FIRE JOE MORGAN: Joe Will be Here Momentarily, Part II


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Friday, August 12, 2005


Joe Will be Here Momentarily, Part II

Emily (Charlotte, NC): Can Andruw really win MVP with a .280 batting average? it hasn't happened since the '70s, right? But he's a deserving candidate!

Joe Morgan: I think he could. That shouldn't be a deterrant (sic).

That's correct, Joe! Batting average, along with RBI, is one of the most overrated statistics in the game. I could care less if Andruw Jones is batting .280 if he's OBP-ing .395 and slugging .620. (Actual numbers: OBP .366, SLG .605.)

If you are an MVP, you're (sic) BA doesn't really matter.

Okay. Wait. Hold on. We're talking about if a certain guy can be elected MVP, and hence the process of choosing an MVP. MVPs aren't born MVPs. But let me get this straight, Joe, you're saying "If you're already an MVP, your batting average during the season doesn't really matter." What the hell does that mean? How does he think MVPs are selected? They just magically are? Is the following scenario what Joe's imagining?

August 12, 2005
MVP Voter: Hey, Russ Branyan.
Russ Branyan: That's MVP Russ Branyan to you, buddy! Ha ha!
MVP Voter: What?
Russ Branyan: That's right. I'm your 2005 NL MVP. It's already been decided.
MVP Voter: How did you -- ? What? How can you be MVP? Your batting average is only .263.
Russ Branyan: Yeah. That doesn't matter. See, I am an MVP.
MVP Voter: Am I in one of Joe Morgan's fever dreams?
Russ Branyan (slowly morphing into a baseball-playing computer monster who waits for the three-run home run): Yes.

Gibson won it for the Dodgers with a low average and low RBI's. It's MOST VALUABLE .. not MOST VALUABLE STATISTICAL PLAYER

First of all, Darryl Strawberry should have won the 1988 NL MVP, with an OPS+ of 165 to Gibson's 145. Second, Gibson's BA wasn't that low. It was .290, and league average was .253. Plus, only one man on the list of top 10 MVP vote-getters had a higher BA: Andres Galarraga (.302), and he finished 8th in the voting, so he probably wasn't a serious candidate.

More importantly, if not with statistics, how do you propose we pick an MVP? With just our memories? I can't stress this enough: statistics are a record of what's happened on the baseball field because no one can watch every single game between every single team, much less remember exactly what happened in every single play. Yes, the statistics we use now are imperfect, but at least they're something. A computer's not going to hurt you, Joe. Think of a computer as a very large notepad that a good baseball scout uses to write down what a player does on the field. You're not against notepads, are you?

Oh. You are. In your day, nobody used notepads, either. They're for nerds who've never played the game. Okay.

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posted by Junior  # 6:50 PM
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