Monday, August 31, 2009

MVP Award Tarnished?

As the MVP chatter around Jeter's season has been increasing, I decided to take a look at his career stats to see how this season is comparing to others.

Lot's of consistency (.300 avg. 200 plus hits per is a given), with the occasional great season mixed in. Like in 1999:
Avg: .349 HRs: 24 RBIs: 102 OBP: .438

Which made me wonder, if that wasn't good enough to win the AL MVP that season who did win it? - Pudge Rodriguez.

Given the dramatic change in Pudge's physiology over the seasons I thought - what a crock of _ _ _ _.

Here's a listing of the past AL MVP's since Jeter became the Yanks full time SS.

2008Dustin PedroiaBoston2B
2007Alex RodriguezNew York3B
2006Justin MorneauMinnesota1B
2005Alex RodriguezNew York3B
2004Vladimir GuerreroAnaheimRF
2003Alex RodriguezTexasSS
2002Miguel TejadaOaklandSS
2001Ichiro SuzukiSeattleRF
2000Jason GiambiOakland1B
1999Ivan RodriguezTexasC
1998Juan GonzalezTexasOF
1997Ken Griffey, Jr.SeattleOF
1996Juan GonzalezTexasOF

By my count, 8 of the past 13 winners have been tarnished by the use, or suspected use of PEDs. Griffey, Ichiro, Vlad, Morneau and Pedroia I believe are clean (right?). What a shame.

How many voters look at this list and regret their votes?

What I think you're going to see happen (at least until the '03 anon. list is released vs. leaked one name at a time), the MVP award is going to take a shift from a power number centric award - to an award that showcases players that play the game the "right way". So you're going to see a tilt, or bias by the voters to players who look like a Morneau, Ichiro, Pedroia, and yes, Jeter until the PEDs clouds has been permanently lifted.

With all that said, as of now, the MVP race is between Mauer and Jeter with a slight edge to Mauer (anti-Yankee bias plus sympathy votes for a catcher).

No more PED'ers for MVP.



old professor said...

Mid, regardless of performance enhancing drugs or not, twenty-twenty hindsight is always easy. Management knew what was going on, the player's union knew what was going on, agents knew what was going on and in all likelihood, sports writers heard rumors through the grapevine so having second thoughts about their vote for MVP is a little hypocritical of them.

More importantly than all of that hoopla is the fact the Yankees have been able to maintain their six game lead over the past two weeks. They have some critical series coming up with the Angels and the Mariners as well as one more series with the Red Sox those nine games could change the whole complextion of the Division race.

It is also nice the Yankees decided to modify the Joba rules one more time. Is it me or does it seem strange they are more concerned with the innings being pitched by a 23 year old versus worrying about innings for their two very large investments (CC and AJ). David Cone and Al Leiter have indicated their are only so many bullets in every pitchers arm and when they are gone they are gone. Sabathia and Burnett seem to be expected to continually eat innings while Joba shows up for five, four and as of yesterday three.

Crash said...

Mid if the Twins were in the race I would agree with you, but as of now they are a sub .500 team and are not getting any better.

The MVP race, in my opinion (and we know that means nothing), is between Teixeira, Jeter, and Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is batting .335, 27 HR, 82 RBI. I think this will be the most intriguing conversation the rest of the season in the AL. All of the races are pretty much done.

Yankees are playing very good baseball. With tomorrow beginning September call ups, they should now start to give some players days off to heal up those little nagging injuries nobody makes public.

I'm betting Cervelli, Albaladejo, Pena, Melancon, and Shelly Duncan are they first guys to get called up.

The Scooter said...

Mid, great post. I had no idea how many juicers were MVP's.

I have a bad feeling that Jeter and Tex are going to split votes and that Mauer is going to wind up with the award, even thought the Twins will likely finish at or below .500 and out of the playoffs.

Mauer is having a fantastic year, so if he gets it, I can't really complain.

Yankees still rolling. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope Mitre is ok so he can make his next start.

Anyone catch any of the Sox vs. Jays games this weekend? The Blue Jays have gone in the tank. They have totally given up. That organization needs a total upheaval. Ricciardi AND Gaston should be shown the door, along with the rest of the coaching staff.

Crash said...

Scooter I agree that Riccardi should be fired immediately. But I'm willing to let Gaston stay another year. Let's not forget that team lost 4 of it's 5 starting pitchers before the season even started. They released their closer.

They have done well with player development when you see guys like Hill, Lind, and Snider. But to be honest this is like 2002-2003 when Wells was young, Rios was just coming up, Halladay was just exploding on the scene and they were filled with potential. Riccardi just can't bring it all together and made bad deals, signed Wells & Rios to long term deals and let Carpenter go. Where would the Blue Jays be if they held onto Chris Carpenter?

The Scooter said...

Andy Pettitte turned back the clock. When he commands his curveball he still looks like one of the better pitchers in the game.

I hope Joba and Burnett watched how a true professional pitch. Get the ball from the catcher, nod when he puts down a sign, and throw a quality pitch.....then do it all again.

Just some notes:

It's official, getting Swisher was a great move by Cashman.

Mariano should (but won't) win the CY Young

At the beginning of the year, I would have put the odds of the Yankeees re-signing Damon next year at about 20%. I think it's a good 60-70% right now.

I'm going to enjoy watching the last couple months of Matsui in pinstripes. He has been the ultimate professional and will be remembered as a true Yankee. Here's to hoping he gives us some big hits in October. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a great post season.

old professor said...

Scooter, the universe must be out of alignment because I couldn't agree with you more regarding game by Pettitte and the deal to bring Swisher in. Pettitte has pitched like an ace the last month (note to Crash - I said like an ace not that he is the ace of the staff).

Swisher is hitting .250 and has more than 20 homeruns. He also has injected some life into the dugout and clubhouse. (Will he still be under contract next season??).

The thing I like about the Yankees this year is the number of role players they can bring off the bench and they produce. Hairston can play all of the outfield positions and all the infield positions and can hit (a refreshing break from Ransom), Swisher can play the corner outfield positions as well as first base and Hinske can play the corners and first as well as some third (he did come up as a third baseman, though if he does play third, the Yankees may wish to increase their liability insurance for people behind first base). All three give the Yankees pop off the bench.

If and it is a big if, the Yankees go all the way it would be nice to see them keep the team pretty much in place for next year (okay Cervelli for Molina would be nice and there is a strong possibility that Matsui won't be back).

Crash said...

Swisher is under contract through 2011 with a team option for 2012 ($6.75MM, $9MM, then $10.25MM or $1MM buyout).

Just 8 weeks ago we were talking about how Pettitte was washed up but since the break he's been one of the bet pitchers in baseball.

Let's see who the Yankees call up today...

The Scooter said...


Thome to the Dodgers

The Scooter said...

AJ bailed out by the bats. He hasn't won a game in a month.

He really has to get it together with Posada once and for all or Girardi has to bite the bullet and let Cervelli catch him from here on in.

But, a win is a win. The Red Sox have gotten hot and they have been able to make no headway whatsoever because the Yankees seem to match them win for win. It's all about ticking days off the calender now and keeping everybody healthy.

If Swisher played his home games at Camden Yards, he would have 60 home runs. He has three HR's in Yankee Stadium and FOUR in Baltimore. That has to be one of the strangest stats of the year.

Crash said...

I don't think it was Burnett/Posada problem. AJ was just missing, badly, last night. He missed spots by FEET, not inches.

So the Yankees make some predictable call ups Cervelli, Pena, & Melancon. A little surprised to see Edwar Ramirez back up, and who is Mike Dunn??? Old Prof drop some knowledge on us.

old professor said...

Regarding AJ, not only was his location off so was his velocity. He was topping out at 92-93. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't he throw 95-96 when he needs to? Crash Michael Dunn has been in the organization for five years. He was given some consideration when the Yankees were looking for a number five starter. They brought him up to get a chance to see whether they need to keep him or let him go under Rule 5. He appeared in 26 games with Trenton and 12 with SWB. ERA at SWB was decent (.225 with a 1-0 record).

Still too early to write the Division to the Yankees. If they can get the lead to 9 1/2 or 10 then I would say it is over. If the Red Sox are the wild card, they will have to face the Angels which leaves Detroit to the Yankees. If all falls into place the ALCS would be NY versus Boston.

old professor said...

Crash, there is an interesting article on Michael Dunn on the yankee team site. Apparently Dunn was drafted in 2004 as an outfielder. Converted to pitching via a Yankee request in 2007.

old professor said...

Last night was a good night - Yanks win, Red Sox lose the division lead grows. Only negative from last night is th report that Mo has tightness in his left groin and may need a few days of rest. It would appear that Hughes will move into the temporary closers position.

The Scooter said...

I would like to personally welcome CC Sabathia to the Cy Young race.

I think Mo's tight groin is a blessing in disguise. It will force Girardi to stay away from him for a couple of days. This can only help as he prepares for October.

Congrats to A-Rod on his 2,500 hit. It seems like every one of his RBI this year have been important ones.

Jeter is eight hits away from tying Gehrig on the all time Yankee hit list.

On a fun note....Giambi beats the Mets with a pinch hit 2 rbi single last night. Just had to throw that in there, 57

Crash said...

Good win for the Yankees. They pick up another game on the Sox (lead is back to 7.5).

Yeah CC is in the discussion. But Greinke has about 5 starts left, unless he falls apart in his next 3 or 4 starts (a la Josh Beckett), he will win the Cy Young. If he gets to 15 wins and leads the league in ERA, which right now he does with 2.32 and leads the league in CG which he does with 6, and has a WHIP just over 1.00 how can you not win? The only case would be if Greinke doesn't get 15 wins and CC does get 20 wins.

Actually, I would rather see Mo get it than CC at this point.

If A-Rod didn't miss the first month-plus of the season you have to think he would be in the MVP discussions, he would most likely be better than 30 HR and 100 RBI right now.

This will be repeated by me more than once over the next 4 weeks, I don't care if Joe Mauer hits .370, Derek Jeter is the MVP. If the Twins, in a weak AL Central division can muster up a winning season he can't be the MVP (right now the Twins are 1 game over, 4 back in the division).

It's times like this you really see an anti-NY bias.

old professor said...

Yankee power on display once again as they become the first team to have seven players hit 20 or more homeruns in a season. Aceves becoming the new vulture (with apologies to Ron Davis) winning for the 10th time in relief this season.

old professor said...

I am beginning to lean toward believing the race for the Eastern Division is just about over. The Yankees stand at 86-48 with 28 games left. The Red Sox are at 78-55 with 29 games left. If the Yankees play .550 ball and win 14 games. The will finish 100-62. The Red Sox would have to win 23 of their remaining 29 games to win the division. Don't believe that can happen.

Crash said...

At least your math is right this time, Old Prof.

I think we are all digging the way this team is playing right now, and about a week ago someone on the broadcast was making comparisons to the '98 team. Where I do believe they meant chemistry and picking each other up, this team is no where near the 98 Yankees record wise. To put it in perspective this Yankee team would need to win out (28-0) to tie the W/L record of '98.

here we are 11 years later and I can't even comprehend how a team can win that much. We get upset when this team loses a series, did the '98 team ever lose a series? Amazing stuff when you think about it.

old professor said...

Yankees sweep double-header, stick a fork in the Rays they are done. The Yankees also hold a nine game lead over the Red Sox. While not insurmountable, it would be one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history for the sox to catch the Yankees.

The lead in the division race also gives the Yankees the opportunity to reward some of their minor leaguers with time in big league games. Michael Dunn has a big time arm, but needs to be consistent finding the strike zone. It was also good to see AJ Burnett back in form.

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