Real Baseball Blog (REAL BBBB)--Fantasy Baseball Discussion, Baseball Discussion, Baseball,Jeter Sucks, Yankees Suck, Daily Fantasy Baseball Updates

Monday, November 20, 2006


Ryan Howard wins the NL MVP over Albert Pujols. Most people would agree that Pujols was clearly better than Howard this season (except of course that he had fewer HR and RBI's which could be attributed both to a 2 week absence and playing in a pitcher's park instead of a bandbox). We don't need to run down the litany of statistics which could used to demonstrate this point as Rob Neyer has already done here. What I would like to do is point out three interesting (and somewhat stupid things about this vote):

1) Pujols was actually voted 3rd on 1 ballot - One writer (*cgh, *cgh George King) voted Beltran ahead of Pujols. It's not that Beltran had a *bad* year; it's just that Pujols was better than him in almost every offensive aspect of the game (one interesting stat to compare--SLG in close & late situations---Pujols .792, Beltran .532---Yes Pujols outslugged Beltran by over 400 pts in close & late situations). Also, even though Beltran's numbers may be worse than they should be since his home AVG was the worst in the NL, Pujols home park was no hitter's paradise either. So, the statistical argument for Beltran is pretty weak (unless you base it completely on the fact that he plays CF a more demanding position than 1B). Plus, (and this is essentially the anti-Derek Jeter argument which I've yet to see be refuted yet), Beltran's supporting cast (offensively) was much much better than Pujols. If you don't already know this because you live in a cave, then I would offer the fact that the Mets had players ranked 20, 24, 58th (Reyes, Wright, Delgado) in VORP (not including Beltran) and the Cardinals 55th (Rolen). So you can't make the he's the reason that the team wins argument (which is essentially the one used for Ryan Howard--even though he had the best offensive 2B in all of baseball in his lineup). So what's the reason left to vote for Beltran over Pujols then?

2) The gawdy HR/RBI totals persuaded the voters in the NL - There's a perception that voters drool over extremely high HR/RBI (i.e. power) numbers and give those much more weight in voting for MVP (if you aren't familiar with that go here). The fact that Ryan Howard won the award would seem to indicate that trend is continuing. Which should bode well for David Ortiz. Did Ortiz lead the league in HR's (check). Lead the league in RBI's (check). Yet, Ortiz will be lucky to finish 3rd all because the Red Sox faded down the stretch and finished 3rd. Maybe it was because Ortiz simply faded down the stretch in September. Nope, already debunked that myth here. The point of all of this is that in the NL the voters go for the gawdy HR/RBI totals while ignoring a player with better offensive (and defensive numbers), while in the AL it looks like they are going to not award a player with the gawdy offensive numbers (Ortiz), but rather one without the gawdy power numbers and whose numbers are worse (Jeter). So, shouldn't the same uniform standard be applied to both leagues???

3) Some baseball writers are total morons - Although this is really a continuation of #1, it bears repeating: some baseball writers have absolutely no clue what when it comes to evaluating baseball players & their statistics. Although this will be expanded more in our next post on the AL MVP race, it's clear that some writers know only about their hometown and much else. Lance Berkman was 9th on 1 writer's ballot. Yes, 9th. Looking at the stats he was 3rd in OPS, 4th in VORP, 3rd (tied) in Win Shares, and hit a ton of homeruns on a terrible offensive team (next to last in SLG, 6th to last in Runs). So its very difficult to make the stats argument that there were 8 players better (statistically) than Berkman. How about the winning team/playoff argument? Although Houston finished with worse records than PHI or STL, they were closer to making the playoffs than other team and only missed by 1.5 games. Think maybe Berkman's Sept. had anything to do with it (9/24/.330/1.109). Also, if you look at the other 5 players besides Pujols/Beltran/Howard who were voted ahead of him on this ballot, you either have more players on the Mets (who are somehow more valuable despite being an additional player on a team with a higher ranking MVP candidate as compared to a player on a team with no MVP candidate), Marlins (who finished behind Houston in the Wild Card race), Nationals (no way Soriano can be considered MVP until his OBP is at least .370), Phillies (re-read the article for multiple Mets candidates), or Padres. In any case, there is no excuse for voting Lance Berkman 9th because he was not statistically worse than 8 other players in the NL nor was "contribution to team winning playoff possibility" worse.


Post a Comment

<< Home