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Fool's Gold
2006-11-21 10:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Ah, those RBI. They are the magic numbers that propelled Justin Morneau ahead of his more deserving teammates Johan Santana, and Joe Mauer--not to mention Derek Jeter--today as Minnie's first baseman wins the AL MVP. Congrats to Morneau. Otherwise, this is a bum call.

Comments (121)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-21 11:16:46
1.   Jersey
Morneau was what, the 7th best candidate?? Boo.
2006-11-21 11:18:14
2.   Yankee Fan In Boston
jeter will have to win a triple crown before he gets the respect he deserves.

it is a shame.

2006-11-21 11:19:11
3.   chris in illinois
Santana still should have been ahead of Jeter, but for once Jeter's performance and rep were in alignment.
2006-11-21 11:19:30
4.   Saburo
I figure BBWAA membership must include a blood oath to the Church of RBI...

NOTHING ever changes.

2006-11-21 11:20:22
5.   jonnystrongleg
Jeter haters always claim he is wildly overrated - yet he was the clear choice for MVP twice (99 and 06) and got jobbed both times. This offseason just got longer and crappier.
2006-11-21 11:22:27
6.   Cliff Corcoran
Just more evidence that these awards are irrelevant.
2006-11-21 11:22:39
7.   pistolpete
What a disgrace. Morneau even had two teammates that were more deserving.

Now I know how Sox fans felt last year with Ortiz...

2006-11-21 11:23:36
8.   YankeeInMichigan
I wonder if the BP folks can calculate how many RBIs Morneau would have gotten with a replacement-level catcher in the lineup.
2006-11-21 11:26:55
9.   Cliff Corcoran
8 Best MVP reaction post yet.
2006-11-21 11:28:10
10.   The Mick 536
We was robbed.
2006-11-21 11:30:35
11.   Emy
Whatever... The more they screw these votes up, the less I care.

Yeah, it would have been cool for Jeets, but Yankee fans shouldn't be worrying about individual awards.

2006-11-21 11:31:27
12.   C2Coke
Irrelevant, maybe, but there's still those hopes and expectations.
10 We were all robbed.
2006-11-21 11:33:32
13.   chris in illinois
Ok,

I can agree that 1999 the stars were in alignment as well. Jeter probably should have been MVP that year-----I'll still take Santana in '06 (with Jeter 2nd).

2006-11-21 11:34:14
14.   chris in illinois
Morneau is a nice player, but MVP?? Clearly a joke.
2006-11-21 11:39:11
15.   SF Yanks
6 But don't these awards just add to the resume when considering being put into the hall of fame? I know Jeter is a shoe-in, but it still looks nice on the resume.
2006-11-21 11:39:49
16.   jakewoods
What a sham.
2006-11-21 11:41:38
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
you know... now that i think about it... jeter has had his fair share of trophies...

scarlett johannson, jessica alba, adriana lima, that miss universe there...

he'll be okay.

2006-11-21 11:44:53
18.   rsmith51
They messed up the Cy Young last year, should have gone to Santana. Maybe this was a makeup to Minnesota. If they really wanted to make it up they should have voted for Santana.
2006-11-21 11:48:50
19.   rabid stan
Justin Morneau - 157 games - 34 HR
.321/.375/.559 - .934 OPS
.315 EqA, 8.9 WARP 3
3rd best MVP candidate on his own team

Paul Konerko - 152 games - 35 HR
.313/.381/.551 - .932 OPS
.313 EqA, 8.0 WARP 3
3rd best MVP candidate on his own team

The only difference, Morneau played slightly better defense.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your AL MVP: basically Paul Konerko.

2006-11-21 11:50:40
20.   jonnystrongleg
As bad as these votes are, being an MVP winner enhances your place in history. There is too much precedence out there for crediting players for winning MVP awards to expect that to change significantly even though we've identified the numerous gaffes and flaws. It just sux that the voters are mostly incompetent.
2006-11-21 11:52:35
21.   Chyll Will
Ahh, fergedit. Let's just go in next year and kickass, then take the trophy and shove it up their collective
2006-11-21 11:56:15
22.   Shaun P
Reading the press release shows just how far MLB still has to go before it gets it. Morneau did not have one of the best offensive seasons in Twins history. His VORP of 52 not only trails Mauer's own 66.9, but Chuck Knoblauch's 53.4 in 1997, 99.3 in 1996, and 72.3 in 1995; Kirby's 56.2 in 1992, 59 in 1989, 75.1 in 1988, 55.1 in 1987, and 65.4 in 1986; Kent Hrbek's 53 in 1984; Carew's 53.7 in 1978, 92.4 in 1977, 53.1 in 1976, 75 in 1975, 76.4 in 1974, and 67.7 in 1973; Lyman Bostock's (Lyman Bostock!) 56.8 in 1977; Harmon Killebrew's 55.8 in 1970, 75.2 in 1969, 61.3 in 1967, 55.3 in 1966, and 59.6 in 1961; Bob Allison's 58.7 in 1964; and Tony Oliva's 58 in 1964.

Oh, and it ties Roy Smalley's 52 in 1979.

So, by my count, Morneau tied for 25th best offensive season in Twins history. Literally speaking its "one of the best", but in reality, its far from it.

Congrats, BBWAA, you proved once again that some of your members do not deserve the privileges granted to them.

2006-11-21 11:57:53
23.   KJC
I can't stand Jeter (yes, I'm a Sox fan) but even I'll admit that he should've won. Maybe this bad MVP pick is karma for DJ's Gold Glove...
2006-11-21 12:01:44
24.   jonnystrongleg
23 That would be a high price. Fined 10 bucks for swiping a nickel.
2006-11-21 12:02:31
25.   rsmith51
I thought Joe Crede getting the Silver Slugger was karma for DJ's GG.
2006-11-21 12:04:41
26.   Andrew Fletcher
Here's something I want to know -- who voted Jeter sixth?!? Jim Caple? Bill Simmons? (I know neither one has a vote, just saying...)
2006-11-21 12:05:30
27.   Chyll Will
20 Who is Willie Hernandez?

Canseco won an MVP, Juan Gonzalez won an MVP. Terry Pendelton won an MVP, Andre Dawson won an MVP. George Bell, George Foster. Roger Maris won twice in a row. Bonds has seven. Enhance your place in history? No offense, but ask them if it helped.

2006-11-21 12:06:01
28.   pistolpete
17 Eh, Hollywood starlets come and go - MVP awards are in the record book forever!

Then again, this is coming from someone who will never get a chance to date anyone that Jeter has... ;-)

2006-11-21 12:11:30
29.   Chyll Will
28 Forget it, pete... it's Chinatown.
2006-11-21 12:13:28
30.   Chyll Will
28 Build your stable with the ones they don't know about; never scatter your pearls before swine >;)
2006-11-21 12:15:42
31.   YankeeInMichigan
I'm amazed by the uniformity of the voters. All 28 placed Morneau in the top 4. Jeter, Dye and Ortiz were also named on all 28 ballots and Frank Thomas made 26. But 5 voters snubbed Mauer entirely, 7 left off Santana and 9 dissed Hafner.

By the way, I was right on with my prediction that Guillen would come in 10th, appearing on 12 ballots.

2006-11-21 12:18:40
32.   jonnystrongleg
27 Are you saying it diminishes their place in history? Of course it helps. Your list makes no sense.

Willie Hernandez is BEST KNOWN for his 1984 MVP.

Of the players you mention that are not so great, their MVP award is the shining light on their careers.

Of the players you mention who were great once and then not so much, it's serves as the starting point for their cautionary tale "former MVP Jose Canseco snorts coke off hooker's cleavage" etc

Barry Bonds, 7 MVP awards affirms he dominated the game like no other player in the history of the award.

The MVP will not get a player in the Hall of Fame or out of jail by itself, but it is the most prestigious individual award you can win - obviously it enhances one's place in history to win one.

2006-11-21 12:23:50
33.   pistolpete
30 I have a few starlets in my 'stable', but the problem is when I watch the game with them, they always ask about the 'cute guy wearing #2', and then I'm finished.
2006-11-21 12:31:31
34.   Count Zero
Not to be a stick in the partisan mud but...

8 I wonder how many RBIs Morneau would've gotten if he had either Abreu, A-Rod, or Giambi hitting behind him for protection instead of Torii Hunter / Rondell White. ;-)

19 by your own logic:

Derek Jeter - 154 games - 14 HR
.343/.417/.483 - .900 OPS
.309 EqA, 9.8 WARP 1

An inferior MVP candidate to Morneau except for the WARP value.

I honestly thought Morneau had a pretty strong case all along, precisely because he posted those numbers hitting 5th with absolutely no protection. I could have made a good case for Jeter too. I thought it was a close call all along. (All the non-playoff guys -- Ortiz, Dye, Manny, etc. -- being automatically disqualified in the eyes of the voters.)

2006-11-21 12:33:13
35.   DarrenF
I have fun with the remarkable inconsistency.

I will gaze at the numbers for Morneau and Big Hurt for 10,000 years and I'll have no idea why they received so many MVP votes in 2006.

Big Hurt had 77 runs scored and a .270 batting average and he's a DH and he missed 25 games.

2006-11-21 12:35:38
36.   RIYank
34 Count, it was a close call. The problem is that it was a close call between (among?) players none of whom was Justin Morneau.

I could have taken a Mauer win (in fact I would have voted for him).

I guess KJC is right. Consecutive undeserved Gold Gloves are karmically costly.

2006-11-21 12:36:13
37.   JL25and3
5 I would hardly say that Jeter was the clear choice this year. He had a good case, but I don't think there really was a clear choice.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm not even so clear that he was the clear choice in 1999. Don't get me wrong, he was much better than Pudge, and it wasn't even close. But so were Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra and Bernie Williams - all substantially better than Pudge. Put Jeter up against Rodriguez and it's no contest; put him up against those other guys and it's a lot closer.

2006-11-21 12:40:47
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
most years i wouldn't have thought twice about jeter being overlooked in an MVP race. but this year was different.

he carried this team on his back. two potent bats down for 4 months. jeter produces. when cano was down for 6 weeks on top of the other mounting injuries, jeter was the guy who was getting things done. while others were slumping or swooning ("that third baseman"), jeter kept producing.

he was consistent. he led the team when everyone expected a collapse. remember when cano, sheffield and matsui were all out and the sox won 13 straight? if memory serves, the yankees only lost 2 games on them. jeter was swinging a hot bat.

he was by far the most valuable man on his team this year, and as far as i can see that isn't the case with morneau.

2006-11-21 12:41:53
39.   yankee23
According to Pete Abraham, it was Joe Cowley who voted Jetes 6th:

http://tinyurl.com/yxdgwa

2006-11-21 12:42:41
40.   yankee23
39 ...who's the White Sox beat writer from the Sun-Times.
2006-11-21 12:46:22
41.   DarrenF
I am also surprised that Posada couldn't get one li'l tenth-place vote.

Eh, who cares?

Lots of Yankees represented in the voting: Jeter, Rodriguez, Giambi, Cano, Rivera, Damon, Wang.

2006-11-21 12:52:21
42.   YankeeInMichigan
35 Yeah, I have a problem with the Thomas turnout too. There are 3 DHs (Hafner, Ortiz, Thome) that had far better seasons. One could make the argument that Thomas was the one bright light in the Oakland offense, but I would still consider Zito and Haren to have been more valuable to the A's success. Also, by that argument, Guillen should have fared better than 10th. (Yeah, I know chicks -- and beat writers -- dig the long ball.)
2006-11-21 12:52:48
43.   rabid stan
34 That's nice.

But I used WARP 3. Jeter has a WARP 3 of 12.1 v. Morneau's 8.6. Want to eliminate those messy defensive considerations, and maybe keep our focus to this season? Fine. Jeter's 9.8 WARP 1 is still better than Morneau's 7.3.

And Morneau's season adjusted EqA was .300, his all-time adjusted EqA was the .315 cited in 19.

I like 34 HR and a .934 OPS from my first-baseman, but I'm not throwing a parade.

.900 from a shortstop is more valuable, even if he's nobody's idea of a power hitter, because it means he's gotten on base a ton. Jeter not only did this, but threw in great baserunning, too.

Finally, though I personally would have liked Jeter to win, I wouldn't have barked if the award went to Mauer or Santana. Morneau was clearly an inferior choice.

2006-11-21 12:54:47
44.   Chyll Will
37 That's the thing, though. If Jeter had lost to say, Joe Mauer or Johan, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. A tip of the hat and oh-well. This just screams foul ball, considering that there were more worthy candidates on his own team. Take Morneau out of the lineup and they still make a good run at it. Take Mauer out and they don't even make the playoffs. Take out Santana, with Liriano already out, and they're mashed potatoes.

The MVP award is a major misnomer, it should be the MPP (Most Productive Player); seeing as that value defies definition (or consistancy).

33 That's the trick, my brotha. You aint's supposed to luvdem...

2006-11-21 13:02:25
45.   jonnystrongleg
37 Leading the league in win shares, hitting .343 as a Gold Glove winning SS (undeserved I know - but I doubt the voters do), leading the injury plagued team to the best record in baseball, having insane numbers in run scoring situations, if this is not the clear MVP, I don't know what is.
2006-11-21 13:05:23
46.   jakewoods
Just heard Cowley try and defend his putting Jeter 6th.

It was embarrassing. Heres his big reason. You ready?

A Rod was more clutch.

I sh*t u not.

What a travesty.

He even had Mad dog defending Jeter which is damn near impossible.

2006-11-21 13:07:57
47.   jakewoods
34

Thats a good argument. I'm sure being in a good lineup helps. But also remember this.

What if Morneua played in NY? No telling if he could handle everything that goes into it. Maybe that avg becomes 270 and he disappears for weeks at a time.

Little easier playing in Minny than in front of 55,000 every night.

2006-11-21 13:09:06
48.   jonnystrongleg
37 And by 'clear' I do not mean 'unaninmous,' I just mean the player with the best argument/case/resume for the award.
2006-11-21 13:09:20
49.   rabid stan
46 I don't think anyone has ever said "A-Rod was more clutch" before, let alone in comparison to Jeter. Unreal.

Not that I think clutchiness should be a consideration, but I know it is, and I have never heard that before.

2006-11-21 13:10:24
50.   OldYanksFan
Weird Karma.
A player who wears #13, got 13 votes, and finished in 13th place.

Mauer gets LESS THEN 1/2 the votes of Morneau.

35 Ask 25 players on Oakland if they had had a league average DH, would they have been in the PS? FT's numbers weren't that great, but he made the different for his team. That does make you valuable.

Santana was great, but they do have a CY award only for pitchers. Win 31 games (like McLain), or 27 or maybe 25? I'd consider it. But not 19 wins for MVP over someone who contributed everyday, and made the difference, like Jeter.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-21 13:11:18
51.   Raf
39 The former Yankee lefty?
2006-11-21 13:11:49
52.   jonnystrongleg
46 Truly an unbelievable comment. Just clicking on "splits" in the Yahoo or ESPN stats would have proven this guy's assumption false. He obviously didn't look into his vote to seriously.
2006-11-21 13:12:43
53.   Raf
47 If you can play, you can play. Venue is irrelevant.
2006-11-21 13:12:48
54.   jakewoods
I cant believe Cowley said it. He basically admitted he didnt watch one Yankee game all year. Then he tried to argue that Boston was still contending in September.

What gets me is that Morneu wasnt even the best player on his team. Mauer is way more valuable.

Mauer had a 54-point edge in OBP over Morneau and won a Gold Glove as a catcher.

Morneau at 1b was only 12th in homers and 2nd in rbi's.

A disgrace.

2006-11-21 13:13:22
55.   pistolpete
Joe Cowley: failure as Yankees pitcher, failure as MVP voter.
2006-11-21 13:14:21
56.   ny2
46. I started laughing when I heard him say that ... of all things to use to defend himself for voting him 6th ... using a-rod's clutchness shouldn't be one of them
2006-11-21 13:15:08
57.   jakewoods
53

Veneu is irrelevant huh?

Ask Kenny Rogers if its different playing in NY. Also ask Eddie Whitson, Kevin Brown, Pavano, Knoblauch, etc.

Just like Im sure its not the same in Boston. Some markets are just much tougher and you have to mentally tougher to play there. Its not sure thing that stats or performance will translate.

2006-11-21 13:18:32
58.   Yankee Fan In Boston
53 i don't think that statement is entirely true. while where someone plays having an effect on them is often overblown or exaggerated, i think it may have an effect on certain people. pressure is pressure. some people thrive in it, others... not so much. i haven't seen morneau enough to know how he'd do in pressure situations or NY.
2006-11-21 13:18:35
59.   randym77
Jeet wuz robbed.

And Mike Celizic agrees:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15825167/

>> People who watch him every day – including those who've made the game their lives for 30 or 40 years – know that Jeter simply gets things done. He moves runners over, gets on base, steals and runs the bases as well as anyone, can lay down a sacrifice, hit the other way and, when he puts his mind to it, drive it out of the park. Hitting second, he still drove in 97 runs while scoring 118. By one measure – adding runs and RBIs and subtracting home runs (You can't get two points if you drive yourself in) – he actually produced more runs than anyone in the American League. <<

2006-11-21 13:20:06
60.   jonnystrongleg
49 Why shouldn't "clutchiness" be a consideration? Jeter's insane production with RISP helped the Yanks win a ton of games and is one of the feathers in his cap for his 2006 success.

"Clutch ability" may not be a real or repeatable thing (color me on the fence, but mostly in the "doesn't exist camp" on it) but the player should be rewarded/punished for what they actually do in those situations. Arod's year was shittier than it looked because he was bad in close and late situations. Jeter's was better than it looked because he was great.

It may be useless as a predictive stat, but it's certainly a valid stat when measuring actual value.

2006-11-21 13:21:31
61.   Shaun P
55 Pete Abraham reports in his blog that its a different Joe Cowley.

46 This Cowley guy knows how to get a rise out of Yankee fans, for sure. Too bad he wouldn't know a baseball game if he was paid to watch one.

When Yankee fans are decrying the MVP vote not because Jeter lost but because Morneau wasn't even the MVP of his own team (whatever Johan Santana says), you know something is horribly wrong with the results of the MVP voting.

2006-11-21 13:23:17
62.   randym77
46 Unbelievable. If I were the paranoid type, I'd wonder if A-Rod paid him to say that or something.
2006-11-21 13:23:24
63.   Raf
57 Rogers first year was in line with his career. His second wasn't. Whitson & Pavano sucked before they came to NY, Brown was just about done when he got here, Knobby had two good and two bad years here.
2006-11-21 13:28:24
64.   yankee23
If anyone has espn insider, then there are (what appear to be) a couple of decent articles supporting jetes:

http://tinyurl.com/y8p3md

http://tinyurl.com/y6asp2

2006-11-21 13:28:29
65.   Shaun P
"By one measure – adding runs and RBIs and subtracting home runs (You can't get two points if you drive yourself in) – he actually produced more runs than anyone in the American League."

I take my hat off to Hat Guy, Mike Celzic, who just created a horribly meaningless stat. Add the two most team-dependent counting stats together and then subtract home runs - that's a way to define value.

I can't wait 'til the boys at firejoemorgan.com get a hold of that one.

2006-11-21 13:29:17
66.   ChuckM
Not that it matters, but Joe Cowley the pitcher was right-handed, and had a schnozz that could block out the sun on most days...
2006-11-21 13:29:51
67.   Simone
I am still ticked off about Derek losing to Morneau. Cowley and his knucklehead colleagues who voted the same way just prove that a lot of these baseball writers don't understand the sport that they cover.

Hey Alex, did you see that Murray Chass had an article in today's NY Times supporting Marvin Miller's election to the Hall of Fame: http://tinyurl.com/ylj6eb. It probably won't happen, but it nice to see that Chass is speaking up on Miller's behalf.

2006-11-21 13:30:06
68.   JL25and3
I don't get real worked up over awards. MVPs are like Oscars; if they get it right, that's nice, but they usually don't. And "Most Valuable" is probably even more impossible to define than "Best Picture."

Bill James's writing about the Hall of Fame is generally not about who should be in, but about who does get in. I look at this the same way; here's how I see it.

9 times out of 10, it goes to someone who is a HR/RBI guy, and he should be the clear leader on his team in those categories. Right there, we practically eliminate the Yankees and Tigers, who had no one Big Gun. Mauer loses points as well.

He should be on a winning team, preferably an overachieving one, certainly not one that underachieves. Goodby, Papi.

It's better if he's not a pitcher or DH. And the voters really like a guy who suddenly burst into HR/RBI prominence - he's gotten more buzz over the course of the season. Frank Thomas hits like hell, dog bites man. Justin Morneau suddenly hits the big time - that catches their eye.

2006-11-21 13:30:11
69.   Shaun P
64 One of Keith Law's many great lines from his article (the second link):

"And while we're at it, how the heck did Thomas -- the third-best designated hitter in the American League -- end up fourth in the voting? It's just more evidence that the bulk of this year's voters don't understand what is actually valuable in baseball: Players who hit and play good defense up the middle are the most valuable position players in the game."

2006-11-21 13:32:05
70.   rabid stan
53 Morneau can play, but the best you can say about his season is that it was very good for a first baseman. It wasn't the kind of performance that should have gotten him the MVP.

Some revelant comparisons:

Albert Pujols (2005)
.330/.430/.609, 41 HR, 1.039 OPS

Alex Rodriguez (2005)
.321/.421/.610, 48 HR, 1.031 OPS

Those were your 2005 MVP's.

Now Morneau:
.321/.375/.559, 34 HR, .934 OPS

There's a difference between being "able to play", and all the understatement that phrase implies, and being the MVP.

At 1B, Morneau has a high bar to meet in the power production department, and he didn't meet it. It's different for Jeter at SS. He played far above of his position in every statistical measure. Hell, if he were a 1B, his .900 OPS would be good for third in the AL at that position.

(True, Carlos Guillen had a .919 OPS at short, but Jeter was hands down better in WARP1 and WARP3, had a higher VORP and 48 more hits.)

2006-11-21 13:34:46
71.   rabid stan
60 If you want to define clutchiness as RISP, fine. Just call it RISP. Otherwise, people may zone out, thinking you're talking about David Eckstein or something.
2006-11-21 13:36:28
72.   yankee23
We already covered the part where Morneau has 11 win shares to Jetes' 29, right?
2006-11-21 13:38:32
73.   Raf
70 My point has more to do with the perception that it is somehow more difficult to play in NY than in MIN. It isn't. A player will play in line with his career no matter where he plays.

Morneau doesn't deserve the AL MVP. As been pointed out, he wasn't even the MVP of his team. But, hey, it isn't the first time the BWAA screwed up, and unfortunately it won't be the last time

2006-11-21 13:40:09
74.   Orly Yarly NoWai
72 Nope. Good to know.

59 NEVER use HatGuy as support for your argument.

2006-11-21 13:40:15
75.   jakewoods
Keith Law obliterated the voting today on his espn blog.

And for good reason.

2006-11-21 13:40:39
76.   Raf
66 Thanks. Must've gotten him confused with someone else. Unfortunately, I don't remember many big lefties during the 80's.

Given some of the staffs, I'm better off not remembering :)

2006-11-21 13:42:53
77.   jonnystrongleg
71 Your word, not mine.
2006-11-21 13:43:08
78.   jakewoods
73

I dont know how you can not agree that some markets are harder to play in than others.

Im not saying some guys would be complete flops but it is harder to play in NY and Boston if you're not mentally tough.

Look at A Rod. He had good numbers this yr in NY and he was on the front page of every paper everyday. All of them asking "whats wrong?"

If hes playing in Minnesota and drives in 120 hes a God.

2006-11-21 13:43:18
79.   Orly Yarly NoWai
67 Marvin Miller absolutely should be in the HOF, IMHO.
2006-11-21 13:43:41
80.   Chyll Will
61 "When Yankee fans are decrying the MVP vote not because Jeter lost but because Morneau wasn't even the MVP of his own team (whatever Johan Santana says), you know something is horribly wrong with the results of the MVP voting."

Thank you Shaun P, I was just about to say that again. The outrage would be minimal at best if Mauer or Santana won. And imagine if Morneau thought of himself as much as A-Rod does. Next year would be deja vu all over again relocated to Minny....

I don't know him, but if he's a humble guy in real life (as opposed to fantasy baseball, where this year's voting all around apparently took place) I actually feel embarressed for him. It's wrong to award a player an award he doesn't deserve because of some ill-conceived pre-notion default, no matter what team he's on. Hmph & phooey.

2006-11-21 13:44:54
81.   Yankee Fan In Boston
78 ...and rodriguez himself admitted a couple of times that this was the most difficult season of his career... largely because of his surroundings.
2006-11-21 13:46:55
82.   Count Zero
See I guess this is where I differ with most of you on this: the MVP award is subjective -- it's supposed to be subjective. Same as the CY, ROY, and Gold Gloves. So arguing WARP3 values is meaningless. The definition of the MVP award is totally open to interpretation -- it does not say "given to the highest WARP rated player in the league.

There is a HR crown, an RBI crown, and a Batting crown. There is an ERA crown, a Saves crown, and a SB crown. All of the above are statistically-based in total. No arguments...just numbers. I know you sabremetrics guys want WARPS and OPS+ and such to be the be-all, end-all but they aren't. Big plays at key moments...leadership...emotional lifts cannot be measured by WARP value. Papi continually winning games with walk-off HRs means more to the Sox than just the games he actually wins. Jeter's big two-out hit in Fenway had a big carry-over effect IMHO.

The subjective awards are just that -- subjective. As Yankee fans you are all biased in favor of Jeter, so you naturally lean towards him. (I know you guys are saying you would have accepted Mauer, but that's BS -- you would be ranting about Mauer just the same if he won. "He only had 84 RBIs from the 3 spot...he doesn't run bases like Jeter...etc.) I saw Jeter play in at least 120 games this year. I saw Morneau play in about 8. I am clearly not qualified to judge the impact the latter had on his team's season except by using statistics, so how do I compare Jeter and Morneau on a subjective basis? I can't -- good thing I don't vote.

All I know is that both players carried their teams on their backs when they needed it. Perhaps we shoud ask the BatGirl about Morneau? If you were watching the nightly SC highlights in September, you saw Morneau doing it time and time again when they absolutely had to have it -- not Mauer. Just like Jeter did it when we needed it during that stretch earlier in the year -- not A-Rod. On a subjective basis, I could see it going either way. In my heart I wanted Jeter, but I didn't think it was clear cut by any stretch of the imagination. Just as it wasn't clear cut last year when many people claimed Ortiz got jobbed.

Put another way -- Morneau was closer to being the MVP of the AL than Jeter was to being the best defensive SS in the AL...and the latter was only between 14 guys. ;-P

2006-11-21 13:50:34
83.   ChuckM
Aaron Gleeman doesn't even think Morneau should've won it, and I'm sure he's watched a helluva lot more Twins games this year than any of us...
2006-11-21 13:52:59
84.   ChuckM
Here's the link to Gleeman's argument...

http://tinyurl.com/w8a8e

2006-11-21 13:58:20
85.   jakewoods
If Marvin Miller deserves to be in

then Curt Flood should be with inducted with him

And Buck O'Neill too.

Pete Rose can sign autographs outside.

2006-11-21 14:00:16
86.   Count Zero
84 Again -- a statistical argument. I call attention to his own comments on it:

"I choose to focus on all-around offensive value along with defense and positional adjustments, and give no weight to how good someone's teammates are, which is why Morneau's case for the award shrinks considerably in my eyes."

"Except for the top spot, my ballot won't look much like those cast by people who actually have votes, but that's just fine with me."

This is precisely my point -- it's subjective. Everyone has their own view of it. Gleeman puts forth his which includes no weighting for rest of the batting order around the player (tell me Papi is Papi without Manny behind him), and he gives extra points for the defensive position the guy plays. I think the latter is a valid argument -- C and SS are much more difficult to play defensively. But it's still subjective.

2006-11-21 14:07:49
87.   thelarmis
76Hey Raf, I'll take that beer from the last thread! ; ) Actually headed back to NY tonite to see the fam for the 1st time since April. Much beer will be imbibed! : )

Happy Turkey Day to all the Bronx Banterers! Travel safely...

2006-11-21 14:07:58
88.   Raf
78 And despite the "media heat" ARod put up the numbers he did. Which were similar to numbers he has put up over his career.
2006-11-21 14:09:56
89.   jonnystrongleg
86 "Subjective" should not be an excuse for "I have not friggin' clue what I'm talking about" which is what happened today and in many of these votes. If the quote from 46 doesn't show how little thought goes into the vote, I remember Jason Stark making a sincere case for Shannon Stewart to be the 2003 MVP. "Subjective" should be "I rate the great catcher over the great SS, or "I rate the ass kicking 3B over the ass kicking DH with the great RISP #'s."

The award is a huge honor and I care who gets it. I'm an idiot for caring, but I do.

2006-11-21 14:10:16
90.   Chyll Will
82 That's why I said that MVP was a misnomer and should be considered or renamed MPP for Most Productive Player for the sake of the stat-heads. Value defies consistency and definition. It's just a hyped word and an overhyped award.

MLB must love these kind of debates because it gets people talking about baseball when they'd ordinarily be talking football or basketball. All these teams are awash in TV money and revenue sharing, so they're getting quite ballsy in the FA market. Jeter, Mauer, Pujols, they were boring choices from a writer's perspective I'm guessing because the fans had already chosen them. Why reiterate something people already know? No one's going to read your column, then.

Ah, but throw them a curve (which is probably the closest to playing baseball some of them have ever come) and people are outraged, looking for answers, demanding an explanation. They'll be charged the regular rate, and they'll pass it along without a thought. They'll be awash in BS, endlessly pondering and debating the simpleminded travesty in a system that ultimately means nothing. Football will wonder, basketball will consider, both will momentarily suffer. And MLB and baseball writers will rejoice in their renewed status as the focus of the general sports public.

Ohhhh, people will come, Count. People will certainly come.

2006-11-21 14:10:53
91.   rabid stan
82 There was plenty of subjective eye candy for both sides, but what I really object to is the notion that the MVP has to be a power hitter, or a position player. If someone's not a 30/100 (oh those RBI) guy, he need not apply for MVP. Now those are stats. It's not subjective to make that kind of production the precondition of awarding MVP votes, it's just arbitrary.

What's galling is that there are stats more indicative of a player's contribution, worth and talent, but those aren't used. EqA, WARP, VORP, etc., those are too complicated, but we all know the passer rating of our favorite NFL quaterback? That formula is a nightmare, but it shows up in the sports pages every week. It's a factor in NFL MVP voting. It's a noted single season record.

The stats do not break for Morneau, but the selection is being defended (not here, obviously) as if they did. Subjective considerations were, at best, a wash for him I have a hard time believing that a press corp that has been fawning over Jeter's leadership, heroics, and intangibles for the past decade suddenly decided that Morneau just had it and Jeter didn't.

No, both had it, but Morneau had more RBI.

2006-11-21 14:16:14
92.   jonnystrongleg
Why is "value" so hard to define? In a game designed around winning games based scoring runs and preventing runs, where winning those games propels you to the postseason and a chance at a championship, the baseball community has done a very thorough job of evaluating statistics.

The word "value" should not throw the debate to the wind the way some people claim it does.

2006-11-21 14:17:34
93.   Raf
87 Safe travels! :)
2006-11-21 14:25:54
94.   yankz
F the voters. All I have to say about this BS.
2006-11-21 14:30:48
95.   rbj
Can't believe no one's said this yet:
It obviously is A-Rod's fault.
2006-11-21 14:33:56
96.   jakewoods
88

If A Rod didnt have the heat in NY he would put up even better numbers which is scary.

Its too bad voters dont actually watch games which is what Cowley basically said.

2006-11-21 14:34:09
97.   YankeeInMichigan
The V in VORP stands for Value. The BP guys have come up with a pretty good definition of "value," i.e. how much worse off would the team have been if they had to replace him? Now it doesn't take any great statistical acumen to realize that the Twins would have been far worse off with a backup catcher in the lineup than with a backup first baseman.

Interestingly, I haven't seen anyone try to define value as "value for the dollar." By this definition, Morneau (and Ryan Howard) may indeed be the most valuable.

2006-11-21 14:54:40
98.   yankz
95 shrunklink.com?num
2006-11-21 15:27:05
99.   C2Coke
I obviosuly don't know Jeter, but I somehow got the feeling he can handle this much better than we can. I mean...he probably has Jessica Biel in his arms and spraying his Driven for him. He's definitely going to have a great offseason with or without the Fools' Gold.

95 I was thinking that the phrase has become a common understanding that doesn't have be stated...

2006-11-21 15:29:47
100.   ny2
99. I'm sure he'll be fine ... but he's so competitive that I'm sure he's angry he didn't win
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-21 15:56:31
101.   Shaun P
I apologize in advance for the long rant.

82 Count, you're right, how the voters evaluate who is "most valuable" is a subjective choice on their part.

BUT - the process is not entirely subjective. If it was, then why even bother to point to any numbers at all? No performance metric, no matter how advanced, can measure some of the intangible qualities like leadership, character, etc - as you rightly say.

But the MVP vote has never been just about those subjective qualities. Jason Varitek, for example, is the acknowledged leader of the Red Sox - yet no one voted for him for MVP, because his numbers stunk.

So its a combination of subjective criteria and the numbers. As it should be.

My problem is when the subjective criteria and the numebrs the voters use is full of sh*t. For example, a win is a win - in other words, games in September aren't any more or less meaningful than games in April - yet MVP voters continually give extra weight to end of season performance, often at the sacrifice of the totality of the performance over a season.

On the numbers side, RBIs are an awful stat for evaulating how a player "carries a team" - Morneau couldn't have gotten big RBIs at any time if guys like Mauer weren't on base ahead of him. Yet MVP voters consistently reward the guys with the most RBIs.

And on and on. After an MVP voter chooses to make a decision based in part on the numbers, they damn well ought to use numbers that actually have some meaning in terms of saying how valuable a player was. Similarly with the subjective criteria - the voters should not be illogical.

If, after considering the numbers that make sense and the subjective critieria that make sense, an MVP voter felt Morneau was more valuable than Jeter, than fine. But its pretty clear from the numbers alone that Morneau was far less valuable than either Mauer or Santana, as well as Jeter. And I don't think its possible for Morneau's subjective criteria to outweigh those of the best catcher in MLB, the best pitcher in MLB, and the Cap'n.

2006-11-21 16:07:07
102.   wsporter
101 MFD. Word.
2006-11-21 16:07:09
103.   ny2
Jeter's statement

"While I know that voting for these awards is primarily based on differing opinions and statistical debates, it's also part of what makes baseball such a great sport," Jeter said in a statement released by the Yankees.

"Having said that, I'm flattered and honored to have been considered for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. I want to congratulate Justin Morneau on this well-deserved honor. He is a special player, and I suspect this won't be the last time you will hear his name mentioned when awards are being passed out.

"You've heard me say it a thousand times, but winning the World Series for the New York Yankees continues to be my main focus. There is no individual award that can compare with a championship trophy, and I look forward to working towards that challenge again in 2007."

http://tinyurl.com/y44thh

2006-11-21 16:19:18
104.   rbj
98 Thanks.

bangs head on desktop

2006-11-21 16:22:52
105.   Simone
103 My translation of what Derek is actually saying:

Yo dumbasses, clearly you baseball writers don't know squat about baseball. My stats show that I am the AL MVP so take your award and shove it.

Hey Justin, you got lucky, but know that I'll be hanging out with Jessica Biel and other hot chicks who you can only dream of so you got nothing on me with that award.

2006-11-21 16:24:49
106.   Simone
95 98 Actually according to Sherman, not winning the AL MVP Jeter's fault for not loving A-Rod enough.
2006-11-21 16:58:33
107.   jakewoods
So Jeter gets points deducted for A Rod not hitting 50 homers and driving in 150? Makes a lot of sense.

Lets get Jetes some pitching so he can add to his ring total which is more important anyway

2006-11-21 17:03:20
108.   C2Coke
106 So it is Arod's fault after all?

103 That's a class act. A Perfect statement.
Translate all you want, the writers would never be able to squeeze out good quotes for the papers from Jeter, no wonder many of them don't like him. Arod sells papers not Jeter.

That said, releasing the statement tends to indicate that he was expecting the trophy.

2006-11-21 17:04:36
109.   C2Coke
107 Our #4 SP next year: Derek Jeter. So Ca$h's secrets are finally out of the bag??
2006-11-21 17:08:45
110.   jakewoods
Maybe Jetes can win the Cy Young.
2006-11-21 17:33:18
111.   JL25and3
108 That statement - especially the first sentence - comes about as close to actually saying something, expressing a real opinion or feeling, as Jeter's come in a long time. Okay, you have to read between the lines and squint a lot, but there's a little bit there.
2006-11-21 17:39:41
112.   Chyll Will
And he can be Jorge's backup; catch Randy and Pavano (if) they pitch.

Then he can be the first base coach on his day off.

And he can get you cherce seats at a cut-rate before the game starts.

And lead the groundscrew in a pop-lock demo during "YMCA"

And do a Nat & Natelie-like duet with Kate Smith when not filling in for Bob Sheppard

And improve his clutch numbers for November

Oh, and one more thing that will clinch the MVP: Give A-Rod a hug. "I LOVE YOU, MAN!"

2006-11-21 18:12:57
113.   yankee23
72 wow, bad stats on my part. it was more like 33 to 27, but WSAB was 20 to 15 in Jetes' favor.
2006-11-21 19:04:55
114.   jakewoods
You want his real opinion?

He wants another world series trophy. what is so strange about that? does he really not believe it or want it??? doubtful

i think hes 100% genuine everytime he says something especially about individual awards

what makes u doubt him besides cynicism?

2006-11-21 19:05:27
115.   jakewoods
You want his real opinion?

He wants another world series trophy. what is so strange about that? does he really not believe it or want it??? doubtful

i think hes 100% genuine everytime he says something especially about individual awards

what makes u doubt him besides cynicism?

2006-11-21 20:20:52
116.   Shaun P
The Griddle has a link to Newsday, which printed the who voted for who where AL MVP breakdown.

If folks think its bad that Price didn't vote Jeter #1, imagine how Joe Mauer must feel right now. One of the Minnesota voters put Mauer tenth. Tenth! On the basis of what, I can only wonder.

2006-11-21 20:31:28
117.   Yu-Hsing Chen
So Jeter wins the Hank Aaron but not the MVP, isn't it suppose to be the other way around?
2006-11-21 21:29:35
118.   Jukeofurl
All you need to know about anything is to look at the headshot of a ballplayer. Compare DJ to almost anybody, but in this case, um, how about Morneau. . ..

I say this everywhere, MLB needs to be totally restructured. Most of it comes from 100 years ago. I've been a fan half that time---but fat cats didn't get fat by changing their habits.

2006-11-22 05:58:30
119.   const56
jcowley@suntimes.com
2006-11-22 06:25:24
120.   Yankee Fan In Boston
just a quick thanks to cliff for turning uniwatch (and by extension me) onto vintagecardtraders.org .

i just picked a card set at random, 1964 topps, and scrolled through... a lot of great finds...

a tough joe torre
a great jim kaat
a spry don zimmer
a kid named tito francona
the mets tandem of choo choo chamberlain and pumpsie green
lou piniella's rookie card

not to mention the great hank aaron, mikey mantle, elston howard, "bob clemente", frank howard, bob gibson, a series of manager cards where the guys are pretending to be shouting from the dugout with a hand to their mouths...

i will gladly kill my time today at this site.

much appreciated.

2006-11-22 06:48:51
121.   OldYanksFan
As someone mentioned, I believe it's true that baseball has ZERO interest in making these awards be fair and have real value, and that they like the 'feedback' and 'discussion' generated from poor choices.

As far as fairness goes, Jetes getting the GG was probably the most agregious... with defensive numbers that put him middle of the pack.

Obviously???, the HA award (pure offense)should have been between Hafner, Ortiz, Dye, Thome or Manny (in that order).

The Silver Slugger for third base to Crede?

Mauer, an excellent catcher (most difficult position) on a PS team who just happens to lead the league in batting, 3rd in OBP, with a .936 OPS.... is SIXTH in MVP?

It would be VERY easy to set a few guidelines for these awards. It would be easy to say which stats should be considered, which might have the most weight, and how much position, defense and other (non-slugging) stats come into play. They don't have to be absolutes, but guidelines for voters to consider and be accountable for.

It would be better for both fans and players... but not for the press. So guess what?

Yes... yes... I know baseball is a business (not our national pastime) and money rules, but does FAIRNESS in professional sports have any value that deserves consideration?

/rant

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