FIRE JOE MORGAN: Good call, Joe


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Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Good call, Joe

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.

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posted by Junior  # 7:51 PM
I'm a Yankees fan, so I love how you immediately threw A-Rod's name into the mix, but what about Brian Roberts? Of course, he'd never win because both his team and his own production will probably fall off, and he's a 5'8" leadoff hitter. But he has an equal or better OBP and SLG than A-Rod, Ortiz, Vlad or Vlad. Toss in 18 steals and you have someone who should be near the top of everyone's list, but since nobody gives Baltimore any credit for winning, Roberts will be ignored. Hafner's in the midwest, so he has no shot.

By the way, I just asked Joe Morgan what his reasoning for picking Manny Ramirez was.

"Well, he leads the league in RBIs. Plus, he's on Boston, so he is therefore a great player."

I'm only 17, but I've known almost all my life as a baseball fan that RBIs are an extremely overrated stat.

There is absolutely no reason why Manny should be picked for MVP ahead of Ortiz, A-Rod, Hafner, Roberts, Teixiera, or Tejada. My pick would be A-Rod at this point because he hits more home runs, and although I just said RBIs and runs are basically meaningless stats, he has a pretty decisive advantage in both categories, which helps show his importance to his team. Yankees Stadium for a righthander is also much more difficult to hit out of than Camden Yards. I also value a guy in the middle of the lineup like A-Rod more than a table setter like Roberts. I have to admit that I could easily make a case for Roberts over A-Rod, and that my being a Yankee fan may have played into it a little bit, but I feel A-Rod is the best candidate at this point.
"He's on Boston, so he is therefore a great player."???

I guess that makes Alan Embree a great pitcher. Good call.

And Junior, Manny plays left field.
Yeah, I can't believe I typed that, I just fixed it.
Did you notice the quotation marks? I was making fun of what Morgan might say as a response.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
i think its way too early to try and figure out the AL MVP right now, but i would definitely agree that i'd choose ortiz over manny. not just because of the better overall numbers, but ortiz comes up big in clutch situations.

as far as a-rod, i think he could be mvp but i dont agree with your justification. 1) yankee stadium is not a pitchers park, its not like paying at yankee stadium hurts his offensive #s 2) a-rod does play a more defensively demanding position, but frankly he sucks at it. he's made 10 erros and his fielding % is .954, and he ranks near the bottom in both range factor and zone rating so its not like hes playing gold glove calibur defense
ARod's ZR and RF are probably hurt by Jeter's general incompetence at SS -- where ARod would be playing if anybody in NY knew what he was doing.
With Morgan it's hard to tell.

What, no mention of the real MVP, Vlad Guerrero?
According to ESPN's Park Factor stats, Yankee Stadium is playing as a pitcher's park for the first half of 2005. 2004 was even worse for hitters there.
Manny may play "suspect" defense but he has learned to play LF well in one of the hardest places to play LF (just ask Matsui). For his "poor" defense he somehow seems to LEAD the league in OF assists. All this talk of intangibles, how many of those runners did he throw out would have scrored with a different LF? Better than Guerrero and his great arm. Better than Ichiro. Better than Sheffield. Better than everyone. I'm not saying he deserves a Gold Glove but he needs to be recognized for Improving his defense over the course of his career.
It's possible that Manny's outfield assist numbers are inflated by the fact that his reputation is that of a poor defender, so opposing managers continually test his arm. It's true that he might have improved significantly over his past performances.
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