Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tigers’ Justin Verlander blasts MVP voters who aren’t ready to vote for Miguel Cabrera

I don’t believe in below
I don’t believe in Coke
I don’t believe in I-nge
I don’t believe in Sabermetrics

Tigers manager Jim Leyland, 67, was asked about Sabermetrics following Wednesday’s 6-2 win, in which Verlander had to labor through six shutout innings because of all the Athletics foul balls. And Leyland, of course, was diplomatic in his response. He paused for more than 10 seconds after the question was asked, showed just a hint of a smile, and then began talking.

“Well, I’m gonna answer that this way,” Leyland said. “I will not use a player’s name, but according to the Sabermetrics, there’s a player that is better than Miguel Cabrera. When the guy that gave me the Sabermetrics told me that, I said, ‘Well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you’re talking about,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that.’

“And I said, ‘Well then you don’t believe in Sabermetrics, and neither do I.’”

That player Leyland wouldn’t name, we will: Mike Trout.

Verlander, who knows his baseball history, cited Joe DiMaggio’s MVP win in 1947 over a Triple Crown-winning Ted Williams as “one of the worst MVP votings of all time.”

And he now has made clear he’d add a Trout victory over Cabrera to the top of that list.

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2012 at 05:39 AM | 253 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, tigers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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.

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
   1. shoewizard Posted: September 20, 2012 at 05:57 AM (#4240826)
This is such a backasswards debate

Damn those stupid Sabermetricians that voted for Dimaggio over Williams.
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 20, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4240830)
"I will not use a player's name but according to the Sabermetrics, there's 1597 players better than Jeff Francoeur. When the guy that game me the Sabermetrics told me that, I said, 'Well then we should trade Jeff Francoeur for any of those players,' and he said, 'Oh no, no one in their right mind would trade any of those players for Jeff Francoeur'."

"And then I said, 'Well then Sabermetrics won't help me get rid of Jeff Francoeur, and it's useless to me.'"
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 20, 2012 at 06:29 AM (#4240832)
I said, ‘Well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you’re talking about,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that.’

You CAN'T do that? You wouldn't pause for a second or two and think about it?
   4. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 20, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4240833)
You CAN'T do that because the other team would never go for it.
   5. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4240835)
I think Leyland's completely made-up story about how 'some guy' handed him a page of sabermetrics and then admitted that the Tigers shouldn't trade Miguel Cabrera for Mike Trout debunks this sabermetrics nonsense once and for all.
   6. mathesond Posted: September 20, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4240840)
Are we sure Leyland wasn't talking to a chair?
   7. TomH Posted: September 20, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4240842)
let's admit; Verlander is Miggy's teammate. This trumps the other considerations. Our argumnet is with MSM in general, not Justin V.
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 20, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4240844)
leyland is pimping his guy and verlander is pimping a teammate. that is understood

what puzzles me is that this is even a discussion that embroils advanced stats or whatever.

this is common sense.

does defense suddenly not matter? does running the bases not matter?

miguel cabrera is another in a long line of great bats. he's awesome. in the batters box. meaning he's a hitter.

but he's a poor third baseman and he runs like he's pulling a plow.

so you have this other player who is pretty much his equal at the plate who also plays a great centerfield and runs the bases with aplomb

how is this hard to understand? why are people here, at this very site, all good baseball fans, even pondering this question??

i read the different posts and i am dumbstruck at the tortured logic folks are constructing to justify the draft horse over the thoroughbred.

'well you know cabrera didn't ask to play third but he battled it to a draw and you know if you put mike trout at third base well he wouldn't look so good either"

what? what???????

i keep checking my pillbox thinking i have mishandled my meds because what i am reading is just so much gibberish it has to be something weird happening. it cannot be people's actual thoughts
   9. TomH Posted: September 20, 2012 at 08:03 AM (#4240850)
ssshhhh.... we are enteirng the Temple of the Triple Crown. Take off your shoes. Bow the head, and bend the knee. Behold the RBI God. Thou shalt not dis Him. Thou shalt not mention the name of other gods such as defense and base running and walks.
   10. Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4240860)
Let's not discount how special the Triple Crown is. It's not like winning it isn't a great accomplishment. Now, I agree that Trout is the more valuable player, but if Cabrera wins the MVP after doing it, I won't get all worked up about it.
   11. toratoratora Posted: September 20, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4240863)
Agreed. I'm all for Mike Trout (Best rookie I've seen. Period. Since 75 I thought Lynn would be the greatest , but Trout is ridiculous. And to think that at the start of the year all the focus was on Harper except a few lonely, mostly west coast voices that kept blathering about this kid the Angels had)but heck, it's been bloody 45 years since anyone won the Triple Crown.
If Miggy wins it, I have no problem at all with him winning the MVP.
   12. depletion Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4240870)
If Trout wins the MVP, dear friends, you'll just have to carry on.
   13. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4240879)
Put me in the “There’s Something Inherently Awesome About the Triple Crown So I’d Be Totally Fine With Cabrera Winning the MVP Even if Trout Is More Valuable” camp.
   14. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4240895)
Put me in the “There’s Something Inherently Awesome About the Triple Crown So I’d Be Totally Fine With Cabrera Winning the MVP Even if Trout Is More Valuable” camp.


Exactly. If Cabrera wins the triple crown, I'll be boring my daughter with the fact that she was born the year he did, and that before that nobody had won one since before I was born. If he doesn't, Mike Trout will have had a season for the ages, but not one I'll be boring my kid with. Narrative may be overrated, but at a certain point, if it's awesome enough, narrative matters.
   15. Cris E Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4240900)
I also respect the fact that Miggy has only been bad at third base. He went out of his way to take a tough defensive assignment for the team, one where he's already proven he wasn't very good, and hasn't been killed by a batted ball or an irate pitcher. To not let it hurt his hitting is a feather in his cap, but to be in the race for the triple crown is pretty amazing. I wouldn't object to Trout or Cabrera winning the MVP. (Now if Jeter starts showing up in the discussion...)
   16. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4240906)
Let's not discount how special the Triple Crown is. It's not like winning it isn't a great accomplishment. Now, I agree that Trout is the more valuable player, but if Cabrera wins the MVP after doing it, I won't get all worked up about it.

In addition, as great as Trout has been, he's come out of nowhere. It isn't like he's been doing this for awhile and then had a great year. Not that that should really matter but I think in the voter's eyes, there needs to be a little history - they need to know the guy is for real. I think he is, you think he is, but do we KNOW? No.

I think a lot of voters will say - even without the triple crown - that Trout is fluky and, since we can give him the RoY anyway, give the MVP to Cabrera. Maybe not, but I don't have a lot of faith in the voters.


FWIW, I completely agree Trout is quite a bit more valuable and if my GM turned down a trade in which I got Trout straight up for Cabrera, I'd fire him on the spot. And that doesn't really take sabermetrics into account. A 20 year old good (not even great) defensive CF putting up the triple crown line and SB numbers that Trout has is obviuosly more valuable than a 29 year old mediocre to below 3B with Cabrera's line. No WAR needed.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4240907)
these most recent posts are a lot more sensible than the ones trying to make cabrera out to be more valuable than trout

i am a fan of both players. and all i want is for folks to demonstrate some common sense

i 'get' the 'the triple crown is awesome' perspective. and on that basis if folks conceded that trout is the better player but that cabrera did something more unique i won't have an issue

but don't come walking in with these c8ckeyed twisted justifications. it's just silly
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4240916)
Has anyone on this site actually claimed that Cabrera has been more valuable?

   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4240917)
i 'get' the 'the triple crown is awesome' perspective. and on that basis if folks conceded that trout is the better player but that cabrera did something more unique i won't have an issue

And there's precedence for this in the 56-game streak over Triple Crown vote for DiMaggio, back when Triple Crowns weren't nearly so rare.
   20. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4240920)
Leyland wouldn't trade Cabrera for Trout? Cabrera who's being paid 25 million or so a year for Trout who's under team control for the next 5 years. Yeah, ok buddy.
   21. Shredder Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4240921)
Let's not discount how special the Triple Crown is. It's not like winning it isn't a great accomplishment. Now, I agree that Trout is the more valuable player, but if Cabrera wins the MVP after doing it, I won't get all worked up about it.
My position as well.

And maybe it's just the way the two teams are covered, but this is at least the second or third article I've seen on this subject from a Detroit perspective. Is it the writers? I haven't seen any articles where guys interview Angels coaches or players and get them to say "It will be a travesty of some guy who's name I won't say wins the MVP". And besides, wouldn't the diplomatic thing be to say "I think Miggy has had a phenomenal year, and I hope he wins the award, but that other kid is pretty good too". Why are Leyland and Verlander such whiny #######?
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4240924)
And there's precedence for this in the 56-game streak over Triple Crown vote for DiMaggio, back when Triple Crowns weren't nearly so rare.


You're conflating your two lousy Dimaggio MVP wins over Williams. In Joe D's 56-game hit streak season, he beat the last man to hit .400 Kid. Six years later, the narrative-free Joltin Joe edged the Splendid Splinter's Triple Crown for MVP honors.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4240937)
You're conflating your two lousy Dimaggio MVP wins over Williams. In Joe D's 56-game hit streak season, he beat the last man to hit .400 Kid. Six years later, the narrative-free Joltin Joe edged the Splendid Splinter's Triple Crown for MVP honors.

OK, same difference. .400 wasn't nearly as rare back then. It'd been <20 years since Hornsby averaged >.400 over 4 seasons.

Edit: Also, '41 wasn't a bad call, '47 was. You have to remember, there's very good reason to think park effect massively favor Williams over DiMaggio (LHB in Fenway vs. RHB in YS1, with massive CF and LCF), and by scouting and reputation, DiMaggio had a much bigger defensive edge than WAR shows.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4240944)
OK, same difference. .400 wasn't nearly as rare back then. It'd been <20 years since Hornsby averaged >.400 over 4 seasons.


Yeah, the idea is the same. But there really was no logical explanation for the 1947 vote.
   25. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4240945)
Put me in the “There’s Something Inherently Awesome About the Triple Crown So I’d Be Totally Fine With Cabrera Winning the MVP Even if Trout Is More Valuable” camp.
Me three.

Plus the positional adjustment is bunk
   26. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4240955)
Somewhat related, does anyone know what the fewest caught stealing for a guy with as many SBs as Trout? The first guy I thought of was Beltran but Trout has more SBs than he had.

EDIT: Glad to see I'm not alone with being cool with Cabrera winning it under the circumstances. I saw klaw railing against the idea on Twitter yesterday and was worried I would be ridiculed.
   27. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4240961)
The stupidest MVP vote of the 40's was Marty Marion over anyone, but most notably Musial.

Somewhat related, does anyone know what the fewest caught stealing for a guy with as many SBs as Trout? The first guy I thought of was Beltran but Trout has more SBs than he had.


Max Carey went 51 for 53 in 1922.
   28. flournoy Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4240980)
Nate McLouth went 64 for 69 in stolen bases over several years with the Pirates, before being traded to the Braves and seeing all facets of his game deteriorate.
   29. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4240983)
Positional adjustment has CF and 3B the same. You think 3B is a harder position to play?
   30. Sean Forman Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4240989)
Triple Crown is obviously a big deal, but should they then automatically win the MVP? Should Braun win the triple crown next year, would you automatically give him the award over a Buster Posey season where he hit .300/.420/.550?

I know people love the narrative, but this sort of thinking is the same reason that relievers sometimes win the MVP or the Cy Young.

Also, if the Tigers have a sabermetrician who wouldn't trade Miggy for Trout in a minute, they should fire him immediately.
   31. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4241003)
Why is triple crown a big deal? Isn't it the same #### as the cycle? I though we didn't care about RBI's anymore, also wouldn't OBP be better than BA? None of Barry's seasons won him the triple crown. Seriously, who gives a #### about the triple crown?
   32. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4241007)
Triple Crown is obviously a big deal, but should they then automatically win the MVP? Should Braun win the triple crown next year, would you automatically give him the award over a Buster Posey season where he hit .300/.420/.550?

In the case of Cabrera-Trout I said that I would be fine with him winning the MVP if he notches the triple crown. If it happened next year it would lose some of the narrative luster and I would likely be less fine. Regardless, I don’t think the Triple Crown (or almost anything else for that matter) should automatically decide the MVP, but when a guy is having an awesome season and puts a cherry on top with something special, I’m ok with using it as extra credit. If, in your example, Ryan Braun posted a 50-50 year and Buster Posey did as you said and outWARed Braun I would be fine with Braun winning MVP.
   33. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4241009)
I live in Michigan, so my Facebook news feed over the past couple of weeks has resembled the points in the article, only said even less articulately. It's not a shocker that a bunch of people who live in Michigan don't even consider this to be a race. Factor in that Cabrera is leading Trout in the mass appeal numbers (homers and RBI) and bam, I find myself sifting through a bunch of ramblings about how messed up the system is if Cabrera doesn't win the MVP.

I'd like to see a Triple Crown winner and I can't stand the White Sox, but the self-righteousness has increased with each Tigers game that I'm almost to a point where I want Miggy to just miss the TC and the Tigers to fall short of playoff baseball.
   34. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4241013)
I said, ‘Well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you’re talking about,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that.’


The responder probably just meant that you can't trade players in September.
   35. Shredder Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4241031)
The responder probably just meant that you can't trade players in September.
Or, as alluded to above, the responder (if he was the SABR guy) knows there's no way in hell that any GM in his right mind would trade Trout for Cabrera.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4241033)
Seriously, who gives a #### about the triple crown?


Baseball fans?

To build on what NJ said, no one has claimed that the Triple Crown winner should automatically win the MVP. Just that if Cabrera wins the MVP, a bunch of us would be OK with him bagging the MVP too. Very few of us here have seen a player win one, and we think it would be kind of cool.

But I'll ask Sean the same question: Should the MVP automatically be the WAR leader (or some other uber metric)?

   37. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4241037)
Should the MVP automatically be the WAR leader (or some other uber metric)?


If he's 4 wins ahead of the next guy? Probably.
   38. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4241045)
The triple crown is really arbitrary. Why do we care if some guy lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBI's? Cabrera is .020 points behind the leader in OBP. Isn't OBP more important than batting average? Mike Trout is leading the league in runs. Isn't that just as important as RBI's? The current iteration of the triple crown is just a relic from the days when people though HR's, RBI's and BA we're the most important stats for some reason.

WAR is trying to quantify value, holistically, so if you believe that WAR is a well constructed stat, then yes you should go with the WAR leader (making considerations for defense, which is harder to measure).
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4241047)


If he's 4 wins ahead of the next guy? Probably.


That's reasonable, though I'm talking in general, not in this specific instance.

I think the worst thing for baseball would be for the MVP to be automatically given for anything. From MLB's perspective, the value of the MVP is in the debate over it, not the accuracy of the vote. If the time ever comes where we know who the MVP will be before the vote happens, then people will start paying as much attention to the MVP as they do to non-Melky batting titles.

   40. Booey Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4241050)
Put me in the “There’s Something Inherently Awesome About the Triple Crown So I’d Be Totally Fine With Cabrera Winning the MVP Even if Trout Is More Valuable” camp.


Yep. Same.

i 'get' the 'the triple crown is awesome' perspective. and on that basis if folks conceded that trout is the better player but that cabrera did something more unique i won't have an issue


Harvey's, you're one of the posters who's been around long enough to remember seeing a few Triple Crowns. For some of us semi-youngens where it's never happened in our lifetime, it would be pretty cool to see at least once. :-)

Also, if the Tigers have a sabermetrician who wouldn't trade Miggy for Trout in a minute, they should fire him immediately.

If Trouts true level of ability really is anywhere close to what it's been this year, I agree completely. But as of now, if you've got a perennial MVP contender like Cabrera on your team, isn't that a pretty big gamble to take by trading him for a 21 year old with only one full season under his belt? Miggy's been about as automatic as they come for 9 years now. And he's even one of the most durable players in the league despite having the conditioning of Homer Simpson.

   41. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4241053)
I think that there usually is room for debate. Measurements aren't accurate to decimal places, maybe not to 1 or 2 wins on defense. Plus, we can consider context. But the context for Trout and Cabrera is fairly similar; it's not like the Tigers are in a playoff position.
   42. Booey Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4241058)
Why is triple crown a big deal?quote]

Cuz it's fun, man. Most of us have never seen one before. Isn't fun the reason why we all follow sports in the first place?

Isn't it the same #### as the cycle?


One game vs an entire season? Not the same at all. Just like one great season isn't the same as a great career.

Sure, OBP is more telling than BA and runs scored is just as valuable as RBI, etc. So? It's not like Miggy C isn't amongst the league leaders in those categories as well.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4241062)
People here care about the triple crown?

And now that I see they do, what is the argument for handing the MVP award over to the triple crown winner rather than the best player? Why is this better than what sportwriters do, which is to hand (say) the 1987 NL MVP over to Andre Dawson? Is it that you guys feel that since you understand that Cabrera actually wasn't the best player in the league, that justifies supporting giving the award to him anyway? Because I think that makes you sillier than the writers who don't know any better.

A player happens to lead the league in 3 categories that don't capture his value and you give a value-based award to him anyway. Bizarre.
   44. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4241063)
How much does it matter that Cabrera has turned it up a notch over the last few months whereas Trout has been in a relative slump? I mean that in a non-sarcastic manner.
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4241068)
Has anyone on this site actually claimed that Cabrera has been more valuable?


No; but they claimed that they would be "fine" giving the MVP to him - which is worse than not knowing any better.

I don't know what you'd call "I know Trout was more valuable, but this other guy happened to lead the league in these 3 categories I like, so I'm fine with giving the award to the other guy."

It's a new phenomenon, and is worse than what sportswriters do. At least when sportswriters give the award to a worse player on a division winner, they have some twisted definition of "value" they are using. You guys are doing something different.
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4241070)
I think the Triple Crown is super cool. I guess, if I had to choose between (a) Trout winning the MVP and Cabrera not achieving the Triple Crown, or (b) Cabrera getting the Triple Crown and winning the MVP over Trout, I'd choose the latter.

But Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball by a wide margin, and he should obviously and absolutely be the MVP, regardless of whether Cabrera hits one more home run than Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion.
   47. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4241072)
Ray,

My shorthand answer would be that if there's no narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, then I want the MVP to go to the WAR leader. If there's a narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, though, then I'm willing to give extra credit for having been the story of the season. For me, if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, that's the story I'll remember from this year. Well, that and the wheels completely coming off my Red Sox.

Part of the answer on the "new phenomenon" is that it's actually looking at MVP as more of a "most significant player"--an approach I'd say tracks relatively well with the historical standards for the award.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4241075)
To build on what NJ said, no one has claimed that the Triple Crown winner should automatically win the MVP. Just that if Cabrera wins the MVP, a bunch of us would be OK with him bagging the MVP too.


I fail to see what the justification for your second sentence is.

Very few of us here have seen a player win one, and we think it would be kind of cool.


What in the world does the triple crown have to do with the MVP? A child could see the two have nothing to do with each other.

   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4241076)
My shorthand answer would be that if there's no narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, then I want the MVP to go to the WAR leader. If there's a narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, though, then I'm willing to give extra credit for having been the story of the season. For me, if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, that's the story I'll remember from this year. Well, that and the wheels completely coming off my Red Sox.
The Triple Crown story is a great story regardless of whether Cabrera wins the MVP. You can bore your daughter's face off about the Triple Crown the moment the regular season is over. Would you wait until the MVP is announced in November to tell her about Cabrera's achievement? Obviously not, so what does it matter if he gets the award?

Heck, in many ways, it's a more interesting story if Cabrera hits for the Triple Crown but doesn't win the MVP.
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4241078)
How much does it matter that Cabrera has turned it up a notch over the last few months whereas Trout has been in a relative slump?


None.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4241079)
How much does it matter that Cabrera has turned it up a notch over the last few months whereas Trout has been in a relative slump?
If they were close to even, I could imagine paying attention to season/playoff leverage as one of the possible tie-breakers. They aren't close, so I don't think it matters.
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4241080)
Ray,

My shorthand answer would be that if there's no narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, then I want the MVP to go to the WAR leader. If there's a narrative I'll be boring my kids about having seen, though, then I'm willing to give extra credit for having been the story of the season.


At which point your kids will say, "Dad, do you think Cabrera was more valuable than Trout? Then why are you ok with Cabrera getting the MVP award? That's silly."
   53. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4241082)
Okay, specifically, why do we care about HR, RBI's and BA? Why are those three stats considered the triple crown stats while runs, OBP, SLG, etc. are not? Just because some idiot sportswriter 80 years ago decided that would be the triple crown?
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4241087)
I think the worst thing for baseball would be for the MVP to be automatically given for anything.
The MVP should automatically be given to the most valuable player. The problem, of course, is that in a large percentage of seasons, it will not be obvious which player is the most valuable. There are not and there will never be advanced metrics that can settle every question of player value.

I mean, Barry Bonds' MVP awards in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 were "automatic" selections. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Do you?

But there's never going to be a metric that can determine with certainty whether, for instance, Bonds or Maddux was the more valuable player in 1992. That's where we have debates, and rightly so.
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4241092)
Okay, specifically, why do we care about HR, RBI's and BA? Why are those three stats considered the triple crown stats while runs, OBP, SLG, etc. are not?


No reason at all, and when I first started reading this thread, I had to stop and refresh my memory as to whether people were talking about BA/HR/RBI as the "triple crown" or whether they were at least talking about BA/OBP/SLG. Similar flaws in logic would have applied to the latter, just not quite as much. But to get all excited over BA/HR/RBI is the height of silliness.
   56. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4241093)
At which point your kids will say, "Dad, do you think Cabrera was more valuable than Trout? Then why are you ok with Cabrera getting the MVP award? That's silly."


I'd say "Despite the name, the most valuable player historically often doesn't win the MVP. It really seems to go to the most significant player in the league or the really good player with the best narrative at least as often as it goes to the best player. Even though Trout was better, I think Cabrera's season meets that historical standard. Sometimes life isn't fair. Anyone who tells you different is selling something."
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4241095)
Okay, specifically, why do we care about HR, RBI's and BA? Why are those three stats considered the triple crown stats while runs, OBP, SLG, etc. are not? Just because some idiot sportswriter 80 years ago decided that would be the triple crown?
No, not one "idiot sportswriter". The whole community of fans and writers and players all, without any particular top-down coordination, came to see the trifecta of BA, HRs, and RBI as a special achievement. It's history. We are beings who live in history, the things we like and dislike are heavily determined by the history in which we must participate and by which we are necessarily formed.

Part of what makes baseball so great is its historical continuity. The Triple Crown being a cool achievement is part of that continuity.

(Obviously, the Triple Crown winner also taking the MVP is a part of that continuity, and I am arguing against that. So I'm saying we should have both continuity and change, as we learn more about the game.)
   58. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4241096)
I think this is like being raised with religion. Even if you reject it intellectually, there's some sentiment left over. It's the Triple Crown, capital T, capital C. You can almost smell leather and neatsfoot oil and your dad's cologne when you read it. I can see why some people would be into it.

I'm not, though. I think Mike Trout's Willie Mays impression is more interesting than how many guys were on base when Miguel Cabrera was up, so the ghost of my childhood can suck it.
   59. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4241098)
The narrative for Cabrera doesn't seem that interesting. If he wins the triple crown, it will be barely and at the end of the season.

If you're picking based on best narrative, Chris Sale has come out of the bullpen to be a dominant starter leading his team to a surprising playoff spot. Or maybe you want Josh Reddick or Adam Jones.
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4241101)
The problem, of course, is that in a large percentage of seasons, it will not be obvious which player is the most valuable. There are not and there will never be advanced metrics that can settle every question of player value.


You're probably right, but that's kind of beside the point. I'm sure you can find people right now who would simply give the MVP to the WAR leader (whichever one he fancies). If that attitude ever became prevalent, to the point where we could know the MVP was almost certainly going to be the WAR leader (or, more likely, some future finer-tuned metric), then baseball fans in general would stop caring about the MVP that much.
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4241105)
No, not one "idiot sportswriter". The whole community of fans and writers and players all, without any particular top-down coordination, came to see the trifecta of BA, HRs, and RBI as a special achievement. It's history. We are beings who live in history, the things we like and dislike are heavily determined by the history in which we must participate and by which we are necessarily formed.


And when we realize that certain concepts are silly, we discard them and they become... history.

Even on an aesthetic level, you have a 20 year old kid who arrived in the league a month after the season started. He hits like crazy, he steals bases, he plays defense in CF, he's been the best player... and people find the narrative of a goofy oddity that produces a triple crown winner more compelling? That's bizarre.

I have a ton of respect for Cabrera's season because he moved to 3B and has hit great. I didn't even know he was in line for the silly triple crown until I opened this thread and found people drooling over it.

   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4241107)
You're probably right, but that's kind of beside the point. I'm sure you can find people right now who would simply give the MVP to the WAR leader (whichever one he fancies). If that attitude ever became prevalent, to the point where we could know the MVP was almost certainly going to be the WAR leader (or, more likely, some future finer-tuned metric), then baseball fans in general would stop caring about the MVP that much.
But we already have two different "WAR"s and if people come to care about Wins Above Replacement as much as you say, we'll see a proliferation of WARs as a market for such stats expands. I don't see any risk of the scenario you outline.

I mean, you're describing a position currently held by, maybe, a minority of Fangraphs commenters. I don't think it's something we really need to worry about.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4241110)
And when we realize that certain concepts are silly, we discard them and they become... history.
But, of course, sports are all silly. We should be improving our sewer systems instead of playing games. "Silly" is a descriptor for a wide array of human pursuits. We are, at heart, quite silly beings. It's a good thing. If humans didn't want to have fun, didn't attach our cares and our psyches to arguably meaningless pursuits, we wouldn't be what we are, and I think we'd be something much less.
   64. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4241111)
Although I do think that Trout should win the MVP, I have to say that I am more than a bit skeptical about his WAR measurement. I know he does add value in all the ways that traditional statistics miss, (superb CFer who is an excellent baserunner, etc.) but if WAR is correct, he's been as valuable as Barry Bonds was in 2001 when he put up an OPS that's about 450 points higher. I am not ready to buy that.
   65. Shredder Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4241112)
No; but they claimed that they would be "fine" giving the MVP to him - which is worse than not knowing any better.
For my sake, I "claim" this because when all is said and done, I really don't care about who wins the awards all that much. I'm not going to lose any sleep over a guy who may not have been the most valuable per a particular metric ends up getting recognized by voters, each of whom interpret the criteria of the award differently (so long as there's a case to be made - I think it would be ridiculous if, say Jeter were a serious contender, and I have nothing against Jeter). I'm also generally a little skeptical of catch-all metrics anyway, though I'm perfectly fine pimping them when they back my guy.

Sheesh, it's baseball. It's not really all that important. And for me personally, individual awards are an order of magnitude less important than team W-L records.
I didn't even know he was in line for the silly triple crown until I opened this thread and found people drooling over it.
You are one weird dude.
   66. stanmvp48 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4241117)
How many Triple Crowns did Babe Ruth win?

By the way, what is the deal with Josh Hamilton's sinus condition?
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4241119)
And when we realize that certain concepts are silly, we discard them and they become... history.

I didn't even know he was in line for the silly triple crown until I opened this thread and found people drooling over it.


But yet you care about the MVP in the first place? That is just as silly.
   68. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4241121)
I though we didn't care about RBI's anymore,

Of course we care. I would love to have a guy with a whole bunch of RBI on my team. As I would love to have a guy with a whole bunch of runs scored. Runs help you win. Are they good predictors for the future? No, but that isn't what I'm wanting them for. Just because RBI is over-rated doesn't mean an RBI is a useless thing.


also wouldn't OBP be better than BA?

Of course. But that isn't what was historically valued. The Triple Crown is cool because it is a tie to some of the most celebrated seasons of baseball history. Much like a guy hitting .400 wouldn't, necessarily, mean much. But it would be super cool nonetheless.


People here care about the triple crown?

People here care about the MVP award?

coke to Nate
   69. BurlyBuehrle Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4241122)
Does it matter that not only is Cabrera well behind Trout in WAR, he's not even 2nd. Or 3rd. (Verlander and Cano are ahead of him.) In fact, he's not even 1st on his own team.

Posters above have said the Triple Crown might count as "extra credit" for Cabrera and thus granting him the MVP. I could see that being true if the WAR numbers were close - that's what extra credit does, it pushes you over the hump when you're close. It doesn't take your middling 85-average B-grade and magically turn it into an A.

To get to the "extra credit" argument, you have to (a) discount WAR entirely; (b) drastically adjust Trout's WAR downwards; (c) drastically adjust Cabrera's WAR upwards; (d) some combination of b&c.

I don't see it. Trout is the MVP, irrespective of Cabrera's final standing in mostly meaningless stats.
   70. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4241124)
By the way, what is the deal with Josh Hamilton's sinus condition?

Blow will do that to you.
   71. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4241127)
Trout is the MVP,

Trout is the most valuable player in the league, yes. That isn't what the award is, though, despite it's name. If you want meaningless, it is the writer's MVP award, not the triple crown line (hint: BA/HR/RBI are not meaningless - having them be higher is a GOOD thing.)
   72. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4241134)
Although I do think that Trout should win the MVP, I have to say that I am more than a bit skeptical about his WAR measurement. I know he does add value in all the ways that traditional statistics miss, (superb CFer who is an excellent baserunner, etc.) but if WAR is correct, he's been as valuable as Barry Bonds was in 2001 when he put up an OPS that's about 450 points higher. I am not ready to buy that.
I'm sorry to single you out, Russlan, but I find comments like this truly annoying. WAR puts its component numbers right there on the same page. Why not figure out what it is you don't buy? Do just a few minutes of legwork.

Since your comment is based on pro-rating the two players to the same playing time, these are Bonds' and Trout's component numbers pro-rated to Trout's playing time.

+96 Bat + 0 Run + 1 DP - 4 Def - 6 Pos +15 Rep = +103 RAR, 9.7 WAR, Bonds 2001
+47 Bat +10 Run + 1 DP +24 Def - 1 Pos +20 Rep = +101 RAR, 10.2 WAR, Trout 2012

So, those 450 points of OPS translate, with appropriate context adjustments, to about 50 runs of production. That seems reasonable. Trout get back 10 on the bases - that's a lot, but he's the single fastest man in the game, while Barry Bonds in 2001 was a truly great athlete carrying, shall we say, a bit of added weight on his frame. Trout gets a bunch of runs in positional adjustment because he's played mostly at CF. There's also the interesting +5 run advantage for Trout in the replacement level adjustment - I'm guessing that this is a function of the two expansions of the 90s, as the B-R system thinks baseball talent was more diluted in 2001 than it is today. So, there's 15 runs there that seem reasonable, 5 that are arguable.

Then you have the defensive numbers, which everyone takes with a grain of salt. It seems obvious Trout 2012 is a better fielder than Bonds 2001, but 30 runs seems like a lot on first glance. So maybe call it 15? That gives Bonds a big lead.

The other issue is that runs are more valuable in 2012. It takes fewer runs to win a game in the more normal run-scoring environment of 2012 than it did in sillyball 2001, so Bonds +7 lead in runs above replacement is turned into a +0.5 WAR advantage for Trout. So you can call that another +10 for Trout.

With a partial regression of the two more unlikely numbers (replacement level adjustment and defense), you'd have Bonds leading Trout by something like 10.0 to 9.0. That seems reasonable, though obviously it's just guesswork. And 8.8 WAR blows Miggy Cabrera away, regardless.
   73. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4241142)
There's also the interesting +5 run advantage for Trout in the replacement level adjustment - I'm guessing that this is a function of the two expansions of the 90s, as the B-R system thinks baseball talent was more diluted in 2001 than it is today.


A few of these are the playing time difference. Bonds has 15% more PAs than Trout currently.

Wait, that's backwards.
   74. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4241145)
Eh, ROY should be enough for Trout. Let Miggy have the MVP, even if he is a drunken wife-beater.
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4241152)
But we already have two different "WAR"s and if people come to care about Wins Above Replacement as much as you say, we'll see a proliferation of WARs as a market for such stats expands. I don't see any risk of the scenario you outline.


And, if true, I'd imagine that the results of these various WARs would start to look more and more alike (at least the ones that were generally accepted). So, yes, I do think its possible, maybe not in the next few years, but down the road.
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4241153)
A few of these are the playing time difference. Bonds has 15% more PAs than Trout currently.
I pro-rated Bonds' numbers to Trout's playing time. Even in his full 153 games, Bonds only got a +18 replacement level adjustment. That means that B-R / CHONE rates the 2001 NL as a significantly easier league than the 2012 AL. I'm guessing it's an expansion effect, but I don't know for sure.
   77. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4241156)
I'm not, though. I think Mike Trout's Willie Mays impression is more interesting than how many guys were on base when Miguel Cabrera was up, so the ghost of my childhood can suck it.

This is how I feel. For me, Trout gets the narrative edge too - I mean, he's a rookie, the most exciting player in baseball...he's one of the few players who I legitimately change the channel just to watch. He's so much fun and so, so, so exciting, in the field, on the bases, and at the plate. Cabrera isn't nearly that exciting or enjoyable to watch. It might just be me, but, beyond just the pure value numbers, I think Trout should win for pure excitement and his narrative alone.
   78. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4241157)
And, if true, I'd imagine that the results of these various WARs would start to look more and more alike (at least the ones that were generally accepted).
Why? I think they're continue to diverge. Some will account for game or season leverage. Some will treat pitcher hits allowed differently. They'll all measure defense differently. They'll all account for park effects differently. Do you believe there actually will be advanced metric singularity, where we all come together in agreement about how to measure baseball value? It seems to me the history of sabermetrics is a history of divergence, not convengence.

The people putting together the metrics are doing hard work well. I expect that this will continue - the work will continue to be hard, and they'll continue to come up with differing plausible methods for how to do it - and that means no real convergence in the stats.

Do you believe there is One True Metric that we're converging toward asymptotically? I think baseball is far too complex for that.
   79. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4241159)
But to get all excited over BA/HR/RBI is the height of silliness.


Well, home runs and RBI are real contributions to the scoreboard. It's rare (but possible-Tony Batista) to be among the league leaders in these categories and not be having a good season.
   80. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4241163)
+10 Run + 1 DP +24 Def - 1 Pos +20 Rep
I buy almost ZERO of those numbers.
   81. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4241167)
So, those 450 points of OPS translate, with appropriate context adjustments, to about 50 runs of production. That seems reasonable.

Does it? The difference between 2001 Barry Bonds and Mike Trout is about the same as Mike Trout and Omar Vizquel this year. Is that difference of 50 runs enough?

It may be that there's nothing wrong with WAR in general but that Bonds was such an outlier offensively that he can't be measured correctly. BTW, I am someone who would vote for Trout this year, even though I do find a guy winning the triple crown to be cool.
   82. vivaelpujols Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4241168)
I don't believe WAR counts IBB's, which make up a big part of that OPS difference.
   83. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4241169)

This is how I feel. For me, Trout gets the narrative edge too - I mean, he's a rookie, the most exciting player in baseball...he's one of the few players who I legitimately change the channel just to watch. He's so much fun and so, so, so exciting, in the field, on the bases, and at the plate. Cabrera isn't nearly that exciting or enjoyable to watch. It might just be me, but, beyond just the pure value numbers, I think Trout should win for pure excitement and his narrative alone.


To each his own but Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, hell, flirting with it, is something meaningful. In my lifetime I've seen some rookies/young players have amazing seasons. In roughly 35 years as a baseball fan I've never seen a serious run at the Triple Crown.

Trout's has been the best player no question, but Cabrera is the guy making my heart race each night.
   84. Ron J2 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4241175)
Just because RBI is over-rated doesn't mean an RBI is a useless thing.


RBI is a function of power (most simply represented by SLG, though it's a tad more precise to treat ISO and BA as separate components. Given equal opportunities and something close to a typical distribution of baserunners, if two players have the same SLG, the one with the lower BA will tend to drive in more runs) and opportunity (most simply represented by at bats with runners on base. Of course specific distribution of baserunners matters though it does tend to even out over time)

A player can't control his opportunities -- they're a function of batting order position and the players who bat directly in front of him. So RBI bring nothing to the table in terms of offensive value once you have SLG.

I'm open to clutch arguments -- that a player has driven in more runs than you'd expect for instance -- but the raw totals mean zip.

   85. JJ1986 Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4241177)
I pro-rated Bonds' numbers to Trout's playing time. Even in his full 153 games, Bonds only got a +18 replacement level adjustment. That means that B-R / CHONE rates the 2001 NL as a significantly easier league than the 2012 AL. I'm guessing it's an expansion effect, but I don't know for sure.


This (not your work, the numbers) is confusing me, so I'm trying to figure it out.

Bonds got .027 Rep/PA in a league where the average runs per game was 4.7 or about 3.8 games worth of runs over a full season (660 PA).
Trout got .0345 Rep/Pa in a league where the average rpg was 4.44 or about 5.1 games worth of runs over a full season.

That's a huge difference.

To put it another way, Alex Gordon has 667 PAs this year (which is closest to Bonds' number) and his WAR is 2.1 wins more than his WAA to 2001 Barry's 1.7.
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4241180)
Why? I think they're continue to diverge.


That's not how I see it, no. I guess that would go a long way to explaining our difference of opinion on the larger question.

   87. SandyRiver Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4241187)
What in the world does the triple crown have to do with the MVP? A child could see the two have nothing to do with each other.

Not this child. Triple crown seasons invariably are also MVP-quality seasons (as distinct from "MVP-worthy" seasons.), and not by happenstance.
   88. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4241189)
Why? I think [advanced player value metric] will continue to diverge.

That's not how I see it, no
Can you explain? Do you think that the additional hit and pitch f/x data will all be measured more similarly than our existing underlying data? It seems to me that more complex data just produces more opportunities for divergence, more information you have to choose how to adjust or regress, more information you can value differently, and so on.
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4241196)
+10 Run + 1 DP +24 Def - 1 Pos +20 Rep

I buy almost ZERO of those numbers.


And that's a valid question. If you can make a serious argument that Cabrera is more valuable or just as valuable as Trout, that's fine, and I won't complain.

The way I see it, they have the same OPS+. Cabrera is an edge because he has 60 more PA, but Trout leads the league in steals. I don't think there's a huge gulf between them offensively.

That leaves defense. Trout has played mostly CF, some LF, and seems to have played it well. Cabrera has played 3B, seemingly indifferently at best.

If you think that Cabrera's edge in playing time closes the gap, and that he's not that bad at 3B and Trout isn't quite that good in the OF... I'll listen. But even putting WAR aside -- and I do not bow down to it like others here -- it seems a tough sell.
   90. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4241197)
ya'know if you flipflopped these guys in terms of the roles they played with the team making miguel a leadoff third baseman on the angels and trout a middle of the order centerfielder on the tigers there would not be any mvp discussion. trout would be crushing the conversation.

look, if folks want to give cabrera credit for his bobby bonilla imitation at third i can toss out other frivolous scenarios.

   91. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4241209)
Has anyone on this site actually claimed that Cabrera has been more valuable?

I don't think so! Yet the pro-WAR/pro-Trout/anti-Cabrera people sure seem to be outraged about it anyway.

I've been very (perhaps annoyingly) pro-Cabrera in other recent threads, but that was about his worthiness for the Hall of Fame and how great he is as a hitter. I don't think I have ever said that he's been more valuable than Trout in 2012. I don't think anyone (here) has said that. But there are a lot of us who think the two are at least closer than the WAR numbers say.

If I had the professional obligation to actually vote for the MVP, I'd vote for Trout. But I'm a Tiger fan and a Cabrera fan (and incidentally an A's fan — so I don't love the Angels), and as a fan I'd be happy if Cabrera won the Triple Crown and/or the MVP. I hope that attitude is still acceptable here.

'well you know cabrera didn't ask to play third but he battled it to a draw and you know if you put mike trout at third base well he wouldn't look so good either"

That was me, but that wasn't an argument for Cabrera being better/more valuable (as in MVP) than Trout. It was an argument that Cabrera's willingness to play 3B has a kind of value beyond what WAR measures. He happily agreed to move to a position that most people thought would make him look bad, so the Tigers could add another hitter at his old position — a good player, but one inferior to Cabrera in virtually every way (including 1B defense).

For this, WAR measures him against average 3B offense instead of average 1B offense (OK, that helps a little), and he loses some defensive points for being a mediocre 3B, even though "mediocre" is much better than anyone expected. Cabrera, on his part, has to re-learn the position in one or two months, then has to work harder on defense during games than before, without letting it affect his hitting. It's not easy to move (back) to 3B at Cabrera's age, with his body type, and without having played it for 3 years. As a Tiger fan I'm absolutely thrilled that the "experiment" went as well as it has. (Though I'm not thrilled about some of their other accompanying moves/non-moves.) WAR might be accurately valuing his on-field contributions, but I still think it misses an important part of the story.

That doesn't mean I think he's more MVP-worthy than Trout!

Positional adjustment has CF and 3B the same. You think 3B is a harder position to play?

Depends on the player. 3B is harder for some people. For fast guys with weak arms. For guys with slow reflexes. For guys with bad eyesight. For left-handed throwers. Juan Pierre would find CF much easier than 3B, no matter how much time he worked at each of them.
   92. Booey Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4241211)
Okay, specifically, why do we care about HR, RBI's and BA? Why are those three stats considered the triple crown stats while runs, OBP, SLG, etc. are not? Just because some idiot sportswriter 80 years ago decided that would be the triple crown?


Like I said earlier, cuz it's fun, man. And isn't that why we're all baseball fans in the first place? Same way that the 1998 homerun race was fun and a .400 season or a 56 game hitting streak would be fun. Most of us hadn't seen those things happen before. What's fun doesn't have to be logical.

As for why leading in AVG/HR/RBI is cooler than leading in say, the 3 big rate stats - AVG/OBP/SLG - I can't speak for everyone but to me it's cooler just cuz it's so much less common. There's never been a Triple Crown in my lifetime. Without looking it up, I'd guess players have led in those latter categories at least a half dozen times in the last 15 years or so. Mauer did it just 3 years ago. Bonds did it twice. I think Walker did it once or twice. Probably Helton in 2000. Maybe Manny the year he won the batting title (2002)?

Besides, I haven't seen anyone really say that they'd vote for Miggy over Trout. We're basically just saying that as far as mistake votes go, this one's more understandable and acceptable than many.
   93. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4241215)
Let Miggy have the MVP, even if he is a drunken wife-beater.

Come on, that's not fair. He was drunk, but his wife beat him!
   94. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4241225)
Okay, specifically, why do we care about HR, RBI's and BA? Why are those three stats considered the triple crown stats while runs, OBP, SLG, etc. are not? Just because some idiot sportswriter 80 years ago decided that would be the triple crown?

I've been skipping over most of the "why the Triple Crown is/isn't interesting" argument so I apologize if this has already been posted, but Cabrera is also leading the league in SLG and is third in OBP, so he could win the AVG/OBP/SLG Triple Crown too.

His OBP is .398 to Mauer's .419, so it's unlikely to happen, but not impossible.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4241230)
Can you explain? Do you think that the additional hit and pitch f/x data will all be measured more similarly than our existing underlying data? It seems to me that more complex data just produces more opportunities for divergence, more information you have to choose how to adjust or regress, more information you can value differently, and so on.


And it seems to me that if the people doing the measuring are actually getting better at measuring value, as is the desired result and the logical expectation, then we will begin to see more alignment in their results.
   96. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4241235)
Have we entered a bizarro universe? Isn't it sabermetrics who loves the slow fat guy who can't play defense and gets on base a lot and the traditionalists who love the fast, scrappy, baserunning, base stealing, defensive stalwart? How is Trout the sabr love child and Cabrera the traditionalists' guy? Is it because traditionalists love alcoholic ballplayers?

   97. alilisd Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4241239)
Mike Trout will have had a season for the ages, but not one I'll be boring my kid with. Narrative may be overrated, but at a certain point, if it's awesome enough, narrative matters.


Really? A 20 year old rookie comes up at the end of April and in mid-September is leading the league in runs, steals, is in the hunt for the batting title, has a shot to go 30-30, is playing a spectacular CF and is having the best season of any 20 year old in the history of the game by advanced metrics, but that isn't an "awesome enough" narrative for you?
   98. Booey Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4241242)
In roughly 35 years as a baseball fan I've never seen a serious run at the Triple Crown.


Sheffield in 1992 was probably the closest that I can remember. Belle might have won in 1994 if the season had continued (Thomas had the same numbers, but Belle ended the season on more of a hot streak). Walker in 1997 was fairly close, though Gwynn made it hard for anyone else to win a batting title back then and Walkers own teammate hitting behind him in Colorado's lineup made the RBI title hard to reach. Bonds may have won it in 2002 or 2004 if he wasn't walked 200 times.

In other words, it's tough for everything to go right. And that makes it cool when it actually does happen. :)
   99. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 20, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4241252)
if folks want to give cabrera credit for his bobby bonilla imitation at third

Have you actually watched Cabrera play this year? He may not be WARring it up at third, but he definitely doesn't look bad out there. He's not some kind of comedy act.

There seems to be a misconception, maybe based on his Florida years, that Cabrera is a fat/lazy/slow/clumsy/one-dimensional slugger. Maybe this was true before, but it doesn't square with what I've seen in the past four years. He's big, but not particularly fat. His move to third suggests that he's willing to work. He's not fast, but he's a pretty good base-runner. He has occasional lapses on defense, but he also makes some very athletic plays (both at 1B and 3B). He hits home runs, but he's not really a "home-run hitter." He's an all-around hitter that happens to hit home runs. And he's definitely not a three-true-outcomes guy. He doesn't strike out much and would rather hit than walk.
   100. Sean Forman Posted: September 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4241262)
Regarding some of the WAR questions above.

For IBB's, we give the player credit for their per-PA performance in the non-IBB PA's. The idea is that players who are better will be walked in more and more important situations, so the value of their IBB rises (see Bonds walked with bases loaded).

Regarding replacement level. Rally's research and I agree is that the NL has been significantly worse than the AL over the last many years, so an average player in the AL is farther from replacement than the average NL player, the actual numbers we use are below.

Foghorn may be beyond convincing, but if you want to learn about WAR, I have a 10-page doc that goes into serious detail, shows our coefficients, baselines, etc. I see a lot of misinformation on WAR and it's unfortunate, because all of the information is available.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml
Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dock Ellis on Acid
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Page rendered in 1.0969 seconds
52 querie(s) executed