All weekend and again tonight I had to endure the idiotic commentary of baseball announcers discussing the AL MVP race. Generally, it’s a two horse race between David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Alex “No Soul” Rodriguez. Good arguments can be made for each player, but the announcers sure aren’t making them.
Last weekend, they were saying that the winner would be determined by which team won the weekend series… that is ridiculous. 3 games out of 162? C’mon.
Let me put forth two sets of reasoning I would consider valid for choosing an MVP:
- Best Player – I don’t think that you can make a good argument that the best player in the league isn’t the most valuable. If a player is the best in the league, how could another player be more valuable?
Put it this way: given the same pitching staff, how would a team of 9 A-rods do again a team of 9 Big Papis? I’d generally say it would be no contest. Both are good hitters, but A-rod is a gold glove SS and can run. To me, he’s the best all-around player in the league – hence the MVP.
- Most Helps His Team – A strong argument could also be made for the player that most helps his team. The problem is that most people use anecdotal evidence exclusively when trying to make this claim. I don’t have the raw data, but it can be measured.
Given any situation in a baseball game, the stats guys can determine the probability of either team winning a game. When a player does something (gets a hit with two outs and drives in the go-ahead run for example), the change in probability that their team will win the game is measurable. This may be the most pure way to measure a player’s true
valueduring the year and would be a great stat to use for the MVP award.
Also, the idea that a player somehow becomes more valuable by playing for a better team is perposterous. Take last year’s AL MVP, Vladimir Guerrero for example. Was Vlad more valuable to the Angels than he was to the Expos? I’d argue it was the other way around.
The comments are open, rant away…
Your reasoning sounds great to me. I particularly agree with the idea that a player’s value should be based on performance over the entire season and not over the games that take place on any particular weekend.
I think Felix Hernandez should be MVP. Without his existence, M’s fans would be jumping off of high buildings like lemmings. And you can’t run a successful franchise if all your fans are dead.
I agree with everything you said- but don’t you think it’s a little harsh saying A-Rod has no soul? I mean, he might be the contoversial player on our team, but I think that Rocket was/is worse. Or, how about Perdo and Manny?? I will conceed that Ortiz is a great player, but I hate Manny Ramirez. Not to mention, A-Rod might be getting paid alot, but he had been compared to The Babe. He is one of the few sluggers (along with Ortiz) who does not use steroids to help him put up his numbers.
Chris, you’ve really opened my eyes on this one. You’re right, of course – King Felix for MVP!
Joe, I’m just regurgitating nick-names here (though the stunt the guy pulled with a dollar bill on a fishing rod on A-rod’s first visit back to Safeco was awesome). 🙂 I think A-rod generally is a pretty good on the field role model – he plays hard and even hustles to first on ground balls.
I think value is value is value, and that your two propositions are two sides of the same coin. I detest the notion that the MVP winner is “the best player on the best team” or has anything to do with being “clutch”.
Talking about mvp, im from south africa and i play cricket, heh, nearly the same, i think placing the decition on three games is a good idea, cuz a good player no matter what day can play superb, and not be good because of how many homers he hit over a set time. Mark
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