November 10, 2002

So that Bonds guy is going to win the NL MVP award.: But what about the AL? I suppose this could be an annual debate here, but do you give it to the best player or to an inferior player with a better pitching staff? I suppose my framing of the question sort of predicts my answer, but I'm curious as to what others have to say.

posted by tieguy to baseball at 11:29 PM - 10 comments

A-Rod. If the A's had him and not Tejada, they'd still have won. If the Rangers had Tejada and not him, they'd still have lost. That pretty much eliminates the team factor. But, A-Rod, statistically, is directly superior. Go with A-Rod, or go home. :)

posted by JawaKing at 12:35 AM on November 11, 2002

Yep- A-Rod was far and away the most valuable player in the American League last year. At least we don't have the indignity of Bonds not winning it, since SF made the playoffs; but sadly the moronic press corp that votes for the MVP award will probably grant the AL trophy to Tejada or someone else similarly undeserving. Look, 4 teams made the playoffs in the AL last year, and Tejada was pretty good- yet only one team had the greatest shortstop in history having yet another superphenomenal season. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the AL was a pale shadow of A-Rod. As JawaKing notes, and tieguy in his framing of the question, it can't rightly be called an individual award if you can't win it without the other 24 guys on your team being good as well. Either eliminate the MVP award, or stop voting on it based on whether a team "made the playoffs". The argument that a player can't be valuable because his team didn't make the playoffs doesn't hold water; the question is, how much did A-Rod improve the number of wins the Rangers had? The answer: In the neighborhood of 87 runs above replacement, or more than 30 moreabove Tejada- translating in to the neighborhood of 6-7 wins better than Tejada. That's the difference between .500 team and right on the cusp of making the playoffs. In other words, a .500 team that hired Tejada would win around 88 wins; a .500 team that hired A-Rod would win around 92, 93 games, and quite possibly make the playoffs- and this is just from the offense alone! Most Valuable, no questions ask.

posted by hincandenza at 02:30 AM on November 11, 2002

A-Rod should sue.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:29 PM on November 11, 2002

I think I'd cast a vote for ARod if I had it. I can't say that JawaKing's logic makes sense to me (doesn't really prove anything) but Hal's right. ARod is so head and shoulders better that it's hard to ignore. just imagine how bad the Rangers would have been without him.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:04 PM on November 11, 2002

The Rangers would be better without A-Rod, and they should trade him. You can't have a balanced team with one player with a contract of that size.

posted by corpse at 03:33 PM on November 11, 2002

Corpse is also right, because with 25 million well spent on pitchers the Rangers probably would have posted a better record. However, salary has nothing to do with it. Aside from Bonds, no one player had as much of an impact as ARod.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:09 PM on November 11, 2002

Not that I think that the quality of the team matters in the mvp race, just food for thought for the Rangers. Any team that spends non-monopoly money on John Rocker and Carl Everret is asking for trouble. Oh, Miguel Tejada won the MVP award today.

posted by corpse at 01:43 PM on November 12, 2002

I know the argument is moot now, but I can't seriously back an MVP from a losing team. What is so valuable about the best player on a bad team? Are you going to say, " Gee, think how much more the Rangers would have sucked without A-Rod." I think not. The award is not for the best player, but for the most valuable.

posted by monkeyman at 02:48 PM on November 12, 2002

Cal Ripken won the award on a losing team. So did Andre Dawson. So did Ernie Banks...twice. It's not that unusual, and it wouldn't have been considered a shock if the writers had the balls to pick ARod as the winner. Baseball historians are going to look back at ARod's career and wonder what the baseball writers were smoking. He should have 2 or 3 MVP awards by now. It's the "most valuable player", not "most valuable player on a winning team." If they were even statistically close to each other, then MAYBE you consider the team's records. But it wasn't close. Not in any way. The difference between ARod (1.018 OPS) and Tejada (.863) in batting was the same as between Tejada and Chris Gomez (.716). The difference in fielding was huge: ARod (.987 fielding %, 10 errors, .919 zone range), Tejada (.975 fielding %, 19 errors, .830 zone range). In no conceivable way is Tejada more "valuable" to his team than ARod was to his team.

posted by grum@work at 03:56 PM on November 12, 2002

Thank you, grum. I'd say Tejada wasn't even as valuable to his team as Nomar was to his. It's worth noting that A-Rod still finished second, with 5 of 28 first place votes; if his team had been a contender at all, he'd win in a landslide. A-Rod should at least have an MVP from '96; I've been in favor of an amended balloting system, such as runoff balloting to choose between the top 3-5 finalists, or having each team nominate its single MVP choice for the ballot; the only reason A-Rod didn't win in '96 was because the two Seattle writers voted for Griffey, causing A-Rod to get edge by Juan Gonzalez. That wasn't the first time it happened- there should be some communication, so you don't have a deserving player "Nadered" out of a win. Such as when Pedro didn't win in '99, because one sportswriter publicly stated- in violation of the rules- that he'd never vote for a pitcher. Had he placed Pedro in even his top 5, Pedro would have won the MVP that year (can you imagine if the same writer had stated he'd never vote for a black player?). The voters made their choice, and it wasn't a horrible one- I just disagree with it. But A-Rod should have at least one MVP now, and the fact that he hasn't snagged one reflects poorly on both the voting system and the voters themselves. At least one of those is easily addressable....

posted by hincandenza at 04:49 PM on November 12, 2002

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.