itza Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4303881)
I am not worked up about it, because after so many years of absurd MVP results, you just have to accept that the MVP award is just a piece of BBWAA fluffery, and not attach so much importance to it. Essentially, the sportswriters, who we regularly excoriate as a group for their complete absence of analytical and logical skills, did something as a group demonstrating a complete absence of analytical and logical skills. Yawn.

Frankly, if this helps Cabrera's HoF case, I am happy for it. When dealing with something essentially inconsequential, the ends can justify the means.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4303882)
For one, nobody is sure that Trout was actually worth 25 runs or whatever on defense.

Nobody's sure Cabrera was only -5 runs on defense either. And are you honestly questioning whether Trout is a better defender than Cabrera?

That’s probably an outlier, either in performance

Whether it's an outlier in performance or not is immaterial to his value in 2012. As to measurement error, Cabrera is as likely to have benefited from it as Trout.

is it really likely that he’s a better hitter than Cabrera?

Again, whether he is as good a hitter as Cabrera in some true talent sense is immaterial to their respective values in 2012.

Cabrera’s shockingly competent move to third base

What's your evidence he was competent? What's your evidence this competence will continue? Shouldn't you apply the same standards as you applied to Trout?

Cabrera's move to 3B did not allow the Tigers to sign Fielder, a simple move to DH would have accomplished that. His move to 3B allowed the Tigers to put Delmon Young at DH. And the tangibility of that move is that Young (and the Tigers' RF) were so terrible, the team likely would have been better off keeping Inge at 3B, Cabrera at 1B and Fielder at DH. That's not Cabrera's fault of course ... any more than it was Trout's fault that he was kept in the minors for a month or he's not as amazing a CF as Bourjos or that his team didn't make the playoffs.

It's also strange to note the potential flukiness of Trout's season while Cabrera won the MVP only due to the fluke that he led in 3 categories in the same season. (Yes, he's always a threat in those categories but that he had a season where they all came together is still a fluke.)



   37. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4303892)
Cabrera won the MVP only due to the fluke that he led in 3 categories in the same season. (Yes, he's always a threat in those categories but that he had a season where they all came together is still a fluke.)


I know what you're saying, but I don't think "fluke" is the right word. Cabrera didn't get lucky.
   38. Every Inge Counts Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4303900)
So glad Cabrera won the Mike Trout Award.
   39. Ryan Lind Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4303909)
I know what you're saying, but I don't think "fluke" is the right word. Cabrera didn't get lucky.


Sure he did. Bautista got injured in June.
   40. TerpNats Posted: November 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4303941)
At the end of August, Trout was in the driver's seat for the MVP, especially since the Tigers were scuffling. But he had a rather lackluster September and the Angels missed the postseason, while Cabrera remained consistent and Detroit overtook the White Sox.

Had the Angels made the playoffs, Trout likely would have won the MVP regardless of what the Tigers did. But neither Trout nor the Angels came up big down the stretch, and that's probably what did him in. It doesn't diminish what was a helluva season.
   41. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4303950)
So it turns out I really don't care about the BBWAA's awards anymore. I thought I'd be outraged, but I'm not!
   42. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4303954)
At the end of August, Trout was in the driver's seat for the MVP, especially since the Tigers were scuffling. But he had a rather lackluster September and the Angels missed the postseason

.289/.400/.500 (151 OPS+), 7/1 SB/CS, 23 runs in 30 games, Trout playing defense in the outfield. Your standards for luster are pretty high.
   43. Loren F. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4303959)
Frankly, I am impressed that Cano finished higher in the balloting than Jeter. I guess I have low expectations of the BBWA.
   44. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4303965)
Uh, you guys aren't actually surprised are you? The triple crown was the key. As I said the other day, if Trout wins the batting title or Cabrera finishes 2nd in HR, then Trout wins this award. Sure, Trout should have won it, but this was a very predictable outcome. Though the dude who had Trout 3rd is kind of insane.
   45. Dale Sams Posted: November 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4303992)
Eh, Bob Fosse (Cabaret) beat out Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) for a Best Director Oscar. Now that's unconscionable.


Coppola didn't even try and get Brando in a hot, tight black outfit. And I'll take a dancing Minelli over a dancing Shire any day.
   46. Baldrick Posted: November 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4304002)
Uh, you guys aren't actually surprised are you? The triple crown was the key. As I said the other day, if Trout wins the batting title or Cabrera finishes 2nd in HR, then Trout wins this award. Sure, Trout should have won it, but this was a very predictable outcome. Though the dude who had Trout 3rd is kind of insane.

This is right, in a sense. I did 100% expect Cabrera to win, for precisely this reason. My new anger that is manifesting today is based on all the 'explanations' which refuse to admit this very simple fact.

I haven't read one that says "I voted because he won the Triple Crown." Maybe those are out there and I just haven't seen them yet. But all the ones I've looked at pretend to make 'serious' arguments. Which is really aggravating when it's quite obvious that if Trout had three more hits (enough to win the 'batting title') in May, most of them would have voted for them.
   47. PerroX Posted: November 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4304017)
Did it not matter that the Angels only played Trout for five months? If he starts the season in Anaheim, the Angles make the playoffs and Trout is MVP. There's still far too much underdog griping in sabermetrics. Politicians and sportswriters will never change.
   48. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4304026)
My new anger that is manifesting today is based on all the 'explanations' which refuse to admit this very simple fact.

That's a fair call. The funny thing is that the more a voter tries to explain their position, the less persuasive the argument. I'd take, "yep, I voted for Miggy because of the triple crown" as a somewhat plausible explanation. Anything more then that just subverts their own position to legitimise their stance.
   49. Ben V-L Posted: November 16, 2012 at 03:56 AM (#4304047)
So how historically bad is this? Looking for 10+ WAR seasons where the MVP winner was at least 3 WAR below the league leader (using BBRef WAR):

2012 AL Trout 10.7, Cabrera 6.9

1968 AL Yaz 10.0, McLain 6.8

1964 NL Mays 10.7, Boyer 5.8

1961 AL Mantle 10.2, Maris 7.0

1934 AL Gehrig 10.1, Cochrane 3.7

So, pretty much historically bad. The writers turned back the clock 50 years. On the plus side for Trout, would you rather be in the group of Yaz, Mays, Mantle and Gehric or McLain, Boyer, Maris, and Cochrane?
   50. Russ Posted: November 16, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4304057)
Are you restricting just to position players? Because in 1991 Glavine had a 9.0 WAR vs. 5.8 for Pendleton (Bonds was the highest position player at 7.6). It's a bit crazy that I always viewed Pendleton over Bonds as a historically poor choice, but that was only half as bad via WAR as the decision for Cabrera over Trout.



   51. Bhaakon Posted: November 16, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4304058)
Are you restricting just to position players? Because in 1991 Glavine had a 9.0 WAR vs. 5.8 for Pendleton (Bonds was the highest position player at 7.6). It's a bit crazy that I always viewed Pendleton over Bonds as a historically poor choice, but that was only half as bad via WAR as the decision for Cabrera over Trout.


Which WAR are you using here? BWAR says 8.2, fWAR 5.7 for Glavine, and 7.6, 7.9 respectively for Bonds.
   52. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 16, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4304064)
Which WAR are you using here? BWAR says 8.2, fWAR 5.7 for Glavine

BWAR. 8.2 pitching WAR, .7 batting WAR, .1 rounding error WAR.
   53. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 16, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4304069)
The BBWAA is just an anachronistic relic (is that redundant?). The fact that Cano was left off any ballots, let alone four, tells you more about the group than Miggy beating Trout.
   54. Ben V-L Posted: November 16, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4304071)
Yes, forgot to say I was using only position players, to avoid the Cy vs MVP issues. And because the uncertainty in comparing a pitcher to a hitter in WAR is probably larger than comparing a hitter to a hitter.

At any rate, I was making a cutoff at 10 WAR, with the MVP at least 3 WAR lower. Pitchers that meet the criterion:

2000 AL Martinez 11.4, Giambi 7.4

1978 NL Niekro 10.0, Parker 6.9

1972 NL Carlton 12.1, Bench 8.5

1971 NL Jenkins 11.3, Torre 5.6

1935 NL Ferrell 10.4, Greenberg 7.4

Honorable mention: 1989 AL Clemens 11.8, Griffey 8.9

Edited to remove my confusion about BBR pitching WAR.
   55. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 16, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4304074)
I enjoyed these threads more when the NerdFury was stronger. And yes I would have voted Trout, but no I am neither surprised nor angered.

The system has won. We have collectively lost our soul (or gotten older, mellower, or something).
   56. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4304088)

I'm certainly happy Miggy won but obviously Trout deserved it.

Condolences Angels/Trout fans!
   57. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4304092)
So it turns out I really don't care about the BBWAA's awards anymore. I thought I'd be outraged, but I'm not!

I'm with Monty on this. It's the same way I feel about the "Batting Title" any more, even if that's an earned accomplishment.
   58. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4304097)
Did it not matter that the Angels only played Trout for five months?


I think that's part of it. I know WAR is a counting stat, but Cabrera did play 20 more games than Trout.
   59. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4304112)
If Curtis Granderson or Josh Hamilton had hit two more HR, Trout would have won. Is Miggy going to send Curtis and Josh a little something? Hell, If Mike Trout had three more hits, he'd have won. Is Miggy going to send Mike a thank you card?
   60. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4304190)
Infinitely worse. It literally hurt your eyes to look at it. I've seen a lot of terrible web design, but the old BBWA site was in an entirely different league.

Think "Geocities site about an obscure anime show" and you'll get the idea.

Like others here, I think this award is going to the wrong person, but I don't think it's a criminal outrage. (The justifications from dimwits like Wilbon is far worse than Cabrera actually getting the award.)
   61. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4304273)

If Curtis Granderson or Josh Hamilton had hit two more HR, Trout would have won. Is Miggy going to send Curtis and Josh a little something? Hell, If Mike Trout had three more hits, he'd have won. Is Miggy going to send Mike a thank you card?

I've seen variants of this written several places. There are so many good arguments for why Trout was the MVP, not Cabrera. This is not one of them. "If, if, if..." They didn't. If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4304294)
I didn't post that as an argument for Trout being MVP. It was intended as an argument for the triple crown not being determinative of who is the MVP.
   63. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4304299)

Followed logically, you can use that argument to invalidate any argument about a player leading in multiple categories being award-worthy. I don't see that as helpful.
   64. Baldrick Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4304305)
Followed logically, you can use that argument to invalidate any argument about a player leading in multiple categories being award-worthy. I don't see that as helpful.

As it should.

If you're comparing two players, I do not care how they stack up against other players.

Now, if someone said that Cabrera would have been less valuable than HAMILTON if Hamilton had hit six more homeruns, then yeah, your point is fair. But it's pretty crazy to think that two long flyballs in Arlington dropping just short of the wall have anything to do with whether Cabrera or Trout was a more valuable player.
   65. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4304321)
I don't see that as helpful.


And I see it as quite helpful to acknowledge that differences such as those between 43 and 45, .329 and .334, 2.97 and 3.11, etc, are not definitive arguments for who is more valuable (EDIT: especially when, as Baldrick notes, we're not talking about head to head differences in those categories).
   66. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4304337)

I'm confused. Are we talking about measuring value by what did happen? Or what might have happened? Or what didn't happen? I'm not saying category leading is a definitive argument for most valuable, just that trying to invalidate those leads with hypotheticals is weak and does nothing to embiggen your overall argument.
   67. Baldrick Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4304364)
No one is saying "Cabrera should NOT be the MVP because he didn't win the Triple Crown." Obviously he did win the Triple Crown. We are saying "whether he won the Triple Crown or not has jack-squat to do with whether he was more valuable than Trout." You can demonstrate this by pointing out that Cabrera v. Trout remains exactly the same regardless of whether Hamilton hit two extra HR.

That is: category leading is NOT an argument for most valuable except insofar as it contributes to an actual case for being more valuable.

In fact, the very people who all voted based on the Triple Crown are now writing articles that make exactly this point. They are saying "OMG teh postseason" as the basis for their Cabrera-case. And Cabrera's HRs would count toward that goal exactly the same whether or not Hamilton hit those two extra HR.

As I said in a different thread, if people were honest and just said "Triple Crowns are cool and Cabrera was good enough that I voted for the Triple Crown, even though Trout was better" there wouldn't be a whole lot to get angry about. Yeah, I disagree with that. But at least it's honest. It's the faux-reasoning that really drives me bonkers.
   68. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4304400)
That is: category leading is NOT an argument for most valuable except insofar as it contributes to an actual case for being more valuable.

Cabrera also led the league in slugging and OPS. If he hadn't led the league in slugging and OPS, he wouldn't have led the league in slugging and OPS, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to prove.
   69. vivaelpujols Posted: November 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4304408)
I think that's part of it. I know WAR is a counting stat, but Cabrera did play 20 more games than Trout.


Yes and WAR, being a counting stat, already counts playing time. Maybe you think it should be a double-counting stat ha-ha-ha.
   70. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 16, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4304412)
Trying to explain WAR to someone who thinks it's a total horseshit, hippy dippy stat is... well, kind of a waste of time.

"How do you know a replacement level player WOULDN'T make that play? They're assuming!"

"It doesn't consider the other eight guys on the field. What happens if no one drives him in? He just has a single and a stolen base. Who cares?"

"What if some guy on the Marlins had... 11 WAR? That means HE'S the MVP? They lost 93 games!"
   71. Papa Squid Posted: November 16, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4304413)
Speaking of M Cabreras, ESPN Deportes is reporting the Jays have signed Melky Cabrera!
   72. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4304555)
The whole argument seems very similar to the 1950's-60's where the sportswriters contorted themselves into choosing someone besides Mantle or Mays every year.
   73. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 16, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4304625)
The whole argument seems very similar to the 1950's-60's where the sportswriters contorted themselves into choosing someone besides Mantle or Mays every year.

1958 is my favorite, I think - the MVP went to Jackie Jensen over Mantle. Mantle hit for a higher average, had more hits, scored more runs (led the league), hit more homers (led the league), drew more walks (led the league), had more total bases (led the league), stole more bases and was caught fewer times, played a tougher position, hit in a tougher park, and played for the team that won the pennant. He did miss four games, but they had the same number of plate appearances.

Jensen had 10 more doubles, though, and led the league in RBI. Plus, they'd already given Mantle the MVP in his last two years, both of which were transcendent; if they gave it to him when he was merely exceptional, he'd lose motivation to be transcendent again.

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