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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Verducci: Cabrera’s win over Trout for AL MVP proves team results matter

SCREW THAT!...Here’s the important biz!

The pejorative nonsense about “new school” and “old school” was sad. Everybody uses advanced statistics, though how they weigh them varies. In fact, if Albert Reach can get on a Hall of Fame ballot next month essentially for publishing a baseball magazine for seven years in the 19th century (it helped sell his baseballs), someday Sean Forman, the brains behind baseballreference.com, should be on one. Who else has put more information just clicks away for fans and media? Delving not so deep into Forman’s mine, for instance, can reveal this:

Repoz Posted: November 17, 2012 at 09:26 AM | 102 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: November 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4304884)
Verducci: Cabrera’s win over Trout for AL MVP proves team results matter
...but the Angels had a better record than the Tigers.
   2. Xander Posted: November 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4304894)
Cabrera should be rewarded for leading his team to a 7th place finish in a 14-team league.
   3. puck Posted: November 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4304912)
...but the Angels had a better record than the Tigers


His angle on that is the clutch argument, which I also heard from Colin Cowherd (does he cover baseball often?):

On Aug. 23, Trout was the presumptive MVP who led Cabrera by 19 points in batting average and 35 points in OPS. Both played on teams on the outside of a playoff spot: the Angels were 2 ½ games out of the wild card and the Tigers were 1 ½ games out of the AL Central lead.

[Goes on to site stats after Aug 23.]


Then he cites "clutch" stats, Late & Close, RISP, 2 outs RISP.
   4. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4304925)
Cabrera should be rewarded for leading his team to a 7th place finish in a 14-team league.
...while playing in a weaker division than Trout and the Angels.
   5. JoeC Posted: November 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4304944)
In fact, if Albert Reach can get on a Hall of Fame ballot next month essentially for publishing a baseball magazine for seven years in the 19th century (it helped sell his baseballs), someday Sean Forman, the brains behind baseballreference.com, should be on one. Who else has put more information just clicks away for fans and media?


If this happens, can we get rid of the old Verducci Effect and replace it with this one?
   6. Matt Welch Posted: November 17, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4304955)
LAA's winning percentage after Mike Trout got called up was .585. The best winning percentage in the league over the full year was .586. Team results apparently matter more than the candidate-specific context of team results, is that it?

   7. Rob_Wood Posted: November 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4304963)

I lost a lot of respect for Verducci listening to his thoughts on the MVP race.
   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 17, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4304976)
Verducci: Cabrera’s win over Trout for AL MVP proves team results matter


Thanks, but we already knew that. The question is why they should matter in an MVP vote.

Anyway, this was about the triple crown, and was about non-voters. Because it was the statheads who abandoned logic and sold out to say they were "ok" with an undeserving player winning the MVP because he happened to lead in a silly grouping of three categories.
   9. catomi01 Posted: November 17, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4305003)
undeserving player


I'd disagree here....Cabrera was not undeserving in my mind, just not the most deserving...that's why I'm finding it hard to get worked up...I think Trout should have won...but its not like a guy who I think should have finished 12th stole it from him or anything like that.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 17, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4305015)
I'd disagree here....Cabrera was not undeserving in my mind, just not the most deserving...


Does not compute. Only one player can win (yes, yes, there were co-winners in 1979, nyah nyah nyah; that is beside the point). And it's called "most valuable," not "one of the most valuable." If the second most valuable player won, he is undeserving.

The only way Cabrera is deserving is if (a) he was better than Trout, or (b) he was as good as Trout.
   11. Zach Posted: November 17, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4305031)
The only way Cabrera is deserving is if (a) he was better than Trout, or (b) he was as good as Trout.

If this were the only year baseball were played, I would agree with you. But it's widely recognised that winning the Triple Crown is ordinarily an MVP-level achievement or better. It's a once in a generation thing, whereas MVPs are awarded every year.
   12. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: November 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4305096)
Ray, there are a ton of obvious cases of the 3rd, 4th, 6th best players in baseball winning MVP's. People arent robots like you meant to compute exactly who is the best for a season. Human beings add vague things like heart, eye-balling, clutch, etc. to come up with their own OPINIONS of who is most valuable. And using those opinions, they vote. This is life. I'm not outraged over the 2nd best player in the AL winning a voted on award. Its no travesty. If I wanted to live life the way you apparently want to, I'd move to Vulcan.

Edited for horrible typos.
   13. Booey Posted: November 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4305097)
As I've said before, I would've voted for Trout too, but the amount of outrage this is generating has reached ridiculous levels. I've only been following baseball since 1987, but this years result wouldn't even crack the top dozen worst MVP selections of the last 25 years alone, let alone all time. Throw in CY voting, and the list of worse selections in my baseball viewing history doubles. From 1987-present, all of these MVP choices were clearly worse, IMO:

1987 AL: Bell over Trammell (or Boggs)
1987 NL: Dawson over lots of guys, most notably Ozzie, Jack Clark, and Eric Davis
1989 NL: Mitchell over Will Clark. They chose the wrong Giant.
1991 NL: Pendleton over Bonds
1992 AL: Eckersley over LOTS of guys. A reliever as MVP? Seriously?
1995 AL: Mo Vaughn over several players, especially Edgar and Belle. Made no sense whatsoever.
1996 AL: Juan Gone over AROD (and many others). Another total "WTF" selection.
1998 AL: Juan Gone again. Voters loved their ribbies back then. I probably would've picked Nomar.
1998 NL: Sosa over McGwire. Consolation prize. 11 more rbi's is > 100 points apiece of OBP and SLG?
1999 AL: Pudge over Pedro
2002 AL: Tejada over AROD. Absolutely terrible, especially considering they played the same position.
2006 AL: Morneau over several players, including Jeter and teammate Joe Mauer. Another "WTF."
2006 NL: Howard over Pujols
   14. shoewizard Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4305116)
How about 2007, Rollins over Pujols and Wright. Heck, he might not have even been the most valuable ShortStop that year.
   15. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4305122)
As I've said before, I would've voted for Trout too, but the amount of outrage this is generating has reached ridiculous levels.

I honestly believe that this is because every single argument advanced in favor of Cabrera is pure speciousness, sophistry, or idiocy (sometimes all three).

Look at this article. Cabrera won because team results matter - this is ludicrous! Angels' wpct was higher than Tigers'. Angels' wpct with Trout was higher than Tigers' with Cabrera.

If Cabrera supporters/voters would just say 'Triple Crown, mmkay?' and leave it at that I truly think the 'outrage' level would be much lower.
   16. kcgard2 Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4305131)
15:

I agree. If the voters could reassure everyone that the horrible "logic" (or the all three you mentioned) were not actually the reason they voted Cabrera, people wouldn't be as outraged. But by continuing to trot out worse and worse arguments for their selection makes people believe this is how they vote in general (or will in the future), when really all they want to do is reward a triple crown, and these arguments are just what they feel necessary to do that.

Voters - you liked the narrative. That's the beginning and end of the argument, more or less. The Angels having a better record in a better division and NOT making the playoffs was icing on the cake for the arguments that were going to get thrown around about team performance. It was a perfect storm.
   17. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4305141)
Anyway, this was about the triple crown, and was about non-voters.


A correction: It's never about the non-voters. We don't matter that much, you big doofus.

That Eric J said he wouldn't get worked up over a Cabrera win had no bearing on the outcome.

That Booey said he'd personally vote for Trout but he'd be OK with a Cabrera victory is not a blow to the stathead cause.

Susan Slusser was not all set to pull the lever for Mike Trout, but suddenly was emboldened to tab Miguel Cabrera because of something posted by a guy who calls himself Jose Can You Seabiscuit.

We're just not that important. If we were, then the fact that Mike Trout has gotten unanimous support on this site would have resulted in more than the measly six first-place votes sent his way. It didn't, because we're not.

And no matter how many different goddamned ways you want to say it, you can't claim "I'd personally vote for Trout, but I'm not going to go ballistic if Cabrera wins" is the equivalent of "SoSHU 4Cabrera 4Ever," unless you don't actually know what the word equivalent means.*

You're free to get as breathless in exasperation by this outcome as you'd like. None of us will stop you. But you don't have a say in whether the rest of us save our inhalers for a far greater injustice. Sorry big guy, but my outrage supply is limited. I don't just toss it around willy nilly, and never at someone else's behest.

* Possible, since you seem to struggle with the meaning of a lot of words. Or, at least mine.

   18. Booey Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4305144)
If Cabrera supporters/voters would just say 'Triple Crown, mmkay?' and leave it at that I truly think the 'outrage' level would be much lower.


The "outragers" keep liking to point out that the Triple Crown is nothing more than leading the league in 3 overrated categories seemingly selected at random, but they conveniently forget that Miggy also led in slugging, total bases, and OPS. That's 6 well known categories that Cabrera led the league in. I'd bet that most players who collect that much black ink in a single year (and make the playoffs) will be serious candidates for the MVP. Obviously the TC was the difference between getting 22 of 28 first places and a much closer vote, but I'm honestly not so sure that Cabrera wouldn't have won anyway if he'd hit two fewer homers. 42 homers wouldn't have gotten him the Triple Crown, but it would've still been 12 more than Trout hit. This isn't like Mo Vaughn over Belle in 1995 or Tejada over AROD in 2002 when the latter pretty much crushed the former in almost every statistic yet lost anyway. Using traditional stats, Cabrera really did beat Trout in a lot of categories.

Like I said in an earlier thread, this was a mistake, but a more understandable one than many the writers have made in the past.
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4305159)
And no matter how many different goddamned ways you want to say it, you can't claim "I'd personally vote for Trout, but I'm not going to go ballistic if Cabrera wins" is the equivalent of "SoSHU 4Cabrera 4Ever," unless you don't actually know what the word equivalent means.*

I had heard before that it was next-to-impossible to get Ray to change his mind about anything. Apparently, this includes getting him to change his mind about what my opinion actually is, which seems like it should be manageable by the simple expedient of telling him what my opinion actually is.
   20. Booey Posted: November 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4305162)
Do people really see the "silly" Triple Crown as being the sole difference between a Cabrera blowout in the voting vs a Trout blowout? Cuz I don't.

Even if baseball history had never attached any special significance to leading in avg, HR, and RBI all in the same season, that's still 3 big categories that the writers have always considered to be important that Cabrera led everyone in (plus a few more lesser categories). He'd still have the "led his team to the playoffs" angle and the "selfless teammate" narrative for moving positions to accommodate Fielder.

Meanwhile, Trout still finishes behind Cabrera in all the above mentioned stats that writers consider most important, plus he still misses a month of the season and his team still watches the playoffs from home (yes, with a better record than the Tigers).

So no, I don't really think the TC was the difference between Miggy winning a blowout vote vs losing a blowout vote. I think it was the difference between him winning the blowout vs a really close vote that could've gone either way.
   21. Cblau Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4305266)
I'm not outraged over the 2nd best player in the AL winning a voted on award.

But Cano didn't win the award. It was the fourth best player who won the MVP.

Winning the Triple Crown may be a once in a generation thing, but having a season as good as Cabrera did isn't. He was more valuable in 2011!
   22. MHS Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4305294)
MVP proves team results matter


Actually, I think it proves that the MVP doesn't matter.

I actually find sabrists outrage at this funny, and the MSM's position further proof that I have little need to waste my time reading their spin.
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4305297)
Winning the Triple Crown may be a once in a generation thing, but having a season as good as Cabrera did isn't. He was more valuable in 2011!


Manny Ramirez (1999) and Todd Helton (2001) had better Triple Crown numbers than Cabrera did this year and neither won the MVP for their league in those seasons.
   24. Yardape Posted: November 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4305310)
2002 AL: Tejada over AROD. Absolutely terrible, especially considering they played the same position.


I understand your point, and I don't want to jack up the outrage even more, but by WAR Cabrera over Trout is worse than Tejada over A-Rod. Now, many will (justifiably) quibble with the exact WAR figure, but it seems likely that this year's vote certainly belongs in your list of the worst ever.

Do people really see the "silly" Triple Crown as being the sole difference between a Cabrera blowout in the voting vs a Trout blowout?


I do.
   25. Booey Posted: November 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4305321)
I understand your point, and I don't want to jack up the outrage even more, but by WAR Cabrera over Trout is worse than Tejada over A-Rod. Now, many will (justifiably) quibble with the exact WAR figure, but it seems likely that this year's vote certainly belongs in your list of the worst ever.


Only by WAR. Just going off more traditional stats, I'd still go with Trout, but it's not nearly the blowout WAR makes it seem.

I do.


Really? I'm not seeing it. Trout may have won, but I'm guessing it would've been a lot closer than 22-6.
   26. Booey Posted: November 17, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4305327)
Manny Ramirez (1999) and Todd Helton (2001) had better Triple Crown numbers than Cabrera did this year and neither won the MVP for their league in those seasons.


There were also a lot more huge offensive seasons back then so their numbers didn't stand out from the pack quite so much. Helton, for example, was going up against a 73 HR, .863 slg season by Bonds and a 64 HR, 160 RBI campaign from Sosa. Hard to beat that. Plus he played in pre-humidifier Coors, possibly the greatest hitting park of all time, so his numbers can't be taken entirely at face value.
   27. Yardape Posted: November 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4305340)
Only by WAR. Just going off more traditional stats, I'd still go with Trout, but it's not nearly the blowout WAR makes it seem.


Cut the WAR difference in half, then. It's still a worse decision than five of the other ones on your list. Again, it's fine to quibble with WAR, but this is at least in the same neighbourhood as those terrible MVPs.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4305352)
Anyway, this was about the triple crown, and was about non-voters.

A correction: It's never about the non-voters. We don't matter that much, you big doofus.


Name-calling. Fun.

My point was not that people here influenced the vote; my point was that people here were "ok" with a result that they shouldn't have been "ok" with. My point had nothing to do with the actual results per se. My point was not that people should have been OUTRAGED and started sending scorpions through the mail. My point was simply that people should have said they were "not ok" with it.

That is it. "I am not ok with the result since a player who didn't deserve to win won, simply because he happened to win the Triple Crown." Done and done.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4305372)
Name-calling. Fun.


Really? Out of all the names you've been called by all the Primates in all the threads, "big doofus" is the one that got stuck in your craw?

My point was not that people here influenced the vote; my point was that people here were "ok" with a result that they shouldn't have been "ok" with.


And you have no say in this. For some bizarre reason, you don't seem to get this.

I get to choose what I'm OK with, what I'm outraged by and what I'm simply going to ignore. If I ever seek outside counsel on which of these reactions is appropriate, I'll be sure to consider you as a possible provider, champ.* Until then, don't tell me what I can and can't be OK with, OK?

* Crossing my fingers that such a nickname won't offend your suddenly delicate sensibilities.


   30. PreservedFish Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4305394)
I'm not even sure what it means to be "not ok" with something like this.
   31. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4305408)
Cut the WAR difference in half, then. It's still a worse decision than five of the other ones on your list. Again, it's fine to quibble with WAR, but this is at least in the same neighbourhood as those terrible MVPs.


Well, it's like I said before; this was a mistake, but at least it's a more understandable one than many. Some of the ones I listed have no rhyme or reason behind them at all. Vaughn over Belle? Belle beat Vaughn in basically every category (most of them handily) AND his team was much better. They may as well have just drawn names out of a hat that year.

I'd be fine calling this the 14th worst MVP selection of the last 25 years. And I don't remember this much outrage over many of the ones from above that were equally bad or worse.

I'm not even sure what it means to be "not ok" with something like this.


It means that it's your duty to insult everyone that said they wouldn't freak out about it and accuse them of being anti-reason and intelligent thought, or something.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4305409)
Really? Out of all the names you've been called by all the Primates in all the threads, "big doofus" is the one that got stuck in your craw?


I actually expected a higher level of discourse from you, believe it or not. I'll lower my expectations.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4305411)
I'm not even sure what it means to be "not ok" with something like this.


Well, what does it mean to be "ok" with it? Let's start there, since that's what people here said.
   34. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4305419)
Well, what does it mean to be "ok" with it? Let's start there, since that's what people here said.

For me, it means that I understand baseball history, so I don't pretend that the MVP award is purely about statistical value and nothing more. It never has been, so I understand that the voters are merely following tradition by attaching special significance to a rare achievement that goes beyond mere value stats. It also means that I've seen so many bad choices over the years that my OUTRAGE meter is nearing empty. And lastly, it means that I don't see why we're all required to act like this is something we've never seen before and that it's such a miscarriage of justice that it's our responsibility to keep fuming about it over the internet and criticizing others who said they don't care as much as we'd like them to.

The Triple Crown is just a fun but ultimately meaningless piece of trivia? Sure. But so are writers awards like MVP's in the first place. Personally, I like the fun trivia type stuff.
   35. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4305457)
I'll lower my expectations.


Well, I'd appreciate that. (-:

   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4305459)
Well, what does it mean to be "ok" with it? Let's start there, since that's what people here said.


For me, it means that I understand baseball history, so I don't pretend that the MVP award is purely about statistical value and nothing more.

Check.

It never has been, so I understand that the voters are merely following tradition by attaching special significance to a rare achievement that goes beyond mere value stats.

Double check.

It also means that I've seen so many bad choices over the years that my OUTRAGE meter is nearing empty.

And if you live a bit longer, you'll see even more of them. I still haven't gotten over the year that Steve Carlton posted a 12.1 WAR, transformed the 1962 Mets into the 1927 Yankees, and still couldn't finish higher than 5th in the voting.

And lastly, it means that I don't see why we're all required to act like this is something we've never seen before and that it's such a miscarriage of justice that it's our responsibility to keep fuming about it over the internet and criticizing others who said they don't care as much as we'd like them to.

Ah, but here you don't understand. THIS TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!!!
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4305463)
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!!?!?!?!?
   38. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4305468)
Well, what does it mean to be "ok" with it? Let's start there, since that's what people here said.

Because it's a perfectly legitimate result.

If you need some reference to WAR, it's "ok" in that people are demanding that we genuflect to a methodology that denominated Ben Zobrist the "Most Valuable Player" in the 2011 AL which ... um yeah.

If you need additional reference to WAR, take note that the inherent uncertainty in the relationship between runs and wins is significantly higher than even a dominant season by one guy. The Orioles were +11 actual wins over pythag; that implies 22 wins of uncertainty (they could have lost 11 more than pythag). Carlton's 1972 was 12 WAR.
   39. BDC Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4305483)
people are demanding that we genuflect to a methodology

Actually if people just look at WAR and start going ballistic about other people's inability to do arithmetic and notice that Trout's is higher, that's genuflection, for sure. But most of the MVP arguments for Trout feature, early on, his leading the league in Runs and Stolen Bases, and also in OPS+, which is a less controversial formula than WAR. The weakest MVP argument for Trout is one which points at a single WAR number and says "so there," and it isn't that bad an argument even so.
   40. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4305484)
As I've said before, I would've voted for Trout too, but the amount of outrage this is generating has reached ridiculous levels. I've only been following baseball since 1987, but this years result wouldn't even crack the top dozen worst MVP selections of the last 25 years alone, let alone all time.


Really? Because Trout had around a 3.5 WAR per FG and BR. Didn't someone on another thread figure out that was the biggest gap of a non MVP winner in like 50 years?
   41. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4305487)
Cut the WAR difference in half, then. It's still a worse decision than five of the other ones on your list. Again, it's fine to quibble with WAR, but this is at least in the same neighbourhood as those terrible MVPs.

Distance from the WAR leader isn't the only way to measure a bad MVP selection, though. The ones I'll actually get worked up about are the ones in which there are numerous players who are clearly better than the guy the writers pick. Andre Dawson wasn't even close to being one of the top 4 right fielders in the NL the year he won the award. Gonzalez over A-Rod in '96 was absurd, yes, but so was Gonzalez over Griffey, Gonzalez over Belle, Gonzalez over Thome... Ditto the '95 AL vote, in which Mo Vaughn beat not only Belle, but Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, John Valentin, Tim Salmon, and Randy Johnson, all of whom had noticeably better years.

Cabrera? Yes, Trout was clearly better and should have won, and you can make arguments that Cano or Verlander should have beaten him as well. But he at least had the kind of season that normally puts you in deserving MVP contention. And since he did it in a way that was tailor-made to draw the attention of MVP voters, I figured it was inevitable that he'd win, and went with the "serenity to accept the things I cannot change" approach.

Which is all I meant by being OK with the result. It's incorrect, but it's not the first time, won't be the last, and is far from the worst, and I like to think I have better things to do than work myself into a frenzy on the topic. (I fully expect to be proven wrong when the annual Morris debate starts up again, of course.)
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4305488)
Really? Because Trout had around a 3.5 WAR per FG and BR. Didn't someone on another thread figure out that was the biggest gap of a non MVP winner in like 50 years?

Via a model that said Ben Zobrist was the best player in the American League in 2011. GIGO.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4305511)
Which is all I meant by being OK with the result. It's incorrect, but it's not the first time, won't be the last, and is far from the worst, and I like to think I have better things to do than work myself into a frenzy on the topic.


No "frenzy" is needed. "The award went to an undeserving player" is all that was asked. When Dawson won in 1987, people who knew better weren't "ok" with it. That doesn't mean that they stormed the BBWAA headquarters. All it meant is that they said that the result was without justification.

   44. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4305547)
Really? Because Trout had around a 3.5 WAR per FG and BR. Didn't someone on another thread figure out that was the biggest gap of a non MVP winner in like 50 years?


Maybe, but like #41 said, you don't measure selections based solely on the WAR gap between them (especially cuz WAR fluctuates and the gap may be significantly lower in a few years anyway). IMO, the 2nd or 3rd best player winning the award isn't nearly as big a travesty as when a guy who may not even be in the top 10 wins it (1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, etc). Also, I know many here disagree with the way voters give special significance to things like the Triple Crown, but they always have and probably always will, so I see no reason to be surprised or upset that they did it again. I'd guess that's the main reason several of us have said we were "ok" with this result; cuz the voters were basically just following protocol. I'd have had no problem with Sosa over McGwire in '98 if Sammy had beat Mac in the HR race, even though with all the walks McGwire's season would still almost certainly have been the better of the two. Cuz setting the new HR record is significant beyond the actual value those HR's produced to his team. Ditto with the Triple Crown. You're free to disagree, of course.

I actually do understand why people aren't okay with the result and while I wouldn't put it there myself, I certainly don't think they'd be crazy to rank it near the top of the "bad MVP" list I posted above. We're all free to disagree. The only thing that annoys me is why some people are getting so upset that others aren't bothered as much as they are. Why is that a requirement, and who has the right to tell anyone else what they should and shouldn't care about? If it bothers you, fine. I understand and respect that. If it doesn't bother others, that should also be fine.
   45. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4305556)
A correction: It's never about the non-voters. We don't matter that much, you big doofus.


The bums will always lose! Do you hear me, Mr. Lebowski? The bums will ALWAYS LOSE!
   46. Srul Itza At Home Posted: November 18, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4305624)
Well, what does it mean to be "ok" with it?



It means recognizing that the MVP award is trivia, but that if it helps Cabrera get into the HoF, it serves a purpose this year.
   47. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 18, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4305632)
"The award went to an undeserving player" is all that was asked.

I'm not sure what other inference you could possibly have drawn from repeated statements such as "Trout was the best player" and "I would have voted for Trout."
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4305636)
I'm not sure what other inference you could possibly have drawn from repeated statements such as "Trout was the best player" and "I would have voted for Trout."


Explained, a gazillion times. The other inference is "...but I am ok with Cabrera winning the MVP because he won the TC."

Change that to "...and I am not ok with Cabrera winning the MVP despite the fact that he won the TC" and I have no issue.
   49. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4305639)
Change that to "...and I am not ok with Cabrera winning the MVP despite the fact that he won the TC" and I have no issue.


How do you feel about "I believe Trout was the best player, but I don't care who gets the MVP award"?
   50.   Posted: November 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4305640)
Baseball Writers are writers who report on the news, ie themselves. The MVP is about who was the most valuable story, to the writers, since it's all about them. In this case they've decided the story is about the triple crown and "nerds" vs "traditionalists" and the most valuable story to the pompous writers is their own defeat of the nerds by voting for miggy c. They create the news, manipulate the results to suit their needs, and then report on it. Sweet gig.
   51. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4305647)
Only by WAR. Just going off more traditional stats, I'd still go with Trout, but it's not nearly the blowout WAR makes it seem.


How do you "go by traditional stats"? Traditional stats are inadequate to compare two players like Trout and Cabrera - one a leadoff hitter, the other batting 3rd every day, one who derives massive value from defense and baserunning, the other with negative value in those aspects. One plays in a hitters park the other in a pitchers park.

What reason do you have to doubt the WAR figures on Cabrera and Trout? WAR says Cabrera was a -5 run defender and Trout was +20. That seems positive on both of them, I think it's more likely that Cabrera was -10 and Trout was +15.
   52. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4305650)
Via a model that said Ben Zobrist was the best player in the American League in 2011. GIGO.


Zobrist had a +29 defensive rating that year. We both agree that's a miss. Fortunately UZR only had him +7 or so, so FanGraphs WAR estimate of Zobrist is likely correct. He had a classic Ian Kinsler, Chase Utley type season, I'm not sure why him being near the top of the league is garbage.
   53. OsunaSakata Posted: November 18, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4305657)
Baseball Writers are writers who report on the news, ie themselves. The MVP is about who was the most valuable story, to the writers, since it's all about them. In this case they've decided the story is about the triple crown and "nerds" vs "traditionalists" and the most valuable story to the pompous writers is their own defeat of the nerds by voting for miggy c. They create the news, manipulate the results to suit their needs, and then report on it. Sweet gig.


If I were to pick the baseball story of 2012, it would be shutting down Strasburg or Bobby Valentine and the collapse of the Red Sox or the surprising surge of the Orioles and Athletics or the charismatic rookies Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Carbrera's Triple Crown chase was a September afterthought. Really, was Miguel Cabrera, a more compelling story that Mike Trout? If winning was all that mattered, would the voters who picked Cabrera over Trout, choose the quarterback for the Mid-American Conference Champion for the Heisman, over a quarterback with similar stats from the 3rd best team in the Southeast Conference?
   54. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4305660)
Really, was Miguel Cabrera, a more compelling story that Mike Trout?


The thing is, they were already going to give Trout the Rookie of the Year award, so that story was covered.
   55. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4305665)
I think Cabrera winning the triple crown was a huge story but I've always been fascinated by the triple crown. It's definitely a YMMV type thing but for me that was the big story of the season.
   56. BDC Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4305671)
I think Cabrera winning the triple crown was a huge story but I've always been fascinated by the triple crown

I like it too. If the "TC" has a weakness, it's that HR are also RBI, so they're to some extent double-counted. Leading the league in batting average and HR is certainly a big deal just on its own. Cabrera, as mentioned here and there in these threads, had already won an "asynchronous" Triple Crown (in three separate seasons), so 2012 confirms that that was no fluke. If that can't be appreciated as a cool thing to achieve, the appreciater needs to repeat cool school :)

   57. BDC Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4305672)
And I'd still have voted for Trout as MVP. Degree of coolness is really not a serious competition. Trout did pretty well in that category himself.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4305676)
Degree of coolness is really not a serious competition.

But then again neither, when you get right down to it, is the MVP award. The games that create the data are serious, of course, but it's really of very little moment whether some body or faction bestows the MVP award (*) on the "right" player.

(*) Or even, for that matter, a MVP award. The sport could survive perfectly well without one and, at this late date, the awards serve primarily as an offseason marketing tool for the business.
   59. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4305678)
If the "TC" has a weakness, it's that HR are also RBI, so they're to some extent double-counted.


Yeah this was basically my point. If you're leading the league in BA and HR, it's likely that you're leading in RBI's as well.

The other weakness of the triple crown is that it ignores runs scored which are at least as valuable as RBIs. I think OBP, SLG and SB-CS would be a much more comprehensive triple crown (Braun actually came fairly close this year).
   60. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4305682)
What reason do you have to doubt the WAR figures on Cabrera and Trout?


I'm a little skeptical about the park effects that give Trout a higher OPS+ despite an OPS 40 points lower. I'm much more comfortable conceding that Cabrera was the best hitter in the league but that Trout's defense and baserunning more than make up for it.

But again, it's not even that I doubt the WAR figures that much; it's more that I just don't think the MVP (or any other award or HOF vote) should ever be determined with just a single all encompassing number and nothing more. As long as there's voting, there's room for debate.

And lastly, yet again, I DO think Trout was better and he would've gotten my vote.
   61.   Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4305684)
f that can't be appreciated as a cool thing to achieve, the appreciater needs to repeat cool school :)


It's about as cool as leading the league in Runs Scored, Stolen Bases and OPS+.

Again, the logic is entirely cyclical. the TC is important because it is important. It is exactly the same logic we see defending the continued infatuation with no-hitters. It's significant because it's a tough thing to do that will get a lot of news. It gets a lot of news because it's significant and it's significant because it gets the news.
   62. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4305688)
If you're leading the league in BA and HR, it's likely that you're leading in RBI's as well.


Usually, yeah. But there's been at least 3 cases that I know of where a player won the batting and homer titles but didn't get the Triple Crown - Ruth in 1924, Mize in 1939, and Ted Williams in 1941.

Sheffield in 1992 and Larry Walker in 1997 were really close to doing this as well, and Thomas and Belle weren't that far off in 1994 either. Bonds narrowly missed in both 2002 and 2004. In all 6 cases, the rbi lead was the biggest obstacle in the way of the Triple Crown. So while your main point is valid, it's certainly not a lock that winning the first two pretty much guarantees a TC.

   63. Booey Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4305690)
It's about as cool as leading the league in Runs Scored, Stolen Bases and OPS+.


But what about leading the league in average, homers, rbi, slugging, total bases, AND OPS? That's gotta be even cooler, right? ;-)
   64. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4305692)
Whoah he lead in total bases AND slugging? Truly an impressive feat!
   65. BDC Posted: November 18, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4305700)
If you're leading the league in BA and HR, it's likely that you're leading in RBI's as well

And for that matter in Runs as well. Cabrera was the first TC winner not to lead his league in Runs Scored since the mid-1930s, when there were several winners who didn't. It's no real knock on him that he didn't lead in Runs; like RBI, context plays a big part here, and Hornsby (once), Klein, Foxx, and Gehrig also fell short in R while leading in the TC categories.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4305711)
Whoah he lead in total bases AND slugging? Truly an impressive feat!


Obviously the two cover the same ground, though leading in both is really not common. It's only the second time since 1999 an AL player has led both (Arod in his MVP season of 2007).
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4305713)
I think OBP, SLG and SB-CS would be a much more comprehensive triple crown (Braun actually came fairly close this year).


Wouldn't the problem with this is it would be damn near impossible to find anyone who could pull it off (unless Trout somehow gets better)? Cobb is probably the only guy whose ever done it (likely twice, though we don't have the CS data to be certain), but I doubt we'll ever see anyone pull it off again. And as impressive as it would be, it doesn't have a lot of value as a stastistical milestone if no one can actually attain it.

BTW, how would Braun be described as being fairly close this year? He didn't lead in any of the three categories.
   68. vivaelpujols Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4305715)
I'm just saying that the definition of slugging is total bases / AB. Just like how Mike Trout leads the league in runs and runs/PA (probably). No need to list both.
   69. The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4305737)
there's been at least 3 cases that I know of where a player won the batting and homer titles but didn't get the Triple Crown - Ruth in 1924, Mize in 1939, and Ted Williams in 1941.

Sheffield in 1992 and Larry Walker in 1997 were really close to doing this as well, and Thomas and Belle weren't that far off in 1994 either. Bonds narrowly missed in both 2002 and 2004. In all 6 cases, the rbi lead was the biggest obstacle in the way of the Triple Crown.
Bonds and Thomas, at least, made the critical mistake of walking a whole lot.
   70. Danny Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4305738)
Cobb is probably the only guy whose ever done it (likely twice, though we don't have the CS data to be certain), but I doubt we'll ever see anyone pull it off again.

Honus Wagner probably did it a few times, too.
   71. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4305743)
I'm just saying that the definition of slugging is total bases / AB. Just like how Mike Trout leads the league in runs and runs/PA (probably). No need to list both.


As I said, while the two categories are obviously related, there isn't a lot of overlap in terms of the actual leaders in each category (in the same way that the hits leader and the BA leader probably aren't the same guy all that often).

In Trout's case, you're almost certainly right (given that he was the counting stat leader despite the missed month of PT).
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4305746)

Honus Wagner probably did it a few times, too.


Good catch. But I'll very surprised if someone pulls it off again.

   73. vivaelpujols Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4305749)
Wouldn't the problem with this is it would be damn near impossible to find anyone who could pull it off (unless Trout somehow gets better)?


Braun was 3rd in the NL in OBP (off by .017 points), 1st in SLG and 5th in SB (off by 12).

But yeah it's probably a bit too hard. How about BA, walks and total bases?
   74. Downtown Bookie Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4305755)
I think OBP, SLG and SB-CS would be a much more comprehensive triple crown (Braun actually came fairly close this year).


I would have figured Willie Mays as a good candidate to pull this off; but it looks like the closest he came was in 1958, when he led the league in Stolen Bases (31, while only being caught six times) and in OPS; but didn't lead the league in either OBP or SLG.

DB
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4305759)
How about BA, walks and total bases?


That might be even harder. I'd suspect the walks leadership would almost eliminate you from total base consideration.

This is interesting though. What kind of TC can you create that rewards non-overlapping skills (or as little double-counting as possible) while also being obtainable and a good measurement of value.

   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4305761)
The Triple Crown is "hard" not because there aren't hitters who can do each of the three things well, but because it is flukey to actually lead the league in each category.

Pujols/Thomas/McGwire/Bonds/Sheffield/Ramirez/Bagwell/Belle/Piazza/ARod/Vlad/Griffey... All of these players could have won the silly Triple Crown at any point. By simple virtue of fluke - similar to how Roger Clemens never threw a no-hitter - they didn't. So bleeping what. Cabrera's OPS+ was 165 - far from historic, and not among the top 400 of all time. This blind worship of the Triple Crown is childish. It is silliness at its height. RBIs count? Walks and doubles don't? Jesus.
   77. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4305765)
That might be even harder. I'd suspect the walks leadership would almost eliminate you from total base consideration.

The most recent player to lead his league in walks and total bases was David Ortiz in 2006. The last NL player to do it (that I caught, anyway; I'm searching by eye) was Mike Schmidt in 1981. Dwight Evans also did it the same year.

Bonds led the league in total bases once - 1993, when Lenny Dykstra beat him by 3 walks. That was the only time between '92-'97 that Bonds didn't win the walking title.

Going back further gives us an entrant in the "well THAT makes sense" category, as Mantle pulled off the walks-TB combo once, in 1958. He also had average and TB in '56 while finishing second in walks - but he was 39 behind Ed Yost, who drew 151 free passes that year.

That, of course, brings us back to Ted Williams, who led the AL in both walks and total bases on FOUR occasions: 1942, '46, '47 and '49; given the intervening time in the military, that's actually four times in five seasons. Two of them were combined with a batting title - the '42 and '47 seasons, in which he also won the more traditional Triple Crown. Some things apparently never change.

Jimmie Foxx won this type of Triple Crown as well, albeit not in the same year as his other one; he led in walks, TB, and BA in 1938.

Ty Cobb came absurdly close in 1915, leading the league in average and TB, and finishing one walk behind Eddie Collins for the league lead. Neither Cobb nor Collins ever came especially close to their walk totals from that year again - it was Collins's career high by 18, and Cobb's by 33. That same year, Gavvy Cravath led the NL in walk and total bases, but hit only .285.

There are two other 20th-century BA/BB/TB Triple Crowns - and they occurred in the same year, 1924. Babe Ruth, who simultaneously led the league in both walks and total bases 5 separate times, won his only batting title in one of those years, at the same time as Rogers Hornsby, who won five matched pairs of batting and total base titles and combined one of them with a walks lead (one of the three he'd end up with).

So, as far as I can tell, the complete list of BA/BB/TB TC is:
Babe Ruth 1924
Rogers Hornsby 1924
Jimmie Foxx 1938
Ted Williams 1942
Ted Williams 1947

Oh, and bonus appearances from Ross Barnes in 1873 and 1876. No other 19th-century types that I see.
   78.   Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4305766)
Ray, well-stated. I agree.
   79. vivaelpujols Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4305767)
That might be even harder. I'd suspect the walks leadership would almost eliminate you from total base consideration.


Babe Ruth did it 5 times, Ted Williams did it 4 times, Hornsby did it once. I'm sure a missed a few.

Edit: walks and total bases that is, not batting average.
   80. vivaelpujols Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4305769)
So, as far as I can tell, the complete list of BA/BB/TB TC is:
Babe Ruth 1924
Rogers Hornsby 1924
Jimmie Foxx 1938
Ted Williams 1942
Ted Williams 1947


Cool research. That's a 3 times rarer than the triple crown and I think is an improvement in terms of coverage, but maybe it's a little too rare. The only problem is that BA is too tied up with the other two categories. BB/TB/SB would be the ultimate triple crown, but I don't think anyone's done that.

   81. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2012 at 02:17 AM (#4305774)
So, as far as I can tell, the complete list of BA/BB/TB TC is:
Babe Ruth 1924
Rogers Hornsby 1924
Jimmie Foxx 1938
Ted Williams 1942
Ted Williams 1947


That's far more common than I would have thought, but I agree with viva that's it's still rpobably too rare. It's tough to get just the right balance.
   82. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4305793)
Pujols/Thomas/McGwire/Bonds/Sheffield/Ramirez/Bagwell/Belle/Piazza/ARod/Vlad/Griffey... All of these players could have won the silly Triple Crown at any point. By simple virtue of fluke - similar to how Roger Clemens never threw a no-hitter - they didn't. So bleeping what.

Fly those flags proudly and don't fret, Cubs fans -- you could have won the World Series several times since 1908.
   83. OsunaSakata Posted: November 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4305833)
Pujols/Thomas/McGwire/Bonds/Sheffield/Ramirez/Bagwell/Belle/Piazza/ARod/Vlad/Griffey... All of these players could have won the silly Triple Crown at any point.


Not McGwire for sure. His highest batting average was .312 and that wasn't in the top 10.
   84. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4305840)
1989 NL: Mitchell over Will Clark. They chose the wrong Giant.


I've never seen how this was such a bad selection. Mitchell had a 192 OPS+ in 640 PA, Clark had a 175 in 675. That's a fairly significant advantage to Mitchell, even if he has the lower OBP (and it wasn't like he was Andre Dawson - Mitchell's OBP was .388). Both grounded into only 6 DPs. Clark has a slight advantage in stealing, but neither was any great shakes on the bases. Mitchell led the league in homers by a huge margin (he had 47, Hojo was second with only 36). Clark certainly had an advantage on defense, but he's a first baseman, and not Keith Hernandez. Without advanced defensive stats, which didn't exist at the time, how could you have conclusively said that his D made up for 18 points of OPS+? I'm not going to argue with anyone who says they'd have voted for Clark, but this result was certainly not a travesty.
   85. alilisd Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4305870)
How do you "go by traditional stats"? Traditional stats are inadequate to compare two players like Trout and Cabrera - one a leadoff hitter, the other batting 3rd every day, one who derives massive value from defense and baserunning, the other with negative value in those aspects. One plays in a hitters park the other in a pitchers park.


I don't think it's so difficult. Traditional baseball fans should understand the context, different batting order positions, different defensive positions, even differences in parks. I look at the two of them and see Trout leading in runs as a leadoff hitter and Cabrera leading in RBI as a three hitter and it's a wash. They both did what they were supposed to do for the position they hit in (you can also look at Trout with 83 RBI and Cabrera with 109 runs and say they both did a great job for their batting order position in each of those categories as well). BA is also a wash since Trout would have won the batting title with 3 more hits, or 3 fewer for Cabrera. HR go to Cabrera, but 30 out of the leadoff spot is huge so it doesn't give any sort of large advantage to Cabrera. Cabrera is a tick behind Trout in OBP, but way ahead in SLG; however, Trout has all those stolen bases and, even after adjusting for CS and the difference between an SB and a double or triple, he makes up the difference in SLG. So in terms of most traditional hitting stats, with steals factored in, they are virtually indistinguishable.

After that it's not difficult to say Trout was clearly a superior base runner and defender, not to mention playing the majority of his time at a more valuable defensive postion. Even traditional baseball fans should understand this. At that point you can easily declare Trout your MVP, or, in a close call, give the nod to Cabrera due to his playing in 22 more games, which does have significant value. It's a lot closer from that perspective than it is if you look at WAR, but it is possible to evaluate them adequately, IMO.
   86. The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4305889)
I seem to remember Clark being clutch that year, although looking at the stats, it's not as dramatic as I thought it might be. He was 953 OPS on the year, yet 1061 with men on, 1169 with RISP, 1313 with 2 outs/RISP, and 1186 in "high leverage" as defined by B-R.

But yeah, of course even if Clark should have won, it's not comparable to the '87 votes, the Juan Gonzalez ones, etc. (I disagree, though, that we only get to express our opinion when the mistake is sufficiently large.)
   87. Booey Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4305894)
Pujols/Thomas/McGwire/Bonds/Sheffield/Ramirez/Bagwell/Belle/Piazza/ARod/Vlad/Griffey... All of these players could have won the silly Triple Crown at any point.


As mentioned already, Mac and his .263 career average weren't going to win any batting titles. His career high of .312 would have led the league, what, like twice in the entire history of batting titles?

And the flip side of your point is this; the fact that none of those great hitters (plus the likes of Ruth, Aaron, Mays, etc) ever won it makes it MORE impressive and cool that someone finally did, not less (for those of us who care about such things).

1989 NL: Mitchell over Will Clark. They chose the wrong Giant.

I've never seen how this was such a bad selection.


I included that one just cuz I've heard lots of Giants fans (not here) complain about it. I don't remember thinking it was terrible myself, but I was also 10, so take that with a grain of salt. Feel free to remove it from the list if you wish.

BB/TB/SB would be the ultimate triple crown, but I don't think anyone's done that.

Why are stolen bases so important all of a sudden? And if you want to include them, it should be SB minus CS, cuz just listing stolen bases alone doesn't give an accurate portrayal of value. There's been plenty of times (like when Canseco and Vlad were gunning for 40/40) that a player racked up lots of SB without a good percentage just by sheer volume of attempts (not that this applies to Trout, of course).
   88. TomH Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4305904)
BA/BB/TB is good, but includes no baserunning. Problem with trying to include baserunning is there is no single metric; SB would be silly (I would've won the TC if it weren't for the valueless Vince Coleman in my league...). RUNS woudl not be bad, if you don't mind hte team dependent thing.

BA/BB/TB also misses park effects.

I'd go for OPS+, R, RBI. Because in the end, runs matter.
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4305933)
As mentioned already, Mac and his .263 career average weren't going to win any batting titles. His career high of .312 would have led the league, what, like twice in the entire history of batting titles?


Yes, yes, one of my examples was bad. Whatever. The point remains.

And the flip side of your point is this; the fact that none of those great hitters (plus the likes of Ruth, Aaron, Mays, etc) ever won it makes it MORE impressive and cool that someone finally did, not less (for those of us who care about such things).


The TC is not impressive given that we know how to measure offense, and RBIs are not a part of that, and walks/doubles are, along with park adjustments and some other things.


   90. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4305946)
The TC is not impressive given that we know how to measure offense

WAR and similar means of converting events to "runs" to "wins" don't measure offense, they model it.
   91. Ron J2 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4305949)
I'm a little skeptical about the park effects that give Trout a higher OPS+ despite an OPS 40 points lower.


I've heard a lot of this and I just don't get it. Figuring out the offensive context that a player plays in isn't a guess. We know the runs scored and allowed in Angel home and road games. Likewise for the TIgers.

And the respective park factors for Trout and Cabrera have stayed consistent over the recent past. IE the single year and 3 year park factors are the same for both teams.
   92. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4305951)
I've heard a lot of this and I just don't get it. Figuring out the offensive context that a player plays in isn't a guess. We know the runs scored and allowed in Angel home and road games. Likewise for the TIgers.

Depends what you're using them for. If you want to say a run scored/run created in Anaheim is more valuable than one created in CoPa, tough to argue against. If you want to say the differences in environment explain the differences in offensive output between Trout and Cabrera, no sale.
   93. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4306048)
BA/BB/TB is good, but includes no baserunning.


I think the three elements of the Triple Crown should be as separated as possible: hitting, baserunning, and fielding.

Although to make them all counting stats, I guess I'd go Hits, Stolen Bases, and Putouts? That sounds difficult to achieve, and very position-dependent. Rickey Henderson did in 1981, and he and Ichiro are the only ones I checked.
   94. BDC Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4306093)
The TC is not impressive given that we know how to measure offense

Wait, that's like saying that Texas is not impressive given that we know how to measure surface area. I mean, what's the least-impressive TC season? Chuck Klein (given that he only hit 28 home runs, and chipped 20 of them over the wall in the Baker Bowl). Even at that, Klein had a hellacious monstrous offensive season, relative to his league. It is impressive to win a Triple Crown, even if there might be other things more impressive.

   95. Tippecanoe Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4306103)
the respective park factors for Trout and Cabrera have stayed consistent over the recent past. IE the single year and 3 year park factors are the same for both teams


As stated, everything above is true. The OPS+ skepticism arises because Anaheim had a multiyear Park Factor of 102 as recently as 2009. The single year PF has been 105, 102, 94, 93, 91 over the past 5 years.
   96. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4306113)
The single year PF has been 105, 102, 94, 93, 91 over the past 5 years.

Duh, Obama.
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4306124)
As stated, everything above is true. The OPS+ skepticism arises because Anaheim had a multiyear Park Factor of 102 as recently as 2009. The single year PF has been 105, 102, 94, 93, 91 over the past 5 years.


It's undeniable that runs have been scored at a significantly lower clip in Anaheim over the past three years*, and thus Trout's numbers have more value in that context than ones put up elsewhere. The disconnect is that we often label these things Park Effects (unlike the more accurate, Park Factors, that Ron did).

When we call it Park Effects, it suggests that the park itself is suppressing offense, and I'm kind of skeptical that Anaheim really went from a slightly hitter-friendly park in 2009 to an offensive hellhole in 2010.* That ol' stathead standby, random variation (and maybe some modest change in weather/conditions) seems like a more likely explanation for the change.


* OK, I'm assuming the basic arithmetic supporting those lower park factors is correct. I haven't checked, nor would I ever be inclined to do so.

** Absent some structural change that I'm not aware of.

   98. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4306138)
When we call it Park Effects, it suggests that the park itself is suppressing offense, and I'm kind of skeptical that Anaheim really went from a slightly hitter-friendly park in 2009 to an offensive hellhole in 2010.


Park effects are computed in context of the other ballparks, so let's see here...

New Yankee opened in 2009 and has been significantly more of a hitters' park than old Yankee.
Target Field opened in 2010 and it looks to be about the same as the old Hump.
The Royals made some changes to Kauffman Stadium between 2007 and 2009 which on balance look like they're also a wash.

The Angels also play more road games in Texas than do the Tigers, which depending on how the park factors are computed might drive the numbers down in that Texas is one of the best parks for hitters in the AL.

-- MWE
   99. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4306148)
The Angels also play more road games in Texas than do the Tigers, which depending on how the park factors are computed might drive the numbers down in that Texas is one of the best parks for hitters in the AL.


The Angels have been playing more games in Texas for a long time, and Texas has been a hitter's park since it's opened, so that can't possibly be the reason.

My point wasn't about park factors as they relate to Trout vs. Cabrera. As I said, the simple fact that offense was down in Anaheim in 2012, regardless the reason, elevates the value of the runs that were produced there. I'm just skeptical that the park itself has been much of the reason for the lower offensive context (and nothing about the changes at the other parks gives me reason to waver in that skepticism).

   100. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4306150)
The Angels also play more road games in Texas than do the Tigers, which depending on how the park factors are computed might drive the numbers down in that Texas is one of the best parks for hitters in the AL.

They also play extra road games in Oakland and Seattle, both of which are among the best pitchers' parks in the AL.
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