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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sherman: Criteria for baseball awards has changed

Imagine your worst fear a reality…for Joel Sherman has a NL MVP vote!

But first full disclosure: I am one of the 32 voters for the NL Most Valuable Player. Also, I don’t mind the mounting debate/controversy. It brings attention to the awards. Plus, I like that voters are forced, more than ever, to think out their ballots and be able to defend them. If you can’t handle that responsibility, then turn in your ballots.

The MVP, more than any other award, evokes angst annually anyway as voters grapple with the “V.” What does Valuable mean? There is not unanimity. Some vote for the best player. Others weigh the meaning to contenders as they fill out the 1-to-10 ballot.

It is a devilish word. For example, has anyone been more valuable to a contender than Kris Medlen (the Braves have won his past 21 starts) or Rafael Soriano (the Yankees have thrived in the absence of the seemingly irreplaceable Mariano Rivera)? Yet neither has a chance to win.

Each voter has to process his definition through a personal V-Chip. And, this year, NL voters also must make a Ryan Braun determination. In a vacuum, the Milwaukee slugger is among the handful who can win the MVP along with San Francisco’s Buster Posey, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and, perhaps, St. Louis’ Yadier Molina. Braun is having a great season for a contender.

Repoz Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:51 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards

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   1. Scott Lange Posted: September 23, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4243452)
has anyone been more valuable to a contender than Kris Medlen (the Braves have won his past 21 starts)


Almost half of which took place in the year in question!
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4243458)
this is a pretty level headed article
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4243461)
NL voters also must make a Ryan Braun determinatio

Of course there is nothing to determine other than whether he should be #1, 2, 3 or 4 (or is there a 5th candidate I've forgotten). He didn't violate a rule last year, he hasn't violated a rule this year. Seriously, the MVP voter is supposed to reason along the line of "Braun should have been suspended for 50 games this year and, if he had been, he wouldn't have the numbers to be MVP"?
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4243465)
Character. We all "know" he's a liar, so there you go.

With Braun, you have to believe at least one of the following, since he's essentially having the same season as last year:

1) He never used steroids, and there was something wrong with that test
2) He's still using the same steroids, after failing a test and getting away with it, and is thus the biggest idiot ever
3) He's using a different designer steroid, not yet detectable, and is still a pretty big idiot for that
4) The effects of steroids are longer-lasting than we thought, and he's still having positive benefits from them after stopping using them last offseason
5) The effects of steroids are overblown, and didn't make that big a difference
6) He's having a fluke naturally great year, coincidentally a year after a steroids-enhanced year
7) He only took steroids that one time last year
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4243470)
"7) He only took steroids that one time last year"

iirc, the test was during the playoffs, and Braun was banged up. If you were ever going to take it 'one time,' wouldn't that be the time, to try to get closer to 100 pct ASAP?

correct me if I'm wrong there; I'm not a big 'steroids controversy' guy
   6. bobm Posted: September 23, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4243481)
FTFA:

My brethren who made those decisions more than a half century ago at least had this advantage — they were not called idiots on endless loop on talk radio and the Internet.
   7. AuntBea Posted: September 23, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4243492)
Criteria for subject/verb agreement has changed.
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4243521)
correct me if I'm wrong there


Braun's test was after the Brewer's first playoff game. I don't know about the banged up part. He certainly didn't play like he was banged up down the stretch.
   9. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4243554)
The definition of value hasn't changed. It's laid out in the voting rules.


Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4243572)
Everybody is banged up down the stretch.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4243579)
Of course everybody is banged up late in the season, so I will happily amend #8 to say that Braun did not play like he was any more banged up than anybody else down the stretch.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4243582)

Not a Brewers fan, but iirc I think Braun had an issue more specific even than just 'banged up like most, late in the season.'

Also, how often are the tests administered? If only a few times a year, for instance, it would seem perfectly plausible to me that a star player might roll the dice - figure he won't get tested, and even if he does, maybe either they don't catch it or don't WANT to catch it, again.

Was this not something addressed in these threads last year? I didn't keep up with most of them, but was surprised to see what seems like an implication that it would be silly to think he just took it that one time. Seems like a better time than any other. But to be honest, I'm not claiming any great knowledge here. Not an area of expertise....



   13. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4243606)
Of course there is nothing to determine other than whether he should be #1, 2, 3 or 4 (or is there a 5th candidate I've forgotten).


Posey, Wright, Braun, Molina, Headley and Trout. (War worshippers will add Bourn and Heyward to that list)
   14. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4243630)
they were not called idiots on endless loop on talk radio and the Internet.


Right, they were called idiots in an endless loop by guys talking in bars, the way god intended
   15. TomH Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4243701)
Trout is so good, he is the NL MVP too.
   16. vivaelpujols Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4243931)
8) random variation. why do people always forget random variation?
   17. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:28 AM (#4243956)
8) random variation. why do people always forget random variation?


I honestly think a lot of people don't really believe in random variation. It's too emotionally unsatisfying.
   18. cmd600 Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4243959)
or Rafael Soriano


I like that the line of logic is 'Rivera is irreplaceable, but Soriano, just your typical good reliever, was able to replace him without the Yankees missing a beat, thus Soriano must be a MVP too!'. Rivera is a fantastic pitcher, but one would think this would finally be the point where people would go "oh yeah, maybe a reliever isn't worth that much". Instead, the logic just goes further off the deep end.
   19. vivaelpujols Posted: September 24, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4243964)
I suppose 6) is equivalent random variation, my bad Larry M.

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