FIRE JOE MORGAN: Commence Wrongness


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Monday, October 02, 2006


Commence Wrongness

As I have clearly seen, from the barrage of electronic mailings I received after touting Derek Jeter for AL MVP a few days ago -- mailings which ranged from begrudging agreement to violent assailments on my character -- reasonable (and unreasonable) people can disagree on season-ending awards. Partly because the criteria are so vague. Partly because statistics and anecdotalism more often clash than mesh perfectly. And partly because institutionally-designated recognition is a dicey business in any arena. (Remember when "Crash" won Best Picture?)

But even the most unreasonable person would not, in a season-ending round-up of award suggestions, deny that Travis Hafner had a great year, right?

Wrong, suckers.

Thanks to a tip from reader Sean, we can see that SI's Jon Heyman thinks the top 20 for AL MVP are:

Johan Santana, Frank Thomas, Derek Jeter, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, Carlos Guillen, Jason Giambi, Chien-Ming Wang, Mariano Rivera, Justin Verlander, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Nathan, Jim Thome, Joe Crede, Vladimir Guerrero, Paul Konerko, Nick Swisher.

Granted, Haf only played in 129 games. But in those 129 games he did this:

308/.439/.659. 42 HR, 117 RBI. 111/100 K/BB ratio.

He also had a Pujolsian .363 EqA, and an 8.9 WARP3.

Just...I'll pick one person from his top 20 at random. Torii Hunter is a lovely man, a fantastic defensive CF, a great baseball player. A great baseball player who did this:

.278/.336/.490. .280 EqA, 6.2 WARP3.

All of Heyman's top 20 might deserve top-10 votes. But come on, people.

Labels: , ,

posted by Unknown  # 2:47 PM
Okay, so he only picked dudes from teams that either made the playoffs or came close.

What I don't get is how you separate, say, the Angels from the Indians? What's the arbitrary line you draw in the missing-the-playoff sand? Six games back? Eliminated within the last week of the season?

What sort of "value" is there in missing the playoffs by 4 games that missing the playoffs by 18 games doesn't give you? Ticket sales?

Also -- tangent, sorry -- have you noticed how often people say things like "like it or not, the MVP goes to a team in contention." Or "maybe it shouldn't necessarily go to a team in contention...but it has for the last 60 years! So my vote's for Chump X from Good Team Y!"

I don't get it. I don't get why the MVP isn't the best player award. That makes the most sense to me. I see zero in the criteria listed by the BBBBWWAAA that should lead voters to vote for teams from playoff teams vs. non-playoff teams, ceteris paribus.

It means "Zazzle" in Latin.
I meant "goes to a player from a team in contention." Twice.

Can't figure out how to edit comments. Deal with it.
Reader Kevin chimes in, with some thoughtful zazzle:

...Did you catch the fact that [Heyman] ranked Morgan Ensberg as his least valuable player in all of the NL? Sure, Ensberg didn't have anything close to his 2005 season, but he did this:

.235/.396/.463/.859 (walked 101 times) with 23 HR, a .295 EQA, and 6.3 WARP3. He was, by my count, 48th in the NL in VORP.

What the hell is Heyman talking about? Seriously. That is a very, very solid year. Like I said, it wasn't his 2005, but it's good. And he's the Least Valuable Player over, say, Clint Barmes and his .220/.264/.335/.598 line (at Coors Field) or his teammate Adam Everett and his .239/.290/.352/.642 or David Eckstein and his .292/.350/.344/.694? Oh, that's right. David Eckstein is scrappy, does all the little things right, knows how to play the game, and has a huge heart. Silly me.

I also just noticed that his award for worst pitcher is "Cy Old."

A joke so instantly gettable that he has to add a parenthetical explanation:

"Cy Old (Worst Pitcher)"
Wait! More wrongness.

Dude also wrote that Billy Beane traded for Frank Thomas. Which he did not do; he signed him as a free agent for about $500k.
Apparently, his "on a team in playoff contention" didn't really apply to the NL, where he honorable-mentioned Andruw Jones and Miguel Cabrera.

Also, this isn't necessarily wrong, but five of his fifteen NL nominees were Mets.
Although you could argue that those teams, while their records are identical or nearly identical to the Indians', were actually in contention in the awful NL. End sentence fragment.

11 of his 20 AL MVP candidates were Yankees or Twins.
Is 'honorable-mention" a verb?

I know "zazzle" is.
I've done some more number crunching.

Twenty out of Heyman's twenty AL MVP picks were from teams other than the Royals.

Every time I hear or see the word Zazzle I think of this.
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