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Monday, November 21, 2011

Tigers’ Justin Verlander adds AL MVP to his award haul

Justin Verlander is the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

Verlander is first starting pitcher to win the award in 25 years.

..Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who led the league in home runs (43), slugging (.608), on-base plus slugging (1.056) and walks (132), received five first-place votes and placed third overall in the balloting with 231 points, behind Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (.321, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 119 R, 83 XBH, 39 SB), who had four first-place votes and was the runner-up with 242 points.

New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson (.262, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 136 R) received three first-place votes and was fourth in the voting with 215 points. Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (.344, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 48 2B) got two first-place votes and ranked fifth with 193 points. The other first-place vote went to Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young (.338, 11 HR, 106 RBI, 213 H), who finished eighth in the voting and received votes in all 10 spaces on the ballot.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 06:38 PM | 97 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, tigers

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   1. HGM Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3998678)
Michael Young, 8th most valuable Ranger, finishes 8th and gets a 1st place vote!
   2. Gamingboy Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3998680)
And some minds (but not mine) are blown.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3998681)
Already six or seven Facebook status updates celebrating this. Meh, I don't mind. Verlander was lights out this season and I don't really buy into the OMG HE'S A PITCHER THIS CAN'T HAPPEN argument.
   4. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3998682)
Good for him.
   5. Anonymous Observer Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3998684)
I like seeing things in baseball that don't happen very often. Thus, I think this is really damn cool.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3998688)
Good for Justin Verlander. And good for Michael Young, so we can have a little OUTRAGE!
   7. John Northey Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3998689)
Interesting that 1 writer left Verlander off his ballot. Also interesting that Michael Young was the only guy to get at least 1 vote for every slot on the ballot from 1 through 10 (exactly 1 vote for 1st/2/3/4/5/6th place). Via http://bbwaa.com/
   8. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3998691)
I'm surprised Ellsbury ended up ahead of Bautista. I thought his stock would plummet after the Sox missed the playoffs.
   9. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3998692)
I'm stunned. Once Pedro missed out in 99/00, I assumed the era of pitchers winning the MVP had passed.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3998694)
I'm surprised Ellsbury ended up ahead of Bautista. I thought his stock would plummet after the Sox missed the playoffs.


I wonder if Ellsbury gets it if the Sox hold on.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3998698)
Interesting that 1 writer left Verlander off his ballot.

He didn't win, but in the 1999 vote, Alomar got four first-place votes while also being left off one of the ballots. Then there's Ted Williams being omitted by one voter in his triple crown year of 1947. I assume there must be others.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3998700)
I'm surprised Ellsbury ended up ahead of Bautista. I thought his stock would plummet after the Sox missed the playoffs.


Half the votes had probably been sent in before the Sox missed the playoffs.
   13. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3998702)
Someone gave Ellsbury a 10th place vote? Really?

Someone else gave Young a first place vote? Are these statement votes or simple idiocy at work?
   14. DCW3 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3998709)
I've long thought that starting pitchers deserved more attention in the MVP voting, but Verlander isn't really a guy I would have championed: I think for a pitcher to deserve the MVP, he either has to have an off-the-charts season (such as Gooden '85, Maddux '95, Clemens '97, Pedro '00) or, more rarely, be in a league where there just aren't any real standout performances by position players that year (like Cliff Lee in '08). Verlander, despite the wins, had more of an "ordinary" great pitching season, and there wasn't any shortage of MVP-caliber position players in the AL this year. Still, not really a pick worth complaining much about.
   15. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3998711)
David Robertson got a 10th place vote. Jesus.
   16. Vance W Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3998713)
I think I would have gone with Bautista but don't buy the argument that a starter can't be the MVP. While a starter appears in only about a fifth of his teams games, he exerts a tremendous influence on his teams ability to win those games. Or, to look at it another way during a five game period, a regular player will have around 25 plate appearances. That is roughtly the same number of plate appearances as a top starter will have over the same period.

Hey, I like Michael Young and have even argued that his positional flexibility and steady performance gives him slightly more value than his raw numbers would suggest but the notion that he is one was one of the 10 most valuable players in 2011 is just plain daffy.
   17. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3998718)
THIRD PLACE?!
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:26 PM (#3998720)
Interesting that 1 writer left Verlander off his ballot.

Well, according to some, he doesn't really play baseball.
   19. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#3998723)
Hey, I like Michael Young and have even argued that his positional flexibility and steady performance gives him slightly more value than his raw numbers would suggest but the notion that he is one was one of the 10 most valuable players in 2011 is just plain daffy.

Well, Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News disagrees:

1. Michael Young, Rangers
2. Justin Verlander, Detroit
3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
4. Curtis Granderson, New York
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
6. Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
7. Jose Bautista, Toronto
8. Robinson Cano, New York
9. James Shields, Tampa Bay
10. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

What a farce.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3998726)
I had a feeling Young would do far too well in the MVP balloting, but 1st? How can anyone justify that?
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3998727)
1. Michael Young, Rangers
2. Justin Verlander, Detroit
3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
4. Curtis Granderson, New York
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
6. Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
7. Jose Bautista, Toronto
8. Robinson Cano, New York
9. James Shields, Tampa Bay
10. Adrian Beltre, Rangers


SEVENTH PLACE?!
   22. John Northey Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3998729)
Howsabout we get Evan P Grant to run a ML team then watch him trade guys like Bautista, Cano, Ellsbury for Young. Oh wait, isn't that how Pittsburgh has been run for the past 18 years? :)

Yes, Jay fans still are thankful for that Bautista for Robinzon Diaz trade.
   23. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3998740)
I'm just happy the silliness that a starting pitcher can't be the MVP is falling out of fashion.
   24. Sweatpants Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3998748)
He didn't win, but in the 1999 vote, Alomar got four first-place votes while also being left off one of the ballots.
Also in 1999, Pedro Martinez received eight first-place votes and was also left off two ballots. One of the writers who left him off stated that the MVP wasn't for pitchers, but he'd listed Rick Helling and David Wells on his ballot the previous year.
   25. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3998750)
jasoncollette
Michael Young had 73 more plate appearances with runners on base than Adrian Beltre did this season & had......1 more run driven in
   26. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#3998752)
Also in 1999, Pedro Martinez received eight first-place votes and was also left off two ballots. One of the writers who left him off stated that the MVP wasn't for pitchers, but he'd listed Rick Helling and David Wells on his ballot the previous year.

George Young, come on down!
   27. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#3998753)
I'm just happy the silliness that a starting pitcher can't be the MVP is falling out of fashion.
Although I agree, I also think it's a little dumb that there's a very prominent and much-discussed award that can only be won by pitchers, but the comparable award for which only hitters are eligible is an afterthought.
   28. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3998757)
Although I agree, I also think it's a little dumb that there's a very prominent and much-discussed award that can only be won by pitchers, but the comparable award for which only hitters are eligible is an afterthought.

That's an historical artifact. It's weird, but there's no denying the MVP is THE most prestigious award you can win. Excluding pitchers from the highest honor because they also have some other award for them doesn't make much sense to me.
   29. OsunaSakata Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:55 PM (#3998759)
Just once on television, after some idiot says a starting pitcher can't be more vaulable that a position player because he pitches only every day, I wish someone would just point out that most starting pitcher MVP candidates have more BFP than batter MVP canidates PA. For example, Verlander faced 969 batters, but Ellsbury only had 729 plate appearances. Both are dumb arguments and the discussion should be based on other facts.
   30. trtaylor6886 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3998761)
#25- but wait what about defense?? Oh right, never mind
   31. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 21, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3998764)
I think Ellsbury probably takes it if the Red Sox make the playoffs, but it's hard to argue too much with this selection. Now let's just retroactively give Pedro the award for '99.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#3998767)
Although I agree, I also think it's a little dumb that there's a very prominent and much-discussed award that can only be won by pitchers, but the comparable award for which only hitters are eligible is an afterthought.


What an amazing coincidence that the most prominent and much-discussed awards are chosen by people who have the power to make things prominent and much-discussed!
   33. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3998773)
You can't use winning percentages to calculate parity. You have to use standard deviations. A 1-15 NFL team is not a 10-152 MLB team; it's more of a 50-112 team. This is basic stuff.
   34. HGM Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3998774)
If Verlander had 19-21 wins, but otherwise identical stats, would he even have gotten a single 1st place vote?
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3998779)
I've long thought that starting pitchers deserved more attention in the MVP voting, but Verlander isn't really a guy I would have championed: I think for a pitcher to deserve the MVP, he either has to have an off-the-charts season (such as Gooden '85, Maddux '95, Clemens '97, Pedro '00) or, more rarely, be in a league where there just aren't any real standout performances by position players that year (like Cliff Lee in '08).

Verlander had a pretty great season, though. It was better than a run-of-the-mill CYA season, given the combination of high IP and high ERA+. In the DH era, only 19 AL pitchers have had more than 230 IP and more than a 160 ERA+. Only four beat Verlander in both categories (Clemens '97, Guidry '78, Saberhagen '89, and Stieb '85. Special mention to King Felix for coming close last year.)

Verlander basically had a comparable season to Lee in '08 but he threw an additional 28 innings.
   36. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3998786)
That's an historical artifact. It's weird, but there's no denying the MVP is THE most prestigious award you can win. Excluding pitchers from the highest honor because they also have some other award for them doesn't make much sense to me.
It might be more prestigious, but because of the way it generally goes for pitchers the Cy is much more relevant.

And I'm not saying to exclude pitchers from the MVP. Ideally, the Aaron and the Cy would be on the same level, and then everyone dukes it out for the MVP.
   37. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3998795)
If Verlander had 19-21 wins, but otherwise identical stats, would he even have gotten a single 1st place vote?


I don't know... he led the league in virtually every other pitching category of note, including several of the advanced metric ones. He seemed to come up "big" late in the year if "value has to mean winning important games for a playoff team" type voter.

I think my ballot would have probably had him 3rd or 4th behind Bautista (for sure) and maybe Ellsbury/Granderson depending on my mood.

Seems to me that there's usually a pitcher that sneaks in win-place-show vote or two, if you take away a few wins - Verlander was still the best in the league. If Michael Young gets a first - I feel pretty confidant Verlander would have, too.

I'm not anti-SP winning the MVP - but I tend to agree with DCW3 in #14 - I probably wouldn't vote an SP first without a truly other worldly outlier season.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3998796)
This should be given retroactively to Pedro Martinez in 1999 as this vote is an apology for ignoring him that year.

Its funny that Michael Young gets credit for being valuable and the heart and soul, yadda yadda, the season after he was perceived by many as being whiny about playing time and requesting a trade.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3998798)
I don't mind the idea that a pitcher has to have a truly great season to snatch away MVP from a position player. It had probably gotten too tough in recent years, so if this signals a return to wins for this type of season, it will be a welcome development.
   40. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3998799)
#26. The idiot in question's name is George King.
   41. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3998800)
Well, Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News disagrees:

1. Michael Young, Rangers


HEY ISN'T MY BALLOT ZANY? CHECK OUT MY NEWSPAPER'S WEBSITE FOR AN EXPLANATION! CLICK CLICK CLICK!
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3998804)

HEY ISN'T MY BALLOT ZANY? CHECK OUT MY NEWSPAPER'S WEBSITE FOR AN EXPLANATION! CLICK CLICK CLICK!


This is actually a pretty good point. Don't writers have a vested interest in having a really crazy ballot? I don't know what the answer is - probably a wider mix of voters - but its probably time to end the monopoly the writers have on award season.
   43. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3998806)
I don't mind the idea that a pitcher has to have a truly great season to snatch away MVP from a position player. It had probably gotten too tough in recent years, so if this signals a return to wins for this type of season, it will be a welcome development.


I suppose.

I tend to be of the mind that the MVP should be the player who performed the best, period, regardless of team performance... I guess if there were a bit more separation between Batista and Miguel Cabrera (brain quake in 37... I'd have had Cabrera and Bautista in front of Verlander, as well as Ellsbury/Granderson) I'd be more upset.

If Miguel Cabrera didn't some of the personal baggage - does he rate higher to the voters?
   44. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3998807)
That's an historical artifact. It's weird, but there's no denying the MVP is THE most prestigious award you can win. Excluding pitchers from the highest honor because they also have some other award for them doesn't make much sense to me.


How about because they are "pitchers", not "players"?
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3998810)
This is actually a pretty good point. Don't writers have a vested interest in having a really crazy ballot? I don't know what the answer is - probably a wider mix of voters - but its probably time to end the monopoly the writers have on award season.


It might work with some of them, but the MVP award belongs to the BBWAA. You can't take it away.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3998812)
Don't writers have a vested interest in having a really crazy ballot?


They also have a vested interest in everyone else thinking that the awards are important.
   47. DCW3 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3998819)
Verlander had a pretty great season, though. It was better than a run-of-the-mill CYA season, given the combination of high IP and high ERA+. In the DH era, only 19 AL pitchers have had more than 230 IP and more than a 160 ERA+. Only four beat Verlander in both categories (Clemens '97, Guidry '78, Saberhagen '89, and Stieb '85. Special mention to King Felix for coming close last year.)

It's not a run-of-the-mill Cy season, but it wasn't really a historic one, either. Just two years ago, Zack Greinke had a year that was by pretty much any comprehensive standard superior to Verlander's season this year, and he finished 17th in the MVP voting. Now, it's easy to understand why the BBWAA voters didn't give Greinke much support, but I don't remember a lot of stathead types complaining about Greinke getting overlooked (some of that was because Mauer had such a huge season, true, but Greinke was surely one of the two best players in the AL that year).

Verlander basically had a comparable season to Lee in '08 but he threw an additional 28 innings.

Oh, if Verlander had had this kind of season in 2008, I'd have said he deserved the MVP, hands down. There was just more competition this year.
   48. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3998827)
Isn't it just more likely that this Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News just really, really, really, overvalues the importance of playing on a good team? Bautista's the only guy in the Top 10 whose team didn't play meaningful games in September.

23 separate writers thought Michael Young was one of the 10 best players in the American League this year. That's the really insane part, to me.
   49. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3998829)
BONUS PREDICTION: I think a lot of Primates are gonna be pissed when Matt Kemp doesn't win tomorrow.
   50. HGM Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3998831)
I don't know... he led the league in virtually every other pitching category of note, including several of the advanced metric ones. He seemed to come up "big" late in the year if "value has to mean winning important games for a playoff team" type voter.

I think my ballot would have probably had him 3rd or 4th behind Bautista (for sure) and maybe Ellsbury/Granderson depending on my mood.

Seems to me that there's usually a pitcher that sneaks in win-place-show vote or two, if you take away a few wins - Verlander was still the best in the league. If Michael Young gets a first - I feel pretty confidant Verlander would have, too.

The last pitchers to get 1st place votes were in 2008 when K-Rod and Lidge inexplicably picked some up. The last starter to get a first place vote was Santana in 2006, and it's not like Verlander's 2011 season is head-and-shoulders above the top starting pitcher years in the years since.

I mean, maybe he would have got a first place vote or two, but I have a hard time believing that he'd have come close to winning if not for the wins.
   51. DCW3 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3998834)
If Miguel Cabrera didn't some of the personal baggage - does he rate higher to the voters?

I'm not sure Cabrera's baggage has a lot to do with it--he had plenty of baggage in 2010, too, and finished second despite playing for a .500 team. I think he didn't do better because there's the perception that he does this sort of thing every year (even though this was probably his best season) whereas Verlander was more of the breakout story. Plus Cabrera was "only" tenth in the league in homers and 6th in RBIs despite playing at a power position.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3998835)
Isn't it just more likely that this Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News just really, really, really, overvalues the importance of playing on a good team?


I think it's just because he covers the Rangers.
   53. HGM Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:45 PM (#3998836)
Isn't it just more likely that this Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News just really, really, really, overvalues the importance of playing on a good team? Bautista's the only guy in the Top 10 whose team didn't play meaningful games in September.

23 separate writers thought Michael Young was one of the 10 best players in the American League this year. That's the really insane part, to me.

Even if you really value the "playing on a good team", there's countless players on the RANGERS that would be better choices than Young. I have something like 8 players on his own team that were more valuable than him (Napoli, Kinsler, Hamilton, Beltre and Wilson for sure, and then there's Andrus, Harrison, Ogando and Holland that have cases).
   54. JJ1986 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3998837)
Isn't it just more likely that this Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News just really, really, really, overvalues the importance of playing on a good team? Bautista's the only guy in the Top 10 whose team didn't play meaningful games in September.


Grant is justifying his vote with positional versatility. He probably decided first to vote for Young and then decided what made someone valuable.
   55. Rally Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3998841)
They also have a vested interest in everyone else thinking that the awards are important.


People believe they are important because the BBWAA awards have tradition on their side. Sometime in the distant future, when his career has long been over, Dustin Pedroia will do an autograph show, and the promoters of the event will advertise having "2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia" on hand. Nobody will care one bit or remember who won the SBN or Baseball Prospectus or BTF awards.
   56. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3998842)
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 08:47 PM (#3998844)

They also have a vested interest in everyone else thinking that the awards are important.


As a collective whole sure, but individually, they all have a vested interest in attracting readers.

Isn't it just more likely that this Evan P Grant of the Dallas Morning News just really, really, really, overvalues the importance of playing on a good team? Bautista's the only guy in the Top 10 whose team didn't play meaningful games in September.


I'm sure that's it, but it does raise an interesting point though. SOSH is right though, its the BBWAA's baby, and I can't see any rival organization creating an award that has the same kind of cache, at least for a generation or so until there is no such thing as "baseball writers" and the award given out is the "Baseball Twitter Account Association MVP."
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3998866)
People believe they are important because the BBWAA awards have tradition on their side.


Sure, but the tradition wouldn't be as strong if not for the built-in promotion mechanism - the writers' stories.
   59. HGM Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3998878)
Evan Grant: Michael Young is emerging as a legit MVP contender. To me he has been the most valuable player, but people don't know the intrinsic value he brings. They see that he's hitting .338 and has 105 RBIs, but they don't see that his 14 games at 2B probably had some impact on Ian Kinsler staying fully healthy for the first time in his career; they don't see that he gave Ron Washington an attractive option at first to try and rest Mitch Moreland, particularly against lefties; they may not be aware that he hit in the 3 spot when Josh Hamilton was hurt, took over the 4 spot for most of the year and hit No. 5 as well. They don't know that Derek Holland has met with him after almost every start lately for a critique and that Young and Holland have a special player-pitcher rapport. They don't know that Mike Napoli, who is having a career year, lockers next to Young and has followed him around like a puppy dog. No, they will see stats. They will see his WAR or his OPS and believe that others are more valuable. I can't see how one player meant more to all facets of his team than Young.

And then there's all the whining about having to switch positions, even to the point of demanding a trade....yeah, total team player
   60. Good cripple hitter Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#3998882)
Evan Grant: Michael Young is emerging as a legit MVP contender. To me he has been the most valuable player, but people don't know the intrinsic value he brings. They see that he's hitting .338 and has 105 RBIs, but they don't see that his 14 games at 2B probably had some impact on Ian Kinsler staying fully healthy for the first time in his career; they don't see that he gave Ron Washington an attractive option at first to try and rest Mitch Moreland, particularly against lefties; they may not be aware that he hit in the 3 spot when Josh Hamilton was hurt, took over the 4 spot for most of the year and hit No. 5 as well. They don't know that Derek Holland has met with him after almost every start lately for a critique and that Young and Holland have a special player-pitcher rapport. They don't know that Mike Napoli, who is having a career year, lockers next to Young and has followed him around like a puppy dog. No, they will see stats. They will see his WAR or his OPS and believe that others are more valuable. I can't see how one player meant more to all facets of his team than Young.


You can say some of those things about Bautista, though. He played 3B when the position was a wasteland for Toronto before Lawrie's promotion, he mentored Yunel Escobar and other players, and he was a much better player than Mike Young. If Grant was based out of Toronto he'd have voted for Bautista and just changed the names in his column.
   61. Tuque Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3998887)
How about because they are "pitchers", not "players"?

I like this because it seems to imply that pitchers aren't actually playing the game, as though they just throw the ball and then go back to surfing the internet for the next thirty seconds.
   62. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3998892)

I like this because it seems to imply that pitchers aren't actually playing the game, as though they just throw the ball and then go back to surfing the internet eating fried chicken and drinking beer for the next thirty seconds.
   63. chemdoc Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3998893)
What I get from Grant's quote above is that we haven't properly credited Kinsler's contributions to keeping Young healthy by limiting him to only 14 games at 2B, Moreland's contributions to keeping him healthy by giving Young opportunities to rest against righties, Hamilton's (unintentional) contributions to Young's plate appearances by surrendering the 3rd spot in the order, Holland's contributions to Young's performance through his critiques, and Napoli's contributions to Young's performance due to their close friendship.

But no, he only sees their stats.
   64. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3998911)
Jim Ingraham of The Herald-News in Ohio omitted Verlander from his ballot. He doesn’t think pitchers should be eligible for MVP.


He should have his vote taken away - or at least not given one again. The guidelines that the BBWAA give the voters specifically state that all players, including pitchers and DHs, are eligible.

-- MWE
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#3998912)
I tend to be of the mind that the MVP should be the player who performed the best, period, regardless of team performance... I guess if there were a bit more separation between Batista and Miguel Cabrera (brain quake in 37... I'd have had Cabrera and Bautista in front of Verlander, as well as Ellsbury/Granderson) I'd be more upset.

I haven't studied the numbers enough, but Verlander led the league in Baseball-Reference WAR (although he was behind in Fangraphs WAR, which tries to correct for defense and luck in BABIP). For position players as well as pitchers. Is there some reason you think those numbers should be discounted?

It's not a run-of-the-mill Cy season, but it wasn't really a historic one, either. Just two years ago, Zack Greinke had a year that was by pretty much any comprehensive standard superior to Verlander's season this year, and he finished 17th in the MVP voting. Now, it's easy to understand why the BBWAA voters didn't give Greinke much support, but I don't remember a lot of stathead types complaining about Greinke getting overlooked (some of that was because Mauer had such a huge season, true, but Greinke was surely one of the two best players in the AL that year).

Tango did suggest that he should get consideration for the MVP award. (Incidentally, despite Greinke having a fairly comfortable lead in WAR, some theorized that Mauer's excellent catcher's defense was not sufficiently rewarded by WAR, and that actually closed the gap.) I don't remember what the arguments were like at the time, but I'm assuming nobody really considered Greinke given his team and his win total.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3998919)
He should have his vote taken away - or at least not given one again. The guidelines that the BBWAA give the voters specifically state that all players, including pitchers and DHs, are eligible.


Yes he should. At the very least, he should be prevented from voting on MVP (and RoY, if he holds the same bias there).
   67. Eric P. Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#3998923)
You can say some of those things about Bautista, though. He played 3B when the position was a wasteland for Toronto before Lawrie's promotion, he mentored Yunel Escobar and other players, and he was a much better player than Mike Young. If Grant was based out of Toronto he'd have voted for Bautista and just changed the names in his column.


This. Never mind that Bautista is hailed in Toronto for being able to connect with both stars & scrubs, Latin & American ballplayers, that he's always there to deal with the media & take part in the Jays' marketing efforts, that he'll switch to a position he's less comfortable with for the good of the club. All he is to Evan Grant is WAR & OPS. If Grant really wants intangibles to matter in MVP voting, he's got to find some way to fairly apply them to everybody, not just the guy he covers every day.
   68. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3998938)
I would've voted for Bautista, but I'm fine with Verlander winning. Mainly because of the annoying "pitchers can't be MVP" people.
   69. trtaylor6886 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3998939)
Strange, Gonzlez wins both the silver slugger and the gold glove yet Cabrera finishes better in the MVP voting.
   70. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3998958)
You can say some of those things about Bautista, though.


Yeah, whether or not you get into the whole VALUABLE! INTANGIBLES! semantic arguments, I think it's not quite fair to give Young credit for all these intangibles that other writers didn't see because they weren't covering him... and then not give credit to all the other players for the intangibles that they presumably also have, which he didn't see because he wasn't covering them.
   71. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3998964)
By the way, according to baseball-reference.com, Michael Young had the 10th highest WAR of anyone in the AL... who played on the Rangers.
   72. Baldrick Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3998977)
Yeah, whether or not you get into the whole VALUABLE! INTANGIBLES! semantic arguments, I think it's not quite fair to give Young credit for all these intangibles that other writers didn't see because they weren't covering him... and then not give credit to all the other players for the intangibles that they presumably also have, which he didn't see because he wasn't covering them.

That's socialist talk right there, and I don't have to listen to it!
   73. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#3998984)
Strange, Gonzlez wins both the silver slugger and the gold glove yet Cabrera finishes better in the MVP voting.


Strange indeed. I guess people are saying that Cabrera had better intangibles, Detroit was a playoff team and Boston wasn't, and/or Cabrera was one of 2 star players on his team while Boston had lots of them making each one slightly less valuable.
   74. Hugh Jorgan Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#3998985)
I wonder if Ellsbury gets it if the Sox hold on

I have no doubt whatsoever that Ellsbury wins if the Sox make the playoffs. "Leading" your team to the postseason is still huge amongst msm voters and Ellsbury would've ended up with around 280 points and Verlander around 240. Good news for Sox fans though is that without the MVP hardware in the cabinet maybe he'll come a little cheaper when negotiating the new contract.
   75. Danny Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:10 PM (#3998992)
Strange, Gonzlez wins both the silver slugger and the gold glove yet Cabrera finishes better in the MVP voting.

Strange indeed. I guess people are saying that Cabrera had better intangibles, Detroit was a playoff team and Boston wasn't, and/or Cabrera was one of 2 star players on his team while Boston had lots of them making each one slightly less valuable.

Different sets of voters: writers versus managers/coaches.
   76. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3998998)
If I had an MVP ballot, I would exclusively vote for whacky candidates in the 8-9-10 spots.

Like Ross Gload, for having the name that sounds most like a slang term for pooping, or Marc Rcezpzysnsssksksi for letting Larussa get his pitching change urges out.
   77. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3999002)
I've long thought that starting pitchers deserved more attention in the MVP voting, but Verlander isn't really a guy I would have championed: I think for a pitcher to deserve the MVP, he either has to have an off-the-charts season (such as Gooden '85, Maddux '95, Clemens '97, Pedro '00) or, more rarely, be in a league where there just aren't any real standout performances by position players that year (like Cliff Lee in '08). Verlander, despite the wins, had more of an "ordinary" great pitching season, and there wasn't any shortage of MVP-caliber position players in the AL this year.

I think that's it. If there was one standout position player, he'd win. If there were 2 or maybe 3 clear candidates, it'd be tougher for Verlander. But when it's this hard to separate the position players, and none of them is really dominant, then Verlander is the one who looks like the "standout", and has the more compelling narrative.
   78. stanmvp48 Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:49 PM (#3999026)
"What made him the MVP was the 16 wins after Tigers losses. According to Elias (Elias Sports Bureau), that was the most since Steve Carlton in ’72"

I guess a win after a loss counts more than a win after a win.
   79. 'Spos Posted: November 22, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#3999077)
If I had an MVP ballot, I would exclusively vote for whacky candidates in the 1-2-3 spots.


FTFY, those pages aren't going to hit themselves...
   80. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: November 22, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#3999079)
Verlander had a pretty great season, though. It was better than a run-of-the-mill CYA season, given the combination of high IP and high ERA+.


For the writers, it's the 24 in the win column. He'd have been near-unanimous if it were 25.

I think he [Cabrera] didn't do better because there's the perception that he does this sort of thing every year (even though this was probably his best season) whereas Verlander was more of the breakout story.


The writers act as if there are static conditions, like the year-in, year-out excellence of Cabrera or Pujols, and then there are performances which somehow get added on top of those, like Verlander, and only the latter have any (marginal) value. It also fits the "best story" narrative they're always looking for.
   81. kwarren Posted: November 22, 2011 at 02:48 AM (#3999126)
Could the writers have gotten it right !! 2011 AL WARP

Verlander 8.6
Bautista 8.5
Ellsbury 7.2
Miguel 7.1
Adrian 6.9
Pedroia 6.8
Wieters 4.0
D. Jeter 0.7
   82. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2011 at 03:09 AM (#3999145)
"What made him the MVP was the 16 wins after Tigers losses."


Verlander gets MVP credit for the other Tiger pitchers sucking?

That's like giving Bautista extra credit for hitting 27 home runs with the bases empty.
   83. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 22, 2011 at 03:40 AM (#3999182)
although he was behind in Fangraphs WAR, which tries to correct for defense and luck in BABIP


Does Fangraphs WAR for batters try to correct for defense and luck in BABIP? Didn't think so.
   84. Baldrick Posted: November 22, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#3999269)
Verlander gets MVP credit for the other Tiger pitchers sucking?

Welcome to the MVP vote, where the most important thing you can do is be on a team that's fatally flawed, but just good enough to be rescued by you and make the playoffs.
   85. Ron J Posted: November 22, 2011 at 07:58 AM (#3999284)
#84 BPOTTTMTPBTSM (Where's Keith Laumer when you need him? He could have come up with a funny, pronounceable acronym) That's Best Player On The Team That Makes The Playoffs By The Slimmest Margin. (There are also BPPOTTTMTPBTSM voters -- they only consider position players)
   86. PreservedFish Posted: November 22, 2011 at 08:21 AM (#3999287)
Evan Grant: Michael Young is emerging as a legit MVP contender. To me he has been the most valuable player, but people don't know the intrinsic value he brings.


These justifications always crack me up. "You had to watch every game to realize how valuable he was." Well, if you watch every Rangers game, you are not able to watch every Blue Jays, Tigers or Red Sox game... don't they realize the silliness here?
   87. Matheny Hitting School and Investment Strategies Posted: November 22, 2011 at 08:46 AM (#3999289)
The Drew Butera awards snub continues apace. These people must not have watched his valuable contributions day in and day out. When Mauer went down early, the Twins could have folded and quit. But Butera's strong play behind the plate and leadership in the clubhouse led the Twins to 24 wins between the time Mauer went down in early April and the time he came back in June. Butera and Butera alone kept that team's pennant hopes alive.

His blackballing from the post-season awards is appalling.
   88. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#3999307)
Welcome to the MVP vote, where the most important thing you can do is be on a team that's fatally flawed, but just good enough to be rescued by you and make the playoffs.

Of course, the Tigers won the division by 15 games, so Verlander's win doesn't really fit that narrative (although there are people who will claim the Tigers would have missed the playoffs without him).
   89. UCCF Posted: November 22, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3999327)
Well, if you watch every Rangers game, you are not able to watch every Blue Jays, Tigers or Red Sox game... don't they realize the silliness here?

The only votes should have been given to those two guys trapped in the box by MLB and forced to watch every game all year.
   90. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 22, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#3999727)
Worst possible ballot which might have been submitted (if we did not already know the actual ballot which had Young first):

1. Young
2. Granderson
3. Gonzalez
4. Longoria
5. Kinsler
6. Sabathia
7. Teixeira
8. Bautista
9. M. Cabrera
10. Ellsbury
   91. jobu Posted: November 23, 2011 at 06:09 AM (#3999993)
Just once on television, after some idiot says a starting pitcher can't be more vaulable that a position player because he pitches only every day, I wish someone would just point out that most starting pitcher MVP candidates have more BFP than batter MVP canidates PA. For example, Verlander faced 969 batters, but Ellsbury only had 729 plate appearances. Both are dumb arguments and the discussion should be based on other facts.


I don't think this is a dumb argument at all--it wouldn't be a great argument that Verlander IS the MVP, but I think it's a good argument that it's fair for a starter to be in the mix.
   92. ian Posted: November 23, 2011 at 07:32 AM (#4000004)
Confronted with some of the broad arguments against pitchers winning MVP, I just want to scream, Why the hell are pitchers paid so much if they are generally worth less than position players?
   93. Endless Trash Posted: November 23, 2011 at 11:46 PM (#4000450)
Verlander winning -- fine, good for him, he's awesome.

Ellsbury over Bautista -- What.The.####. That is ridiculous.

Voter ommitting Verlander -- agree, he shouldn't be allowed to vote if he ignores the rules; this also applies to people who left off Ichiro/Matsuit and vote for DOn Larsen/Jack Morris/etc for the HOF. I don't care what your opinion is of the guidelines, you have to follow them if you want to vote.
   94. Endless Trash Posted: November 23, 2011 at 11:48 PM (#4000452)

The biggest "WTF were they thinking?" winner I can remember was Justin Morneau in 2006.


Jimmy Rollins won an MVP based on a quick quip he gave reporters in the pre-season.
   95. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 23, 2011 at 11:56 PM (#4000455)

Jimmy Rollins won an MVP based on a quick quip he gave reporters in the pre-season.


Yeah, that "great defensive shortstop plays every day, posts 40/30/20" had nothing to do with it. I'll grant that Rollins was an MVP based in large part on narrative, but it's because Rollins backed it up on the field. The Mets' collapse just made the Phils look better.
   96. Endless Trash Posted: November 24, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#4000459)
Since when do voters give a toss about triples or doubles? Oh right, when it helps them fit their retarded narratives.
   97. Ebessan Posted: November 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#4000461)
Rollins had more XBH in 2007 than Morneau in 2006. The latter is way weirder.

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