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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ron Gardenhire touts Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

“You can SABER all you want to” handle countdown…3…2…1

The argument isn’t about whether numbers can determine a season’s quality; it’s about which numbers.

“It doesn’t make much sense to me to be arguing about this, to tell you the truth,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

...“If you’re going for a Triple Crown, that’s an MVP season,” Gardenhire said. “He’s got his team in a playoff hunt. Whether they get there or not can’t solely depend upon him, but he’s the reason they’re in it right now, and that’s an MVP. He’s the best player in our league.”

Maybe someday WAR, BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) and RC27 (Runs Created per 27 outs) will replace the old stats as the new standards. But for those who came up memorizing batting averages and RBI totals from the backs of baseball cards, they’re still relegated to the fringes of the national pastime.

“All I want to tell you is if you’re going to for a Triple Crown, and you’ve got (Cabrera’s) numbers, you can SABER all you want to—those numbers blow your mind,” Gardenhire said. “And I know Trout’s do, too; those are good numbers. And a couple other guys have decent numbers. But look at Cabrera’s numbers; that’s ridiculous. That’s right up there with some of the best players in baseball (history).”

Repoz Posted: September 22, 2012 at 07:48 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, twins

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   1. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: September 22, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4242817)
Also: I am dumb.
   2. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4242833)
But look at Cabrera’s numbers; that’s ridiculous. That’s right up there with some of the best players in baseball (history).”


Cabrera's having a bona fide MVP season and would win the MVP most years and deserve it. It's a tremendous season, and I think he deserves oodles of credit for raking the way he has while also playing a respectable third base. It's not as easy as Hall of Fame major league players make it look.

I wonder, though, if Gardenhire would really rather have Miggy on his team than Trout, all other things equal. Managers are not blind to the importance of defense and baserunning.

And Trout's the one that's having a historically great season. ####, if you believe bWAR about his defense then he has a chance to finish with one of the top ten or so seasons in all baseball history. Without prorating for the month the Angels thought it was a good idea to keep the best baseball player in the world in the minors and play Bobby Abreu instead.
   3. Loren F. Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4242856)
Are we going link to every one of the 70 articles like this that will come out between now and November?
   4. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4242858)
problem here is same as problem elsewhere: it's all bat, and no glove or on-base skills. To call Miggy the 'best player' in the AL when you mean 'best hitter'.. well, you've been outed, Ron.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4242863)
It seems like everybody is trying to turn this into a traditional numbers vs. sabermetrics debate when it really isn't. The question isn't batting average vs. WAR, or even RBI vs. WAR. It's offense-only player vs. all-around player. And that argument predates the invention of sabermetrics which is why shortstops like Phil Rizzuto and Zoilo Versalles could win MVPs while going up against sluggers like Walt Dropo (first in RBI in 1950 with 144) and Rocky Colavito (first in RBI in 1965). It's why Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. could beat Cecil Fielder for MVP awards before the widespread knowledge of sabermetrics even though Fielder was the first guy to hit 50 homers in, like, forever.

Yes, Cabrera is having an MVP-type season offensively. However, Trout is having an MVP-type season everywhere.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4242887)
It seems like everybody is trying to turn this into a traditional numbers vs. sabermetrics debate when it really isn't.


I would guess that managers (and maybe even writers) think that WAR is a hitting stat and that it is saying Trout is better at the plate than Cabrera is and that's what they're fighting back against.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4242890)
I would guess that managers (and maybe even writers) think that WAR is a hitting stat and that it is saying Trout is better at the plate than Cabrera is and that's what they're fighting back against.

Probably shows that the better argument for non-Statsy people is to talk offense separately, and then adjust.

e.g. Cabrera is 5 runs better than Trout with the bat, but Trout is an excellent CF, and great baserunner, which more than makes up the difference vs. a poor 3B.
   8. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4242940)
Yes, Cabrera is having an MVP-type season offensively. However, Trout is having a better MVP-type season on offense alone.


Again. Trout's the better offensive player.
   9. Austin Posted: September 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4242948)
Again. Trout's the better offensive player.

Even as a diehard stats guy, this is a bit of a stretch. Trout is ahead of Cabrera by 5 points in wRC+, and that includes Trout's excellent SB/CS numbers. OPS+ has them effectively tied. Then you could argue that playing time should be taken into account as well; FanGraphs and B-Ref agree that Cabrera has accumulated 5-7 runs more than Trout on offense. Probably the best summary statement is that they have been comparably valuable offensive players this year.

Obviously, none of this is to say that Cabrera should be a good MVP candidate. Trout pretty much stands alone.
   10. spycake Posted: September 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4243000)
I think the Twins only played the Angels very early in the season, before Trout was called up (or at least before he really took off in the majors). That probably colors Gardenhire's thinking here -- he's seen Cabrera a lot more.
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4243109)
Again. Trout's the better offensive player.

No, he's not. Playing time matters.
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4243117)
"You can SABER all you want to” handle countdown…3…2…1

... 0.
   13. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4243139)
Cabrera just went deep and would have the Triple Crown if the season ended today.
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4243145)
Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, coupled with the Angels dragging Trout down with them, should hand the MVP to Cabrera.
   15. salviaman Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4243164)
I realize that Trout is significantly ahead of Cabrera in WAR, and is also likely a better all-around player, going forward. But I don't have a real problem with M Cab getting the MVP this season, based simply on his past and Trout's likely future performance. M Cab has been one of the top players in baseball since he started in 2003. If this is his best chance at an MVP, I don't mind him getting a "career consideration" boost. And if it happens, I won't feel sorry for Trout, who will have many more chances to win multiple MVPs. I guess I'm not a single-season purist. I feel the same way about the All-Star game, where if the fans want to see an established star over a newer guy who is having a better half season statistically, that's fine by me.
   16. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4243400)
FanGraphs and B-Ref agree that Cabrera has accumulated 5-7 runs more than Trout on offense


BBrefs batting runs doesnt include baserunning, or GIDP. Adding them in puts Trout ahead in total offensive value, and that incorporates playing time. At best you can say Cabrera is tied because of fangraphs.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4243404)
BBrefs batting runs doesnt include baserunning, or GIDP. Adding them in puts Trout ahead in total offensive value, and that incorporates playing time. At best you can say Cabrera is tied because of fangraphs.


Looking at this, adding in baserunning, Fangraphs also has Trout ahead (58.5 - 53.4: I assume that's runs relative to average, but the difference in Rep between them doesn't close the gap).
   18. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4243412)
Pre-callup, laa was 6-14. Since, 76-55 (.583).
Detroit is 80-70 (.533).

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