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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mike Greenberg: Outside-The-Box Thinking For NL MVP

The worst job of outside-the-box thinking…since Carradine’s Drac got felled by a thrown six-shooter in Billy the Kid vs. Dracula! (BOINK!)

I think it should either be CC Sabathia or - I know this is going to make you crazy - Manny Ramirez.  Now, Manny Ramirez has only been in the National League for 40 games, but boy oh boy, has he made his presence felt.  Courtesy Elias Sports Bureau, since his debut in the National League on August 1st, is leading the National League in batting (.396), RBIs (40), and home runs (14).  He is the first mid-season acquisition to go 14 homers, 40 RBIs in his first 40 games with a new team since 1949, and, more significantly, when the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez, they were 2 games out in the division: they are now 3 1/2 games up in the division.  If the Dodgers win that division, then I don’t know how you can tell me that Manny Ramirez does not at least deserve consideration for MVP.  As much as I abhor his behavior, as much as I abhor the way he and his agent got him out of Boston, I think it is a disgrace and I would not go out and give him $20 million no matter what he does the rest of the season.  I would put him in the discussion for MVP, but I would actually give it to CC Sabathia, who, in his 13 National League starts, is 9-0 with a .159 ERA, 102 strikeouts and 21 walks, and six complete games, which leads the National League for the entire season despite his not having shown up until early July.  When he got there, the Brewers were half a game out in the wildcard race; they are now four games up in the wildcard race.

Golic’s choice?  The Mets’ Carlos Delgado.

Repoz Posted: September 11, 2008 at 03:41 PM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, brewers, dodgers

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 03:55 PM (#2937840)
I pick Evan Longoria.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#2937848)
Albert Pujols. But I lean more towards "Most Outstanding Player" rather than "Best Player on a Contending Team."
   3. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 11, 2008 at 03:59 PM (#2937850)
Dumb and dumber.
   4. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:03 PM (#2937861)
Make it stop.
   5. flournoy Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:08 PM (#2937865)
"Outside the Box" is usually code for "Wrongheaded."
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:08 PM (#2937867)
Delgado is doing nothing more than what he did in previous seasons. The real NL MVP is Fernando Tatis for stepping in when he was needed most and providing far more than the Mets expected or even hoped for.

If Tatis had been bad, the NL MVP would be Moises Alou, if his absence coincided with the Mets narrowly missing the playoffs and demonstrating how important Alou was to their success.

AL MVP: Roger Clemens. Look at the Yankees without him!!
   7. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:10 PM (#2937868)
We are through the looking glass here people.
   8. Glenn Gulliver's Travels Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2937870)
Pujols reminds me of what Bill James wrote in the Historical Abstract, that sportswriters talked every year about "How do we screw Stan Musial out of the MVP this time?" and "Who can we give the award to besides Musial?" At the time I figured James must've been exaggerating...
   9. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2937871)
I don't get the Delgado pick. I know when he came alive, the Mets did, but he had an awful beginning of the season. Doesn't that count? If he had not been so bad, the Mets would have been in first and wouldn't have had to come back.

Manny and CC are worse picks.

Give it to Albert.
   10. HowardMegdal Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:15 PM (#2937877)
Two words: Daniel Murphy.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:18 PM (#2937881)
The case for CC or Manny is not all that different than the case for Shannon Stewart '03, really. I don't think Jayson Stark was really considering what Stewart had done for Toronto when plugging for him; the point was that he had turned around Minnesota.

Of course, that was ridiculous also.

If forced to choose, though, I'd rather argue for CC or Manny than Delgado. At least you acknowledge when touting CC or Manny that you're not using the traditional criteria. Delgado is a "traditional criteria" pick that is simply incorrect.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:20 PM (#2937883)
He is the first mid-season acquisition to go 14 homers, 40 RBIs in his first 40 games with a new team since 1949,

Greenberg didn't name who that was, but it must have been my main man Hank Sauer.
   13. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:24 PM (#2937884)
It's not even "best" player on a contending team anymore (as witnessed by the Delgado pick). It's "player whose accomplishments correlate best to winning streaks on a contending team". Baseball writers keep getting dumber. We've reduced the entire MVP discussion to streaks. Not even a cursory understanding of positional or defensive value, no idea how to evaluate offense beyond average and RBI, no acknowledgement that a player can be extremely valuable despite playing for a bad team. At least in the 60s a C or SS could get themselves into the discussion.
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:24 PM (#2937885)
a .159 ERA

OK, he's convinced me. A 1.59 ERA would be impressive enough, but a .159 ERA is off the charts.
   15. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2937887)
Pujols reminds me of what Bill James wrote in the Historical Abstract, that sportswriters talked every year about "How do we screw Stan Musial out of the MVP this time?" and "Who can we give the award to besides Musial?"


??? I know he said that about Mantle- I don't recall him saying that about Musial.

It's possible I suppose- Marion's and Konstanty's wins over him were abominations- but after that there were players like Mays and Aaron to contend with
   16. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2937893)
It does seem like Delgado is building momentum as a candidate. And it will certainly come down to the player who goes on a tear the last few weeks. If it is Pujols, then he will win the award he deserves (though possibly by a slim margin). Seriously, where would the Cards be without him? I can see Reyes, Delgado, Berkman, and Ryan Howard fitting into this 'hot-streak wins it' candidacy as well. I'd bet Manny gets a few more votes than I'd expect (CC less so, though he'll garner some Cy votes I wouldn't expect either). But of all those players, I would bet that Howard might snake it from Pujols. Howard seems to get hot down the stretch, and he will end up leading the majors in HOUR, and being damned close in RBI. If he hits out of his mind for a few weeks, his 'all-powerful' batting average will be around .250, which, come to think of it, might be the minimum BA for him to win.

So, here's my longwinded, rambling spiel condensed: if Ryan Howard gets hot enough to finish with a BA of .250 or greater, and the Phils make the playoffs, then he wins his 2nd MVP.
   17. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#2937896)
Tim Dillard and Tyler Clippard are both batting 1.000. I give the edge to Dillard because he's on a better team.
   18. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2937900)
Bah, stupid blackberry... HR. Not HOUR... Though I love the idea of Howard leading the majors in HOURs.
   19. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#2937901)
I don't get the Delgado pick. I know when he came alive, the Mets did, but he had an awful beginning of the season. Doesn't that count?

See the AL MVP vote in 2006.
   20. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:38 PM (#2937905)
Doesn't that count? If he had not been so bad, the Mets would have been in first and wouldn't have had to come back.


exactly
plus he's not remotely near being
A; The best player on his own team;
B: The player having the best season on his own team

Unless something really shakes out we may have a wildly fractured vote this year (Al 1999)- and who knows who might win.

Howard will get votes due to the RBIs- but the batting average and the Ks will make many BBWAA voters barf.

Wright- won't catch Howard in RBIs- but if he stays in 2nd will likely get more votes than last year- despite having an inferior season

Delgado- yes he'll get votes, so did Shannon Stewart- he won't win though

Berkman- will get some

Pujols- will get some, will get some #1 votes- won;t get a majority- but may get enough anyway if the vote is fractured enough- he should be on every ballot.

Chase Utley- having such a noticeably hot start might actually hurt him if the Phils don't make the payoffs- he taile doff- so did the Phils...

Ryan Ludwick (playing McReynolds to Pujols in a remake of the 1988 Met vote split?

Hanley Ramirez- might have gotten some traction if the Marlins had stayed closer.

Aramis Ramirez- sole 100 RBI guy on the team with the most wins- needs Mets to miss playoffs to have a shot since Wright is directly comparable and distinctly better- by both MSM stats and stathead stats.

Geovany Soto- if writers showed any understanding of positional value...

Ryan Braun? If Morneau won 2 years ago why not Braun in 2008?
   21. The District Attorney Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#2937907)
HR. Not HOUR... Though I love the idea of Howard leading the majors in HOURs.
If that's the criteria, we'll have to go back and give a couple of MVPs to Steve Trachsel.
   22. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#2937908)
So, here's my longwinded, rambling spiel condensed: if Ryan Howard gets hot enough to finish with a BA of .250 or greater, and the Phils make the playoffs, then he wins his 2nd MVP.


I just threw up in my mouth
   23. Gaelan Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:40 PM (#2937912)
CC would be an excellent choice for the Cy Young. You people are just wrongheaded.

If Pujols weren't so amazing Ramirez would also be a good choice for MVP. As it is he deserves a spot on the ballot. I won't bore you with arguments since you don't listen to them.
   24. aleskel Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#2937914)
okay, I just looked up Marty Marion, and can someone tell me how someone with a 91 OPS+ won an MVP? What's the story there?
   25. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#2937915)
I won't bore you with arguments since you don't listen to them.


Thanks.
   26. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:44 PM (#2937917)
Except Musial had more MVP Award shares than anyone except Barry Bonds.

I heard these guys this morning. They rule out guys on non-playoff teams. I think one of them said (I wasn't paying all that much attention), they'd consider Pujols if it was the Most Outstanding Player award.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:44 PM (#2937918)
Ryan Howard is not going to win the MVP again. It seems almost inconceivable now, but his average was .313 in the year he won, and he wasn't seen as a particularly bad defender. Howard's stats were .313/.425/.659 in 2006, and they're .241/.328/.517 right now. .250 is not going to do it, especially in the second straight year that he breaks the all-time strikeout record. Everyone knows that Howard is one-dimensional, that dimension is not what it once was, and that Utley is the real MVP candidate if each Phillies player were to play to the best of their ability. Let's not pretend the writers/voters are even dumber than they are.
   28. Dudefella Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#2937919)
I won't bore you with arguments since <strike>you don't listen to them</strike> I don't have any that make sense.


fixed.
   29. Martin Hemner Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#2937921)
I had a long drive into work this morning, and unfortunately, I tuned to Mike and Mike. They are both idiots, but from everything I heard, Golic made the case for Pujols, not Delgado. He only stated that Delgado would be a better choice than Manny and CC since he had been in the league all year.
   30. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:47 PM (#2937924)
okay, I just looked up Marty Marion, and can someone tell me how someone with a 91 OPS+ won an MVP? What's the story there?

Marion was widely regarded as a brilliant defensive shortstop, as well as a positive off-field leader.
   31. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:47 PM (#2937926)
The thought of Howard winning a 2nd MVP makes my gullet a bit sour too. It's just that I can see it happening... It makes so much sense considering how these things tend to shake out.

If Pujols is hurt by Ludwick, then should Wright/Reyes/Delgado cancel one another out as well?

I forgot about Braun...
   32. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:47 PM (#2937927)
Howard will get very little support. Even despite his awesome HR/RBI numbers everyone understands that he is having a poor year
   33. Bad Doctor Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2937928)
God, was I screaming at ESPN2 this morning during all the MVP discussion.

The really shocking thing about the conversation is that Greenberg considered his view of emphasizing the "valuable" part of MVP "outside the box," and said that it's a shame that the sheep (not his term, but sorta the implication) BBWAA will give it to Pujols, who is in fact just the most outstanding player. When Kurkjian was on, he kinda assented to that general premise.

Has anybody seen any writer pumping up Pujols as the obvious MVP selection? Or even the winner by a close margin? Do we just not link to those guys?

It does seem like Delgado is building momentum as a candidate. And it will certainly come down to the player who goes on a tear the last few weeks.

Delgado's selection might be the one to blow the lid on this inanity. If he produced the way he has since June all year long, the Mets would probably have a 10 or 12 game lead by now. Which would lead the BBWAA analysis to go: "Well, there's Delgado, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Santana ... the Mets could've made the playoffs without any one of those guys, so none of them could be the most valuable player of the league." Delgado's selection would pretty much memorialize that a player could perform better -- significantly better -- yet by doing so become less "valuable" and thus less deserving of the most prestigious award in his sport. That's inane, and it might be so blatant to lead to a rethinking by the media at large of what the award is supposed to represent.
   34. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2937930)
okay, I just looked up Marty Marion, and can someone tell me how someone with a 91 OPS+ won an MVP? What's the story there?


He was the Ozzie Smith of his day. Had a rep as a great glove.
   35. aleskel Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:52 PM (#2937937)
#30 & 34 - thanks. Still a indefensible pick.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:52 PM (#2937938)
Pujols reminds me of what Bill James wrote in the Historical Abstract, that sportswriters talked every year about "How do we screw Stan Musial out of the MVP this time?" and "Who can we give the award to besides Musial?" At the time I figured James must've been exaggerating...


NBA writers did this all the time with Jordan. Karl Malone?!?!? Seriously?
   37. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:55 PM (#2937942)
#30 & 34 - thanks. Still a indefensible pick.

Sure, but it's important to understand that Marion wasn't an obscure guy by any means. He was a prominent star, as illustrated by the fact that he did well in MVP voting in seasons before and after 1944, and also he made the All-Star team pretty much every year.
   38. salvomania Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2937944)
If Pujols is hurt by Ludwick, then should Wright/Reyes/Delgado cancel one another out as well?

By the end of the year, Pujols will have passed Ludwick in every stat with the possible exception of runs scored----for most of the year Ludwick was ahead of Albert in the counting stats but Albert has just about caught him in HR/RBI and is way beyond him in rate stats.
   39. Repoz Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:59 PM (#2937949)
okay, I just looked up Marty Marion, and can someone tell me how someone with a 91 OPS+ won an MVP? What's the story there?

Just go to a NYC (or any, I assume) SABR meeting and it will usually end up with a Clem McOsteomalacia wannabe yelling about how Slats belongs in the HOF.
   40. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2937955)
and he wasn't seen as a particularly bad defender.


but he was- he was absolutely frickin terrible- he's actually much better now (still not very good)

Ryan Howard 2006: hit .256/.426/.518 with RISP, in 2008 he's hitting .303/.420/.545 with RISP. (Yes he's sub Mendoza when batting with no one on- in 2006 he hit .337 with no none on- yes indeedy example #18,975 that RISP stats have ZERO predictive value).

Just thought I'd throw that out there. Howard's 2006 win was a complete abomination- not quite as bad as the Hawk's 1987 win- but still turrible.
   41. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:06 PM (#2937963)
??? I know he said that about Mantle- I don't recall him saying that about Musial.


He actually brings up Musial's MVP voting history in the NBJHBA, but not in Musial's comments section - it actually comes up in the comments for one of either Mays or Mantle.

In 1952 Musial's OPS was .970 (okay nobody heard about that stat then) and Sauer's was .892. Musial was still a good outfielder, Hank was horrible. But Hank easily beat out Stan for MVP by leading the Cubs to a .500 record.
(The Cards were 22 games over .500.)


James actually gives explicit mention to Sauer - he says something like, "I'm glad Hank Sauer won an MVP, because otherwise nobody would remember who he was, but realistically, Stan Musial was a much better player than Hank Sauer, even in 1952."
   42. Hack Wilson Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:08 PM (#2937966)
Greenberg didn't name who that was, but it must have been my main man Hank Sauer.

In 1952 Musial's OPS was .970 (okay nobody heard about that stat then) and Sauer's was .892. Musial was still a good outfielder, Hank was horrible. But Hank easily beat out Stan for MVP by leading the Cubs to a .500 record.
(The Cards were 22 games over .500.)
   43. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:15 PM (#2937972)
In 1952 Musial's OPS was .970 (okay nobody heard about that stat then) and Sauer's was .892. Musial was still a good outfielder, Hank was horrible. But Hank easily beat out Stan for MVP by leading the Cubs to a .500 record.
(The Cards were 22 games over .500.)


Ah, 1952, one of the weirdest among the many years of weird MVP voting. Not only do you have that Sauer-Musial strangeness, but you also have Bobby Shantz winning the AL MVP by going 24-7 in 280 innings, but Robin Roberts goes 28-7 in 330 innings (in the same city as Shantz) but doesn't win the NL MVP.
   44. JMPH Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2937974)
By the end of the year, Pujols will have passed Ludwick in every stat with the possible exception of runs scored----for most of the year Ludwick was ahead of Albert in the counting stats but Albert has just about caught him in HR/RBI and is way beyond him in rate stats.

I don't have time to look it up right now (since I don't know an easy way to do it), but does anyone know what Ludwick's splits are with and without Pujols in the lineup? IIRC, he slumped badly when Pujols was on the DL and heated up again when Pujols came back. Surely that would help the case that Pujols is more valuable than Ludwick, should such a case even need to be made.
   45. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#2937976)
In 1952 Musial's OPS was .970


1952 was a wildly fractured vote-
Sauer had 37 homers and 121 rbis (led league in both categories), Musial had 21 and 91, Musial killed Sauer in batting average .336 to .270, but 2/3 triple crown categories by a hefty margin? This was 1952, tehvoters voting fro Sauer weren't looking to avoid Musial

plus Robin Roberts went 28-7 that year and voters were more willing back then to vote for pitchers.

Sauer was a terrible choice- of course- but not in the mind of a 1952 voter
   46. The District Attorney Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#2937977)
It also seems to me that there was a huge priority placed on playing up the middle in that era in the '40s and '50s, particularly if you were a great defender. (Maybe a "back in my day..." reaction to the live-ball era?) In addition to Marion, Joe Gordon won winning the "negative Triple Crown" of strikeouts, GIDP and errors (in spite of said errors, he was a great fielder)... Rizzuto won hitting 7 HR, Dick Groat and Nellie Fox hitting 2... not sure Berra would have won all three times in the modern era (obviously he was an all-time great, but that's as many as Bench, Piazza, Carter and both Pudges combined.)

I bet if you looked "down-ballot", you'd see it even more. James at one point mentions a guy named Jimmy Brown who was top 13 in the voting three times, including top 6 twice, despite what look for all the world like completely typical utility infielder stats.

I'd at least prefer the "up-the-middle" bias to "most RBI on a playoff team", if I had to pick a bias.
   47. Hack Wilson Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:23 PM (#2937982)
Hank Sauer was very loved in Chicago. After hitting home runs at Wrigley he was showered by the Bleacher Bums with packets. I asked someone what was in the packets and was told condoms. I believed it and learned years later in a Royko article that it was chewing tobacco.
   48. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2937985)
Can't wait until the HoM starts up the MMP project and we can have a good discussion about who should have won just like we can now quit arguing about who deserves to be enshrined for career accomplishments. The HoM isn't perfect but the mistakes aren't egregious - they're over whether a player is the 220th best or 270th best of all-time. Hopefully the HoM can do as well with the yearly awards.
   49. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2937986)
It also seems to me that there was a huge priority placed on playing up the middle in that era in the '40s and '50s, particularly if you were a great defender. (Maybe a "back in my day..." reaction to the live-ball era?) In addition to Marion, Joe Gordon won winning the "negative Triple Crown" of strikeouts, GIDP and errors (in spite of said errors, he was a great fielder)... Rizzuto won hitting 7 HR, Dick Groat and Nellie Fox hitting 2... not sure Berra would have won all three times in the modern era, although obviously he was an all-time great.

Agreed. It also goes a long way toward explaining the MVP wins by Wills (1962), Howard (1963), and Versalles (1965). And I also agree that as biases go, it sure beats "most RBI on a playoff team."
   50. salvomania Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:28 PM (#2937992)
anyone know what Ludwick's splits are with and without Pujols in the lineup? IIRC, he slumped badly

.188/.286/.313 in 13 games, with 1 home run.

[EDIT: only looking at period when Pujols was DLed]
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#2937994)
Give 'em a break, that was the first good season by an A's starter since Lefty Grove left town 19 years earlier. (only conceivable exception: Harry Kelley, 1936, 15-12 with a 3.86 ERA) Shantz represented the last hope for the A's franchise to succeed in Philly (they left town 2 years later), he was super popular for being a little guy, and he even got the sympathy vote since his wrist was broken by a pitch on September 24. (Wikipedia is wrong on the date of that)
   52. 1k5v3L Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#2938006)
Is Greenberg dumber than 10 LaSordas?
   53. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#2938010)
It also seems to me that there was a huge priority placed on playing up the middle in that era in the '40s and '50s, particularly if you were a great defender.

That describes Willie Mays, but he didn't I think get his share of MVPs.
   54. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2938019)
Give 'em a break, that was the first good season by an A's starter since Lefty Grove left town 19 years earlier. (only conceivable exception: Harry Kelley, 1936, 15-12 with a 3.86 ERA)

Phil Marchildon and Alex Kellner would beg to differ.
   55. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2938029)
Is Greenberg dumber than 10 LaSordas?

Let's not get carried away, that would make him almost half as dumb as kevin. I don't know Greenberg but that doesn't seem likely.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2938031)
not sure Berra would have won all three times in the modern era (obviously he was an all-time great, but that's as many as Bench, Piazza, Carter and both Pudges combined.)

You have to remember that at the time Berra won those three MVP awards (1951-55), the talent pool in the American League was at an all-time low. Other than Berra, the only other A-level HoFers in the AL at that point were Williams (in Korea or lots of time on the DL in every year but one), DiMaggio (one bad year and then gone), Feller (one good year and then quickly faded) and Mantle (a few good years but nothing compared to his MVP ones). In 1952 Bobby Shantz had a phenomenal year for a 4th place team and in 1953 Al Rosen barely missed the triple crown. And both of them got the MVP. But other than those two there weren't any years that really jumped out.

"Big fish in mud puddle" pretty much says it all. There's simply no comparison between the competition Berra faced and that faced by the five other catchers you mention.
   57. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#2938036)
You have to remember that at the time Berra won those three MVP awards (1951-55), the talent pool in the American League was at an all-time low.

This is conceptually true, but overstated. My analysis indicates that the bigger talent gap between the AL and NL prevailed in the 1960s/70s than in the early '50s, because the gap was primarily the effect of the AL's huge lag in recruiting black talent over that period.
   58. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:05 PM (#2938038)
Is Greenberg dumber than 10 LaSordas?


Nah, he just doesn't know that much about baseball.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:12 PM (#2938048)
Steve, my point wasn't meant to be about the general talent gap, but the gap at the superstar level, which is where MVP awards are contested, and which WAS rather huge even in the early 50's. Just go through the AL rosters and you'll see what I mean. It got even worse in the early 60's, perhaps, but it was bad enough when Berra won those three awards.
   60. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#2938060)
I don't get the Delgado pick. I know when he came alive, the Mets did, but he had an awful beginning of the season. Doesn't that count?

See the AL MVP vote in 2006.


But Morneau had one bad month and was good after April. Delgado was bad until July.
   61. aleskel Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:27 PM (#2938065)
See the AL MVP vote in 2006

But Morneau had one bad month and was good after April. Delgado was bad until July



I think what CP meant was, when Morneau won over Jeter, BBWAA voters said some specious stuff about Morneau deserving it because Jeter had more talent around him, i.e. the Twins need him more, etc., etc.
   62. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:36 PM (#2938075)
anyone know what Ludwick's splits are with and without Pujols in the lineup? IIRC, he slumped badly

.188/.286/.313 in 13 games, with 1 home run.

[EDIT: only looking at period when Pujols was DLed]


I think Pujols has only missed one other game- May 12. Ludwick went one for three with a single and a walk.
   63. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:41 PM (#2938085)
Willie Stargell won an MVP with a hot WEEK. So there is precedence.

In a seemingly fractured race it DOES come down to who gets hot at the right time.

Of course, Albert is ALWAYS hot.

Regarding CC while I am an Albert guy I will also state emphatically that Milwaukee would be 10 games worse if CC had not joined the team. And frankly, that's conservative. His pitching itself, the reduced exposure of a poor bullpen and how a young team has SO hitched their success to HIS success equates a contender versus a second half swoon.

This is not hyperbole. This team has a delicate psyche. I dread the day he actually LOSES. Half the team will have to be put on suicide watch.
   64. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 11, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#2938095)
Willie Stargell won an MVP with a hot WEEK. So there is precedence.

Actually he won cause they had a good song. WE ARE FAMILY
   65. JPWF13 Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#2938113)
Just go through the AL rosters and you'll see what I mean. It got even worse in the early 60's, perhaps, but it was bad enough when Berra won those three awards.


So?
He won his first one hitting .294/.350/.492 with 27 homers and 88 rbis
Ted Williams hit .318/.464/.556 with 30 homers and 126 ribbies
Gus Zerniel had 33 homers and 125 ribbies
Eddie Robinson had 29 homers an 117 ribbies

knowing the way sportswriters look[ed] at stats, they HAD to be giving Berra majors bonuses for
A: Playing for the winner and B: being a catcher

1955 he win hitting .272-27-108,
Al Kaline hit .340-27-102 with 200 hits
Al Smith (who?) hit .306 with 123 runs scored
Mantle hit .306/.431/.611 with 121 runs and 99 rbi and played CF- the gap between Mantle and Berra was greater than any gap Mauer has over Morneau

Berra was beating out players with better #s- he was doing so because he was a catcher (I'm not saying that was wrong)- to the extent that todays BBWAA memebers give "credit" for defensive positioning they don't do it nearly as much as they did in the 50s/60s...

except as someone else noted WRT Mays- they (like now) didn't seem to give any credit for playing CF as opposed to RF/LF
   66. Rusty Priske Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#2938146)
I agree that it should be for the best player... which is why Pujols should only be the runner up. The NL MVP this year should be Lance Berkman.

AL should be Justin Morneau.
   67. BDC Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2938153)
Though of course Mays, like Musial, wasn't exactly hosed in MVP voting. He won two, almost won a third (in 1962), and was in the top five in the voting six other times beyond that. Of course, by Win Shares he should have won five MVP Awards and shared another two.

As many people have observed, writers like to spread these awards around, because it makes for better story lines and keeps more star interviewees happier. They don't do this consciously, perhaps, but it's a little like the Oscars: if Meryl Streep already has a bunch, it's boring just giving her another one every year.

The odd thing really is that Barry Bonds, who endeared himself to almost nobody, was the first player to win more than three MVPs. In Bonds's case the writers did what they might should have done in the case of Musial, Mantle, Mays, or Schmidt: just keep giving him the award until further notice.
   68. KingKaufman Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#2938158)
That's inane, and it might be so blatant to lead to a rethinking by the media at large of what the award is supposed to represent.

Without even knowing what "it" was, I would be able to say that this is not going to happen.
   69. Blackadder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:44 PM (#2938162)
But Bonds was kind of a special case. He got his share of 3, and then he did quite poorly in MVP voting for a while; he certainly has a case for deserving a few from 1994-2000, indeed had many seasons as good or better than his 1990. It was only when the gap between him and everyone else became absurd that they just started giving it to him again.
   70. Srul Itza Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:44 PM (#2938164)
The reason that Bonds got all those awards is because the writers all knew he was on steroids. They did not want to say it out loud, so they kept giving him the MVP in the hope that somebody would notice that something strange was happening, and would take action.

A quiet, but heroic, stand by the BBWAA.
   71. The Essex Snead Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#2938169)
I agree that it should be for the best player... which is why Pujols should only be the runner up. The NL MVP this year should be Lance Berkman.

Pujols is Berkman's equal or better in most hitting categories (except runs) despite Berkman having 30+ PAs on Albert. And Pujols is the superior defender.

Tho you're thinking Morneau should be MVP, so go on w/ your wrong self.
   72. HGM Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:52 PM (#2938170)
I agree that it should be for the best player... which is why Pujols should only be the runner up. The NL MVP this year should be Lance Berkman.

AL should be Justin Morneau.

Would it be an incorrect guess that you just think awarding the MVP to the player with the most Win Shares is the way to go?
   73. phredbird Posted: September 11, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#2938174)
The NL MVP this year should be Lance Berkman.


it is to laugh.

pujols is outhitting him on a gimpy heel and a bad elbow.

but your point is made. if houston climbs into the playoffs the dumb@ss writers will pass it on to lance or somebody like that.
   74. BDC Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#2938187)
He got his share of 3, and then he did quite poorly in MVP voting for a while; he certainly has a case for deserving a few from 1994-2000, indeed had many seasons as good or better than his 1990

Good point. Jeez, Bonds might should maybe have 9 or 10 MVPs.
   75. JMPH Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#2938193)
pujols is outhitting him on a gimpy heel and a bad elbow.

Which, of course, is irrelevant in the context of an MVP discussion. It's impressive, yes, but he doesn't get bonus points for playing well despite being banged up, at least not in the sense that he'd be even more productive if healthy.
   76. AROM Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#2938200)
AL MVP: Roger Clemens. Look at the Yankees without him!!


Clemens for AL MVP, and NL MVP in the same year. It's a case of demonstrating value by abscence. After pretty much everyone year (myself included) laughed at the Astros for being delusional enough to think they were contenders, they've staged another one of their 2nd half comebacks, passed the Cardinals, and are only 4 games back of Milwaukee. Put Clemens in that rotation and we'd be talking playoffs.
   77. phredbird Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:37 PM (#2938207)
you're right it doesn't matter. and pujols is still better.

and he'll only be a strong candidate for MVP if the cards go in the playoffs.

the mvp discussion is different on this board than it is in the teeny tiny minds of the bbwaa.
   78. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:38 PM (#2938208)
Steve, my point wasn't meant to be about the general talent gap, but the gap at the superstar level, which is where MVP awards are contested, and which WAS rather huge even in the early 50's.

First of all, what JPWF13 said in #65.

Second, I think you may be falling victim to a fallacy that considers few dramatic outlier individual stats in a league as evidence of low overall quality of play in that league. In fact it may be exactly the reverse, that a relatively high quality of overall play prevents individuals from achieving eye-popping stats.

Third, the much gaudier stats compiled by NL hitting stars than AL hitting stars in the early-to-mid-1950s is probably far more a function of home run-friendly parks in the NL than anything else.

For one reason or another, few of them were able to sustain it consistently of for a long time, but all things considered it seems pretty clear that the best players in the AL in the early '50s -- Berra, Al Rosen, Mickey Vernon, Larry Doby, Minnie Minoso, Eddie Yost, Jackie Jensen, Eddie Joost, etc., as well as of course Williams and Mantle when they were there -- weren't dramatically less talented than the best NL players of that period. A decade or two later is when the AL was truly, meaningfully inferior in quality of play.
   79. Swedish Chef Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:44 PM (#2938213)
Dammit, master thinking INSIDE the box before you start tripping the light fantastic.
   80. Mike Green Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2938215)
At Batter's Box, "Outside the Box" thinking was always seen as the start of trouble.

Streaks, clutch-hitting? Bah, humbug.
   81. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: September 11, 2008 at 08:55 PM (#2938224)
Can we put Greenberg back in his box?

Unfortunately, no box can hold his eponymous counterpart.
   82. Handle's Messiah Posted: September 11, 2008 at 10:48 PM (#2938323)
If Manny stayed in BOS and had played this way, he coulda been the AL MVP.
   83. Booey Posted: September 11, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#2938330)
#36 - Have you actually looked at Jordan and Malone's 1997 numbers, rather than just using the "count the ringzz!" method most people use to rank NBA players? They were really close; either one would have been a perfectly valid choice. Malone actually led the league in Player Efficiency Rating that season.

And the fact that Michael outperformed Karl in the Finals and won the championship is completely irrelevant in deciding who should have won the REGULAR SEASON MVP (seriously, this is the argument most people give). The Finals have their own MVP award (which Jordan won hands down, and rightfully so).
   84. Chris Dial Posted: September 11, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2938332)
I agree that it should be for the best player... which is why Pujols should only be the runner up. The NL MVP this year should be Lance Berkman.
Glub, glub. Pujols has been a better hitter and fielder at the same position.
   85. James SC Posted: September 12, 2008 at 12:18 AM (#2938391)
Delgado deserves votes for the MVP, I don't think he really deserves the MVP, unless of course he hits another 6 or 7 dingers in the last 17 games with 20 something RBI and carry this team to the division. With that kind of final push he could get in there, but otherwise I think you will end up with a very spread out vote with no real consensous pick for MVP.

Pujols is an ok choice but for a team that never really contended for much (despite only being 4 games out now). Berkman would be as well especially if the Astros really make a run at Milwaukee that the Cards don't seem to be capable of right now
   86. JMPH Posted: September 12, 2008 at 12:26 AM (#2938408)
And the fact that Michael outperformed Karl in the Finals and won the championship is completely irrelevant in deciding who should have won the REGULAR SEASON MVP

Especially since the MVP is awarded before the Finals even take place.
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: September 12, 2008 at 01:17 AM (#2938556)
Especially since the MVP is awarded before the Finals even take place.
Page 1 of 1 pages


In the NFL it's awarded before the season even ends. Kinda weakens the value of the award in my opinion. anybody know why they do this?

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