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Monday, October 01, 2012

Ratto: Yoenis Cespedes: An MVP you have to watch play to understand

Get on my Lawns!

But Johnny Lawns (the rough English mang-lation of his name) isn’t an MVP candidate. He is that bane of the sabermetrician’s skills and the traditionalist’s biases – the guy you have to actually have to see to comprehend. And since Oakland has been baseball’s must-see-something-else team, Cespedes doesn’t register on radar.

...And yes, we understand that hitting .291 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs in 126 games isn’t Triple Crown stuff, and a WAR that is almost seven games lower than the league leader’s. We get that he will get approximately no first-place votes, and frankly, he shouldn’t. Mike Trout is a better candidate, and so is Miguel Cabrera.

...So maybe Bob Melvin can reflect on Monday morning what he might have done had he sold Cespedes a little harder to the notebooked/microphoned hyenas. Maybe Beane could have made a few calls to schmooze the electorate, and let’s be frank here, the electorate is always willing to be schmoozed.

But it wouldn’t be the same. Yoenis Cespedes, Johnny Lawns, has created a new template for the award, one that means more actual money and automobile fuel to be expended.

The MVP you have to watch play to understand.

Nahhh. That’ll never catch on.

Repoz Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:11 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland

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. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4249699)
I don't even know what point he's trying to make here. Make sense, damn you!
   2. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:27 AM (#4249704)
Why do the beat writers feel the only way to shine a light on one of their own is with hyperbolic MVP talk? We get it. Cespedes had a very good year and has likely not received ample credit for it. That doesn't make him an MVP though.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4249706)
Eh, it's an angle for celebrating a player you've been watching all year.

It's somewhat counterproductive - if you want people to think about how great Yoenis Cespedes is, reminding them that Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera are way better isn't necessarily the best move.

The thing I think is amazing about Cespedes is the way he's adjusted on the fly to a far higher level of competition than he'd ever faced in his life. Cespedes started the season with an awful strikeout rate - 24 in 96 PA in March and April, including 13 in his first 32 PA. Just about every month since, Cespedes has struck out less and walked more. His defensive numbers have also improved as the season went on. It's a pretty cool story, and I think there's good reason to think Cespedes is going to be even better next year.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4249709)
That doesn't make him an MVP though.

Which Ratto says so I don't know what his point is. I think Cespedes has been plenty appreciated this year around baseball. If he's looking for an unsung hero he might have talked about Sean Doolittle or Coco Crisp or Josh Donaldson(since he came back up) or the four-headed monster of Johnny Gomes/Chris Carter/Brandon Moss/Seth Smith. The A's don't have an MVP candidate at all, in the traditional sense. In fact, I'd be surprised if any Athletic even gets a vote, which is kind of cool in its own way. They probably won't get a Cy Young vote, either, for a team that's second in the AL in ERA. What a nutty team this is.
   5. Greg K Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4249710)
The mang-lation of my name is "Guy who lives near a chapel and watches". Which is rather creepy.

Though I'm cheating a bit as I can't find a meaning for "Koabel" beyond "cable", which is a tad unsatisfying. So I went with "kapel".
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4249715)
Also, the other remarkable thing about the A's is, currently, they have an all Rookie starting rotation. (Travis Blackley, for some reason, is classified a rookie still). That is unprecedented for a team going into the playoffs (hopefully).
   7. McCoy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4249717)
God is gracious and is from robbers' woods.
   8. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4249718)
Which Ratto says so I don't know what his point is.

Yes, he concedes Trout and Cabrera were better. But he does say this: The MVP you have to watch play to understand.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4249735)

He's so fortunate that out of 30 teams, he just happens to watch the one that has the "MVP you have to watch to understand."

I think the writer's name mang-lates to "Heavy Solipsism"

   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4249745)
The mang-lation of my name is "Guy who lives near a chapel and watches". Which is rather creepy.

It's less creepy than "Guy who lives near a kindergarten and watches".
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4249767)
It's strange that Ratto couldn't find a way to write about Cespedes that was not in reference to the awards; it's almost as if he belongs to some group that benefits from the awards being needlessly shoehorned into every baseball discussion....
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4249800)
Also, the other remarkable thing about the A's is, currently, they have an all Rookie starting rotation.

The Fab Five?
   13. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4249808)
A's record with Cespedes in the starting lineup: 79-46 (.632, 102-60 pace)
A's record without Cespedes in the starting lineup: 12-22 (.353, 57-105 pace)

(signed)

Warrior of the Rose-bush
   14. Danny Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4249813)
Also, the other remarkable thing about the A's is, currently, they have an all Rookie starting rotation. (Travis Blackley, for some reason, is classified a rookie still). That is unprecedented for a team going into the playoffs (hopefully).

Blackley's a rookie for the same reason Trout is--MLB decided that service time you get while not actually on the active roster doesn't count against your ROY eligibility. Without that rule change, Yo would actually be a reasonable candidate for an award and the accompanying attention Ratto thinks he deserves.

But it's not just the A's current rotation that's rookielicious; their staff has been mostly rookies all year:

Name                IP    ERA
Tommy Milone      190.0  3.74
Jarrod Parker     175.1  3.44
Travis Blackley    96.2  3.91
A
.JGriffin       79.2  2.71
Ryan Cook          70.1  2.18
Jim Miller         48.2  2.59
Sean Doolittle     44.1  3.25
Dan Straily        39.1  3.89
Evan Scribner      32.1  2.78
Pedro Figueroa     21.2  3.32
Graham Godfrey     21.0  6.43
Andrew Carignan     9.2  4.66
Fautino DLS         3.0  3.00
Total             832.0  3.41 
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4249818)
Magic wolf.
   16. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4249840)
Cespedes has definitely had a great season, especially considering his wrist issues. I agree an exciting young player to watch.
   17. dr. scott Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4249865)
I assumed by watching one would better understand his defensive issues. That being said his 1st to home on a short right field single in Saturdays game was one of the most exciting plays I've seen all year.
   18. marty Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4249873)
Does anyone else just find them staring at Cespedes, his vast unimaginable upper body, those quivering muscles and broad shoulders, those dense, fluffy eyebrows... Anyone?
   19. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4249884)
The eyebrows are something.
   20. dr. scott Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4249892)
I'm pretty sure he would be imposing even dressed as a leprechaun or a member of glee.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4249907)
I was at the game last night. Cespedes was killer. But, you can read that in the box score. No idea what Ratto is talking about.

Best,
Want to horse
   22. Danny Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4249917)
He looks pretty awkward in a wrestling outfit.
   23. BDC Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4249922)
I watched Cespedes and Moss and Carter play last week, and I don't understand them at all. Who the #### are these guys? :)
   24. Squash Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4249934)
If anyone hasn't seen his Yahoo pic it's a little strange. They messed up both the size and the framing and haven't corrected it all year. Normal size/framing.
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4249947)
The mang-lation of my name is "Guy who lives near a chapel and watches". Which is rather creepy.

Though I'm cheating a bit as I can't find a meaning for "Koabel" beyond "cable", which is a tad unsatisfying. So I went with "kapel".


"Guy who lives near cable and watches" would be someone who steals his neighbor's TV feed.
   26. Danny Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4249950)
I watched Cespedes and Moss and Carter play last week, and I don't understand them at all. Who the #### are these guys? :)

Brandon Moss has been the best hitter in baseball over the past month (by wRC+):

1) Moss, 200
2) Headley, 194
3) Davis, 186
4) Beltre, 185
5) Harper, 184
   27. Bug Selig Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4249994)
5) Harper, 184


Who is this Harper fellow? It's too bad we haven't heard anything about him.
   28. dr. scott Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4250082)
If anyone hasn't seen his Yahoo pic it's a little strange. They messed up both the size and the framing and haven't corrected it all year. Normal size/framing.


Apparently they buy into the whole islander/voodoo/shrunken head thing.

Its hard to get rid of unfair stereotypes... but we must persist.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4250087)
Its hard to get rid of unfair stereotypes... but we must persist.


#### you Jobu, I do it myself
   30. Willie Mayspedester Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4250115)
I think this is the 3rd order argument.

A) Triple crown stats matter most!
B) WAR what is it good for? Everything!
C) Neither of those is best you need to watch the games and ignore the stats? I think...
   31. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4250357)
Harper's actually got, by a good amount, the highest WAR season of any teenage player. If Trout weren't having the best season of any player in baseball, we'd still be goggling at his magnificence.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4250369)
Harper's actually got, by a good amount, the highest WAR season of any teenage player. If Trout weren't having the best season of any player in baseball, we'd still be goggling at his magnificence.


We would be having the arguments about war in Harper threads instead of in Trout threads.
   33. Cblau Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4250584)
The guy's argument seems to be that Cespedes is the MVP because he isn't a good enough fielder to play CF???
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4250594)
So I assume every single AL ROY 1st place vote is going to Trout, but how about the 2nd place votes?
Is it going to be evenly split between Darvish and Cespedes?
Any writers thinking about not giving a vote to those two and throwing one at Diamond/Parker?

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