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View Full Version : Pick the AL MVP (Official winner tba @ 2 pm est on Nov. 21)



redsfandan
11-07-2011, 10:09 AM
Voting was conducted at the end of the regular season.


From the BBWAA FAQ page:

There seems to always be a debate about the definition of the MVP. What does the ballot say?

Dear Voter:

There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.

2. Number of games played.

3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.

4. Former winners are eligible.

5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.

Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.
http://bbwaa.com/voting-faq/

Slyder
11-07-2011, 12:00 PM
Without Verlander the Tigers are an average team.

muddie
11-07-2011, 12:08 PM
I went with Verlander. Cabrera made a strong case as well for the Tigers.

dougdirt
11-07-2011, 12:42 PM
Bautista. Led the league HR, walks, SLG, OPS and OPS+ while hitting .302.

RedsManRick
11-07-2011, 01:09 PM
Ellsbury. Hit .321 /.376/.552 (.402 wOBA, 5th in the AL) while playing gold glove defense in CF. Bautista and Cabrera were clearly superior hitters, but they are mediocre fielders at corner positions.

I hate, hate, hate the "valuable" definition that gives a guy extra "value" for having mediocre teammates and which takes away "value" for having horrible (not in contention with him) or excellent ones (would have been in contention without him). It just strikes me as silly to base an individual award on the performances of other players. If we go down that road, the logical extension would start looking at all the other contextual things -- did he help bring in other FAs? Did he inspire his teammates? Are wins more valuable in a big market? It's a black hole from which there is no logical escape.

My preferred way to decide is the blank slate approach. Imagine you're having a draft at the beginning of the season and you know exactly how each player will perform (using stats that are as context neutral as possible -- e.g. not wins and RBI). Who do you take #1? I could understand a Verlander argument in that scenario along the lines of, "Aces are extremely rare and having one creates secondary benefits to the rest of the pitching staff." I'd counter that a great defender also creates secondary benefits for the pitching staff. But at least it's a conversation about the value actually produced by the player and not a judgement of his teammates.

Mario-Rijo
11-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Ellsbury. Hit .321 /.376/.552 (.402 wOBA, 5th in the AL) while playing gold glove defense in CF. Bautista and Cabrera were clearly superior hitters, but they are mediocre fielders at corner positions.

I hate, hate, hate the "valuable" definition that gives a guy extra "value" for having mediocre teammates and which takes away "value" for having horrible (not in contention with him) or excellent ones (would have been in contention without him). It just strikes me as silly to base an individual award on the performances of other players. If we go down that road, the logical extension would start looking at all the other contextual things -- did he help bring in other FAs? Did he inspire his teammates? Are wins more valuable in a big market? It's a black hole from which there is no logical escape.

My preferred way to decide is the blank slate approach. Imagine you're having a draft at the beginning of the season and you know exactly how each player will perform (using stats that are as context neutral as possible -- e.g. not wins and RBI). Who do you take #1? I could understand a Verlander argument in that scenario along the lines of, "Aces are extremely rare and having one creates secondary benefits to the rest of the pitching staff." I'd counter that a great defender also creates secondary benefits for the pitching staff. But at least it's a conversation about the value actually produced by the player and not a judgement of his teammates.


It's a fair argument. Probably better than than the one I used to vote Michael Young. Truth be told I should have given this one more thought/research as I don't pay a ton of attention to the AL. I had forgot about how good Ellsbury was this season. But it looks like Verlander is the choice for RZ and it's a good one also.

Dan
11-07-2011, 01:39 PM
I hate, hate, hate the "valuable" definition that gives a guy extra "value" for having mediocre teammates and which takes away "value" for having horrible (not in contention with him) or excellent ones (would have been in contention without him). It just strikes me as silly to base an individual award on the performances of other players. If we go down that road, the logical extension would start looking at all the other contextual things -- did he help bring in other FAs? Did he inspire his teammates? Are wins more valuable in a big market? It's a black hole from which there is no logical escape.

I think that's the point. It's a subjective award, for which one CAN toss out logic and go with your gut. The quintessential example is Kirk Gibson in '88. From the reaction to the practical joke in spring training through the end of the regular season, he put up what might be termed average numbers, but his leadership, grit, and determination lifted a REALLY awful Dodger team to the NL West pennant that year. To say he was valuable you HAD to look past the numbers.

Another example is Larkin in '95. No LOGICAL reason, in terms of statistics, say he should have won that award. But he was the keystone on that team that led them to the playoffs.

So no, pure reason doesn't, and really shouldn't, hold when it comes to the MVP.

blumj
11-07-2011, 01:43 PM
I thought it was a "guess who's going to win" poll instead of a "who I think should win poll", so I voted Granderson. But, I also think there are about 6 or 7 guys on that list who are close enough to equally deserving that any of them winning would be fine with me.

dougdirt
11-07-2011, 01:45 PM
I think that's the point. It's a subjective award, for which one CAN toss out logic and go with your gut. The quintessential example is Kirk Gibson in '88. From the reaction to the practical joke in spring training through the end of the regular season, he put up what might be termed average numbers, but his leadership, grit, and determination lifted a REALLY awful Dodger team to the NL West pennant that year. To say he was valuable you HAD to look past the numbers.

Another example is Larkin in '95. No LOGICAL reason, in terms of statistics, say he should have won that award. But he was the keystone on that team that led them to the playoffs.

So no, pure reason doesn't, and really shouldn't, hold when it comes to the MVP.

Larkin was 6th in WAR that year. That was before UZR and uses the total zone defensive system, which in my opinion isn't close to being on par, so if you believe that Larkin was actually a positive defender rather than a -0.5 defender, he probably moves up to 2nd or 3rd behind Maddux and Bonds. So I think there is certainly a logical reason for Larkin in 1995.

With Gibson, he led the NL in WAR that season.

So, I am not sure I see your point you were trying to make.

757690
11-07-2011, 04:15 PM
Pitchers have an award, so no on Verlander.

As much as it turned my stomach, I voted for a Yankee, Granderson, but mostly because I was always hoping the Reds would have traded for him when the Tigers made him available. He's one of my favorite players.

Slyder
11-07-2011, 04:24 PM
Pitchers have an award, so no on Verlander.

As much as it turned my stomach, I voted for a Yankee, Granderson, but mostly because I was always hoping the Reds would have traded for him when the Tigers made him available. He's one of my favorite players.

It's called the Most Valuable PLAYER award not the Most Valuable Hitter ("Everyday player") award.

AtomicDumpling
11-07-2011, 04:28 PM
I agree that pitchers should be ineligible for the MVP. It cheapens the process to give the MVP and the CY Young to the same guy. Yes Verlander had a great year but we need to recognize the best position player too. I imagine they will come to their senses some day and change the rule.

crazybob60
11-07-2011, 04:43 PM
Although the pitchers do have their own award I had to go with Verlander here. He was by far and away, at least in my opinion, the most valuable player this year in the AL.

blumj
11-07-2011, 04:57 PM
I realize this isn't a rational argument in any way, but it's kind of a bummer to give both awards to the same guy. I would still do it if a pitcher had a truly historically great season or was far and away more valuable than any position player in his league, but I don't think Verlander met either of those standards in 2011. Great season, but not historically so, and there were several position players who had pretty similarly valuable seasons.

oneupper
11-07-2011, 06:19 PM
Cabrera. Sick Numbers. Division winning team (yeah, I factor that in).

MikeThierry
11-07-2011, 09:12 PM
I went with Jose Bautista. This is an instance where I could care less that he wasn't on a playoff team. I can't ignore that MLB leading 43 HR's, 132 walks, .608 SLG, 1.056 OPS, and 181 OPS+. I have always thought that a MVP should come from a playoff team unless another player is having a transcendent year, which I would put Bautista in that category this year.