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Monday, November 25, 2013

Most Meritorious Player: 2013 Discussion

Vote for 15.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Mike Trout		39.7		9.2
Andrew McCutchen	35.0		8.2
Matt Carpenter		37.5		6.6
Miguel Cabrera		33.2		7.2
Shin-Soo Choo		32.8		4.2
Yadier Molina		28.0		5.7
Robinson Cano		33.3		7.6
Chris Davis		32.5		6.4
Paul Goldschmidt	31.8		7.0
Joey Votto		30.4		6.4
Freddie Freeman		28.7		5.5
Josh Donaldson		31.6		8.0
Evan Longoria		27.4		6.3
David Wright		27.1		5.9
Manny Machado		20.2		6.5
Jason Kipnis		27.3		5.9
Carlos Santana		27.4		4.4
Buster Posey		26.3		5.2
Joe Mauer		24.0		5.4
Shane Victorino		19.0		6.1
Gerardo Parra		16.6		6.1
Hunter Pence		26.8		4.1
Jayson Werth		26.0		4.8
Matt Holliday		23.9		2.7
Justin Upton		23.2		2.6
Carlos Gomez		23.6		8.4
Jay Bruce		23.5		5.1
Carlos Beltran		23.1		2.4
Starling Marte		19.2		5.5
Carlos Gonzalez		17.3		5.0
David Ortiz		21.7		4.4
Ian Desmond		26.8		3.7
Jed Lowrie		23.5		2.3
Adrian Beltre		24.8		5.5
Ryan Zimmermann		23.5		3.8
Ben Zobrist		24.9		5.1
Dustin Pedroia		23.0		6.5
Jacoby Ellsbury		22.1		5.8
Coco Crisp		21.8		4.3
Marlon Byrd		22.2		5.0
Jean Segura		22.5		3.9
Hanley Ramirez		22.0		5.4
Andrelton Simmons	21.8		6.7
Troy Tulowitzki		20.8		5.3
Elvis Andrus		14.4		4.3
Jed Lowrie		23.5		2.3
Yasiel Puig		19.7		5.0
Bryce Harper		19.8		3.8
Brandon Belt		24.4		4.4
Alex Gordon		21.1		4.2
Ian Kinsler		17.6		5.0
Jason Castro		18.4		4.5

Pitcher 		SH WS		BBR WAR
Clayton Kershaw		22.8		8.4
Max Scherzer		20.0		6.7
Hishashi Iwakuma	19.0		6.9
Cliff Lee		18.4		7.6
Yu Darvish		18.3		5.7
James Shields		17.9		4.1
Bartolo Colon		17.1		5.0
Zack Greinke		17.0		5.2
Anibal Sanchez		17.0		6.3
Jose Fernandez		16.2		6.7
Adam Wainwright		16.0		6.4
Hiroki Kuroda		16.0		4.0
Jordan Zimmermann	15.6		3.6
Chris Sale		15.4		6.9
Felix Hernandez		15.1		5.2
Jhoulys Chacin		14.8		6.2
Matt Harvey 		14.6		4.9
Travis Wood		14.4		5.0
Jose Quintana		12.7		5.4

Greg Holland		18.0		3.1
Koji Uehara		17.6		3.6
Joe Nathan		17.6		3.2
Craig Kimbrel		17.0		3.3
Mariano Rivera		16.3		2.4


DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4605837)
Win Shares does not agree with WAR on shortstops whatsoever
   2. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4606040)
Trout first, Kershaw second. After that, there's a lot of room for interpretation.
   3. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: November 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4606125)
Trout first, Kershaw second. After that, there's a lot of room for interpretation.

You have to add Cabrera, his offensive numbers look like they were from the sillyball era yet were put up in a year that was offensively more like the mid 60's through the early 90's. I wish he hadn't gotten hurt in Sept. because he was on his way to the kind of the triple crown numbers we haven't seen since the days of Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx. Something like 50-160-.365. I know those stats are kind of old school, but it still would have been pretty cool.
   4. rudygamble Posted: November 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4606191)
I have Trout #1. Easy call as he's easily #1 in Offensive WAR ( - which accounts for his baserunning advantage vs. M-Cab/Davis - and he's a plus defender.

Kershaw and McCutchen battling for #2. Found it interesting Kershaw was worth 0.5 in bRef oWAR with a .182/.241/.260 line. That's indicates such a ridiculously pathetic offensive baseline that I'm apt to rule it out completely. McCutchen was Trout but a little worse in every category except defense (which I imagine would've been at least equal if Trout played CF all year).

Some combination of M-Cab/Davis/Goldschmidt/Gomez/Donaldson/Carpenter for #3-#8. Not sure how much to discount defensive stats (if any) vs. offensive stats. Likely putting M-Cab/Davis/Goldschmidt above Gomez/Donaldson given Gomez's pedestrian OBP and the massive SLG differences (+.100). Second straight year that the most WTF awesome year came from a 3B (2013-Donaldson, 2012-Headley).

   5. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4606280)
2013 Prelim

1) Mike Trout - best bat in the big leagues and not a bad fielder
2) Clayton Kershaw
3) Carlos Gomez - close between Kershaw and Gomez for #2
4) Andrew McCutchen
5) Josh Donaldson
6) Cliff Lee
7) Robinson Cano
8) Miguel Cabrera
9) Yadier Molina
10) Hisashi Iwakuma
11) Andrelton Simmons - need to calibrate defensive numbers for Simmons
12) Chris Sale
13) Max Scherzer
14) Jose Hernandez
15) Matt Carpenter

15-20) Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Wainwright, Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia, Anibal Sanchez
21-25) Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Joe Mauer, Shane Victorino
   6. Qufini Posted: November 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4606438)
2013 Prelim

1. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers: I had Trout first in 2012 but Miggy had an even bigger bat in 2013 and Trout wasn't quite as outstanding in the other aspects of the game
2. Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: MLB leading 194 ERA+ and 236 innings
3. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels: 179 OPS+ and 155 runs created
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks: I was kind of surprised to see Goldy first among NL position players but he was first in OPS+, first in runs created, and added +13 fielding runs with his glove
5. Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: 165 OPS+ and 143 runs created
6. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees: 145 OPS+ and +6 fielding runs at the keystone
7. Matt Carpenter, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
8. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates: Carpenter and McCutchen are essentially tied
9. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics: 148 OPS+ and +12 fielding runs at the hot corner
10. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds: would be higher if he didn't walk so much (just kidding); a 154 OPS+ and NL leading 132 runs created
11. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies: 140 OPS+ and +6 fielding at short
12. Jose Fernandez, P, Miami Marlins
13. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals: 131 OPS+ and +12 fielding behind the plate
14. Max Scherzer, P, Detroit Tigers: 145 ERA+ and AL-leading 214 innings
15. Anibal Sanchez, P, Detroit Tigers: AL-leading 163 ERA+ dragged down by only 182 innings

16. Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins
17. Yu Darvish, P, Texas Rangers
18. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
19. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets
20. Hideki Iwakuma, P, Seattle Marinters
   7. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 26, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4606463)
11) Andrelton Simmons - need to calibrate defensive numbers for Simmons

Why would you do it for Simmons and not for everyone else?

As I suggested in the James thread, defensive metrics (outside of Win Shares where there is an explicit 50-50 split) assert that the fielder is completely responsible for results on balls in play. From that assertion, it follows that fielders are more important than pitchers when it comes to run prevention - when you separate out fielder-independent numbers from fielder-dependent numbers in any run scoring model the fielder-dependent numbers make up more than half of the results. So either you accept that assertion - which flies in the face of the way that every baseball team acts - or you look for a way to account for the possibility that pitchers have more to do with ball-in-play results, and fielders less, than is asserted in the fielding metrics. James tried to address this with the explicit 50-50 split in Win Shares; Clay Davenport did a 70% fielding/30% pitching split when developing BP's metrics. I'm not sure either one is correct but I think either is more correct than 100-0.

-- MWE
   8. toratoratora Posted: November 26, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4606488)
2013 Prelim.
The usual blend of WAR systems, weighted because pitchers are really undervalued this year.Points awarded for top ten finishes-ten points for 1st, nine for second, eight for third and so on.
Comments will come with final ballot:

1-Mike Trout
2-Andrew McCutchen
3-Miguel Cabrera
4-Josh Donaldson
5-Clayton Kershaw
6-Carlos Gomez
7-Matt Carpenter
8-Chris Davis
9-Robinson Cano
10-Paul Goldschmidt
11-Shin-Soo Choo
12-Cliff Lee
13-Freddie Freeman

The remainder:

14-Evan Longoria
15-Hishashi Iwakuma
16-Chris Sale
17-Max Scherzer
18-Joey Votto
19-Yu Darvish
20-Yadier Molina
   9. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4606533)
Why would you do it for Simmons and not for everyone else?

Simmons is an outlier. Regressing players at the mean already isn't going to affect much.
   10. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4606534)
toratoratora - 15 players on the 2013 ballot due to larger number of teams than 1988.
   11. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: November 27, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4606578)
If you take post season into account, Ortiz jumps to top 5.
   12. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: November 27, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4606934)
re: #5 Basically the highest WAR wins? Sorry, but any system that rates Josh Donaldson and Carlos Gomez as more valuable than Miguel Cabrera needs to be re-calibrated.
(hat tip to Obama)
I guess I just don't have as much faith in the defensive metrics as some do.
   13. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4607010)
You don't think that a good 3B can make up 16 runs on defense compared to Miguel Cabrera? Cabrera is legitimately poor at 3B according to defensive statistics, scouts and my own observations watching Twins-Tigers games. Nobody thinks he's a great 3B. The Tigers are reportedly thrilled that Cabrera wants to move back to 1B.

I really don't know anything about Donaldson's defensive reputation and I only saw him play one game.

Here's how WAR breaks it down.

Player RBat RBaseRunning RDef RRep
Cabrera 65 -1 -18 23
Donaldson 37 0 12 24

Start with an 18 run gap hitting. Give Donaldson back 2 runs due to base running and playing time. You have to cut the defensive numbers in half to get Cabrera ahead of Donaldson.

You're welcome to provide your own analysis and post a ballot but "I don't believe statistics, scouts or his own coaches" doesn't carry much weight with me.

I'm using WAR components as the basis of my ballot - I've always been pretty up-front with that. I'm not voting a straight WAR ballot or I'd have Goldschmidt on and Molina off.
   14. Qufini Posted: November 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4607043)
DL, that's a 28 run gap in hitting. 37 + 28 = 65
   15. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 27, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4607052)
You have to cut the defensive numbers in half to get Cabrera ahead of Donaldson.

And that's exactly what James said we should do, at a minimum. When he built WS anyway - he says now that it should be more -, about 1/4 of where WAR puts it. And it makes a heck of a lot more sense, given how few balls are actually hit to 3B, to think that the spread between Cabrera and Donaldson on defense is something closer to 7-8 runs than 30.

-- MWE
   16. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4607149)

No Chris Davis in your Top 30?

   17. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4607200)
Correct - 28 runs on offense and a 30 run gap on defense. The defensive argument should be fairly easy to determine - does WAR reconcile to runs scored or not? If defense is only half that important then those runs prevented have to go to pitchers. You can't just delete half the defensive runs in WAR and not have that value flow somewhere else.

I am down on 1B in general. Davis is just a little further down.
   18. lieiam Posted: November 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4607466)
Here's my prelim ballot for 2013.
I may make some changes to adjust for the fact that I'm using less systems for 2013 (due to not having access to all that I've been using).
Primarily, I think the pitchers may need a bonus.

1 Trout, Mike 10000
2 McCutcheon, Andrew 8377
3 Carpenter, Matt 7902
4 Cabrera, Miguel 7857
5 Donaldson, Josh 7791
6 Cano, Robinson 7437
7 Davis, Chris 7432
8 Goldschmidt, Paul 7238
9 Kershaw, Clayton 6924
10 Votto, Joey 6779
11 Molina, Yadier 6707
12 Gomez, Carlos 6658
13 Longoria, Evan 6444
14 Wright, David 6359
15 Choo, Shin-Soo 6177

16 Freeman, Freddie 6091
17 Scherzer, Max 5940
18 Mauer, Joe 5932
19 Posey, Buster 5908
20 Kipnis, Jason 5711
   19. toratoratora Posted: November 29, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4607585)
Primarily, I think the pitchers may need a bonus.

Agreed. Pitchers do very poorly in 2013.
fWAR especially seems to hurt Kershaw.
To the point where I may do a manual override on his ranking
   20. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: November 29, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4607669)
I really don't know anything about Donaldson's defensive reputation and I only saw him play one game.

He's terrific, and the stats seem to bear that out.
Unfortunately for him, he's a converted catcher, so maybe people don't quite believe what they are seeing - converted SS get a perceptual "bonus" that converted catchers don't.
More unfortunately, we seem to be coming into a Golden Age for 3b defense, so he could well end up the eternal Clete Boyer.
   21. Mr. C Posted: December 01, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4608082)
2013 All Star teams


C Joe Mauer
1B Chris Davis
2B Robinson Cano
3B Miguel Cabrera
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Alex Gordon
CF Mike Trout
RF Shane Victorino
DH David Ortiz
SP: Hishashi Iwakuma, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Yu darvish
SR: Greg Holland


C Yadier Molina
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Matt Carpenter
3B David Wright
SS Trot Tulowitzki
LF Carlos Gonzalez
CF Andrew McCutcheon
RF Jayson Werth
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Jose Fernandez, Adam Wainwright
RP Craig Kimbrel

   22. Mr. C Posted: December 01, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4608290)
2013 Preliminary Ballot

Batters: start with RA (using value added runs), adjust for park, position and defense (average of UZR and DRS) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: start with RA (using value added runs) adjust for quality of opposition, park, team defense and role (reliever or starter) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

1. Mike Trout 9.44 WARR
2. Andrew McCutcheon 7.90 WARR
3. Carlos Gomez 7.50 WARR
4. Miguel Cabrera 7.48 WARR
5. Clayton Kershaw 7.26 WARR
6. Josh Donaldson 7.16 WARR
7. Robinson Cano 7.07 WARR
8. Paul Goldschmidt 6.99 WARR
9. Chris Davis 6.79 WARR
10. Joey Votto 6.79 WARR
11 Hishashi Iwakuma 6.65 WARR
12. Evan Longoria 6.43 WARR
13. Matt Carpenter 6.41 WARR
14. Cliff Lee 6.36 WARR
15. Jose Fernandez 6.08 WARR

Rest of the top 20
16. Freddie Freeman
17. Chris Sale
18. Max Scherzer
19. Troy Tulowitzki
20. Adam Wainwright
   23. caiman Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:04 AM (#4611707)
I am in the process of analyzing the play-by-play data for the 2013 season. I have just completed the hitting portion. I have not done the defense yet, but here is the RPA run production totals (above the median)for the hitters:


1. Mike Trout 76.91 runs
2.Miguel Cabrera 50.26 runs
3. Chris Davis 48.17 runs
4. Josh Donaldson 32.58 runs
5. Adrian Beltre 27.70 runs
6. Jason Kipnis 27.13 runs
7. Carlos Santana 27.04 runs
8. Brandon Moss 27.02 runs
9. Joe Mauer 25.38 runs
10. Coco Crisp 24.45 runs
11. Robinson Cano 23.69 runs
12. David Ortiz 23.46 runs
13. Edwin Encarnacion 22.63 runs
14. Daniel Nava 22.33
15. Kyle Seager 20.24 runs
16. Shane Victorino 19.99 runs
17. Jacoby Ellsbury 19.66 runs
18. Jose Bautista 18.94 runs
19. Ian Kinsler 18.54 runs
20. Eric Hosmer 18.23 runs


1. Andrew McCutchen 48.11 runs
2. Shin-soo Choo 44.56 runs
3. Joey Votto 43.88 runs
4. Matt Carpenter 42.93 runs
5. Paul Goldschmidt 34.83 runs
6. Freddie Freeman 34.24 runs
7. Jayson Werth 33.36 runs
8. David Wright 30.14
9. Justin Upton 28.79 runs
10. Hanley Ramirez 28.52
11. Brandon Belt 27.21 runs
12. Carlos Gonzalez 25.99 runs
13. Starling Marte 25.59 runs
14. Yasiel Puig 24.72 runs
15. Michael Cuddyer 23.80 runs
16. Troy Tulowitzki 23.68 runs
17. Giancarlo Stanton 23.54 runs
18. Bryce Harper 23.11 runs
19. Marlon Byrd 22.66 runs
20. Hunter Pence 22.61 runs
   24. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:27 AM (#4611708)

1. Mike Trout

miles and miles b/w the greatest player of the post-Bonds era and

2. Y Molina (catcher bonus)
3. McCutchen (would finish first in many years that don't have Trout at his best)
3. Mr Clayton Kershaw -- best Dodgers pitcher since Koufax; lefty symmetry is fun
4. M Carpenter
5. Mickey Cabrera
6. Good thing the Mariners had no use for Choo
7-9. Davis, Cano, Goldschmidt (once again, Cano has a great season that's overshadowed by other people's)
10. Joshua Donaldson, best story of the year
11. Scherzer
12. Mr Votto
13. Yu Darvish, baseball's most entertaining pitcher
14 & 15. Manny Machado & Andrelton Simmons, the most thrilling defensive players since, ####, Ozzie Smith?

Carlos Gomez could move onto the ballot depending on my mood, but he's not going higher than Donaldson.
   25. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4611852)
Is Kershaw really better than Sutton and Hershiser already?
   26. caiman Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4613725)
I have just completed the defensive RPA ratings. Adding them to the offensive ratings, here are the top offensive performers in 2013, in terms of runs produced over the median player:

AL: (offensive runs, plus or minus defensive runs = Total runs)

1. Mike Trout 76.91 offense runs + 4.03 defense runs = 80.94 runs total
2. Chris Davis 48.17 runs -0.38 runs = 47.79 runs
3. Miguel Cabrera 50.26 - 6.63 = 43.63
4. Coco Crisp 24.45 + 14.54 = 38.99 Coco Crisp was the best defensive player in MLB in 2013
5. Josh Donaldson 32.58 + .29 = 32.87
6. Shane Victorino 19.99 + 10.47= 30.46
7. Adrian Beltre 27.70 + 2.32 30.02
8. Carlos Santana 27.04 - .20 = 26.84
9. Jason Kipnis 27.13 - .44 = 26.69
10. Joe Mauer 25.38
11. Brandon Moss 27.02 -1.91 = 25.11
12. Robinson Cano 23.69 + .19 = 23.88
13. Edwin Encarnacion 22.63 + 1.04 = 23.67
14. David Ortiz 23.46
15. Jacoby Ellsbury 19.66 + 3.17 = 22.83
16. Alex Gordon 17.62 + 4.63 = 22.25
17. Daniel Nava 22.33 - .68 = 21.65
18. Eric Hosmer 18.23 + 3.39 = 21.62
19. Desmond Jennings 14.84 + 5.69 = 20.53
20. Ian Kinsler 18.54 + 2.48 = 21.02


1. Andrew McCutchen 48.11 + .41 = 48.52 total runs
2. Joey Votto 43.88 - .27 = 43.61
3. Matt Carpenter 42.93 + .05 = 42.98
4. Shin-soo Choo 44.56 - 3.35 = 41.21
5. Paul Goldschmidt 34.83 +2.28 = 37.11
6. Jayson Werth 33.36 + 3.63 = 36.99
7. Freddie Freeman 34.24 -1.75 = 32.49
8. Justin Upton 28.79 + 3.27 = 32.06
9. David Wright 30.14 - .61 = 29.53
10. Starling Marte 25.59 + 2.95 = 28.54
11. Troy Tulowitzki 23.68 + 4.79 = 28.47
12. Hanley Ramirez 28.52 - .25 = 28.27
13. Brandon Belt 27.21 + .99 = 28.20
14. Matt Holiday 21.50 + 3.62 = 25.12
15. Bryce Harper 23.11 + 1.14 = 24.25
16. Hunter Pence 22.61 + 1.21 = 23.82
17. Yasiel Puig 24.72 - 1.10 = 23.62
18. Carlos Gonzalez 25.99 - 3.43 = 22.56
19. Everth Cabrera 21.02 + 1.06 = 22.08
20. Allen Craig 20.36 + 1.48 = 21.84

   27. Qufini Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4613752)
Caiman, I'm so glad that you've included defense this time around.
   28. caiman Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4614461)
Here's the top pitchers in each league in 2013 according to the RPA ratings, per run value above the median:

1. Max Scherzer 31.07 runs
2. Hisashi Iwakuma 25.68 runs
3. Felix Hernandez 23.76
4. Clay Buchholz 23.61
5. David Price 22.82
6. James Shield 20.80
7. Hiroki Kuroda 19.77
8. Justin Masterson 19.27
9. Yu Darvish 18.93
10. Chris Sale 18.25
11. Tommy Hunter 18.17
12. Bartolo Colon 17.20
13. Ivan Nova 17.02
14. Doug Fister 15.93
15. Anibal Sanchez 15.20


1. Clayton Kershaw 45.90 runs
2. Adam Wainwright 32.88 runs
3. Matt Harvey 32.46 runs
4. Jose Fernandez 31.60
5. Cliff Lee 30.84
6. Madison Bumgarner 28.61
7. Jhoulys Chacin 24.97
8. Travis Wood 24.01
9. Stephen Strasburg 22.07
10. Cole Hamels 21.30
11. Jordan Zimmerman 20.84
12. Hyun-Jin Ryu 20.43
13. Zack Greinke 18.81
14. Tyson Ross 18.78
15. Mike Minor 18.21
   29. caiman Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4614477)
I must repeat my previous polemic against winshares. It is statistical nonsense. The ONLY correct measure of defense is per each ball hit while that player is playing the position at that particular stadium vs. the player at that position at that stadium on the opposing team. Stadium and positional variants must be applied!!
   30. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4614550)
The ONLY correct measure of defense is per each ball hit while that player is playing the position at that particular stadium vs. the player at that position at that stadium on the opposing team.

So...we should expect a ground ball hit in the vicinity of the SS hole by a right-handed batter against a left-handed pitcher to have the same probability of being converted into an out as the same ball hit by a left-handed batter against a right-handed pitcher? Or with a runner on first and fewer than two outs in a one-run game vs with bases empty and two outs in a blowout?

Game conditions (batter, pitchers, outs, runners on base, score) dictate fielder positioning, and fielder positioning in turn defines expectations. The ballpark is certainly a factor - you simply can't play left field in Fenway Park as you do in a ballpark with normal dimensions - but even in the same ballpark, two players of similar talent on different teams (or two players on the same team) can have different results for no other reason than differences in the combinations of opposition batters and their own pitchers.

There is no single *correct* measure of defense, because the data to accurately measure it hasn't been captured; there are only models that estimate fielding prowess. Win Shares was designed to avoid having to use data that wasn't available for all eras; if BIP data had been routinely available for all of baseball history I'm sure that Bill James would have used it when developing the model. The one thing that James did realize - which many other people don't - is that not all of the differences in fielding can be explained by differences in fielders, and that some fraction of those differences result from differences in the pitchers. The 50/50 split James uses might be too high, but it's not necessarily less accurate than a 100/0 split.

-- MWE
   31. caiman Posted: December 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4615295)
OK. I agree that the pitcher affects the result, but that is a less important factor than the stadium factor. Does that mean we don't measure the results of each ball put in play, so as to get a result on defense? No, it means, if you wish to IMPROVE the result of my methodology, that we consider developing measures that take the pitcher into account, in addition to what I currently use. I don't see you proposing that model. Rather I see you poopooing my remarks by saying that there is a defect in my methodology. That's a BS excuse. I agree that my method has defects. There are, undoubtedly many defects in my methodology. Just far, far less, however, than in winshares. Winshares, as I have said previously, is statistical anarchy. Every methodology has defects BY DEFINITION! All models are incorrect, including mine. We use models because they are useful.

Using the 50/50 method of James is based on what tested basis? It is statistical nonsense. I agree with you that I could improve my methodology. I have not done a study on defense of the affect of pitcher handedness on the fielding of players at each fielding position. It is a defect in my methodology that I have thought about for many years. The problem is that I have not satisfied myself that there is an adequate way to do that study since there are at least three different types of pitchers for each side (fly ball, groundball & Neutral types), left or right. That's 6 types of pitchers to measure and there may not be enough data in single seasons to conclusively measure the effect -or- if there is enough data, that the programming of the software would be too daunting for one individual to do. In any case, while you poopoo my methodology, I do not see where you substitute a better methodology. If you don't measure balls in play, in particular stadiums, at particular defensive positions in that stadium with certain players playing at the time vs. the opponent players at that position, in that stadium, then what is the better method?

As far as the game conditions you listed above, I see that as 'much ado about almost nothing'. These game conditions even out after you see hundreds of balls hit through a position. It will even out, for the most part, over time. Throwing in 'game conditions' sounds like an excuse for not measuring the results of balls in play. Sounds like making an excuse for statistical laziness.

If winshares, as you say, was developed for data that wasn't available in the past, then it should only be used for that past data, not today's performers I don't believe that it is useful, even for the past data, but certainly not for the current data where we have wonderful play-by-play data provided by RETOSHEET. Analyze the play-by-play data and show me where I have gone wrong!

One last note: Would the handedness of the pitcher have affected the defensive prowess of an Ozzie Smith? Of course not! In fact, when I first did my defensive method, I saw where articles on statistically measuring defense did not show Ozzie to be outstanding and they were apologetic about this fact since everyone knew that he was terrific. Yet, when I did my measurements, using stadium variants and positional variants within that stadium, Ozzie came out as the magician with the glove that he certainly was. Even in his final seasons, at an advanced age, I had Ozzie as a fantastic fielder. How is it that my methodology came out with fabulous defensive ratings for Devon White, year-after-year, if it didn't work? How did I know that certain players were defensive disasters before the media and the MLB teams knew?

Yes, players who are in the 'gray area' who could be a little good one year and a little bad another year, might be suspect as to my defensive rating, but even that fact of middling defensive ability is important to know. Knowing how many runs Coco Crisp saves a team in CF is important when evaluating the player, but pitcher handedness, I sincerely believe, has little or nothing to do with Coco Crisp's defensive ability in CF.

Cal Ripken, in my defensive ratings, year-after-year, regardless of pitcher handedness, remained an outstanding defensive player at SS, even at the point where he was stupidly switched to 3B. That consistency of my rating of his defense, is testimony to the correctness of my methodology. Pitcher handedness, I repeat, is something that I would love to take into account, but it is far less important than the stadium and positional factors.
   32. caiman Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4615825)
One impression that I have gotten over the years is that players who are injured, but playing, are affected in a negative way more on defense than on offense.
   33. Moeball Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4621724)
I actually have a more difficult time rating today's players than I do those from the past. Game seems more complex now plus I think there is a narrowing of the gap between the greatest players and the lesser ones so the outstanding players don’t seem quite so obvious.
But here goes with my 2013 picks:

1. Mike Trout. I have a certain skepticism on the defensive ratings involved in WAR - I believe FanGraphs had Trout as a better than average fielder in 2013 whereas BRef dWAR has him as really bad. My gut instinct tells me that he was not a bad outfielder in 2013 but I am also skeptical that he was otherworldly in 2012 as well. I'm thinking he's somewhere in between, a fine outfielder but maybe +5 to 10 runs at most. At any rate, I still have him comfortably ahead of Miggy due to all-around excellence. The strange thing is that whereas the AL MVP voters couldn't buy Trout's all-around excellence over Cabrera's hitting numbers, in the NL they gave the MVP to McCutchen...based on his all-around excellence rather than just being the best hitter. Strange indeed.
2. Clayton Kershaw. A lot of innings of unhittable nastiness. I hope he can stay healthy for a long time because this should be fun to watch. Remember Pedro in his prime?
3. Miguel Cabrera. The man can sure hit a baseball. Looks like the path has been cleared for him to be back at first or DH in 2014 so he won't kill the Tigers so much on defense. Enjoy watching him in his prime because the way he's hit the last few years won't last forever. And if it does...just enjoy it!
4. Andrew McCutchen. All-around excellence makes him sort of Trout-ish but at a slightly lower level. I hope he gives Pirates fans someone to cheer for many years to come.

The first 4 seemed like the easiest picks to me. Now it gets a lot tougher. Believe me, anyone could make a case for rearranging #s 5-15 below, I think they are that close in terms of value. All had terrific seasons in 2013. For the ones who don’t make the list like David Wright or Troy Tulowitzki or Cliff Lee or others – it was really, really close and really difficult to decide how to order these guys.

5. Josh Donaldson. Solid hitter and fielder helped keep Oakland on track. Made a big leap forward in 2013 in terms of strike zone judgement.
6. Matt Carpenter. Biggest reason Cardinals stayed in hunt all year. Solid offensively and defensively. Part of St. Louis’ lineup full of “clutch” hitters. His .392/.468/.558 with runners on is the kind of slash line you see from top first basemen or corner outfielders, not a second baseman.
7. Chris Davis. Just pounded the ball like crazy. Fell off badly in second half of season but still put up some spectacular numbers.
8. Joey Votto. Cincinnati doesn’t deserve this guy. I feel confident when watching him hit that I can say I’m watching a future HOF-er. Did everything much better on the road than in Cincy this season – higher average, more power, more walks, fewer Ks, even ran better on the road. Maybe he really wants to leave town.
9. Robinson Cano. Glue that held Yankees together in a season where just about everything that could go wrong did. They still won 85 games. He’s the main reason why.
10. Yadier Molina – 2nd biggest reason Cardinals were so good. I think catchers are underrated by most systems, including mine.
11. Paul Goldschmidt – right up with Votto as top hitter in NL. Should be coming into his prime years as a hitter. Monster with runners on in 2013 – 24 of his 36 HRs came with runners on despite being less than half of his PA.
12. Max Scherzer – I think he really was AL’s top pitcher this year. WHIP of 0.97 was best in league, especially park-adjusted. His emergence along with Sanchez to go along with Verlander apparently made the Tigers think it was ok to let Fister go. This is a great pitching staff going forward.
13. Carlos Gomez – I know his glove was unbelievably good this season which is part of why I have him this far down – I guess I don’t believe he was quite that good, either. Has steadily improved over the years as a hitter to the point where now he’s pretty good. Still really struggled against power pitchers in 2013.
14. Hanley Ramirez – this was the kind of season everyone was waiting for based on his tremendous potential. Too bad it was only half a season. Still did better in half a season than a lot of players did in a full one. Puig got most of the press but Ramirez was the biggest driver of the recovery that saved the season and probably Mattingly’s job. Question – did McGwire have something to do with retooling Hanley’s swing?
15. Dustin Pedroia – he just does everything well. Hits, fields, runs. I don’t know how else to explain it.
   34. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4622512)
"The strange thing is that whereas the AL MVP voters couldn't buy Trout's all-around excellence over Cabrera's hitting numbers, in the NL they gave the MVP to McCutchen...based on his all-around excellence rather than just being the best hitter. Strange indeed".

The story line was a little different. Cabrera won the TC and his team won, even in this day and age of uberstats, the TC is too unique not to reward. Nobody really had the bowl you over numbers in the NL this year. McCutchen was the best player on the Cinderella team so it's really not surprising he won despite not having the traditionally fancy numbers. It was basically Kirk Gibson 2.0.
   35. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4622528)
Cabrera didn't win the Triple Crown this year. He was 2nd in HR and RBI to Chris Davis.
   36. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 22, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4622529)
Apology, I misread and thought Moe was referring to the 2012 AL vote.
   37. Cassidemius Posted: December 26, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4623991)
I'm using my own adjustment to Win Shares. I try to balance RA and FIP ratings for pitchers. I count playoffs and, for this year, I'm including any World Baseball Classic play, although it's pretty miniscule and doesn't affect much (or anything, I don't think).

1. Matt Carpenter. A bit of a surprise to me, but a great offensive season at a defensive position, solid enough defense there and a huge contribution to the second-best team in baseball.

2. Mike Trout. All-around greatness, and after voting him in the top spot last year I was ready to just do it again for a decade. But Carpenter beats him out, largely because I'm using Win Shares and the Cardinals did really well and the Angels...did not.

3. Yadier Molina. I think catchers' defense is underrated generally, and I think Molina is excellent at it. This year he managed a somewhat nondescript or inexperienced Cardinals staff to the World Series. He did similar work in the WBC with Puerto Rico. I'm convinced he has real defensive value, and with his strong hitting this year, this is where he lands.

4. Clayton Kershaw. Best pitcher, by a healthy margin, whether with FIP or RA.

5. Robinson Cano. Another quietly great season.

6. Andrew McCutchen. Trout-lite.

7. Miguel Cabrera. His injury in the last month/postseason cost him another truly great year, although seventh in the world is non too shabby.

8. Choo Shin-Soo. I don't think he was as bad as all that in CF, and his offense was a big part of what made the Reds go.

9. Matt Holliday. Best ML LFer, although there wasn't a lot of competition (unless you count Trout).

10. Joey Votto.
11. Paul Goldschmidt
12. Chris Davis. Goldschmidt hit better than Davis, Votto was the best fielder and so edges ahead of the Diamondback.

(Tanaka Masahiro. Not eligible for our project, but I would vote him here if he was. Terrific pitching season, even if you don't believe in wins hype).

13. Josh Donaldson. I'm not buying the defensive stats enough to get him ahead of Cabrera, but a great story and a great player.

(Abe Shinnosuke. Same story as Tanaka; best position player in Japan, would be an All-Star in MLB IMO).

14. Carlos Santana. Maybe not a great defensive catcher, but decent enough, and with a big bat this year he gets on the ballot.

15. Andrelton Simmons. I'm not sold 100% on defensive stats, but Simmons does legitimately appear to be great.

The next tier is Kipnis, Jay Bruce and Carlos Gomez. Felix Hernandez edges Max Scherzer to be the best AL pitcher, although it's a virtual tie.
   38. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 26, 2013 at 07:19 AM (#4624007)

The next tier is Kipnis, Jay Bruce and Carlos Gomez.

You're either severely underrating Gomez or overrating Bruce. Even if you don't buy Gomez's otherworldly defensive stats (I don't) he still beats him offensively while playing the more demanding position. I'm not sure how much more valuable a good hitting GG fielding CF is then a not quite as good hitting GG fielding RF, but they shouldn't be in the same tier.
1-15 is defensible but that kind of stuck out.
   39. lieiam Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4625382)
My early list of favorite albums of the year:
Right now I have a top 3 followed by a number of "contenders".
I'm sure I'm missing albums and hope to have a better list after checking out more albums from other lists I see.

1- The Joy Formidable- Wolf's Law
2- Veronica Falls- Waiting For Something To Happen
3- House Of Love- She Paints Words In Red

some of the "contenders"
New Model Army
Joanna Gruesome
Bubblegum Lemonade
The Lost Patrol
Chatham Rise
Camera Obscura
Rose Melberg
   40. Qufini Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4625409)
My top five of 2013:

K-OS, Black on Blonde- an excellent return to form with a ton of fun guest stars (Corey Hart, anyone?); deep and danceable hip hop
Regina Spektor, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats- more quirky fun from the folk indie artist; it always feels like she's part f my circle of friends
Sting, The Last Ship- Sting continues his exploration of pre-rock music with an interesting musical about a shipyard in Newcastle; I'm particularly fond of Dead Man's Shoes, The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance and In The Shipyard.
The Great Gatsby soundtrack by Jay-Z and friends- a very cool mix of old time swing and modern hip hop
Under the Covers Vol. 3- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs are back with songs of the '80s; a very good mix of well known hits (Our Lips Are Sealed, Free Fallin') and deep cuts from indie favorites
   41. Cassidemius Posted: January 01, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4627958)
[Gomez]still beats him offensively while playing the more demanding position.

Well, Win Shares has Gomez ahead 23.6-23.5, so it's not just me. That includes Bruce ahead 18.8 to 17.7 on offensive win shares. I like to look at Extrapolated Runs, and they come out pretty close to even there. Bruce also beats Gomez in wRC at Fangraphs, although not in wRC+. Bruce also appears to have better leverage stats; I don't particularly care about those, but they might help his team outperform Pythagorean expectations, which could inflate his Win Shares.

Anyways, I agree that Gomez would rank ahead of Bruce, as CF is more valuable than RF and Gomez appears to be a good one, but I don't think having them in the same tier off the end of the ballot is that odd.
   42. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 01, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4627989)
Preliminary 2013 Ballot. I have created my own set of Player won-lost records based on Retrosheet play-by-play data. I calculate them two ways: pWins tie to team wins, eWins are context-neutral. I compare against both positional average and replacement level. I give a bonus to catchers and relief pitchers, include postseason games (weighted the same as regular-season games), throw it into a blender and it produces this. I then make judgmental adjustments based, in part, on what other systems have to say. And this is what I end up with.

The numbers here are pWins-pLosses, pWOPA, pWORL (all including postseason games), with some comments.

1. Clayton Kershaw, 17.8 - 12.2, 3.8, 5.4 - best pitcher in MLB, best player in MLB
2. Miguel Cabrera, 23.2 - 16.4, 3.4, 5.2 - looks much better in context than out. I compared him to Trout here.
3. Matt Carpenter, 25.6 - 19.1, 3.1, 5.3 - best position player in the NL, has a pretty strong case to rate ahead of Cabrera.
4. Mike Trout, 21.1 - 16.7, 2.0, 3.8 - see link in #2. Could be #1 context-neutral; actually ends up lower than this in my straight system.
5. Chris Davis, 20.9 - 13.1, 3.4, 5.0 - best 1B in MLB
6. Max Scherzer, 15.8 - 9.2, 3.5, 4.9 - best P in AL
7. Andrew McCutchen, 23.9 - 18.1, 2.4, 4.4 - limiting it to position players, he was a pretty good choice for NL MVP - Carpenter's ahead of him here in large part because of the postseason.
8. Paul Goldschmidt, 22.9 - 15.3, 2.9, 4.7 - best offensive player in the NL
9. Shin-Soo Choo, 23.8 - 17.0, 3.0, 4.9 - my system really loves Choo's 2013 season, in large part because it really loves his defense. Splitting the difference between my system (best defensive CF) and other systems (terrible defensive CF) puts him about here. I discussed this somewhat here.
10. Yadier Molina, 17.5 - 12.9, 2.4, 3.9 - best C in MLB
11. Robinson Cano, 23.0 - 18.3, 2.5, 4.5 - best 2B in AL
12. Adam Wainwright, 17.7 - 14.3, 2.6, 4.3 - strong postseason helps get him a down-ballot spot
13. Josh Donaldson, 21.3 - 15.9, 2.7, 4.5 - strong season looks much better in context
14. David Ortiz, 17.3 - 12.0, 2.7, 4.1 - best DH in MLB, best postseason performance are enough to get him onto the ballot.
15. Dustin Pedroia, 23.4 - 19.6, 2.1, 4.1 - solid postseason helps get him the last spot on the ballot.

If nobody raises any issues and I don't change my mind, I'll transfer this over to the Ballot Thread tomorrow afternoon.
   43. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:10 AM (#4628020)
I did this in much the same way as I did the HOM Ballot, with bWAA as the base number. I gave bonuses for postseason heroics, catching, and dominant pitching peripherals based on Fangraphs FIP-. I made adjustments for defense, preferring UZR over DRS and league strength. Here is the preliminary. If nobody objects and I don't find anything wrong, I'll transfer this to the ballot late Thursday.

1) Max Scherzer -- boosted by outstanding FIP- and postseason
2) Mike Trout -- Best player in regular season
3) David Ortiz -- Amazing postseason and good regular season
4) Clayton Kershaw -- Would be #1 if not for league strength adjustment
5) Shane Victorino -- Excellent regular season and postseason
6) Justin Verlander -- Good regular season and amazing postseason (shakes fist)
7) Anibal Sanchez -- Boosted by dominant FIP-
8) Andrew McCutchen -- Best NL position player
9) Jacoby Ellsbury -- Very good regular season and even better postseason
10) Cliff Lee -- Great pitcher with terrible support from his team
11) Josh Donaldson -- Best player on 2nd best regular season AL team
12) Adam Wainwright -- Dominant FIP- and good postseason
13) Yadier Molina -- Catcher bonus and good postseason
14) Jose Fernandez -- Dominant FIP-
15) Miguel Cabrera -- Best hitter in baseball, but terrible defense, mediocre postseason

16-20) Matt Harvey, Hanley Ramirez, Zack Greinke (pitcher batting), Carlos Gomez, Robinson Cano
21-25) Chris Davis, Hisashi Iwakuma, Chris Sale, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez
26-30) Joe Mauer, Matt Carpenter, Koji Uehara, Marlon Byrd, David Wright
31-35) Jhoulys Chacin, Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado, Yan Gomes, Juan Uribe
36-40) Russell Martin, Dustin Pedroia, Yu Darvish, Joey Votto, Welington Castillo
41-45) Adrian Beltre, Troy Tulowitzki, Clay Buchholz, Jason Castro, Colby Rasmus
46-50) Freddie Freeman, Jose Quintana, Jason Kipnis, Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez
51-55) Ben Zobrist, Hunter Pence, Alex Cobb, Yasiel Puig, Travis Wood
56-60) Salvador Perez, Craig Gentry, Andrelton Simmons, Bartolo Colon, Coco Crisp
61-65) Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Santana, Jayson Werth, Jose Bautista, Brandon Belt
   44. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4628094)
Looks like you're weighting postseason fairly heavily Ivan.
   45. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4628257)
44 - Yes and I'm probably not giving enough weight to regular season peak for position players. I'm tweaking this. It's hard to believe that Anibal Sanchez really had a better year than Andrew McCutchen.
   46. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4628284)
It's really hard to believe Shane Victorino had a better season than Andrew McCutchen
   47. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4628593)
OK I tweaked, putting greater weight on a really outstanding regular season for position players and adding a couple of guys off ballot that I forgot about before:

1) Mike Trout -- Easily the best player in baseball
2) Andrew McCutchen -- Best regular season of any NL player
3) Max Scherzer -- Boosted by outstanding FIP- and postseason
4) Clayton Kershaw -- Best regular season pitcher
5) Shane Victorino -- Excellent season and postseason
6) David Ortiz -- Good season and amazing postseason
7) Josh Donaldson -- Great regular season
8) Justin Verlander -- Good season and amazing postseason (shakes fist)
9) Miguel Cabrera -- best hitter in baseball but terrible defense and mediocre postseason
10) Anibal Sanchez -- Boosted by dominant FIP-
11) Cliff Lee -- Great results, very good peripherals, no support
12) Yadier Molina -- Catcher bonus, good postseason
13) Robinson Cano -- Great hitter at a defensive position
14) Carlos Gomez -- Good offense, fantastic defense but UZR<DRS
15) Adam Wainwright -- Excellent results, excellent FIP-, good postseason

16-20) Jacoby Ellsbury, Chris Davis, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Jon Lester
21-25) Zack Greinke, Evan Longoria, John Lackey, Hanley Ramirez, Hisashi Iwakuma
26-30) Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, Matt Carpenter, Koji Uehara, Paul Goldschmidt
31-35) Joe Mauer, Jhoulys Chacin, Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Marlon Byrd
36-40) David Wright, Buster Posey, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Yan Gomes
41-45) Juan Uribe, Russell Martin, Joey Votto, Jose Quintana, Welingon Castillo
46-50) Adrian Beltre, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Castro, Michael Wacha, Alex Cobb
51-55) Travis Wood, Colby Rasmus, Freddie Freeman, Bartolo Colon, Jason Kipnis
56-60) Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Gonzalez, Ben Zobrist, Hunter Pence, Doug Fister
61-65) Yasiel Puig, Salvador Perez, Tyler Chatwood, Craig Gentry, Andrelton Simmons
66-70) Joe Nathan, Cole Hamels, Trevor Rosenthal, Coco Crisp, Carlos Santana
71-75) Jayson Werth, Jose Bautista, Chris Tillman, Brandon Belt, Gerardo Parra

DL - Shane Victorino had a great year -- 6 WAR and a great postseason isn't that far from 8 WAR and an OK postseason in my system. I use WAA instead of WAR, but the WAR thing is a reality check. Postseason is very important to me, as it is to most fans especially now in the multiple level playoff era. The idea that Michael Wacha had a better year overall than Travis Wood makes sense to me.
   48. Qufini Posted: January 05, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4630658)

My top five of 2013:

K-OS, Black on Blonde- an excellent return to form with a ton of fun guest stars (Corey Hart, anyone?); deep and danceable hip hop
Regina Spektor, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats- more quirky fun from the folk indie artist; it always feels like she's part f my circle of friends
Sting, The Last Ship- Sting continues his exploration of pre-rock music with an interesting musical about a shipyard in Newcastle; I'm particularly fond of Dead Man's Shoes, The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance and In The Shipyard.
The Great Gatsby soundtrack by Jay-Z and friends- a very cool mix of old time swing and modern hip hop
Under the Covers Vol. 3- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs are back with songs of the '80s; a very good mix of well known hits (Our Lips Are Sealed, Free Fallin') and deep cuts from indie favorites

I can't believe I forgot my favorite album of the year: Meet Me at the Edge of the World by folk duo Over the Rhine. That's my album of the year. The other five are all tied as runner-up

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