Thursday, November 23, 2006

#2 Finishes 2 in AL MVP Race

Looking at 7 of the top 8 finishers of this year's AL MVP voting it is hard to make a case AGAINST any of those guys. (The 1 out of the 8 is Johan Santana, you have to be an everyday player to get the nod of MVP in my book) From top to bottom everyone of those guys had great seasons - Morneau, Jeter, Ortiz, Dye, Thomas, and Mauer.

Despite Jeter's serious character flaws - here is why he was the MVP. A consistent level of high production all season long. Take into consideration stats other than RBIs and HRs - such as batting avg., on base %, stolen bases, hits, and runs - top 3 or 5 in every category. Add on top of that a Gold Glove in the field. When the other headliners in Yanks line up were injured or slumping he was producing, and producing all season long and led the Yanks to the best record in the American League.

Here's why he was not the MVP: Anti-NYY bias (most notably from the idiot in Chicago who voted him 6th), Anti-Jeter bias. Not enough RBIs (less than 100), not enough HRs (less than 20). Most of the writers who are supposed to be experts, but are truly morons, think the MVP is just who led in HRs and RBIs, often ignoring the rest of the scope of baseball qualities. Those that do have a vote in this race are also stricken with short-term memory and got caught up in the sexy story of the Twins resurgence (three players in the top 8) in the last half the year to take the Central Divison led by Morneau.

This may have been Jeter's best shot at winning the MVP, as he can expect more competition (and thus split votes) from his own line-up with A-Rod staying and the emergence of Robinson Cano who if he can stay healthy could be the next big time star.

At the end of the day, all the Yankees on the 40-man roster, and the fans, would prefer a championship over an MVP award. Absent the ultimate prize we are stuck debating individual awards - 2007 spring training cannot get her soon enough!!!!

19 comments:

z said...

Here's the best reason why Morneau didn't deserve to win - he wasn't even the MVP on his own team. Mauer and Santana meant more to the Twins this year, and if Liriano had stayed healthy, that would bump Morneau down to #4.

Pinstripe_Mike said...

Totally agree. I added Middle Relief's link to New York Yankees Update.

Crash said...

Z I agree with you, but the same could be said for Jeter. Everyone knows Mo is the MVP of the Yankees. They wouldn't have the rings without him and they would not have had the best record in the league this year, probably wouldn't had even made the playoffs without him.

I cringe to think of the season when Rivera is not in the bullpen to close it out.

Here's a way to think about the MVP...take that guy off the team and where do they finish. If Jeter went down for the season, I would bet the Yanks still would have made the playoffs...without Mo, we would have been thinking about next season a month earlier.

Middle Relief said...

Crash - You are overstating the importance of Mo Rivera (I mean as it relates to the 2006 regular season only).

Rivera I believe missed almost a month of action and during that time Jeter still produced the numbers and closed out the East - right?

Crash said...

No...Mo missed the month of September, he went out right after the 5 game sweep in Boston. So the Yankees were up (comfortably) at that point. Of the games he missed only 7 were save opportunities. Farnsworth picked up 4 of them, but couldn't pitch back-to-back innings or days. He even blew a save against Boston. Proctor picked up 1 save in that same span. So again I am not overstating the importance of Rivera. Jeter did continue to perform during that period batting .368 2 HRs and 13 RBI. I think that was in the middle of his 17 game hit streak.

I'm a Jeter supporter...but he can't carry Mo's jock. Mo is the real MVP. End of story.

Anonymous said...

You have to be an everyday player to win MVP. Which Mo was not - Proctor maybe, but in general - no pitchers for league MVP.

z said...

I've heard the "no pitchers for MVP argument" many times before and I've never bought it. The contention boils down to this: "He's not an every day player!"
Who cares? What other position player can single handedly (and I mean, literally, single handedly deliver 20+ wins in a season? It doesn't happen often, but guys who go 20+ should definitely be MVP candidates. Similarly, 40+ relief pitchers get the nod as well.

Just my 0.02$.

Middle Relief said...

I guess my feeling is, there is an award for pitchers, and then there's an award for players.

If a pitcher can deliver something amazing - 27 plus wins, lower than a 2 ERA, 50 plus saves, then OK, you can make a case.

Outside of that, when you got guys going the full 160 and think they should gut their due.

Anonymous said...

This is the Old Professor speaking - will be listed as anonymous because I can't remember the log-in.

Mid-Relief really struck a nerve with this MVP thing. Morneau deserved the award. From June through the end of the season, he put the Twins on his back and carried them down stretch. Without him, they wouldn't have made the playoffs.

Jeter is just one piece of a very large and talented puzzle. The Yankees took over first with two of their starting outfielders on the DL and then maintained a large lead with their closer on the shelf.

The statistics speak volumes - less than twenty homeruns, less than one hundred RBIs and second in batting average. The gold glove can't figure into it because the MVP voting is completed before that award. The fact that a limited range shortstop could win the gold glove speaks for itself and eliminates the issue of anti-NY bias.

The Scooter said...

Once again, the OLD prof shows his lack of knowledge.

The Gold Glove is voted on by the coaches and managers and the MVP is voted on by a group of sporstwriters. No one would try to argue that coaches and managers have an anti New York bias...but there is DEFIANTELY one from the sportswriters.

I'm not saying that Jeter should have or should not have won the MVP...I actually think Morneau is a worthy choice...but perhaps you can do some research before you spout off next time, Prof.

old professor said...

Scooter,

I know how the votes are cast and who casts them. my comments centered on the people who whine about there always being a media bias against the Yankees. The bottom line to the whol argument, Jeter didn't have the stats to win the MVP. Morneau did.

Research is good for writing papers, games are won between the lines. Research indicated the Yankees were going to be the World Series Champs - Detroit probably didn't do their research.

Middle Relief said...

There is no way you argue that in places like Chicago, L.A., and Boston that an Anti-NY bias does not exist - because, well, it does.

HRs and RBIs are the two glamour stats that the ham and egg voting population pays attention to. If you value other things like ob%, SB, Avg., fielding stats, etc. - essentially a total player then I think there's an argument to be made.

As mentioned, its hard to make a case against any of the top 4 finishers, it is a matter of who deserved it more.

old professor said...

Okay Middle Relief lets look at some of the other stats that gave Morneau the MVP over Jeter. He played more games 157 to 154. RBI were not even close 130 to 97. Total bases Morneau 331 Jeter 301. Doubles Jeter has the slight edge 39 to 37. Strike outs - Morneau had less - 93 to 102. Home runs Morneau 34 Jeter 14. Jeter has the edge in OBP .417 to .375. It would appear that Morneau has a slight edge in the complete package issue, which is why the voting was so close.

And for those of you who think A-Rod had a bad season. He played as many games as Jeter, had 121 RBI, had a better slugging percentage .523, more home runs 35. Jeter scored 5 more runs than A-Rod (Guess that comes from A-Rod hitting behind Jeter and knocking him in). Jeter had more hits and fewer strikeouts than A-Rod.

Close statistically, but nog highly thought of in the MVP voting. Wonder if the same media that created the hysteria over A-Rod's "lack" of production didn't want to consider him for MVP. Media Bias?? Not in New York!!!!

The Scooter said...

LOL @ "He played more games 157 to 154"


and with this a-rod stuff, Prof. Does the concept of "clutch" mean anything to you?

and your credibility problem is threatening to rival Middle Relief's...You say and I quote,

"Jeter scored 5 more runs than A-Rod (Guess that comes from A-Rod hitting behind Jeter and knocking him in)"

But when mentioning A-Rod's RBI total you bury the fact that it was so high because JETER WAS ALWAYS ON BASE.

My kingdom for ANYONE who I can have a constuctive and intelligent conversation with.

old professor said...

Scooter,

You either work as an accountant or with one of the NY papers because you choose to read only portions and don't understand the meaning. A-Rod did play more games whether it be one or more than one. You were the one who felt more research be done okay Jeter scored 118 runs, A-Rod scored 113 yes that is five runs different, but it appears that A-Rod was getting on base almost as much as Jeter - Somebody else drove in A-Rod.

Regarding the word clutch - According to Michael Kay - A-Rod had more clutch hits than anyone else on the team including Mr. Teflon. I seem to remember Mr. Clutch coming up in one particular game twice with the bases loaded - result, ground out and strike out.

Apparently you have problems getting by the fascination of Jeter. Let me try to simplify for you- the point I was tryiing to get across with my statements were (a) Morneau's statistics were equal to or better than Jeter's which justified the close vote and explains why Morneau got the MVP. (b) For all the A-Rod haters which apparently you are one - statistically he had as good a year as Jeter and still was ridiculed by the NY Media.

Did you ever play the sport beyond Little League??

The Scooter said...

Yea Prof....you know If Michael Kay said it, it must be true.

If you continue to pursue this, I'm going to continue to make you look silly:

Jeter's OBP .417
A-Rod's OBP .392
So much for your "featured" point.

You want more?

Fielding %

Jeter .975
A-Rod .937

And I won't even bring up batting average.

With your lack of knowledge maybe YOU should have given up sports after Little League.

Crash said...

Ok let me see if I can sum up the argument against Jeter...it goes something like:

Jeter's a lousy shortstop!
Jeter's getting credit for intangibles that he doesn't deserve!
If Jeter played for any other team, he wouldn't win anything!


I'm tired of ignorant stats "research". If you want true statistical value you need to look at sabermetrics. This is some fancy word made famous by the "monyeball" type guys. Basically they look at everything a player does on the field.

They have this statistic called VORP (Value Over Replacement Player). It basically looks at the number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances.

This is often looked upon as the "MVP" stat for stat guys. Jeter is #1 in the AL and 3rd overall. The only guys rated higher than him are a couple of ham-n-eggers named Pujols and Howard (#1 and 2 respectively). He rates higher than guys like Hafner, Ortiz, Berkman, Manny, Beltran, and yes even Morneau (who wasn't even in the top 25).

If anyone is interested in a much deeper analysis of baseball stats you should check out www.baseballprospectus.com
These kind of stats are not for the "common" fan, but you realize how much people (including "experts" in the media) truly don't understand what the stats mean. Too many are just not informed and talk out of their ass.

Get infromed people...this especially applies to the Old Prof.

Middle Relief said...

All right, all right.

Some are in the tank for Jeter, some are not.

Let's keep this above board as the blog likes to maintain a certain level of professional asthetics.

Regardless of the '06 MVP - It's a given that the '07 MVP will be A-Rod, and the batting champ will be Cano.

old professor said...

Crash,

Your Christmas gifts have been returned and you will not be receiving the opportunity to sit in the luxury box seats during the season. That luxury now goes to Middle relief

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