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  #1  
Old 10-03-2013, 11:02 AM
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asindc asindc is offline
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Default I think Jonah Keri of Grantland has it right...

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...jor-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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:09 AM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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I've always enjoyed his writing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:15 AM
getonbckthr getonbckthr is offline
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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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:46 AM
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doublem23 doublem23 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asindc View Post
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...jor-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?
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:51 AM
SephClone89 SephClone89 is offline
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:07 PM
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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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:44 PM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
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Here's a stat, Detroit won the central, the Angels finished under .500.

Guess which team will have the MVP?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
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.

Last edited by asindc; 10-03-2013 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by getonbckthr View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asindc View Post
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...jor-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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:46 PM
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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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:49 PM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:32 PM
happydude happydude is offline
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Originally Posted by asindc View Post
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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:59 PM
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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.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:05 PM
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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.

Last edited by happydude; 10-03-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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