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View Full Version : I think Jonah Keri of Grantland has it right...


asindc
10-03-2013, 12:02 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9751881/jonah-keri-hands-major-mlb-awards

Jonah Keri has named Mike Trout as his AL MVP for the second year in a row, while rejecting the use of WAR as an evaluating tool. He contends, and rightly so in my opinion, that Trout is closer to Cabrera in offense alone than most people give him credit for, and he is obviously a much better baserunner and defensive player than Cabrera. He also quotes verbatim the criteria that MLB sends to voters. It explicitly states that it is not necessary to take into account a player's team's success.

Mike Trout is a better baseball player than Miguel Cabrera, period and was better than him last season and this one as well. If Trout and Cabrera switched teams and their respective positions were filled by replacement-level players, Detroit would have still won the AL Central and LAAAAA would have still missed the playoffs. Trout should not be penalized because more of his teammates sucked than Cabrera's.

DSpivack
10-03-2013, 12:09 PM
I've always enjoyed his writing.

getonbckthr
10-03-2013, 12:15 PM
You're right that if Trout was in Detroit they would still be in the playoffs. However lets say it was Cabrera and not Trout in Anaheim where would the Angels be? You would have to figure Cabrera would replace Pujols and his bad half of year and rest on DL.

doublem23
10-03-2013, 12:46 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9751881/jonah-keri-hands-major-mlb-awards

Jonah Keri has named Mike Trout as his AL MVP for the second year in a row, while rejecting the use of WAR as an evaluating tool. He contends, and rightly so in my opinion, that Trout is closer to Cabrera in offense alone than most people give him credit for, and he is obviously a much better baserunner and defensive player than Cabrera. He also quotes verbatim the criteria that MLB sends to voters. It explicitly states that it is not necessary to take into account a player's team's success.

OK, but last year and this year, Mike Trout had a better WAR than Cabrera so what's his point? I get that he doesn't want to use it to frame the argument, but it ultimately validates his position so isn't that, at least, a complicit acceptance of it?

SephClone89
10-03-2013, 12:51 PM
OK, but last year and this year, Mike Trout had a better WAR than Cabrera so what's his point? I get that he doesn't want to use it to frame the argument, but it ultimately validates his position so isn't that, at least, a complicit acceptance of it?

Because a lot of people seemed to think that the Trout position last year was based entirely on WAR, a statistic that scoffed at or were reluctant to accept. This is Keri's attempt to state Trout's case without using a stat that in last year's debate became kind of contentious.

doublem23
10-03-2013, 01:07 PM
Because a lot of people seemed to think that the Trout position last year was based entirely on WAR, a statistic that scoffed at or were reluctant to accept. This is Keri's attempt to state Trout's case without using a stat that in last year's debate became kind of contentious.

Yeah, I know, Keri's a smart dude, of course he uses WAR, I just think it's disingenuous of the OP to post stuff like "Jonah Keri doesn't use WAR, he gets it," when he's basically making a backdoor affirmation of WAR by showing how much better Trout is than Cabrera.

Irishsox1
10-03-2013, 02:44 PM
Here's a stat, Detroit won the central, the Angels finished under .500.

Guess which team will have the MVP?

asindc
10-03-2013, 03:00 PM
Yeah, I know, Keri's a smart dude, of course he uses WAR, I just think it's disingenuous of the OP to post stuff like "Jonah Keri doesn't use WAR, he gets it," when he's basically making a backdoor affirmation of WAR by showing how much better Trout is than Cabrera.

My point wasn't that WAR isn't useful even in an MVP debate, it is that I agree with Keri that WAR is not even necessary to recognize that Trout is better than Cabrera and more deserving of the MVP, last year and this year. I am not someone who looks for ways to discredit WAR and I know Keri is a proponent of it, which is all the more reason why Keri not using it in this instance is noteworthy.

asindc
10-03-2013, 03:02 PM
You're right that if Trout was in Detroit they would still be in the playoffs. However lets say it was Cabrera and not Trout in Anaheim where would the Angels be? You would have to figure Cabrera would replace Pujols and his bad half of year and rest on DL.

Cabrera in Anaheim with a CF producing like Pujols would have them where they are now, out of the playoffs with one of the best players in the game.

happydude
10-03-2013, 03:28 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9751881/jonah-keri-hands-major-mlb-awards

Jonah Keri has named Mike Trout as his AL MVP for the second year in a row, while rejecting the use of WAR as an evaluating tool. He contends, and rightly so in my opinion, that Trout is closer to Cabrera in offense alone than most people give him credit for, and he is obviously a much better baserunner and defensive player than Cabrera. He also quotes verbatim the criteria that MLB sends to voters. It explicitly states that it is not necessary to take into account a player's team's success.

Mike Trout is a better baseball player than Miguel Cabrera, period and was better than him last season and this one as well. If Trout and Cabrera switched teams and their respective positions were filled by replacement-level players, Detroit would have still won the AL Central and LAAAAA would have still missed the playoffs. Trout should not be penalized because more of his teammates sucked than Cabrera's.

I hope they take it into account anyway. How much "value" can a player be said to have if he's playing a team sport and his team not only misses the playoffs but doesn't even win half of their games? Maybe they should have a Player of the Year Award or something like that to acknowledge overall individual excellence but as long as they're calling it the MVP I definitely think the team's success or lack thereof should be a factor.

asindc
10-03-2013, 03:46 PM
I hope they take it into account anyway. How much "value" can a player be said to have if he's playing a team sport and his team not only misses the playoffs but doesn't even win half of their games? Maybe they should have a Player of the Year Award or something like that to acknowledge overall individual excellence but as long as they're calling it the MVP I definitely think the team's success or lack thereof should be a factor.

I look at this way: Would LAAAAA have won anymore games than they did with Cabrera and without Trout, using replacement players to replace their positions? I don't see how anyone can say "yes." In fact, I think there is a strong case to be made that they lose even more games. How much more valuable can Cabrera be than Trout if it can't be confidently said that Cabrera would make LAAAA better than Trout, all else being equal? To suggest otherwise is to reward Cabrera for the good fortune of having better teammates, something that has very little to do with his baseball abilities. Yeah, that's a fair assessment.

DSpivack
10-03-2013, 04:49 PM
I hope they take it into account anyway. How much "value" can a player be said to have if he's playing a team sport and his team not only misses the playoffs but doesn't even win half of their games? Maybe they should have a Player of the Year Award or something like that to acknowledge overall individual excellence but as long as they're calling it the MVP I definitely think the team's success or lack thereof should be a factor.

Chris Sale shouldn't have any Cy Young votes or finish 3rd as Keri says, because the White Sox sucked this year.

Baseball isn't a team sport in the way other sports are.

The idea that an MVP can't be on a bad team is basically saying that good players can't be on bad teams. That makes no sense to me.

happydude
10-03-2013, 05:32 PM
I look at this way: Would LAAAAA have won anymore games than they did with Cabrera and without Trout, using replacement players to replace their positions? I don't see how anyone can say "yes." In fact, I think there is a strong case to be made that they lose even more games. How much more valuable can Cabrera be than Trout if it can't be confidently said that Cabrera would make LAAAA better than Trout, all else being equal? To suggest otherwise is to reward Cabrera for the good fortune of having better teammates, something that has very little to do with his baseball abilities. Yeah, that's a fair assessment.

There is no way of knowing whether the Angels would have been better with Cabrera or the Tigers worse with Trout. If I had to guess I'd say "no" to both. In that sense, then, I agree with you. But the assessment of the value of their individual performances should be made in the context in which they occurred. Or its simply an MVP Award in name only.

You may believe Trout is being unfairly punished for his teammates' failures; I say Cabrera, should he win, is being rightfully rewarded for his teammates' successes, along with his own, which led to the success of the team. And in a situation where two players both have outstanding statistical years I believe that's how it should be.

asindc
10-03-2013, 05:59 PM
There is no way of knowing whether the Angels would have been better with Cabrera or the Tigers worse with Trout. If I had to guess I'd say "no" to both. In that sense, then, I agree with you. But the assessment of the value of their individual performances should be made in the context in which they occurred. Or its simply an MVP Award in name only.

You may believe Trout is being unfairly punished for his teammates' failures; I say Cabrera, should he win, is being rightfully rewarded for his teammates' successes, along with his own, which led to the success of the team. And in a situation where two players both have outstanding statistical years I believe that's how it should be.

What does his teammates' success have to do with an award for individual achievement? The simple luck of being in a better situation should play no part in the evaluation as far as I'm concerned.

happydude
10-03-2013, 06:05 PM
Chris Sale shouldn't have any Cy Young votes or finish 3rd as Keri says, because the White Sox sucked this year.

Baseball isn't a team sport in the way other sports are.

The idea that an MVP can't be on a bad team is basically saying that good players can't be on bad teams. That makes no sense to me.

Not really. It only suggests that when assessing any number of good players for the purpose of naming one "most valuable", the success or failure of the team they play for is not only relevant, but should be an important part of the criteria. The absence of team success as part of the criterion for naming a player "most valuable" makes no sense to ME since just about any player would list that as his number one goal entering any season.

I realize baseball isn't a team sport in the way other sports are. Absent some record-setting performance in basketball or football, for example, its hard to even imagine having much disagreement at all over the MVP prospects of two statistically comparable players in a scenario where one player's team won its division and the other player's team finished among the also-rans.

Maybe baseball should change the name of its award, then. I'd vote for Cabrera over Trout, just like last year and for largely the same reasons.

As for Sale, Cy Young and MVP aren't similar awards and don't suggest the same type of evaluative process. But it should be noted that there are, I believe, 9 or 10 pitchers that have won both the Cy Young Award and MVP the same season. I'd be very, very surprised if any of those pitchers' clubs failed to make the playoffs in those seasons. They got those MVP's because of what their excellent contributions on the mound meant in a team context.

happydude
10-03-2013, 06:14 PM
What does his teammates' success have to do with an award for individual achievement? The simple luck of being in a better situation should play no part in the evaluation as far as I'm concerned.

Because part of the assessment of the individual achievement is what role it played in the pursuit of team goals. Its not a stand alone award; historically it largely hasn't been. I would imagine that since the creation of multiple divisions in each league and, thus, multiple playoff teams the number of non-playoff MVP's can be counted on less than 5 fingers. I think that's the way it should be.

asindc
10-03-2013, 06:27 PM
Because part of the assessment of the individual achievement is what role it played in the pursuit of team goals. Its not a stand alone award; historically it largely hasn't been. I would imagine that since the creation of multiple divisions in each league and, thus, multiple playoff teams the number of non-playoff MVP's can be counted on less than 5 fingers. I think that's the way it should be.

All that assumes that all else is equal, as if Cabrera's teammates are no better than Trout's, which is obviously untrue. Frankly, I think looking at team success is a lazy approach of evaluating individual players. Using team success as a criterion, a player could hit .411, 68 HRs, 218 RBI, 53 SBs, and legitimate Gold Glove defense and because his team finished in 3rd at 83-79, 15 games out of 1st, he is less worthy than the best player on the 1st place team who hit 305., 27 HRs, 110 RBI, 14 SBs with average defense. That's absurd to me.

happydude
10-03-2013, 06:34 PM
All that assumes that all else is equal, as if Cabrera's teammates are no better than Trout's, which is obviously untrue. Frankly, I think looking at team success is a lazy approach of evaluating individual players. Using team success as a criterion, a player could hit .411, 68 HRs, 218 RBI, 53 SBs, and legitimate Gold Glove defense and because his team finished in 3rd at 83-79, 15 games out of 1st, he is less worthy than the best player on the 1st place team who hit 305., 27 HRs, 110 RBI, 14 SBs with average defense. That's absurd to me.

In your hypothetical I would pick the first guy for the award because of the unusual nature of his individual success. I'm not completely opposed to the MVP coming off a non-playoff team; I'm just saying that absent an individual performance far and away above everyone else's I'm picking the guy that made the playoffs.

In this case, both Miggy and Trout had excellent seasons. Overall, particularly when you take into consideration baserunning and defense, Trout's may have been slightly superior. But not enough.

I'm too lazy to look it up but there may have been a handful of monster numbers-producing MVP's off second tier ballclubs during the heyday of the steroid era. But, again, if that's true I'd imagine they had significant statistical advantages over their competitors.

DSpivack
10-03-2013, 06:39 PM
Not really. It only suggests that when assessing any number of good players for the purpose of naming one "most valuable", the success or failure of the team they play for is not only relevant, but should be an important part of the criteria. The absence of team success as part of the criterion for naming a player "most valuable" makes no sense to ME since just about any player would list that as his number one goal entering any season.

I realize baseball isn't a team sport in the way other sports are. Absent some record-setting performance in basketball or football, for example, its hard to even imagine having much disagreement at all over the MVP prospects of two statistically comparable players in a scenario where one player's team won its division and the other player's team finished among the also-rans.

Maybe baseball should change the name of its award, then. I'd vote for Cabrera over Trout, just like last year and for largely the same reasons.

As for Sale, Cy Young and MVP aren't similar awards and don't suggest the same type of evaluative process. But it should be noted that there are, I believe, 9 or 10 pitchers that have won both the Cy Young Award and MVP the same season. I'd be very, very surprised if any of those pitchers' clubs failed to make the playoffs in those seasons. They got those MVP's because of what their excellent contributions on the mound meant in a team context.

The difference in baseball is that in basketball great players make their teammates better. This is true of LeBron, as it was true of Jordan or Magic or Bird or whomever else. That's a direct result of gameplay. But how is Trout supposed to make Josh Hamilton not have a terrible season? Or Mark Trumbo not be able to draw a walk? Or be on a team with more than two decent SPs?

Looking at it another way, why does the team argument matter? What has Miguel Cabrera given his team that Mike Trout hasn't? How is Cabrera's overall performance as a valuable baseball player in 2013 better than Mike Trout's?

asindc
10-03-2013, 06:44 PM
In your hypothetical I would pick the first guy for the award because of the unusual nature of his individual success. I'm not completely opposed to the MVP coming off a non-playoff team; I'm just saying that absent an individual performance far and away above everyone else's I'm picking the guy that made the playoffs.

In this case, both Miggy and Trout had excellent seasons. Overall, particularly when you take into consideration baserunning and defense, Trout's may have been slightly superior. But not enough.

I'm too lazy to look it up but there may have been a handful of monster numbers-producing MVP's off second tier ballclubs during the heyday of the steroid era. But, again, if that's true I'd imagine they had significant statistical advantages over their competitors.

This is where we definitely disagree. IMO, Trout was clearly the superior player last season and is clearly the superior player this year.

happydude
10-03-2013, 06:45 PM
The difference in baseball is that in basketball great players make their teammates better. This is true of LeBron, as it was true of Jordan or Magic or Bird or whomever else. That's a direct result of gameplay. But how is Trout supposed to make Josh Hamilton not have a terrible season? Or Mark Trumbo not be able to draw a walk? Or be on a team with more than two decent SPs?

Looking at it another way, why does the team argument matter? What has Miguel Cabrera given his team that Mike Trout hasn't? How is Cabrera's overall performance as a valuable baseball player in 2013 better than Mike Trout's?

I guess it comes down to what you believe the MVP Award should represent. If its simply an award for the best individual performance in a season then the team argument doesn't matter. If its an award for individual excellence that contributes in a meaningful way to team success then it does. I subscribe to the latter interpretation and I believe that, up to now, so do most of the voters. Reasonable minds can differ, however.

happydude
10-03-2013, 06:46 PM
This is where we definitely disagree. IMO, Trout was clearly the superior player last season and is clearly the superior player this year.

Fair enough.

DSpivack
10-03-2013, 08:58 PM
I guess it comes down to what you believe the MVP Award should represent. If its simply an award for the best individual performance in a season then the team argument doesn't matter. If its an award for individual excellence that contributes in a meaningful way to team success then it does. I subscribe to the latter interpretation and I believe that, up to now, so do most of the voters. Reasonable minds can differ, however.

I'm just trying to understand what the team argument actually means. Where did Trout fail in that regard? How does he not contribute in a meaningful way where Cabrera does?

happydude
10-03-2013, 09:28 PM
I'm just trying to understand what the team argument actually means. Where did Trout fail in that regard? How does he not contribute in a meaningful way where Cabrera does?

He, of course, does. But, given comparable performance, the easiest way to determine who actually proved to be more valuable comes down to whose team came closer to realizing the goals all teams have because that's something that's quantifiable and its the reason they're out there playing in the first place. In the last two years, that's been Cabrera's team.

I'm not saying its entirely "fair"; I'm saying it makes the most sense to me because, based on the tons of variables involved, there's no real way of concluding who was most "valuable", anyway. In a team sport, when assessing the value of any one player it makes sense to look at how well the team he plays for performed. Absent good team performance its easy to see the value of even an exceptional player as being somewhat diminished.

If my memory serves me correctly, there was a time when The Sporting News, relevant in those days, selected a Player of The Year. That was an award that more closely honored the spirit of the points you and asindc have been making.

A. Cavatica
10-03-2013, 10:33 PM
If Casper Wells didn't receive serious consideration in this, his best year, I guess he should hang it up.

DSpivack
10-04-2013, 12:30 AM
He, of course, does. But, given comparable performance, the easiest way to determine who actually proved to be more valuable comes down to whose team came closer to realizing the goals all teams have because that's something that's quantifiable and its the reason they're out there playing in the first place. In the last two years, that's been Cabrera's team.

I'm not saying its entirely "fair"; I'm saying it makes the most sense to me because, based on the tons of variables involved, there's no real way of concluding who was most "valuable", anyway. In a team sport, when assessing the value of any one player it makes sense to look at how well the team he plays for performed. Absent good team performance its easy to see the value of even an exceptional player as being somewhat diminished.

If my memory serves me correctly, there was a time when The Sporting News, relevant in those days, selected a Player of The Year. That was an award that more closely honored the spirit of the points you and asindc have been making.

If it's quantifiable, what measure shows what Torii Hunter or Prince Fielder brought to the Tigers that Mike Trout did not bring to the Angels? In what part of the game do Hunter or Fielder, or Cabrera, make their teams better that Trout doesn't? That's what I'm failing to understand. Why wouldn't the MVP every year just be the best player on the best team, in that case?

happydude
10-04-2013, 03:53 AM
If it's quantifiable, what measure shows what Torii Hunter or Prince Fielder brought to the Tigers that Mike Trout did not bring to the Angels? In what part of the game do Hunter or Fielder, or Cabrera, make their teams better that Trout doesn't? That's what I'm failing to understand. Why wouldn't the MVP every year just be the best player on the best team, in that case?

For the most part, the MVP is the best player on a team that could be considered as having had success in that season; that usually means making the playoffs at a minimum. He doesn't necessarily have to be the best player on the best team; but he does need to be the best player on a good team.

Mike Trout played on a team that finished six games under .500 despite having a high payroll; a payroll equivalent to Cabrera's Tigers. A team that has more in common with the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox of the world than it does with Houston or Miami. A team that failed by any measure. No one needs to cry for Mike Trout should he not be named MVP.

doublem23
10-04-2013, 07:22 AM
I hope they take it into account anyway. How much "value" can a player be said to have if he's playing a team sport and his team not only misses the playoffs but doesn't even win half of their games? Maybe they should have a Player of the Year Award or something like that to acknowledge overall individual excellence but as long as they're calling it the MVP I definitely think the team's success or lack thereof should be a factor.

Value is not a relative term. Value is value. Let's say you have two people and you ask them to empty their pockets, to see who has the largest single bill. Guy A has 21 bucks on him, a 20 and a single. Guy B has 30 in change and singles. The $20 bill is still the largest (most valuable) bill between the two, even if Guy B has collectively more money.

For the most part, the MVP is the best player on a team that could be considered as having had success in that season; that usually means making the playoffs at a minimum. He doesn't necessarily have to be the best player on the best team; but he does need to be the best player on a good team.

No, that's horse****, if the MVP was supposed to be the Best Player on the Best Team, they would have worded it that way. It's called the Most Valuable Player. There's nothing in that title that suggests a player's team has to be good. It only addresses the player. It doesn't matter if the best player in the league is on the team that finished 1st or worst, the best player in the league, by definition, has the most value.

MarksBrokenFoot
10-04-2013, 09:02 AM
Value is not a relative term. Value is value. Let's say you have two people and you ask them to empty their pockets, to see who has the largest single bill. Guy A has 21 bucks on him, a 20 and a single. Guy B has 30 in change and singles. The $20 bill is still the largest (most valuable) bill between the two, even if Guy B has collectively more money.



No, that's horse****, if the MVP was supposed to be the Best Player on the Best Team, they would have worded it that way. It's called the Most Valuable Player. There's nothing in that title that suggests a player's team has to be good. It only addresses the player. It doesn't matter if the best player in the league is on the team that finished 1st or worst, the best player in the league, by definition, has the most value.

It's more like, Guy B has 30 in change and singles, and Guy A empties his pockets and all his money falls into a sewer drain. Was that a 20 I saw slip through the grate? Who cares, Guy B is buying :gulp:

Boondock Saint
10-04-2013, 10:11 AM
I find it incredibly amusing that in one thread, people are arguing that Chris Sale deserves more Cy Young consideration because the team around him didn't give him any help, then in another thread, people are arguing that Mike Trout doesn't deserve more MVP consideration because the team around him didn't give him any help.

happydude
10-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Value is not a relative term. Value is value. Let's say you have two people and you ask them to empty their pockets, to see who has the largest single bill. Guy A has 21 bucks on him, a 20 and a single. Guy B has 30 in change and singles. The $20 bill is still the largest (most valuable) bill between the two, even if Guy B has collectively more money.



No, that's horse****, if the MVP was supposed to be the Best Player on the Best Team, they would have worded it that way. It's called the Most Valuable Player. There's nothing in that title that suggests a player's team has to be good. It only addresses the player. It doesn't matter if the best player in the league is on the team that finished 1st or worst, the best player in the league, by definition, has the most value.


Where sports is concerned, value is in the eye of the beholder, apparently, since in any given year there may be tons of disagreement about who is the most valuable. This is in stark contrast to the example you offered which would lead to no disagreement whatsoever.

And if the MVP was supposed to be The Guy Who Has The Best Overall Stats Including Defense And Baserunning, they would have worded it THAT way. The fact remains that, given comparable stats, the voters tend to favor the guy on the most successful team and I think that's the way they should continue to do it.

Boondock Saint
10-04-2013, 11:38 AM
Where sports is concerned, value is in the eye of the beholder, apparently, since in any given year there may be tons of disagreement about who is the most valuable. This is in stark contrast to the example you offered which would lead to no disagreement whatsoever.

And if the MVP was supposed to be The Guy Who Has The Best Overall Stats Including Defense And Baserunning, they would have worded it THAT way. The fact remains that, given comparable stats, the voters tend to favor the guy on the most successful team and I think that's the way they should continue to do it.

That's a load of crap. What do you think is more valuable in general, a guy with slightly better offensive numbers, but can't run the bases well and has limited defensive ability because he can't/won't stop drinking booze and eating while making $20m a year, or a guy with slightly worse offensive numbers, but is a major stolen base threat and plays stellar defense at one of the most important defensive positions on the field while making the league minimum? It's a really simple answer. You take the 5 tool blue chipper with no alcohol abuse problems every time. That's what's most valuable to your team.

happydude
10-04-2013, 11:49 AM
I find it incredibly amusing that in one thread, people are arguing that Chris Sale deserves more Cy Young consideration because the team around him didn't give him any help, then in another thread, people are arguing that Mike Trout doesn't deserve more MVP consideration because the team around him didn't give him any help.

This is only inconsistent if one believes that the factors for the award are identical. I think it can be consistently argued that the Cy Young Award is strictly an evaluation of one player's individual performance primarily using his stats and, therefore, it may be relevant to what extent an important stat like won-lost was negatively impacted by his teammates. The MVP, however, takes into account what effect the player's individual performance has on the overall success of his team which would lead to a diminishment of Mike Trout's impact and thus his MVP bonafides.

That being said, I personally cringe at the idea of awarding a guy with an upside down won-lost record a Cy Young.

I think both players are worthy of consideration for those respective awards but that neither should win.

doublem23
10-04-2013, 11:50 AM
Where sports is concerned, value is in the eye of the beholder, apparently, since in any given year there may be tons of disagreement about who is the most valuable. This is in stark contrast to the example you offered which would lead to no disagreement whatsoever.

And if the MVP was supposed to be The Guy Who Has The Best Overall Stats Including Defense And Baserunning, they would have worded it THAT way. The fact remains that, given comparable stats, the voters tend to favor the guy on the most successful team and I think that's the way they should continue to do it.

That's more to do with the fact that people who vote on these awards are ****ing morons

Derek Jeter has how many Gold Gloves?

http://commitnesstofitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Drop-the-mic.gif

Boondock Saint
10-04-2013, 11:54 AM
This is only inconsistent if one believes that the factors for the award are identical. I think it can be consistently argued that the Cy Young Award is strictly an evaluation of one player's individual performance primarily using his stats and, therefore, it may be relevant to what extent an important stat like won-lost was negatively impacted by his teammates. The MVP, however, takes into account what effect the player's individual performance has on the overall success of his team which would lead to a diminishment of Mike Trout's impact and thus his MVP bonafides.

That being said, I personally cringe at the idea of awarding a guy with an upside down won-lost record a Cy Young.

I think both players are worthy of consideration for those respective awards but that neither should win.

Why should the rest of the team be at all a factor in the most valuable player voting? If you want to argue that defense and baserunning shouldn't be a factor because it isn't explicitly mentioned in the title of the award, then you can't factor in the rest of the team because the title of the award explicitly does single out the individual. But really, this whole semantics debate that gets brought up every single season in every single sport about what MVP actually means is completely idiotic. The MVP award goes to the best individual player, period. And that's Mike Trout.

happydude
10-04-2013, 11:59 AM
That's a load of crap. What do you think is more valuable in general, a guy with slightly better offensive numbers, but can't run the bases well and has limited defensive ability because he can't/won't stop drinking booze and eating while making $20m a year, or a guy with slightly worse offensive numbers, but is a major stolen base threat and plays stellar defense at one of the most important defensive positions on the field while making the league minimum? It's a really simple answer. You take the 5 tool blue chipper with no alcohol abuse problems every time. That's what's most valuable to your team.

First, I find it unfortunate that both you and doublem seem to have some difficulty expressing your disagreement without prefacing it with some type of derogatory comment. Expressions like "that's bull****", "that's a load of crap", etc. don't at all strengthen your position in any particular discussion.

Secondly, if the answer was so simple the discussion would not likely be occurring here or elsewhere. Unless your real position is that those who disagree with you and your comrades are somehow less intelligent than you merely because they don't share your views.

Finally, your position seems to be that because Trout can do more he's worth more. Maybe he is and maybe he isn't. In a micro sense he is; 5 tools is better than 4 or whatever the case may be. In a macro sense considering the impact of his many skills on his team, ultimately one cannot help but to look at results. There, he comes up short.

doublem23
10-04-2013, 12:10 PM
Why should the rest of the team be at all a factor in the most valuable player voting? If you want to argue that defense and baserunning shouldn't be a factor because it isn't explicitly mentioned in the title of the award, then you can't factor in the rest of the team because the title of the award explicitly does single out the individual. But really, this whole semantics debate that gets brought up every single season in every single sport about what MVP actually means is completely idiotic. The MVP award goes to the best individual player, period. And that's Mike Trout.

Yes

Boondock Saint
10-04-2013, 12:15 PM
First, I find it unfortunate that both you and doublem seem to have some difficulty expressing your disagreement without prefacing it with some type of derogatory comment. Expressions like "that's bull****", "that's a load of crap", etc. don't at all strengthen your position in any particular discussion.

Secondly, if the answer was so simple the discussion would not likely be occurring here or elsewhere. Unless your real position is that those who disagree with you and your comrades are somehow less intelligent than you merely because they don't share your views.

Finally, your position seems to be that because Trout can do more he's worth more. Maybe he is and maybe he isn't. In a micro sense he is; 5 tools is better than 4 or whatever the case may be. In a macro sense considering the impact of his many skills on his team, ultimately one cannot help but to look at results. There, he comes up short.

1) I said that's a load of crap because it is a load of crap. The people who make these convoluted arguments about what MVP actually means are only doing it because they're trying to misshape and alter what it means so that it fits the guy they want to win better. MVP is for the best player. It's really that simple. It's not best player on the best team, or best player with X number of years of experience, or best non-pitcher, or best non-DH, or anything else. Just who's the best.

2) I wasn't attacking you when I said that, either. I just think that argument's horrible and worn out.

3) The thing is that Trout and Cabrera have comparable results from an individual standpoint, which should tilt things more in favor of Trout, when you consider how much help Cabrera gets from the rest of his lineup.

happydude
10-04-2013, 12:16 PM
Why should the rest of the team be at all a factor in the most valuable player voting? If you want to argue that defense and baserunning shouldn't be a factor because it isn't explicitly mentioned in the title of the award, then you can't factor in the rest of the team because the title of the award explicitly does single out the individual. But really, this whole semantics debate that gets brought up every single season in every single sport about what MVP actually means is completely idiotic. The MVP award goes to the best individual player, period. And that's Mike Trout.

The reality is that sometimes this is the case and sometimes it isn't. The results over the years in all sports, not just baseball, suggest this isn't true. It may be your opinion that it should be true but that's another matter.

Boondock Saint
10-04-2013, 12:25 PM
The reality is that sometimes this is the case and sometimes it isn't. The results over the years in all sports, not just baseball, suggest this isn't true. It may be your opinion that it should be true but that's another matter.

This has a lot to do with the fact that the awards are voted for by previously mentioned idiot journalists. It's like the one guy who didn't vote for LeBron to win MVP last season because that guy knows he gets paid to get eyes on his articles, and what's gonna get more eyes than "Here's why I'm the one guy who didn't vote for LeBron"?

I bet MVP voting gets a lot more consistent if you leave it up to the players and managers.

happydude
10-04-2013, 12:36 PM
1) I said that's a load of crap because it is a load of crap. The people who make these convoluted arguments about what MVP actually means are only doing it because they're trying to misshape and alter what it means so that it fits the guy they want to win better. MVP is for the best player. It's really that simple. It's not best player on the best team, or best player with X number of years of experience, or best non-pitcher, or best non-DH, or anything else. Just who's the best.

2) I wasn't attacking you when I said that, either. I just think that argument's horrible and worn out.

3) The thing is that Trout and Cabrera have comparable results from an individual standpoint, which should tilt things more in favor of Trout, when you consider how much help Cabrera gets from the rest of his lineup.


You seem to be suggesting that part of the evaluation should include the relative abilities of the players around Trout or Cabrera and what impact they may have had on those guys' output but SHOULD NOT include what impact Trout or Cabrera's performances may have had on the team overall. In both instances, we're forced to guess.

I believe that, historically, the MVP award analysis has included an evaluation of a player's impact on his team's overall performance and I agree with this approach. I believe that the easiest and most quantifiable way of evaluating a team's performance is simply by looking at how well they did over the course of a season versus their opposition. And, therefore, where two players put up similar numbers the player on the more successful team is more deserving of the designation of "most valuable".

This year, and last, that player is Cabrera.

happydude
10-04-2013, 12:43 PM
This has a lot to do with the fact that the awards are voted for by previously mentioned idiot journalists. It's like the one guy who didn't vote for LeBron to win MVP last season because that guy knows he gets paid to get eyes on his articles, and what's gonna get more eyes than "Here's why I'm the one guy who didn't vote for LeBron"?

I bet MVP voting gets a lot more consistent if you leave it up to the players and managers.

Perhaps. But these groups have axes to grind and biases to acquiesce to just like the journalists.

doublem23
10-04-2013, 02:44 PM
The reality is that sometimes this is the case and sometimes it isn't. The results over the years in all sports, not just baseball, suggest this isn't true. It may be your opinion that it should be true but that's another matter.

Yes, the discussion is who we think the MVP should be. I think Trout should win, hands down, but I have a feeling that Cabrera will win because people continue to punish individuals for their team's efforts. Especially in baseball. You can make strong cases how being surrounded by better players makes basketball, football, or soccer players better because those are much more team games, but baseball is the ultimate game where the sum is equal to the addition of it's parts; it is a very individual game.

And yes, I understand that value is relative, but that's when you're comparing different things. If you were dying of thirst, obviously, you would value a bottle of water more than the $2 it costs at a gas station. If you were the world's biggest White Sox fan, you'd probably pay more for a brick from Old Comiskey Park than a regular baseball fan. But when you're discussing the MVP Award, it's all the same goal - how to build the best baseball team, and the best way to do that is to assemble the best players, ergo, the best player is, by definition, the most valuable.

The only way I can see that not working is if a team won by such an unusual way that it skewed how they won. Take, for instance, the '05 White Sox who, by any account, had a pretty below average offense and won almost exclusively thanks to their pitching and defense. That's a relatively unusual way to win because most winning teams are so much more balanced. Perhaps, in those rare cases, exceptions can be made, but generally speaking, an individual award should go to a player based on his individual merit and nothing else.

happydude
10-04-2013, 04:27 PM
Yes, the discussion is who we think the MVP should be. I think Trout should win, hands down, but I have a feeling that Cabrera will win because people continue to punish individuals for their team's efforts. Especially in baseball. You can make strong cases how being surrounded by better players makes basketball, football, or soccer players better because those are much more team games, but baseball is the ultimate game where the sum is equal to the addition of it's parts; it is a very individual game.

And yes, I understand that value is relative, but that's when you're comparing different things. If you were dying of thirst, obviously, you would value a bottle of water more than the $2 it costs at a gas station. If you were the world's biggest White Sox fan, you'd probably pay more for a brick from Old Comiskey Park than a regular baseball fan. But when you're discussing the MVP Award, it's all the same goal - how to build the best baseball team, and the best way to do that is to assemble the best players, ergo, the best player is, by definition, the most valuable.

The only way I can see that not working is if a team won by such an unusual way that it skewed how they won. Take, for instance, the '05 White Sox who, by any account, had a pretty below average offense and won almost exclusively thanks to their pitching and defense. That's a relatively unusual way to win because most winning teams are so much more balanced. Perhaps, in those rare cases, exceptions can be made, but generally speaking, an individual award should go to a player based on his individual merit and nothing else.

I believe Cabrera should win but I think Trout has an EXCELLENT chance of winning this year. Last year, he had two things other than his team's performance working against him that aren't present this year.

For one, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown. I imagine that even voters more inclined to view things the way you, BDS, asindc, and Dspivack view them felt enormous pressure to give in to the historical implications of Miggy's awesome feat.

Secondly, Trout was a rookie. I can imagine that some voters were reluctant to give the nod in a close race to an unproven commodity who could, in the future, prove to be a flash in the pan. That concern is not present this go around.

Trout is very worthy of the award and hats off to him if he wins. I just think it should go to Cabrera for the reasons I stated earlier.

MISoxfan
10-05-2013, 01:10 AM
A $50 bill in a wallet with 8 singles still has more value than a $20 bill with 8 tens even if that wallet only has $58 instead of $100. I don't see why "most valuable" means the team has to be better.

TheVulture
10-05-2013, 05:49 PM
A $50 bill in a wallet with 8 singles still has more value than a $20 bill with 8 tens even if that wallet only has $58 instead of $100. I don't see why "most valuable" means the team has to be better.

Not if admission is $60.

asindc
10-05-2013, 06:45 PM
Not if admission is $60.

Now you're asking a different question.

asindc
10-05-2013, 06:46 PM
A $50 bill in a wallet with 8 singles still has more value than a $20 bill with 8 tens even if that wallet only has $58 instead of $100. I don't see why "most valuable" means the team has to be better.

Excellent analogy, btw.

RealMenWearBlack
10-05-2013, 10:57 PM
Not if admission is $60.

If you knew one wallet had $50 and one had $20 and nothing else to differentiate the value of the wallets, would you prefer the wallet with $50 or $20? The bills in each case add value to the wallets, but the wallets have zero impact on the value of the bills.

Further, if you were to have 8 $1 bills, you'd be much further away from being admitted if you had an additional $20 bill rather than a $50 bill.

fusillirob1983
10-06-2013, 09:10 PM
That's more to do with the fact that people who vote on these awards are ****ing morons

Derek Jeter has how many Gold Gloves?

http://commitnesstofitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Drop-the-mic.gif

This post is basically what I've been thinking the last 10 minutes as I've been reading this thread, except for the addition the Ben Wyatt GIF, which significantly exceeds the expectations of my brain. Great post.

TDog
10-06-2013, 11:09 PM
A $50 bill in a wallet with 8 singles still has more value than a $20 bill with 8 tens even if that wallet only has $58 instead of $100. I don't see why "most valuable" means the team has to be better.

I used to eat at a restaurant took a $1 bill with two zeros written after the 1 in ballpoint pen and made change for an $18-plus meal as if the bill were worth $100. The bill looked OK to the waitress, who didn't look closely enough to see that it had George Washington's face. Maybe if the bill had been surrounded by 20s, it wouldn't have looked so valuable. True story from actual police records, by the way.

A standout player with great stats on a losing team isn't playing with the same pressure to help his team win as a play on a contending team. Being an MVP isn't about putting up the best numbers, or at least it didn't used to be. Being an MVP should be about winning. That's why it's called the MVP instead to the offensive player of the year, something there are separate awards for.

Having a great offensive season that is a big reason a team plays for a championship is not the same thing as having a great offensive season for a losing team. Unfortunately watching baseball is no longer as fashionable as looking at players' numbers.

SephClone89
10-07-2013, 08:12 AM
I used to eat at a restaurant took a $1 bill with two zeros written after the 1 in ballpoint pen and made change for an $18-plus meal as if the bill were worth $100. The bill looked OK to the waitress, who didn't look closely enough to see that it had George Washington's face. Maybe if the bill had been surrounded by 20s, it wouldn't have looked so valuable. True story from actual police records, by the way.

A standout player with great stats on a losing team isn't playing with the same pressure to help his team win as a play on a contending team. Being an MVP isn't about putting up the best numbers, or at least it didn't used to be. Being an MVP should be about winning. That's why it's called the MVP instead to the offensive player of the year, something there are separate awards for.

Having a great offensive season that is a big reason a team plays for a championship is not the same thing as having a great offensive season for a losing team. Unfortunately watching baseball is no longer as fashionable as looking at players' numbers.

Please explain to me how it being called "MVP" suggests that it should be "about winning."

It's precisely by watching Trout, not just by glancing at the "back-of-the-baseball-card" numbers, that shows you that he's the best player in baseball.

Do you take pride in taking the most obstinate position possible and passive-aggressively taking shots at everyone who you feel "doesn't actually watch baseball" just because they come to different conclusions than you?

SI1020
10-07-2013, 08:36 AM
And if the MVP was supposed to be The Guy Who Has The Best Overall Stats Including Defense And Baserunning, they would have worded it THAT way. The fact remains that, given comparable stats, the voters tend to favor the guy on the most successful team and I think that's the way they should continue to do it.
I completely agree with you that the voters tend to vote the way you say, but disagree that is the way it should be.

First, I find it unfortunate that both you and doublem seem to have some difficulty expressing your disagreement without prefacing it with some type of derogatory comment. Expressions like "that's bull****", "that's a load of crap", etc. don't at all strengthen your position in any particular discussion.

Secondly, if the answer was so simple the discussion would not likely be occurring here or elsewhere. Unless your real position is that those who disagree with you and your comrades are somehow less intelligent than you merely because they don't share your views.
I do not wish to single out any specific posters but you are correct. This sort of thing happens too often here. While I disagree with your thinking on MVP voting I appreciate the way you present your arguments here and elsewhere. FWIW Trout would get my vote this year if I had one. If all the players suddenly became free agents and I had first pick I'd choose Trout in a nanosecond. He's had a second great year in a row and deserves the MVP for 2013.

asindc
10-07-2013, 11:42 AM
I used to eat at a restaurant took a $1 bill with two zeros written after the 1 in ballpoint pen and made change for an $18-plus meal as if the bill were worth $100. The bill looked OK to the waitress, who didn't look closely enough to see that it had George Washington's face. Maybe if the bill had been surrounded by 20s, it wouldn't have looked so valuable. True story from actual police records, by the way.

A standout player with great stats on a losing team isn't playing with the same pressure to help his team win as a play on a contending team. Being an MVP isn't about putting up the best numbers, or at least it didn't used to be. Being an MVP should be about winning. That's why it's called the MVP instead to the offensive player of the year, something there are separate awards for.

Having a great offensive season that is a big reason a team plays for a championship is not the same thing as having a great offensive season for a losing team. Unfortunately watching baseball is no longer as fashionable as looking at players' numbers.

Forget the numbers (actually, that is part of Keri's point in his column). The official criteria for MVP explicitly states that a player's team's success is not to be considered. As noted before, the fact that it has been in the past only speaks to the incompetence of the voters than any merits in that approach.

Your analogy doesn't fit in this case because Trout is worth much more than $1. Using Trout's and Cabrera's worth as an examples, the waitress would have accepted a $50 bill (Trout) that has been altered to look like a $500 bill (ARod) while passing up a two unaltered $20 bills (Cabrera). Using a player's team's success as a standard, every regular in Detroit's lineup should get more votes than Trout. In fact, voting should be easier. Just rank each team by wins and then each player on each team. I wonder if we could apply this standard retroactively and award the 2005 MVP to Pauly.

TDog
10-07-2013, 12:59 PM
Please explain to me how it being called "MVP" suggests that it should be "about winning."

It's precisely by watching Trout, not just by glancing at the "back-of-the-baseball-card" numbers, that shows you that he's the best player in baseball.

Do you take pride in taking the most obstinate position possible and passive-aggressively taking shots at everyone who you feel "doesn't actually watch baseball" just because they come to different conclusions than you?

This isn't an obstinate position. It's the traditional position. The most valuable player in a league in just about any sport has always been the player who was most instrumental in leading his team to success. Jim Konstanty and Zolio Versallies were MVPs, headscratchers only if you look at their numbers without having watched their seasons. Dick Allen was an MVP because he carried the White Sox who fell short with the league's second best record despite recent (and unknown at the time future) years of mediocrity. But ultimately it becomes circular because Dick Allen's season was about doing things to win a lot of games. The exceptions have come when players have had seasons so overwhelmingly superior a season in relation to the rest of the league, generally with the Cubs. No one needed statistical arguments, abstract or not, to vote for Ernie Banks or Andre Dawson.

The MVP isn't a matter of looking at Nate Colbert on the early Padres and his relative value to the rest of his last place team. You could make the argument that in the early 1970s, no player (except the 1972 Dick Allen or the 1973 Dick Allen, as proven by what happened to the team after he went down) was more valuable to his team than Nate Colbert, who indeed was the $50 bill in the lineup full of 1s. I heard people make that argument with rhetoric that would be more widely accepted today. But Nate Colbert in his career never got a first-place vote for MVP.

Baseball ultimately is about winning. Performance on a winning team is often different than performing on a losing team. The Angels were supposed to win in large part because of Trout. They didn't. It wasn't his fault that they didn't. But if he had led that team to contention, people would have seen him as an MVP candidate.

doublem23
10-07-2013, 01:24 PM
This isn't an obstinate position. It's the traditional position. The most valuable player in a league in just about any sport has always been the player who was most instrumental in leading his team to success. Jim Konstanty and Zolio Versallies were MVPs, headscratchers only if you look at their numbers without having watched their seasons. Dick Allen was an MVP because he carried the White Sox who fell short with the league's second best record despite recent (and unknown at the time future) years of mediocrity. But ultimately it becomes circular because Dick Allen's season was about doing things to win a lot of games. The exceptions have come when players have had seasons so overwhelmingly superior a season in relation to the rest of the league, generally with the Cubs. No one needed statistical arguments, abstract or not, to vote for Ernie Banks or Andre Dawson.

"That's the way we've always done things."

Totally justifiable

happydude
10-07-2013, 02:07 PM
I completely agree with you that the voters tend to vote the way you say, but disagree that is the way it should be.

I do not wish to single out any specific posters but you are correct. This sort of thing happens too often here. While I disagree with your thinking on MVP voting I appreciate the way you present your arguments here and elsewhere. FWIW Trout would get my vote this year if I had one. If all the players suddenly became free agents and I had first pick I'd choose Trout in a nanosecond. He's had a second great year in a row and deserves the MVP for 2013.

I appreciate your commentary. Generally speaking, many tend to believe that their opinions are, in fact, truths; and therefore those who don't share those opinions must be "wrong" and need to be told so in harsh terms.

As for the discussion at hand, I'd probably prefer Trout over Cabrera in the majority of instances as well. But for me, that doesn't make him MVP this year.

The thing is, there are many who seem to believe that my way of thinking is somewhat outdated and unenlightened. Maybe. But the alternative they seem to be proposing, which amounts to going across the board and giving the award to the player who "wins" the most categories doesn't seem appropriate either. Because its not the "best player" award or the "guy who had the best year" award or, closer to the view I espouse, the "guy who had a great year on a good team" award. Its something that is largely undefined.

The utilization of dollar values seems to be a poor analogy to me as well. Why? Because the value of any single bill has already been predetermined by the government and agreed to by consumers and merchants alike; we all are simply acting in accordance with that agreement. Here, there has been no similar determination and agreement as to the value of either of these players. Unless one's position is that more skills necessarily equates to a higher value. If that be the case it can be stated quickly and simply. Still, it remains only an opinion.

As much as we want to introduce some level of objective determination into every single thing, sometimes its not possible and other times its not appropriate. Here I think it is neither.

Unless the BBWAA decides to change the voting criteria to something more narrowly defined these types of discussions will never cease. And I hope they don't because I believe they are a positive thing when conducted thoughtfully and respectfully.

TDog
10-07-2013, 04:28 PM
"That's the way we've always done things."

Totally justifiable

And certainly not obstinate, if you want to put the point in context.

I'm not going to argue that Nellie Fox didn't deserve the MVP in 1959 because the voters were less enlightened.

mzh
10-07-2013, 07:11 PM
And certainly not obstinate, if you want to put the point in context.

I'm not going to argue that Nellie Fox didn't deserve the MVP in 1959 because the voters were less enlightened.
This is neither here nor there, but many advanced metrics (about which I am fairly neutral) say that Fox was very close to if not the best player in the league that year, regardless of the Sox success. Bill James wrote a piece about it, IIRC.

TDog
10-07-2013, 08:58 PM
This is neither here nor there, but many advanced metrics (about which I am fairly neutral) say that Fox was very close to if not the best player in the league that year, regardless of the Sox success. Bill James wrote a piece about it, IIRC.

Bill James fudged with the advanced metrics to fit the argument because you really couldn't argue that in 1959 that Fox was the AL MVP, although Aparicio (a .257 hitter) got the first-place votes Fox didn't. Mantle was a much bigger run producer, using James' advanced-but-not-advanced-enough-to-show-Fox-should-have-been-MVP metrics. And I haven't seen anyone argue those more advanced metrics in arguing for Trout to be this season's MVP.

The bottom line is that with Trout, the Angels had a losing record, finishing behind Texas and Oakland ahead of Houston and Seattle, despite being expected by pretty much everyone to contend. Without Trout, the Angels would have had a lousing season, behind Texas and Oakland and ahead of Houston and Seattle. That is only an MVP season if you don't care about winning.

Meanwhile, the arguments that are being made for Trout are the same ones that could have been made in arguing that Fox wasn't the most valuable player in 1959. Except the margins aren't as wide as they were in 1959. And not even Bill James have ever seemed to believe that wasn't true.

SephClone89
10-07-2013, 09:19 PM
Bill James fudged with the advanced metrics to fit the argument because you really couldn't argue that in 1959 that Fox was the AL MVP, although Aparicio (a .257 hitter) got the first-place votes Fox didn't. Mantle was a much bigger run producer, using James' advanced-but-not-advanced-enough-to-show-Fox-should-have-been-MVP metrics. And I haven't seen anyone argue those more advanced metrics in arguing for Trout to be this season's MVP.

The bottom line is that with Trout, the Angels had a losing record, finishing behind Texas and Oakland ahead of Houston and Seattle, despite being expected by pretty much everyone to contend. Without Trout, the Angels would have had a lousing season, behind Texas and Oakland and ahead of Houston and Seattle. That is only an MVP season if you don't care about winning.

Meanwhile, the arguments that are being made for Trout are the same ones that could have been made in arguing that Fox wasn't the most valuable player in 1959. Except the margins aren't as wide as they were in 1959. And not even Bill James have ever seemed to believe that wasn't true.

In 1959, Fox had the second-highest bWar among position players in the AL--second only to Mantle, and by a margin barely more than half a win. Most would consider that negligible.

doublem23
10-07-2013, 09:42 PM
In 1959, Fox had the second-highest bWar among position players in the AL--second only to Mantle, and by a margin barely more than half a win. Most would consider that negligible.

Yeah, exactly, Mantle was the much better offensive player but Fox was a much better all around player. Luckily in 1959, the writers understood "Most Valuable Player" doesn't mean "Best Middle of the Order Offensive Player."

TDog
10-08-2013, 02:14 PM
In 1959, Fox had the second-highest bWar among position players in the AL--second only to Mantle, and by a margin barely more than half a win. Most would consider that negligible.

Nonetheless, the arguments being used to promote Trout for MVP could be used to promote Mantle for MVP in 1959.

Of course, in 1959, the baseball writers who voted for MVP, for whatever reason, based their votes on the baseball they covered during the season. Fox and Aparicio got the first-place votes. Not having the stats to look at, to tell them who to vote for, some of the stats not even existing at the time, the voters placed Mantle 17th.

doublem23
10-08-2013, 02:22 PM
Nonetheless, the arguments being used to promote Trout for MVP could be used to promote Mantle for MVP in 1959.

OK, but they didn't, do you not see how preposterous this argument is, THEORETICALLY, they COULD HAVE voted Mantle MVP, but they didn't, which proves... what, exactly? As has been noted, Fox's MVP win is backed up pretty well by advanced metrics, anyways, so... I don't know what point you're trying to get at.

Oh, here's this, even though Miggy spend the summer playing for a team that won 20+ more games than Mike Trout, they still basically finished the season with the exact same RE24 which essentially means that if you took them out of their respective lineups, they added the exact same number of runs to their team despite the fact that Cabrera, by benefit of being on a better team, was offered more chances.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2013-win_probability-batting.shtml

SephClone89
10-08-2013, 03:05 PM
It is absolutely ridiculous that Mantle finished 17th that year. Jesus.

TDog
10-08-2013, 03:14 PM
OK, but they didn't, do you not see how preposterous this argument is, THEORETICALLY, they COULD HAVE voted Mantle MVP, but they didn't, which proves... what, exactly? As has been noted, Fox's MVP win is backed up pretty well by advanced metrics, anyways, so... I don't know what point you're trying to get at.

Oh, here's this, even though Miggy spend the summer playing for a team that won 20+ more games than Mike Trout, they still basically finished the season with the exact same RE24 which essentially means that if you took them out of their respective lineups, they added the exact same number of runs to their team despite the fact that Cabrera, by benefit of being on a better team, was offered more chances.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2013-win_probability-batting.shtml

That isn't my argument. My argument is that the MVP award wasn't meant to be about statistics. Statistics don't make MVPs. Their impact, what they do to win games makes them MVPs and statistics grow out of that. It's about making an impact. You can have great stats without making an impact in the league. You can be the league's best centerfielder and lead the league in creating runs and not have an impact on a race while playing for a team that just about everyone expected to go to the World Series.

It isn't as if Trout dominated the league offensively while playing for a hapless Cubs team of the late 1950s. He was a player who didn't have anywhere near the impact of Cabrera, while playing on a team that was supposed to still be playing this October. Trout is only an MVP candidate if you favor some of his offensive numbers over others. It isn't about penalizing a player for playing on a team that didn't win. It's not ever about who was better or who you would rather have in your lineup. It's about seeing who the impact players were in the American League and not having statistical formulas tell you who was really better.

DSpivack
10-08-2013, 05:09 PM
That isn't my argument. My argument is that the MVP award wasn't meant to be about statistics. Statistics don't make MVPs. Their impact, what they do to win games makes them MVPs and statistics grow out of that. It's about making an impact. You can have great stats without making an impact in the league. You can be the league's best centerfielder and lead the league in creating runs and not have an impact on a race while playing for a team that just about everyone expected to go to the World Series.

It isn't as if Trout dominated the league offensively while playing for a hapless Cubs team of the late 1950s. He was a player who didn't have anywhere near the impact of Cabrera, while playing on a team that was supposed to still be playing this October. Trout is only an MVP candidate if you favor some of his offensive numbers over others. It isn't about penalizing a player for playing on a team that didn't win. It's not ever about who was better or who you would rather have in your lineup. It's about seeing who the impact players were in the American League and not having statistical formulas tell you who was really better.

How did he not have an impact similar to Cabrera? I guess I just don't understand why Mike Trout is less of a player because the Tigers have a better pitching staff than the Angels.

TDog
10-08-2013, 06:02 PM
How did he not have an impact similar to Cabrera? I guess I just don't understand why Mike Trout is less of a player because the Tigers have a better pitching staff than the Angels.

You could say the same thing about Mantle and Fox, and I don't know that anyone, including Bill James who danced around the point, believes Fox didn't deserve the MVP.

Trout didn't even have an impact the Angels in the standings. I am certainly no Miguel Cabrera fan, but I resent destroying the intent and longtime spirit of the MVP award simply because a mathematical equation developed by Baseball Prospectus tells me Trout was the best AL player this season.

It might, on the other hand, be entirely appropriate to name Trout the MVP of your fantasy league.

Boondock Saint
10-08-2013, 06:20 PM
You could say the same thing about Mantle and Fox, and I don't know that anyone, including Bill James who danced around the point, believes Fox didn't deserve the MVP.

Trout didn't even have an impact the Angels in the standings. I am certainly no Miguel Cabrera fan, but I resent destroying the intent and longtime spirit of the MVP award simply because a mathematical equation developed by Baseball Prospectus tells me Trout was the best AL player this season.

It might, on the other hand, be entirely appropriate to name Trout the MVP of your fantasy league.

So really, the only conceivable way for Trout to have earned the award is by having 155 RBI instead of the 97 he got, because that's what would be required of him to have lifted the Angels from the -4 run differential they ended the season with, to the +54 run differential of the Rays, the playoff team with the worst run differential. The only way for him to have won MVP was to be Superman.

I think it's hilarious that, with one breath, you're saying that you shouldn't cite stats for MVP voting, then with another breath, you're pointing out wins and losses to discredit Trout's case for MVP. Wins and losses are stats.

TDog
10-08-2013, 08:54 PM
So really, the only conceivable way for Trout to have earned the award is by having 155 RBI instead of the 97 he got, because that's what would be required of him to have lifted the Angels from the -4 run differential they ended the season with, to the +54 run differential of the Rays, the playoff team with the worst run differential. The only way for him to have won MVP was to be Superman.

I think it's hilarious that, with one breath, you're saying that you shouldn't cite stats for MVP voting, then with another breath, you're pointing out wins and losses to discredit Trout's case for MVP. Wins and losses are stats.

If you want to find humor in reading what you want to read in my argument, you are welcome to be amused. I have tried to present a consistent argument, which includes addressing people who claim Trout has some sort of right to an MVP despite having no impact on his team in the standings. I think it's conceivable for a player to be the offensive player of the year or a silver slugger if he doesn't have an impact on the league standings. Short of dominating the league (which Trout didn't do), I don't believe it's possible to win an MVP without having an impact.

I don't think you need to look at the stats to see that Cabrera is a more worthy MVP than Trout. The only argument for Trout is a statistical one, and I addressed stats believing the argument is weak. I even found a previous MVP whose selection is in universal favor even among the sabermetrics crowd who falls short of a national-treasure centerfielder in the stat that makes the argument that a player who had no impact on the American League races, who wasn't playing under the pressure of contention, should be considered the most valuable player in the American League.

I won't say I'm amused that there would be such determination among people presenting a statistical argument that someone would argue that the leader in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, obviously OPS, while being second in home runs and runs batted in (to someone out of the discussion) while competing for a division title should be considered a bad choice for MVP. But I have to ask, is your religious hold on a single statistic contrived by Baseball Prospectus so strong that if a White Sox player had Cabrera's numbers, would you still be all psyched about Trout being the league's most valuable player?

I wouldn't be amused, though, by MVP voter who placed Trout ahead of Cabrera on their ballot. However, I would have serious questions concerning their ability to cover baseball.

SI1020
10-08-2013, 11:04 PM
If you want to find humor in reading what you want to read in my argument, you are welcome to be amused. I have tried to present a consistent argument, which includes addressing people who claim Trout has some sort of right to an MVP despite having no impact on his team in the standings. I think it's conceivable for a player to be the offensive player of the year or a silver slugger if he doesn't have an impact on the league standings. Short of dominating the league (which Trout didn't do), I don't believe it's possible to win an MVP without having an impact.

I don't think you need to look at the stats to see that Cabrera is a more worthy MVP than Trout. The only argument for Trout is a statistical one, and I addressed stats believing the argument is weak. I even found a previous MVP whose selection is in universal favor even among the sabermetrics crowd who falls short of a national-treasure centerfielder in the stat that makes the argument that a player who had no impact on the American League races, who wasn't playing under the pressure of contention, should be considered the most valuable player in the American League.

I won't say I'm amused that there would be such determination among people presenting a statistical argument that someone would argue that the leader in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, obviously OPS, while being second in home runs and runs batted in (to someone out of the discussion) while competing for a division title should be considered a bad choice for MVP. But I have to ask, is your religious hold on a single statistic contrived by Baseball Prospectus so strong that if a White Sox player had Cabrera's numbers, would you still be all psyched about Trout being the league's most valuable player?

I wouldn't be amused, though, by MVP voter who placed Trout ahead of Cabrera on their ballot. However, I would have serious questions concerning their ability to cover baseball. Really man seriously? You make a nice cogent argument. Until the last paragraph. This is the bane of message boards. I'm right and if you don't agree then you don't know **** about (fill in the blank) in this case baseball. You can be a walking encyclopedia of baseball and still cast your MVP vote for Trout.


It's precisely by watching Trout, not just by glancing at the "back-of-the-baseball-card" numbers, that shows you that he's the best player in baseball.
I realize that Trout leads the league in the holiest and most hallowed of all the newer baseball stats. Nonetheless this is a good point. Many fans have come to value Trout so highly by watching his play game after game. I think that Cabrera very well might get a second straight MVP. He's an offensive juggernaut but my limited baseball IQ says that as of now Mike Trout is the best player in the game today. A total package and oh how I wish he was patrolling CF or LF for us, our outfield play in the field and at the plate was so woeful this year, Avisail Garcia notwithstanding.

mzh
10-08-2013, 11:14 PM
If you have to use wins and losses as an argument, I think that if they traded places, the Tigers would be much better with Trout than they are with Miggy.

Just my $.02

TDog
10-09-2013, 12:30 AM
Really man seriously? You make a nice cogent argument. Until the last paragraph. This is the bane of message boards. I'm right and if you don't agree then you don't know **** about (fill in the blank) in this case baseball. You can be a walking encyclopedia of baseball and still cast your MVP vote for Trout. ...

Really. I was speaking as someone who has supervised reporters. Unlike the Hall of Fame, the MVP vote is supposed to go to knowlegable working media who are supposed to be objective. If I supervised a reporter who voted for Trout ahead of Cabrera, unless I'm in SoCal where there may be a sense of civic pride as justification, I would be concerned that reporter wasn't taking his job seriously.

SI1020
10-09-2013, 08:47 AM
Really. I was speaking as someone who has supervised reporters. Unlike the Hall of Fame, the MVP vote is supposed to go to knowlegable working media who are supposed to be objective. If I supervised a reporter who voted for Trout ahead of Cabrera, unless I'm in SoCal where there may be a sense of civic pride as justification, I would be concerned that reporter wasn't taking his job seriously. You do realize that the reporter who votes for Trout might not give a damn about WAR?

doublem23
10-09-2013, 09:35 AM
If you have to use wins and losses as an argument, I think that if they traded places, the Tigers would be much better with Trout than they are with Miggy.

Just my $.02

Absolutely no question about it, if the Tigers and Angels had swapped Cabrera for Trout straight up before the season started, the Tigers would have won more games this year and the Angels would have won less.

doublem23
10-09-2013, 09:45 AM
Really. I was speaking as someone who has supervised reporters. Unlike the Hall of Fame, the MVP vote is supposed to go to knowlegable working media who are supposed to be objective. If I supervised a reporter who voted for Trout ahead of Cabrera, unless I'm in SoCal where there may be a sense of civic pride as justification, I would be concerned that reporter wasn't taking his job seriously.

Haw haw haw haw, it never fails. Alternatively, anyone who takes team accomplishments into consideration for an award entitled MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, I would be concerned with their ability to read and comprehend the English language.

TDog
10-09-2013, 12:44 PM
You do realize that the reporter who votes for Trout might not give a damn about WAR?

Miguel Cabrera had a better season than Mike Trout. That is even true statistically unless you work out a long contrived mathematical formula that tells you otherwise. Cabrera had that better season while leading his team to a divisional championship. This was pretty much true last year. It isn't just that Cabrera played on a winning team. Cabrera was a big reason the Tigers were a winning team. That's what made him valuable.

I strongly dislike Cabrera. I was thoroughly entertained a couple of times this season when he was tossed from games. But if I had a vote for AL MVP vote, I wouldn't be so irresponsible as to not vote for Cabrera because I didn't like him or his team. I'm not going to work out hypotheticals for players I like better than Cabrera and imagine their heroics had they been playing in games that mattered to their teams. I'm not going to be so geeked about how much fun it is to watch Trout or how Trout does statistically for a team whose non-contending position in the standings is unaffected by his play while Cabrera didn't just have the league's best batting average, but best on-base percentage and slugging percentage while hitting 63 percent more home runs and driving in 41 percent more runs than Trout. Without Cabrera's heroics on the Tigers, the Indians might have had a chance to play more than one game in the postseason.

I imagine there are people who don't care about WAR who could put Trout over Cabrera on their ballots, but I wouldn't consider them responsible voters. And it would upset me if they cheapened the award by voting for Trout this season.

They didn't, though.

asindc
10-09-2013, 04:08 PM
Miguel Cabrera had a better season than Mike Trout. That is even true statistically unless you work out a long contrived mathematical formula that tells you otherwise. Cabrera had that better season while leading his team to a divisional championship. This was pretty much true last year. It isn't just that Cabrera played on a winning team. Cabrera was a big reason the Tigers were a winning team. That's what made him valuable.

I strongly dislike Cabrera. I was thoroughly entertained a couple of times this season when he was tossed from games. But if I had a vote for AL MVP vote, I wouldn't be so irresponsible as to not vote for Cabrera because I didn't like him or his team. I'm not going to work out hypotheticals for players I like better than Cabrera and imagine their heroics had they been playing in games that mattered to their teams. I'm not going to be so geeked about how much fun it is to watch Trout or how Trout does statistically for a team whose non-contending position in the standings is unaffected by his play while Cabrera didn't just have the league's best batting average, but best on-base percentage and slugging percentage while hitting 63 percent more home runs and driving in 41 percent more runs than Trout. Without Cabrera's heroics on the Tigers, the Indians might have had a chance to play more than one game in the postseason.

I imagine there are people who don't care about WAR who could put Trout over Cabrera on their ballots, but I wouldn't consider them responsible voters. And it would upset me if they cheapened the award by voting for Trout this season.

They didn't, though.

No he did not and no he was not. The point of this thread and of Keri's column is that WAR is not needed to recognize that Trout was the better player last year and this year, despite your insistence on assigning that argument to him and the posters in this thread who agree with Keri. The very reason I think Keri's column is noteworthy is that he is a proponent of advanced metrics but he does not think they are needed in this case to choose Trout as MVP over Cabrera. He also prominently notes in the column that the official criteria for MVP need not take into account a player's team's success.

So the gist of what Keri is saying is that whether or not you think WAR is a relevant tool to evaluate MVP candidates is irrelevant because Trout is more worthy of being awarded MVP, this season and last, based on traditional scouting. I agree with him and that is why I started the thread in the first place. It's not about stats. It's about watching the two players play and deciding that Trout clearly had a better season last season and this one as well. If you had Trout and Cabrera switch teams before this season started and each produced the same as he actually did this season, Detroit still would have won the AL Central (probably by 2-3 more games) and LAAAAA still would have missed the playoffs.