Baseball Toaster Cub Town
2005-11-15 11:21
by Derek Smart

I had a whole rant written out for when Andrew Jones won the MVP today. It was pretty good, too. Problem is, he didn't win. Albert Pujols did, and while I would have, quite naturally, preferred to see Our Savior Derrek Lee get the hardware, I'm actually at peace with the writers' choice for the trophy.

Of course, Lee did finish a distant third behind Pujols and Jones, so I've got a little something to be upset about, even in the face of perhaps the best news ever. So while I won't go off on an extended spiel, I will say that I'm less upset by Lee's regrettable if predictable snubbing than I am about what his third-place finish implies about the state of the institution that votes on such things. Not that its foolishness is news.

In fact, I now have so little confidence in the BBWAA, I've got a little experiment I'd love to try:

  1. Put Andrew Jones (or a piece of shiny, shiny tinfoil) in a clear, narrow-necked bottle
  2. Secure bottle to something immobile, like Jason Dubois
  3. Set BBWAA member loose in the area
  4. Enjoy the hilarity

If I understand their tendencies correctly, once the writer reaches for the bauble, saying "Ooooo! Sparkly!" all the way, he'll close his fist around it, refusing to let go despite the fact that his paw is now too large to pass through the bottle's opening, thus proving once and for all that, at best, BBWAA members are the raccoons of the writing world.

Which, of course, begs the question: Derek, what did raccoons ever do to you?

2005-11-15 11:57:44
1.   Marc Normandin
I'm just glad Jones didn't get it to be honest. Pujols was my fall back plan, since I came to terms with D-Lee getting screwed awhile ago.

The thing that really irks me at the moment is that Brian Giles finished in 9th place, even though he had a better season than Jones and accounted for somewhere between 40-45% of his team's offensive production. I think I'm developing a twitch...

The lack of understanding of something simple like park factors boggles the mind. The general public even understands some parks are harder to hit in or vice versa than others. I didn't expect him to finish high, but top 5 would have been decent.

2005-11-15 12:29:35
2.   kjac100
I actually have a comment about the AL MVP, but I am new to the site, so please forgive.

I thought David Ortiz should have won. While ARod is the best player in baseball, this award is called "Most Valuable Player". The Yankees with ARod would likely have ended up in the same place. Can the same be said for the Red Sox without Ortiz? I thought not.

The worst hypocrisy is the nonsense about the DH vs. the position player. After reading the various analyses, one cannot help believing that if Ortiz had played badly in the field at 1B he would have fared better than he did at DH. One guy started talking about A Rod's baserunning! Geez.

Think about it. Would Ortiz have come closer or won if he had played 1B all year, even badly (or in a mediocre fashion)?

2005-11-15 12:42:31
3.   Sandus
I'm not disappointed with the choice, I think Pujols deserved the award. But how you can have a guy who didn't even hit .270 on the year (and who played in a considerably stonger lineup than the other two candidates) can garner 13 first place votes and finish second. I just think it's a bit disappointing is all.
2005-11-15 12:55:54
4.   thurm12
How did Andruw Jones play in a considerably stronger lineup? No one else on the Braves topped 21 HRs and Andruw had 50 more RBIs than the next Brave. I love the statistical part of baseball but I am also from Atlanta and watched Andruw's clutch hitting shine. Also Andruw drew a decent amount of walks (64 ) but not nearly as many as Pujols. Basically , I feel that Andruw Jones was far more valuable to the Atlanta Braves than Albert Pujols was to the St Louis Cardinals.

And not to forget (esp. after the arguments made for A-Rod over Ortiz) that Andruw Jones is the best fielder in a position that matters far more than first base. Kjac I think that Ortiz likely would have won had he played first base (Pujols won but he plays an above average 1b), but thats just a personal opinion because you never know about the baseball writers.

2005-11-15 12:57:21
5.   cone
what's the difference between being the best and being most valuable?
I say none.
Besides, where do you get the idea the Yankees would have ended up in the same place without ARod? They didn't qualify for the playoffs until the last weekend of the season and he was their best player! There's no way they make the playoffs without him.
2005-11-15 13:18:05
6.   Andy Rutledge
I'd like to think of a "clutch hitter" as one who hits better than .207 with runners in scoring position.

Andruw was awesome with no runners on. In the clutch? Not so much.

2005-11-15 13:35:50
7.   TheBigLowitzki
Re: Jones' "clutch" hitting.

I wrote this at baseball musings back on August 31, so the numbers will be a little off from the end of the season, but the point still remains:

Jones is having an impressive season...but he still only hitting .270/.356/.588.

Lee: .346/.429/.681
Pujols: .329/.425/.610

Imagine if Lee actually had runners on base in front of him.

Runners on:
Lee: 195 AB - .323/.434/.615
Pujols: 224 AB - .313/.425/.603
Jones: 245 AB - .257/.361/.510

Lee: 111 AB - .351/.487/.712
Pujols: 118 AB - .331/.494/.585
Jones: 152 AB - .224/.340/.395

MVP has to be between Lee and Pujols with Jones being at best a distant third.

2005-11-16 15:52:14
8.   rjay
In response to kjac100: I wouldn't have had a problem with Ortiz winning the MVP Award, but it's more than a little absurd to say that the Yankees would have wound up in the same place- a dead-heat with Boston-if they hadn't had A-Rod on their team. Do you really think that A-Rod didn't contribute to a single victory? And A-Rod's Gold Glove-quality play will always give him a boost up against Ortiz, maybe even more so if Ortiz actually had to spend considerable time playing first base, and his liability in the field had more chance to display itself and cost the Bosox some games. A-Rod wins games with his glove as well as his bat, something that can't be claimed for Ortiz. And although the writer scoffs at A-Rod's running ability, that ability also helps the Yankees win games.
2005-11-16 19:58:37
9.   84 Cubs
Lee and Pujols play the same position.
Lee was acknowledged as the best fielder at his position.
Lee was acknowledged as the best hitter at his position.

Why did Pujols win, again? Is it just because Pujols played on a better team? If so, and I see no other explanation, that's just stupid.

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