Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Oh Yeah!
2005-11-14 11:06
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I'm proud to report that Alex Rodriguez was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League this afternoon. In a close ballot, Rodriguez got 331 total points, to David Ortiz's 307. This is Rodriguez's second career MVP. He is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, had a terrific year, and deserved to win the hardware. This is the first time a Yankee has won the award since Don Mattingly earned it in 1985 (Steve Lombardi had five on it, don'tcha know).

2005-11-14 11:11:56
1.   Murray
At least they got one right. The biggest ballot crime seems to be that Jhonny Peralta got no votes, period, on anybody's ballot. But Bob Wickman did.
2005-11-14 11:16:00
2.   Andrew Fletcher
I think the voting pattern was interesting and seems to indicate that the voters shared my reasoning re DH. If they truly felt a DH couldn't win it, or should have a substantial penalty, then Ortiz would have had several votes outside the top two (He had none). Instead, they seemed to weigh Alex's contributions as a bit better, with a slight edge in hitting and a substantial edge in fielding that were not overcome by David's "clutchness." I think they got it right.
2005-11-14 11:16:46
3.   rbj
Finally, some sense on post-season awards.
2005-11-14 11:24:08
4.   rsmith51
I am shocked that Ortiz didn't win. Of course, I thought ARod should win.
2005-11-14 11:39:59
5.   abr
Fantastic. Happy to be wrong.

That is a shame about Peralta though. I thought it was a crime last year when Carlos Guillen got only two points; this is worse.

2005-11-14 11:48:27
6.   Alex Belth
I too am happy to be wrong. Rodriguez did get one third place vote. I wonder which writer placed him third and why.
2005-11-14 11:49:16
7.   Saburo
I, too, am extremely surprised to see this result. Nine times out of then, the RBI king rules the day.
2005-11-14 11:49:57
8.   Shaun P
Well, that (hopefully) settles that. Congrats A-Rod!

Guess if you're a fantastic middle infielder who plays in the AL central, you can't get any love. (Just another example of why Angel Berroa winning '03 ROY was a fluke.) Peralta should rest easy, though - he's bound to get better, and that will win him some respect, and some MVP votes, before he's through.

2005-11-14 11:56:02
9.   Dimelo
At first I was torn if I wanted ARod to win it because people will just use this to fuel their argument that he hits when it doesn't count - when does the regular season not count? - but now that it's over, I am glad ARod won it. I am glad I don't have to hear any shit from the Papi camp.

I wonder what we should expect of ARod next year. I am hoping for more of the same in the regular season, but huge numbers in the playoffs. It's funny how everything I read always mentions what ARod did in the playoffs and compares that to Ortiz's numbers in the playoffs. The fact that Ortiz had one homerun and one RBI proves to them that he was that much better in the playoffs than ARod. Oh can call him ASlap, AFraud, Slappy, ACrap, or whatever name you'd like to choose but he's the New York Yankees 3rd baseman, he's the MVP and we got mad love for him. So don't fuck with him...

2005-11-14 12:35:52
10.   debris
Hmm, I wonder if Arod would trade two of what he has for one of what Papi has?

(Hint: Mo has 4.)

2005-11-14 12:39:34
11.   pistolpete
"Alex: I too am happy to be wrong. Rodriguez did get one third place vote. I wonder which writer placed him third and why. "

Probably the same guy who gave Vlad his only 1st place vote... ;-)

2005-11-14 12:43:30
12.   debris
" can call him ASlap, AFraud, Slappy, ACrap"

Actually, all of these names work for me. The one I really prefer is Perennial Loser Alex Rodriguez.

Seattle won more 25 games the year after he left. Texas won 18 more games his first year out of Dodge. The Yankees last won a pennant the year before he arrived. Do I detect a trend here?

2005-11-14 12:55:34
13.   pistolpete
And we hadn't won a World Series since Soriano joined the team either...what's your point?
2005-11-14 13:01:39
14.   Rob Gee
Revisionist history:

Front page
"Never mind that David Ortiz carried 46 states in opur fan poll..."

Poll today:

Poll Oct. 1st:

'press submit for final numbers'
A-Rod = 43%
Ortiz: 35%

After that final weekend, we had it right. And if A-Rod had had a big post-season, no one would be arguing it was even close. One of these years the law of averages will play out and A-Rod will come up BIG - shoot he'll be playing enough October ball that it will soon become old hat for him.

2005-11-14 13:04:22
15.   domvjr
Hey Debris,WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I can here the all the haters in New England crying in their beer, right now. I bet the RSN blogs are afire with dismay. Call him what you want, but he is A-Rod, MVP.
2005-11-14 13:06:52
16.   debris
The point is that every team that Pay-rod leaves gets better. Every team he joins gets worse.

Texas averaged 72 wins his three years there. They've averaged 84 since. They averaged 85 per year the three seasons before he got there.

The Yankees have averaged 98 wins and have won no AL Championships in his two years in NY. In the three years before he arrived, they average 99 wins and won 2 AL Championships.

A-Rod sinks ships. The evidence is pretty strong already and building. Two teams have shown substantial improvement over multiple years upon his departure. Two teams were substantially better over multiple years before he arrived.

2005-11-14 13:12:08
17.   Dimelo
Yes, Alex would love to trade both MVP trophies for one championship ring.

Debris is slinging the dung today....I love it. Love the passion my man. Isn't it kind of convenient to blame the Yankees losing last year and this year on him - by the simple fact that he's on the team? If anything, Alex is the least of our problems. Other than being the highest paid player in any sport, has ARod ever defamed his uniform? No! Has he ever not busted his ass? No! Is he a bit too polished? Yes! Calculating? Yes! Has he been anything but the consummate professional?

I am torn on ARod but it's more because I expect so many great things from him, I really expect a homerun, triple, double or a single (in that order too) every time he's up to bat. I understand that the image and expectations I've developed will never be met because NOBODY can ever meet those expectations. I was pissed at him for hitting into that double play in the ALDS, but looking at that series closely you know it never should have come to that. Yes, he had a crucial error in game 2 but still for me I always thought Game 3 was the big game. What's funny is that when he was in Seattle, everyone was happy to blame Griffey and RJ for their failures and it only proved them right when in 2000 the Mariners made the playoffs w/o those two. Then after ARod leaves, they win 116 games and now it became ARod leaving for more money as to why they got better. I think everyone develops a pretty convenient argument to rationalize their opinion of the guy. If it's not one thing it's the other - myself included. Seriously though, was ARod that bad? Was it our expectations, past opinions or both as to why we are so critical of him? I woke up today on Arod's side, tomorrow I'll be saying he sucks, he's selfish, he's too preoccupied being ARod, etc, etc just because he just manages to spark that reaction from people. Don't know what it is about the guy….he's just a lighting-rod - no pun intended.

2005-11-14 13:15:33
18.   atc
Just for the record:

With Arod in 2000 - Seattle loses in 6 games in ALCS

Without Arod in 2001 - Seattle loses in 5 games in ALCS

2005-11-14 13:16:56
19.   Dimelo
Wow Debris, I can't believe you are arguing this point:
"The Yankees have averaged 98 wins and have won no AL Championships in his two years in NY. In the three years before he arrived, they average 99 wins and won 2 AL Championships."

Do you think the Devil Rays would take a 98 win season? Do you think people see a difference between averaging 98 wins vs. 99 wins?

BTW, Debris is a Sux that true? If yes, then I see your point....ARod sucks...Big Papi is better. Whateva!!!

2005-11-14 13:17:12
20.   pistolpete
Maybe this is relevant information regarding teams whose payroll is affected by A-Rod's presence, but clearly you can't make that argument with the Yankees.

The trade was Soriano for A-Rod- if there was any drop-off, it might have been because Steinbrenner jettisons 1/2 the roster every time we lose the World Series.

2005-11-14 13:19:59
21.   Alvaro Espinoza
There is absolutely nothing shocking to be found here. When it was all said and done, two very deserving players finished neck and neck for the award.

The only potentially interesting insight I draw from those doing the voting is that, given Ortiz's showing here and Mo's showing in the Cy Young, there appears to be a premium on a DH's ability to win games for his team but none for a closer. This may very well be an apples and oranges comparison. I'm just thinking out loud.

How many days until pitchers and catchers?

2005-11-14 13:21:23
22.   Dimelo
atc, but they won 116 games that year...that was all w/o ARod. It's funny, the only thing I can remember about that Seattle team (the one w/o ARod and the one who won 116 games) is the game vs. the Indians and they had a 12 - 3 lead in the 5th inning only to see it all pissed away. The Indians came back and won that game. After that game I knew this team was not any good. I remember being at game 5 with Pettite on the mound and people yelling overrated and calling out sweet Lou's name. Oh yeah, with ARod that team would have been 79 - 83.
2005-11-14 13:25:38
23.   atc
I think both arguments are completely non-sensical. Other than taking up payroll, there is nothing you can say to me to make me believe a team is better off without him. My whole point in bringing up the playoffs that year, is for all the talk of Seattle being so much better without him, they still ended up in the exact same place.
2005-11-14 13:28:09
24.   debris

The point is that Arod has left two teams, Seattle and Texas. Arod has joined two teams, Texas and NY.

Seattle got better when he left. Texas was consistently good before he got there and after he left. They stunk while he was there. The Yankees were good with Arod, better before.

I'm not analyzing here; I'm not suggesting that Arod is not a great player. I'm not suggesting that he doesn't deserve the MVP award. He has just turned 30; he will pretty much establish his HOF credentials by the time he turns 33. Pretty amazing.

I'm simply pointing out a pretty consistent pattern with a fairly decent data sampling.

Oh, and back to post number 10. I think the answer is No, Arod wouldn't trade his two MVPs for one World Series ring. And, conversely, Papi wouldn't trade his ring for A-rod's two MVPs. So they're both quite content.

2005-11-14 13:34:15
25.   rsmith51
If ARod retires today, he is in the HOF. No doubt in my mind.
2005-11-14 13:40:23
26.   Dimelo
Wow...Debris is on fire. I'm no genius, but I think Debris' is implying that ARod is not a team player, but he'd rather win personal awards vs. championship trophies. Great!!! I knew it all along.
Since we all know ARod so well, here are some other things I know about him:
1. He's a life long member of NAMBLA
2. He supports terrorist organizations
3. He was the real killer in the OJ (allegedly) murders
4. He was in Venezuela and helped Ugi Urbina light a few people on fire
5. He's stockpiling vaccinations for the bird flu and selling them to Pfizer and making an obscene profit.
ARod not only makes his teams worse, he's not only the most selfish athlete in the world, but he's the most vile human being of our lifetime. ARod is the fucken anti-Christ.
2005-11-14 13:51:17
27.   debris

I thought you'd pretty much nailed it until " he's the most vile human being of our lifetime." Sorry, can't agree with you there pal. He's probably fourth after Steinbrenner, O'Malley and Cheney.


I don't think so. Close though. I think he needs two more years. What he's got now is 437 dingers, .307 average, 2 MVPs (3 more top 5 finishes), 9 All Star games. Yeah, I take it back. He's probably there. Maybe one more year. A championship ring would certainly do the trick, but, sadly, that's a long shot.

2005-11-14 14:02:42
28.   Shaun P
Uh, debris, good try at making the old "teams get better when they don't have A-Rod" argument - but I think our host Mr. Belth has already debunked that one:

Its deja vu all over again!

2005-11-14 14:06:20
29.   Marcus

Your point seems to be to start arguments on a blog about the Yankees. There is already a blog devoted entirely to that; check out the side bar:

Hey it's fine to have the Red Sox perspective on a Yankees blog, but the least you could do is skip the meaningless number juggling in order to make a dubious point. The Mariners have a clear downward trend in their record since A-Rod left:

2001: 116-46
2002: 93-69
2003: 93-69
2004: 63-99
2005: 66-93

Does that have anything to do with A-Rod? My guess is that it has much more to do with poor personnel decisions by the Seattle FO and/or injuries/poor performance by their players, because, you might be surprised to hear: baseball is a team sport. In fact ever since Bugs Bunny left the bigs, there hasn't been a single player to play every position at once during a game. In other words, there are a lot of factors that go into making a good baseball team, none of which has to do with ditching one of the best all-around players ever to play the game.

My guess is that Texas's improvement since A-Rod left has more to do with the outstanding play of their remaining team members, and not the outstanding play of a player on another team.

But if you want to keep being a troll, at least it keeps the offseason discussion a little more interesting.

2005-11-14 14:08:46
30.   Alex Belth
You can thank David Pinto. This is a post we should just re-run every couple of weeks when it comes to Rodriguez and his critics:

October 22, 2004
A-Rod is Not the Problem

I've seen this in two places now, the idea that A-Rod brings defeat with him. First it was at Soxaholix (warning, obsenity laced (but funny) rant). The 2nd is at Let's Fly Under the Bridge. I'll fisk the 2nd, since this tries to be a kid friendly blog:

"Alex Rodriguez, surrounded by potential Hall of Famers; Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, and Ken Griffey Jr., the Mariners fail to reach a World Series."

How about this: Long time superstars Johnson, Martinez and Griffey are given the best hitting shortstop of this generation to compliment their talents and still can't win a World Series. And since reaching the World Series is the goal here, I don't remember the 2001 Mariners doing any better in that regard.

Look, the Mariners were a very good team in the late 1990's. In 2001 they replaced 1 superstar with 2 superstars. Surprise! They got better! They got really good! The problem was the Yankees figured out Ichiro's weakness for the ALCS, and the Mariners sunk. It's just a thought, but A-Rod, who has fewer weaknesses than Ichiro, might have done better.

"Free agent Alex Rodriguez, after assuring the Seattle Mariner fans that money wouldn't determine his destination, signs with the Texas Rangers for $250 million. Texas immediately goes to the bottom of the standings."

And they went there with a good offense, which was the whole point of getting A-Rod. In his three years in Texas, the Rangers finished 3rd, 5th and 5th in runs per game, but 14th, 12th and 14th in ERA. This year, they finished 4th in runs per game and 5th in ERA. Surprise! They didn't finish last. I'm sure A-Rod was the only reason their pitching improved so much.

2004: After aborting a trade to the Boston Red Sox, Rodriguez finds a home at third base in Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox accomplish the unheard of; regrouping from a 3-0 deficit, they win the final four games, and take the American League pennant. Now await a National League opponent in the 2004 World Series.

I believe it was the Union that aborted the trade, but that's neither here nor there. How about this: With A-Rod in New York instead of Boston, the Yankees play 12 games better than their Pythagorean projection and finish three games ahead of the Red Sox instead of 8 games back. Had the Red Sox gotten A-Rod, leaving the Yankees with no third baseman of any quality, the Yankees probably don't make the wild card, and this grand comeback doesn't happen.

So sure, go ahead and hang all these losses on Alex Rodriguez and ignore reality. There are plenty of teams who wish they were cursed with A-Rod.

2005-11-14 14:13:25
31.   randym77
Congrats, A-Rod! (Told you so! Oh ye of little faith. ;-)

IMO, what it came down to was that if a DH is going to win, he's going to have to be a quantum leap better than a guy with a glove. Ortiz was good, but no way was he a quantum leap better than A-Rod.

I think A-Rod would trade his MVPs for WS jewelry. He said he would, earlier in his career. He said he'd give everything he has and all he has achieved for what Derek Jeter has. And I don't think he was talking about Mariah Carey as an ex-girlfriend.

2005-11-14 14:17:16
32.   Dimelo
Statement from George M. Steinbrenner
11/14/2005 3:28 PM ET

"This is an 'A-Rod' day in New York. I am very proud of Alex Rodriguez, and I am delighted for him and his family. A-Rod demonstrates the talent, hard work, and dedication of a true winner. On behalf of our devoted New York Yankee fans, I look forward to great things for many years from 'A-Rod' as a Yankee."
Steinbrenner also had "high praise" for Gary Sheffield, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter, who placed in the top ten in the voting, and was "also proud" of Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi, who garnered votes by the Baseball Writers' Association.

"A-Rod joins a long list of Yankee MVP legends who include Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Phil Rizzuto, Thurman Munson, Joe Gordon, Spud Chandler, Elston Howard, and Don Mattingly, as well as Babe Ruth who won a pre-BBWAA MVP award," he said. Steinbrenner added, "All New York is elated."

2005-11-14 14:24:01
33.   randym77
Thanks, Dimelo. Sheff and Jeet were in the top 10? Mo I can see, but I'm kind of surprised that Jeter and Sheffield were ranked that high.
2005-11-14 14:29:56
34.   Zack
Actually, in 2003, the Yankees went 101-61 and lost in the World Series to the Marlins after going 7 games against the Red Sox in the ALCS. In 2004 the Yankees went 101-61 and lost in the ALCS to the Red Sox in 7 games. So I suppose the argument is that with A-Rod the Yankees were one game worse than without A-Rod? But hey, Soriano lest the Yankees and they got worse, and went to the Rangers and they got better, there is a trend, he must be the reason. Of course, they seem to dislike him in their clubhouse too. Maybe its not the players...

And as for the Red Sox, in 2004 they won the World Series, in 2005 they didnt. In 2004 they had Pedro, in 2005 they didn't, he is the reason they didn't win this year?

And as for the comments about A-Rod not wanting to give up his MVP for a ring, well look at the espn article, he says right there he'd rather win a WS ring. But, consoling yourself by using the history argument to say that, well, Ortiz has his ring and is therefore a team player is just silly...

Just let us enjoy having the MVP, you can go back to Mo Vaughn and remember those days...

2005-11-14 14:34:31
35.   Dimelo
Talk about disecting numbers from every which way possible. I really thought this redsox site had the most data all in one place and did a great job in coming up with their own analysis. Great job by the Joy of Sox.

One thing about Red Sox fans and Yankee fans, it's like the debates you hear between the Red States vs. the Blue States. It's a matter of perspective, to think one player is far superior than another is asinine.

2005-11-14 14:38:55
36.   debris
re. 29 - Marcus - Those 93 wins in 2002 and 2003 were, on average, 10 more than they ever won with Payrod. It took three years for the Mariners to sink below the level they were with Payrod, Edgar, and Unit.

Re: Pinto's remarks. Another year of failure for Arod under the bridge since his lame rationalizations were initially aired.

2005-11-14 14:53:41
37.   Knuckles
"I'm simply pointing out a pretty consistent pattern with a fairly decent data sampling."

After reading your oh-so intelligent explanations and rationale, I really think (and hope) you do nothing more important at work than ask the customer if they want fries with that.

2005-11-14 14:59:23
38.   rbj
Well debris, the Red Sox never won anything with Ted Williams. He must've sucked big time.
2005-11-14 15:02:50
39.   Rich Lederer
What's wrong with this picture, folks?

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. David Ortiz
3. Vladimir Guerrero
4. Manny Ramirez
5. Travis Hafner
6. Paul Konerko
7. Mark Teixeira
8. Gary Sheffield
9. Mariano Rivera
10. Derek Jeter

The Yankees had the MVP and four of the top ten players in the AL. The voters either got it wrong or the team underperformed or had little, if any, depth beyond these four (which I find hard to swallow, given Johnson, Giambi, Posada, and Cano).

2005-11-14 15:15:03
40.   Knuckles
That's the idiocy of voting for the top ten players. These sportswriters have one day between the end of the season and the start of the playoffs to sit down and decide (using their own parameters, since the award is so vague) who the MVP is, right on down to who they think is the 10th most valuable player in the league. After maybe the top 3, do you think anyone really gives a shit?

Jeter got one 5th, three 7th, one 8th and one 9th, for what that's worth (nothing).

Richie Sexson got two 8ths and a 10th, while Jose Contreras picks up one 10th (which ties him with Jorge Cantu)...

This is one of those awards where people should vote for the winner only, or top 3 at most.

Unrelated...I wonder which Los Angeles/Lompoc/Anaheim/Chino writer chose Vlad as #1 and (probably) put Arod at #3.

2005-11-14 15:19:55
41.   rbj
Rich, the big problem for the Yankees was Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright. And middle relief.
2005-11-14 15:51:37
42.   susan mullen
AL MVP votes:

Mariano Rivera 59
Bartolo Colon 3

2005-11-14 15:59:06
43.   Simone
Congratulations to A-Rod! If I hear "Ortiz is soooo clutch" one more time, I'm going to scream.
2005-11-14 16:04:02
44.   Schteeve
Debris, re #12 and #16. You're an idiot.
2005-11-14 17:18:47
45.   Start Spreading the News
To debris,

The rule of the game is 3 strikes and you are out!

Strike 1:You say that Arod left two teams and both got better. In fact, you say: "I'm simply pointing out a pretty consistent pattern with a fairly decent data sampling."

That is what you call a "fairly decent data sampling" --really? With a two point data set, you can draw a line, and a pretty flimpsy conclusion.

Tell you what, I just flipped a coin twice. I got heads each time. So by your "decent sampling method", you are going to predict heads for the next flip, right?

Strike 2: In Texas, it was all economics. They were able to use A-rod's salary to get better position players. The Yanks' media market allows them to comfortably pay A-rod without being crimped on personnel decisions.

Then consider that of the $25M owed Arod next year, the Yanks are only paying $14M ( and you will see the Yanks suffer very little from the financial burden of having Arod.

Strike 3: You have swallowed the whole "Arod is greedy" meme to the point that you think he would not trade his two MVPs to get a ring? You should really take a step back and look at him like a human being, rather than a caricature. Like most athletes of his caliber, he is aware of his abilities. But given to how he reacts to criticism (c.f. his recent adventures in a NYC underground poker room), he has shown himself to be pretty grounded and very willing to listen other people.

Given how much unfair flack he gets for not winning the big one or being clutch, I think he would give up his MVPs in a heartbeat for a ring.

2005-11-14 19:52:15
46.   wsporter
Since the "two data points" don't appear to be the result of random sampling can't we just say that the argument is not testable, that it would not yield statistically significant estimators concerning a population set and is therefore simply an opinion; that it is still more of the same knee jerk inferiority complex. What the hell happened to "nice job A Rod, we'll kick your ass next year". I guess even that would be too much class to expect.
2005-11-14 20:22:07
47.   Max
The moment I saw 46 comments here, I knew some flame bait was being tossed around by the old troll debris. HAHAHA...hey debris, how does it feel to be proven wrong yet again not only on ARod, but on Epstein (who I knew was going to get the knife twisted on him).

Enjoy watching Larry the Snake drive the team into the ground, old boy...even the root of all evil Steinbrenner knew what he had in a general manager, and didn't manipulate the press to his whims to drive him out of town.

2004 seems so very long ago. Nice to see the team's famed camraderie still persists, though, to the point that an 8-game winner can speak to the press on behalf of the second-place MVP finisher.

2005-11-14 23:02:56
48.   Zack
And of course the wonderful NY Times Boston-owning sports section runs an article claiming that "all Yankee fans are wondering the same thing," namely if A-Rod's #'s are tainted by his postseason and which goes on to knock Arod around a lot. They piss me off so much...
2005-11-15 03:08:29
49.   debris
re. 45 - Start Spreading the News - The data sample is four not two. The two teams he left that improved on his departure and the two teams to which he moved which got worse on his arrival.

re. 47 - Max - If 2004 seems so long very long ago, how long ago is 2000, way back in the last millenium.

2005-11-15 04:55:42
50.   Nick from Washington Heights
debris, I just picked up Baseball Prospectus's fine book, Mind Game, about your team's miraculous 2004 campaign. There's a chapter devoted to the what would likely have happened if A-Rod had played on the Sox, rather than the Bombers. Through cold statistical analysis, BP shows a swing of 8 games in favor of the team with A-Rod. You might dislike like him for his personality, but he's a great player who plays a big part in helping a team win.

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