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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

BTF Awards - 2005 NL MVP

Known as “Prince Albert” to his fans in St. Louis, the BTF NL MVP Award electorate crowned Albert Pujols “King Albert” when he became the top vote-getter for this election. His fifth straight year of at least a 150 OPS+ with his 167 in 2005, the right-handed Pujols has proved to be among the most consistently outstanding and durable players of all-time already at age 25. Though not his best season, a line of .330/.430/.609 in 700 plate appearances (not to mention 41 homers, 117 RBI, and a league-leading 129 runs) will always turn a baseball enthusiast’s head. A questionable defensive player during his rookie season in 2001 at his position, hard work has led to his place as one of the premier first basemen of his generation. He even surprised on the basepaths this season with his 16 stolen bases out of 18 tries! A terrific effort for the NL Central Division leader.

Even with all of Pujols’ heroics, he had remarkable competition for the award in the Cub’s Derrek Lee. A fine hitter, but never an upper-tier player, the right-handed Lee easily obtained his best season in 2005 with his .335/.418/.662 (his BA and SLG were tops in the ML) batting line and a 177 OPS+ (best in the majors) in 691 plate appearances. He also notched 46 home runs, 50 doubles, 199 hits, and 393 total bases, earning him top honors for those categories in the NL, too. A good fielding first baseman, he continued his gradual improvement as a base stealer with 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts and his best percentage of 83%. But what ultimately kept Lee from claiming #1 for this award was his team’s second-division status.

Except for those two, no other position player received a #1 vote on the ballot, except for the Atlanta Braves Andruw Jones. Renowned as a phenomenal defensive star in center field (a seven-time Gold Glover prior to this year) and a decent hitter, the ten–year veteran may have had his best season in 2005 with his league-leading 51 homers and 128 runs batted in. Though his offensive numbers collectively trailed Pujols and Lee considerably, what allowed him to be a viable contender were his RBI, defense for a critical fielding position, and his status on the NL East Division champions.

Though his Pirates were also-rans, left fielder Jason Bay nabbed 5th place with his best season to-date. An impressive hitter his previous two seasons, Bay’s 148 OPS+ and line of .306/.402/.559 established himself an upper echelon player (stealing 21 bases out of 22 tries didn’t hurt him either).

Another left fielder, Florida Marlin Miguel Cabrera, won 6th place based on his career high 151 OPS+. A sparkling line of .323/.385./.561 and 116 RBI, Cabrera was a big reason why the Marlins were able to contend as long as they did this season. Only 22 in 2005, he most likely will see his name on a few more BTF Award ballots in the future.

Cabrera’s teammate Carlos Delgado was the other book end for the Marlin offense in his first year with the NL team from Florida. The 7th place finisher made up for a below standard 2004 with his .301/.399/.582 and 115 RBI and allows the 13-year veteran first baseman’s HOF chances from fading away.

Without one of the game’s most underrated players, right fielder Brian Giles, the Padres not only would most likely have been left out of the postseason, but would have been a sub-.500 team, to boot! Now in his 11th season, the remarkably consistent Giles had a season no better or worse than his norm (a 148 OPS+ compared to his career 146). In other words, he had his typical fine season, leading San Diego on to a surprising first-place finish in their division and 8th place on the ballot.

Houston’s strong-armed Morgan Ensberg showed everyone that 2003 wasn’t a fluke with his outstanding numbers among third baseman (especially his .557 SLG and 36 homers for the NL champions) and gives the Astros the best player they have seen at that position since the late Ken Caminiti.

The ace of Ensberg’s team, legendary hurler Roger Clemens keeps defying his age by posting a major league-leading 1.87 ERA and 221 ERA+. Pitching 211 innings at the advanced age of 42, the “Rocket” was the top vote-getter for this BTF Award comfortably, despite winning only 13 games due to inferior run support. He was also the only moundsman with a first-place vote to his credit for this election.

The 10th place spot goes to New York Met “star of the future” David Wright. The 22-year old third baseman dazzled the denizens of Shea offensively (.306/.388/.523) in 2005 and may yet to prove to be the third baseman Met fans have been looking for since a young Don Zimmer manned the “hot corner” in 1962.


RK     Player         PTS Bal   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
—————————————————————————————————————————
1     Pujols, Albert   234   20 11 8 1                        
—————————————————————————————————————————
2     Lee, Derek       197   20   5 10 3 1 1                    
3     Jones, Andruw     118   17   3 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 2 1          
4     Bay, Jason       111   18       4 5 3 4   2              
5     Cabrera, Miguel   90   17         5 5 3 1 1 1 1          
6     Delgado, Carlos   72   17       1 1 4 1 2 5 2 1          
7     Giles, Brian     64   15       2 2 1 2 2 1 2 3          
8     Ensberg, Morgan   56   13       1 2   3 4     3          
9     Clemens, Roger     45   7   1   3         2   1          
10     Wright, David     42   13         1   1 4 3 1 3          
—————————————————————————————————————————
11     Berkman, Lance     35   8       1 1 1 1   1 3            
12     Utley, Chase     23   6             2 2 1 1            
13     Kent, Jeff       19   5           1 2     1 1          
14     Edmonds, Jim     19   4           2   1 1              
15     Abreu, Bobby     10   2       1           1            
16     Helton, Todd       9   5               1   1 3          
17     Carpenter, Chris   8   2           1       1            
18     Rameriz, Aramis     7   1         1                      
19     Guillen, Jose     4   2                 1   1          
20     Smoltz, John       4   1               1                
21     Furcal, Rafael     3   1                 1              
22T     Floyd, Cliff       2   1                   1            
22T     Jenkins, Geoff     2   1                   1            
22T     Lee, Carlos       2   1                   1            
22T     Willis, Dontrelle   2   1                   1            
26T     Dunn, Adam       1   1                     1          
26T     Glaus, Troy       1   1

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:15 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. CraigK Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1732423)
I look at it this way:

St. Louis was a damn good-hitting team, and Albert led the team in every offensive category B-R lists except for AB, triples,(most) SO, singles, HBP, SF, and AB/SO. Pujols leads everything else.

And I didn't know Cris Carpenter was making a comeback. :)
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:18 PM (#1732452)
And I didn't know Cris Carpenter was making a comeback. :)

That was Mike Webber's fault, so don't blame me! :-D

Seriously, since he did the tough work setting up the ballot counts for each BTF Award, I'm surprised he didn't make more errors than that. Kudos to Mike!
   3. Elton Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:32 PM (#1732466)
I was going to say that Helton was voted too high after his off year, but then I checked and he still had an OPS+ of 144. Those demonic OBPs of his are tough to beat.
   4. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:37 PM (#1732476)
But what ultimately kept Lee from claiming #1 for this award was his team’s second-division status.

And I have no problem if Lee loses to Pujols for real because of that.

I want to know who gave Lee a 5th place vote. That's just silly.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1732488)
And I have no problem if Lee loses to Pujols for real because of that.

Since the battle between Pujols and Lee for the award was very close, I took into account Albert's role on a division-winner as the tie-breaker.
   6. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:58 PM (#1732498)
I voted for Lee. I thought he had the slightly better season, and in these awards, team success matters as much to me as uniform color. (Which is to say, I base 25% of my vote on each).
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1732513)
The BTF electorate is one person, and known as "Prince Albert?"
   8. Old Matt Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1732519)
Go DWright!
   9. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1732535)

The BTF electorate is one person, and known as "Prince Albert?"


Yeah, and he's a dude.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1732549)
The BTF electorate is one person, and known as "Prince Albert?"<i>

Boy, you're tough, Vaux!
   11. Boots Day Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1732569)
It's amazing how much Jason Bay resembles Brian Giles, the man he replaced in the position of The Pirates' Only Good Player.

But he finished 4th, not 5th, as you state in the overview.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1732588)
But he finished 4th, not 5th, as you state in the overview.<i>

Damn! I'll correct that and the others right away. Thanks for pointing it out, Boots.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1732595)
Actually, I can't change it. That's the one area that I don't have the keys for. Maybe Dan can make the proper corrections?
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 15, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1732697)
Got it - I caught that for the Cy voting but not here.
   15. dr. scott Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1732785)
"Except for those two, no other position player received a #1 vote on the ballot, except for the Atlanta Braves Andruw Jones."

I have terrible grammar, and can't spell, but this sentence bothers me. also according to the chart Roger got a first place vote...
   16. dr. scott Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:43 PM (#1732789)
Also, somehow Glaus tied Dunn for 26th place with no votes...
   17. Danny Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:53 PM (#1732812)
I think the ballots should be transparent. I don't understand how one votes for Jones ahead of Bay or Cabrera, much less Pujols and Lee. For those who use clutch stats, Jones hit .236 with runners on and .207 with RISP.
   18. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:54 PM (#1732815)
3 people left Andruw off their ballots entirely?
   19. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:59 PM (#1732830)
The thing I found most interesting was Andruw Jones managed to range through all ten positions on the ballot, and was left off the ballot completely the same number of times he was voted 1st (3 each).

We often see critizism about the "real" balloting having a hidden agenda to upgrade a choice by the exclusion of legitimate competitors on the ballot (The coaches poll for the BCS comes to mind last year). Apparently we should be equally critical of this group.

I agree that Jones shouldn't be MVP over Pujols or Lee, but I'd like to see explanations from the three voters who left him off their ballots entirely on how he wasn't at least the 10th best player in the NL.
   20. Danny Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1732836)
I agree that Jones shouldn't be MVP over Pujols or Lee, but I'd like to see explanations from the three voters who left him off their ballots entirely on how he wasn't at least the 10th best player in the NL.


To look at it very crudely, Jones was 17th in the NL in VORP and was poor in the clutch. I don't have a ballot, though.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1732861)
I don't understand how one votes for Jones ahead of Bay or Cabrera, much less Pujols and Lee.

The award is for the Most Valuable Player, and it is up to the individual voter to define what portions of a player's contributions constitute value. If Andruw Jones's performance peak coincided with the period of time during which the Braves took control of the NL Eastern Division pennant race, it's not unreasonable to look at that as having a great deal of value, enough to lift him over a couple of players who may have had better numbers, but posted them in less valuable contexts.

-- MWE
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:20 PM (#1732870)
I don't understand how Aramis Ramirez garners a 4th place vote, and I'm a fan.
   23. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1732917)
I don't understand how Aramis Ramirez garners a 4th place vote, and I'm a fan.

I don't understand it either, and it was my vote. Huh.

I don't know if I misplaced a stat line, or what.
   24. Danny Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1732928)

The award is for the Most Valuable Player, and it is up to the individual voter to define what portions of a player's contributions constitute value. If Andruw Jones's performance peak coincided with the period of time during which the Braves took control of the NL Eastern Division pennant race, it's not unreasonable to look at that as having a great deal of value, enough to lift him over a couple of players who may have had better numbers, but posted them in less valuable contexts.


Of course it's up to the voter to do whatever he/she wants to do. I guess I just don't understand how one takes into account the context of Andruw's team (which is out of his control), but ignores the context of his individual contributions (poor clutch performance).
   25. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1733127)
I don't understand it either, and it was my vote. Huh.

Heh. This is strangely hilarious.
   26. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 15, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1733131)
I was the one who put Lee down at #5. As Mike said, we all have our own criteria and I give a great deal of weight to how the player's team finished. (Yes, yes, I know the arguments against such logic, so don't bother reiterating them again.)

My ballot was:
1 Albert Pujols
2 Andruw Jones
3 Lance Berkman
4 Jason Bay
5 Derrek Lee
6 Brian Giles
7 Miguel Cabrera
8 Jose Guillen
9 Bobby Abreu
10 David Wright

Further, I was tempted to put Lee behind Giles.

I know that no one here will like my methodology, but I've become so
disenchanted with "park effects" that I've begun using road statistics a
great deal to remove some of the home park noise. So, I based a lot of my rankings on these road numbers:

Lee .342/.421/.654
Bay .337/.408/.664
Pujols .349/.443/.599
Cabrera .341/.391/.625
Giles .333/.463/.545
   27. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 15, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1733137)
I was the one who put Lee down at #5. As Mike said, we all have our own criteria and I give a great deal of weight to how the player's team finished. (Yes, yes, I know the arguments against such logic, so don't bother reiterating them again.)

So how does Bay end up in front of Lee on your ballot, then?
   28. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:32 PM (#1733261)
Are you arguing that there is a difference between a 1.075 OPS and a 1.072 OPS, Biff?

Since I saw no difference between those two numbers, I looked at their teams, both of which were completely out of the playoff races. Since that didn't matter I looked at their teammates. At that point it seemed to me that Bay, who was surrounded by Lawton (112 OPS+ in 374 ABs), Craig Wilson (112 OPS+ in 197 ABs) and Chris Duffy and Ty Wigginton (the only two other Pirates who were better than 100 OPS+), did a lot more of the offensive heavy lifting than Lee, who had Barrett, Walker, Ramirez, Murton and Garciaparra all at 100 or better. Ultimately, I figured that Lee's teammates were 23 runs (the difference betweent the two teams run totals) a year better than Bay's.
   29. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1733277)
Are you arguing that there is a difference between a 1.075 OPS and a 1.072 OPS, Biff?

So, in your opinion, statistics compiled in a player's home park are utterly meaningless?

Also, Bay's away SLG was .644, not .664.
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1733285)
The award is for the Most Valuable Player, and it is up to the individual voter to define what portions of a player's contributions constitute value.

If I may be so impertinent: then what is the point of adding up these ballots voting for different things to create some amalgamated answer that apparently has no question?

Are you arguing that there is a difference between a 1.075 OPS and a 1.072 OPS, Biff?

I think he would be arguing that raw OPS is a poor indicator of offensive value. And if he isn't, I will.

In fact, I have no idea why you're framing his theoretical argument around raw OPS unless you think it's obviously superior to anything else such that anyone would be foolish not to use it. He hasn't suggested any such thing himself.

Ultimately, I figured that Lee's teammates were 23 runs (the difference betweent the two teams run totals) a year better than Bay's.

I don't understand the significance of this, Mr. Giacalone. Could you elaborate?
   31. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:53 PM (#1733291)
If I may be so impertinent: then what is the point of adding up these ballots voting for different things to create some amalgamated answer that apparently has no question?

That's an awesomely good question, I dare say.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2005 at 12:32 AM (#1733356)
" Except for those two, no other position player received a #1 vote on the ballot, except for the Atlanta Braves Andruw Jones."

I have terrible grammar, and can't spell, but this sentence bothers me. also according to the chart Roger got a first place vote...


1) It was my way to introduce Jones to the readership. It may not be Dickens, but it doesn't sound too clumsy to my ears.

2) Your second part of your post is explained in bold.

Also, somehow Glaus tied Dunn for 26th place with no votes...

Glaus' tenth-place vote got knocked off by accident.

Got it - I caught that for the Cy voting but not here.

Much obliged, Dan!
   33. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1733388)
Ultimately, I figured that Lee's teammates were 23 runs (the difference betweent the two teams run totals) a year better than Bay's.

I don't understand the significance of this, Mr. Giacalone. Could you elaborate?


Here's what I was thinking and you can feel free to disagree. The primary purpose of Lee or Bay is to create runs (I am assuming that the defensive value is roughly commensurate). The Chicago Cubs scored 23 more runs than the Pittsburgh Pirates. So, if Lee's teammates created 24 or more runs than Bay's teammates than, in theory, Bay had to have been better than Lee. Now, that may not be the case, but that was my line of thinking.

Let me layout one thing here for the record. I believe that statistics can and should be used to help us address important questions in the game. But that is as far as I will go on the matter. Once we start to parse statistics down to a certain level, I no longer feel bound by their constraints. If someone wants to tell me that Lee is better than Bay, I say, "great, that's interesting. Lee sure had a great year." But once people start to get to the "I can prove that my guy, the best hitting first baseman, who plays in one park is empirically better that your guy, the best hitting left fielder, who played in another park" then I begin to believe that the person I am talking to and I do not value things in the same way. When the guy who champions the first baseman then tells me that I must be crazy to think differently than he, I start to get my hackles up.

I believe in the statistical revolution in baseball, people, and I have since before most people who frequent this site were out of elementary school. But I also believe all revolutions eventually eat their children. Once statistically oriented baseball analysts start calling other statistically oriented baseball analysts fools, then the revolution is on the path toward the same purgatory that holds the American Communist Party.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1733398)
Once statistically oriented baseball analysts start calling other statistically oriented baseball analysts fools, then the revolution is on the path toward the same purgatory that holds the American Communist Party.<i>

But who gets to play Gus Hall?
   35. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1733400)
So, in your opinion, statistics compiled in a player's home park are utterly meaningless?

No. There is just so much noise in them that I can't really sort them out. So, to greatly reduce the noise, I tend to use road park stats.

Lately, I have increasingly shied away from statistics that rely on what I believe is the logically flawed concept of park factors. It seems to me that if one player tends to hit very well in his home park (even though its park factor is neutral) then he is being helped by that park. And, I believe, that we should view his stats through that lens and not through an artifically created prism of a park factor.
   36. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:12 AM (#1733402)
But who gets to play Gus Hall?

I don't know but Bill James is definitely Earl Browder.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1733403)
I don't know but Bill James is definitely Earl Browder.

Heh.
   38. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:36 AM (#1733435)
What happened to the AL vote?
   39. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 16, 2005 at 01:36 AM (#1733439)
It seems to me that if one player tends to hit very well in his home park (even though its park factor is neutral) then he is being helped by that park.

Okay, maybe, but if he's not been doing it for a while, isn't it just as likely (or far more likely) just noise?

Right now you have a player in Bay who put up a 1.052 OPS away and an .860 at home. And you're treating him like he's a 1.052 OPS hitter (actually, 1.072, but that's okay :-)). Why? I don't think you're saying Lee was helped by his park because Lee hit almost the same home and away and had the best away OPS in the majors.

So are you saying that Bay was so hurt by his home park that it turned a 1.052 OPS hitter into an .860 OPS hitter? Even though the rest of his team hit better at home? And even though last year, Bay's OPS was 100 points *higher* at home?

I'm not saying that I can prove empirically that Lee was a better hitter. I'm just saying that pretty much every piece of evidence available to me indicates that. Could I be wrong? Sure. But we can't prove anything definitively; we just have to go with our best guess. I don't see who's calling anyone crazy, but it certainly seems appropriate to question how you came to your conclusion when the evidence in favor of it seems (to me and others) quite shaky, and the evidence against it quite strong.
   40. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: November 16, 2005 at 02:09 AM (#1733468)
Lately, I have increasingly shied away from statistics that rely on what I believe is the logically flawed concept of park factors. It seems to me that if one player tends to hit very well in his home park (even though its park factor is neutral) then he is being helped by that park. And, I believe, that we should view his stats through that lens and not through an artifically created prism of a park factor.

Sure, players who hit very well at home may be helped by their home park. But that doesn't mean that players who take advantage of their home park disproportionately are less valuable because of it.

Someone like Bill Mueller, who's supposedly well suited to Fenway, may not be as talented as other players, but he's worth more because of his unique ability to take advantage of his home park. If the average player creates 100 runs a year at Fenway and hypothetical Bill Mueller, who's average on the road, creates 120 there, he's still more valuable. Fenway does not distort his value in any given season he plays there. It may distort one's perception of his talent or what his value would be to the Giants, but it does not change his value to the Red Sox.
   41. mommy Posted: November 16, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1733502)
based on the completely ######-up analyses from some of the BTF professors, perhaps yall should go a little easier on the idiot votes of the BBWAA
   42. MM1f Posted: November 16, 2005 at 02:56 AM (#1733516)
"And I didn't know Cris Carpenter was making a comeback. :) "

I hear some NFL teams need a punter too, he could do that this offseason!
   43. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 16, 2005 at 03:32 AM (#1733536)
Could I be wrong? Sure. But we can't prove anything definitively; we just have to go with our best guess. I don't see who's calling anyone crazy, but it certainly seems appropriate to question how you came to your conclusion

Point taken. I wasn't really getting defensive, although I'm sure that that is the way that it seemed.

I just wanted to make a point about what I see as disturbing trends within our little sabermetric corner of the baseball world. Basically, I just don't care all that much about whether one guy is "empirically better" than another guy by some small margin. Maybe it's my training as a historian -- an artistic craft, as opposed to others who are trained in the sciences -- but I tend to be a belligerent rebel against historicism in all its forms. I really don't think that we can discern objective truth in baseball.

Can we get a discern the difference between those that had a great year from those who had a merely good year. Yes. But when people start saying things like "How could anyone possibly put Lee fifth, although I can see how he might be third" then that seems to me that we are arguing over things that I don't believe are provable on way or another. Look, when we are talking about these guys we are arguing about whether someone is one of the top .0009% or top .0027% of all baseball players who played last year -- were they better than 5395 of 5400 professional baseball players or better than merely 5385 of them?

When someone with whom I then generally agree on all things baseball implies that "no one could possibly justify" a vote like mine I am struck by the similarities between our commmunity and that of the communists from the 1930s who decried anyone who was not 100% with them to be fascists. I think we need to look at our ideas in new ways and not simply chant old dogmas.

Personally, I see no charm in orthodoxy. But then my skills iconoclasm -- in looking at things from new angles, at taking old problems and putting them in new frameworks. I am not good at the number crunching. So, maybe my biases tend to make me devalue those things.
   44. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 16, 2005 at 03:55 AM (#1733549)
Sure, players who hit very well at home may be helped by their home park. But that doesn't mean that players who take advantage of their home park disproportionately are less valuable because of it.

I snipped the rest of your comment about Mueller, but I understand your point.

I think that your analysis and mine are asking two different questions. You are asking, and rightly so, how valuable was the player? I tend to ask the question, who was the better player? Certainly, Mueller is creating those runs and should recognized for them. But I ask the question, what might someone else have created in that park, in those circumstances? It's one of the most glaring problems with ballpark noise in my opinion. We should not take anything away from Wade Boggs, for example, for being able to loft fly balls off the Green Monster to create doubles. However, this seems to me to be an extreme position. Following this line would get us to argue that Tony Armas, or Butch Hobson, or Hawk Harrelson should also be given credit for taking advantage of Fenway through their own unique ablitlites (to loft high fly balls to left field).

In the end, we need to ask ourselves how well could someone else have done this job in these circumstances? How many other players could I have found to replace this production in these circumstances? If you can reasonably find a bunch of guys who could replicate Mueller's runs in that environment then his "value" suffers. This one of the many problems with park factors though. Take, for example, the question of park factors in a place like old Busch Stadium. Who is more valuable offensively in that environment with it's fast, fast turf and deep, deep fences: Willie McGee or Gary Carter? Clearly, Carter was the better player in a neutral park but in Busch for 80 games? I don't know. On the flipside, our statistical analysis tends to reward guys like George Brett and Jimmie Wynn for their hitting accomplisments in "tough hitters parks/" However, each of the players actually benefitted statistically by their parks unique characteristics.

It's questions like these, which are very, very difficult to quantify, that make me believe that baseball analysis is as much or more an art than it is a science.
   45. Most Favored Haitian Status Posted: November 16, 2005 at 04:31 AM (#1733573)
The BTF electorate is one person, and known as "Prince Albert?"

Long live Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Theater 3000!
   46. Mister High Standards Posted: November 16, 2005 at 04:31 AM (#1733574)
For full disclosure I diddn't have jones on my ballot, listed below.

NL MVP
1 Clemens
2 Puljos
3 B Giles
4 Derek Lee
5 Carpenter
6 Miguel Cabrera
7 Smoltz
8 Jason Bay
9 Carlos Delgado
10 Adam Dunn

I don't like my ballot all that much, I really am unhappy with the lack of middle of diamond players on my ballot. I guess if I included Jones I wouldn't have been as short. The problem with jones wasn't his lack of hitting in the clutch, but his lack of context adjusted production. How a guy with 50 dongs has only 6 and a half context specific wins (game state wins) shows that he really wasn't really the driving force made out to be.
   47. mommy Posted: November 16, 2005 at 04:53 AM (#1733589)
High Standards, for someone who puts so much importance on performance related to actual wins, i'm surprised you would have Clemens #1. but i haven't looked at all those hemorroids stats you keep referring to.

(i think connection to actual wins is important too, FWIW)

thinkin about it, maybe clemens comes out so well cause he kept all those 1-0 games so close (albeit on the wrong side), performing very well in clutch situations. still, seeing how few wins he actually obtained troubles me.
   48. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 16, 2005 at 02:51 PM (#1733738)
based on the completely ####-up analyses from some of the BTF professors, perhaps yall should go a little easier on the idiot votes of the BBWAA

What do you expect? Do you expect us to parrot stathead orthodoxy? If that's your expectation, you've come to the wrong place. As Anthony put it above:

I think we need to look at our ideas in new ways and not simply chant old dogmas

-- MWE
   49. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: November 16, 2005 at 08:35 PM (#1734323)
What do you expect? Do you expect us to parrot stathead orthodoxy?

I don't think anyone suggested that. It's great that there's more than one line of reasoning, but that fact doesn't automatically validate every line of reasoning. When someone says, "I don't see how you could come to that conclusion," that doesn't imply "My conclusion is the only right one."

I'm all in favor of new ways of looking at these questions, but questioning the rationale behind the new way is not a condemnation of new ways in general. I don't care if Anthony's methodology is completely different from mine. But he's come to a conclusion that seems pretty questionable to me, not because it doesn't conform to the stathead orthodoxy, but because it doesn't reflect any evidence I can see at all. That's not "chanting old dogmas." The votes I made aren't the "right" votes or the "orthodox" votes, but I expect that if asked, I could explain the rationale behind them. (Well, except for our friend Aramis. :-)) And I think that if you expect conclusions to be based on reasonable evidence--not orthodoxy, but reasonable evidence--then you've come to the exact right place.

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