Brian (Philly): Joe, who are your first half choices for MVP and Cy Young? Joe Morgan: In the NL, the popular choice is probably Derek Lee -- and I think he is a worthy selection, but I would choose Albert Pujols because his Cards have the best record. In the AL, I think it's a little more difficult, but I would choose Manny Ramirez with David Ortiz a very close second. And, obviously, in both leagues, this will depend on how these guys finish the season, but first half -- those are my choices.
Ramirez over Ortiz, huh, Joe? Wanna give any rationale whatsoever behind this? No?
Okay, I'll argue for Ortiz then. Ortiz leads Manny in WARP2 4.9 to 3.6. He leads in OPS .982 to .910. He leads in both components of OPS, OBP and SLG. He leads in batting average (not that that matters all that much). He leads in runs scored (team-dependent, but he still leads). He trails Manny by one home run and five RBI (again, team-dependent).
Manny is having a below-average (for him) first half of the season. He's a great hitter, but Ortiz is having the more productive offensive year. It's not all that close. Ortiz leads Manny by about as many OPS points as Manny leads Raul Ibanez.
Maybe it's Manny's stellar defense? No, it's not. That's ridiculous. But if you refuse to pick a DH for MVP, a case should be made for A-Rod, whose OPS is higher than Ortiz' at a far more demanding defensive position than Manny's. Yes, A-Rod's made a bunch of errors, but really, is Manny that great in left field?
Plus, A-Rod plays in a pitcher's park.
Of course, Joe would never pick A-Rod because his team has lost two more games than Manny and Ortiz' and that would be ludicrous because that means he's not a winner.
Labels: joe morgan, joechat