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Thread: AL mvp....

  1. #331
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Do not underestimate the importance of Cabrera being willing to move to 3B, one of the toughest spots on the field, so that Fielder could play 1st. HUge.

    Cabrera gets my vote without a scintilla of doubt.
    If Cabrera played 3B the last 2 years as opposed to moving back to 3B for this season, would he have been less valuable this year than you currently judge him to be?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  3. #332
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    Re: AL mvp....

    If Cabrera played 3B the last 2 years as opposed to moving back to 3B for this season, would he have been less valuable this year than you currently judge him to be?
    yes, I guess -- don't you think that moving off of one's customary position to a more difficult spot in order to make room for a teammate who will help the team creates value/is valuable?

    I would be very surprised if the Tigers did not approach Cabrera about the move before going ahead and signing Fielder.

    It's not a given. There are plenty of examples of superstars refusing to move (Larkin being one).
    Last edited by lollipopcurve; 10-20-2012 at 06:12 PM.
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  4. #333
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    yes, I guess -- don't you think that moving off of one's customary position to a more difficult spot in order to make room for a teammate who will help the team creates value/is valuable?
    I think that players should get credit for what they do on the field. Where they play is up to management. They don't get extra credit for being willing to play somewhere where their production isn't as good. If we asked Cabrera to leadoff and he didn't steal bases, would we act like he did? We would give him more RBI?

    If logic is about creating opportunity for your team to improve by playing a certain role then we should be giving credit to all bench players who, by not playing, allow their teams to put better players on the field. Cabrera's value is in what he does on the field. He doesn't get extra credit for not being a crybaby about playing somewhere. His job is to play where's told to. And his value in his ability to do so.

    I would be very surprised if the Tigers did not approach Cabrera about the move before going ahead and signing Fielder.

    It's not a given. There are plenty of examples of superstars refusing to move (Larkin being one).
    So now players should get awards for not being malcontents? If Joey Votto moves to CF next year does that automatically make him more valuable? I bet you he'd do it if the Reds asked him to. But even if we take the point, but let's be fair about. If the calculus for MVP should include how a player's playing time & position changed his team's makeup, we can't only look at Cabrera. We have do that same math for all players to make a fair comparison. We're giving Cabrera credit because it opened a spot for Fielder at the expense of some lesser player who would have been at 3B, increasing the production of the Tigers lineup (hurting their defense, but helping their offense more). Well, by Trout playing CF, the Angels gave many fewer plate to Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos. If Mike Trout hadn't been willing to play CF for the Angels, they would have given 600 PA to those two guys which would have been a massive downgrade for the Angels. By taking away plate appearances from those two (like Cabrera's move allowed Fielder to take away plate appearances from Brandon Inge or Don Kelly.

    I guess I don't think Cabrera should get special credit simply because the Tigers were able to afford to replace Brandon Inge with Prince Fielder. Sure, I'm cool giving him some "good teammate" credit. But otherwise, you're basically creating value out of thin air that didn't show up in wins and losses or your giving Cabrera credit for somebody else's production. At the end of the day, value is wins. If a guy is doing something that doesn't ultimately make its way to the win column, I'm not sure why we'd call it valuable. We know how many wins the Tigers had and we can fairly accurately account for those wins based on the on-the-field production. So if you're giving Cabrera extra credit beyond his stats, you basically have to be taking them from somebody else. You can make whatever adjustment you want, but you can't act like the Tigers won more games than they actually did. Maybe we should say Prince Fielder wasn't as valuable this year because he has to give some of his to Cabrera? Man, that Prince Fielder really didn't live up to his contract this year, did he?

    And once you focus on production, there really is no debate. Trout and Cabrera were comparable offensive performers once you factor in all of their batting and baserunning outcomes. Meanwhile, Trout's defensive value is leaps and bounds above Cabrera's. Leave WAR completely out of it and it's still hard to make a case for Cabrera that's not based almost entirely on AVG and RBI (while ignoring other things).

    Cabrera was a very good teammate and he had an amazing year. He was easiliy the best slugger in the American League. But baserunning matters, fielding matters, and not hitting in to double plays matters. All runs count. From a run production and prevention standpoint, Mike Trout was far and away the most valuable player in the American League -- there's no analytical argue for Cabrera from a production on the field standpoint. In my mind, Cabrera being a nice guy doesn't makeup that difference and more.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-20-2012 at 07:47 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  5. #334
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Except that the Tigers were the ones who converted him from 3rd to 1st to begin with, and as far as any of us know, he's always considered 3rd his natural position, and actually prefers it to 1st. It is obviously valuable that he can do either depending on what they happen to need, but they are also an AL team, and Delmon Young isn't really all that for a DH and can play the OF, so moving Cabrera back to 3rd wasn't necessarily the only way to make room for Fielder, it may not have even been the way that made them the best team.
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    Re: AL mvp....

    there's no analytical argue for Cabrera from a production on the field standpoint. In my mind, Cabrera being a nice guy doesn't makeup that difference and more.
    Your argument makes sense within the spectrum you define. I think the picture is bigger.
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  7. #336
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Your argument makes sense within the spectrum you define. I think the picture is bigger.
    I pretty thoroughly addressed the bigger the picture. Care to react to what I wrote about the position shift issue? How did that move add to his value?

    If you're making the case that value itself goes significantly above and beyond wins and losses*, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


    *That doesn't mean WAR necessarily -- we can talk about how to divy up a team's wins, including how to include the impact of things we can't measure directly.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-20-2012 at 08:04 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: AL mvp....

    Care to react to what I wrote about the position shift issue?
    I don't think you have the big picture, RMR, sorry.

    As I've said, I think the position shift was a huge plus for the Tigers, made them the team they are now.

    I think it's possible they never acquire Fielder if Cabrera hadn't agreed to the shift.

    Not at all about being nice. It is about sacrificing oneself for the team. I think it was a significant risk for Cabrera to take, yet he agreed to do so, and it did not affect his overall play. In fact, he thrived.

    An established superstar who agrees to a position shift like this is rare. Larkin wouldn't. Votto wouldn't. (And their shifts would have been to easier positions.) And most baseball people would tell you superstars don't ever have to do it. (In other words, it is NOT management's call, and you know that.)

    To me, it's not just individual stats.

    I'm not going to argue this, because we see it differently. You've got a reductionist thing going, and I'm holistic. Never the twain shall meet.
    Last edited by lollipopcurve; 10-20-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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  9. #338
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    Re: AL mvp....

    If anything, moving back to third was likely considered a move toward his more natural position by Cabrera. I don't think his move was the sacrifice for team that would be associated with bonus points IMHO.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  10. #339
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Jojo, 3rd is tougher than first. And Cabrera is older and bigger than he used to be.
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  11. #340
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    It's not like he agreed to play catcher, though. He went back to his old position. That's not as much of a sacrifice as some people think.
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  12. #341
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Jojo, 3rd is tougher than first. And Cabrera is older and bigger than he used to be.
    I get the defensive spectrum issue but I doubt Cabrera considered it.

    To me the most compelling argument for Cabrera is that he won the triple crown and his team made it to the playoffs. Traditionally that has been pretty much enough. I would've voted for Trout but i'm not offended by the alternative outcome.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  13. #342
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I don't think you have the big picture, RMR, sorry.

    As I've said, I think the position shift was a huge plus for the Tigers, made them the team they are now.

    I think it's possible they never acquire Fielder if Cabrera hadn't agreed to the shift.

    Not at all about being nice. It is about sacrificing oneself for the team. I think it was a significant risk for Cabrera to take, yet he agreed to do so, and it did not affect his overall play. In fact, he thrived.

    An established superstar who agrees to a position shift like this is rare. Larkin wouldn't. Votto wouldn't. (And their shifts would have been to easier positions.) And most baseball people would tell you superstars don't ever have to do it. (In other words, it is NOT management's call, and you know that.)

    To me, it's not just individual stats.

    I'm not going to argue this, because we see it differently. You've got a reductionist thing going, and I'm holistic. Never the twain shall meet.
    I agree. His move made the team who they are. And what team is that? A team that won 88 games, 7 fewer than it did last year when Cabrera played 1B and Fielder was in Milwaukee. So, just how much did Cabrera's sacrifice help the team? How many games would they have won without Fielder and with Cabrera still at 1B?

    You make it sound like nobody has ever moved from 1B back to 3B, a position they played earlier in their career. It's not exactly lacking historical precedent. If you're saying he should get extra credit because it could have meant embarrassment, fine.

    But at the end of the day, all you do is make a case for Cabrera being value. You don't make a case for him being MOST valuable -- that is, more valuable than Mike Trout. We can't talk about one player in a vacuum when making a decision about who was the most valuable in the whole league.

    You make it sound like people are crapping on Cabrera's season. We aren't. We're just saying that he wasn't MORE valuable than Mike Trout.

    If your fundamental argument is that MVP is about more than how much a player helped his team win baseball games (through both on and off the field actions), that it's also about character, guts, whatever, I'll simply disagree with you. And, as I do that, I'll ask you what additional factors that you think matter in the MVP voting did you consider when you looked at Mike Trout's season?
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-20-2012 at 08:32 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  14. #343
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    Re: AL mvp....

    A few points about the Cabrera move to third debate.

    1. One could argue that Cabrera moving to third increased his value without arguing that it was enough to justify giving him the MVP over Trout.

    2. One can argue that being flexible and willing to switch positions for the betterment of the team adds value to that player without conceding that that is what Cabrera did this season.

    3. I think there are plenty of examples of things that a player does like being willing to move off of his position that leads to more wins, even if it doesn't show up in stats.
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  15. #344
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    It's not like he agreed to play catcher, though. He went back to his old position. That's not as much of a sacrifice as some people think.
    And more than that, I honestly don't see why willingness to play a position should even factor-in to whether or not his play was the most valuable on the field. That shouldn't even be in the discussion.

    I still don't get the argument for Cabrera. I still find it ironic that a lot of people are citing the dislike for stat-driven measurements (like WAR), but it's actually only sensible to vote for Cabrera if you ignore base-running and defense -- which are not very stat-savvy. Funny thing is, Trout, in playing fewer games due to not starting until late April, actually created almost as many runs offensively for his team as Cabrera.

    I realize not everyone fancies WAR, and I'm sympathetic as I think there's some margin for error. But the 3-win value difference for each player at their respective positions marks the same value from Cabrera to David Freese. That's a heck of a huge margin for error.

    People wanting to award the MVP on the basis of the triple crown and how infrequent it happens... well, in terms of B-Ref's WAR calculation, Trout just had one of the top-20 best seasons in the history of baseball. Just something to consider.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  16. #345
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    And more than that, I honestly don't see why willingness to play a position should even factor-in to whether or not his play was the most valuable on the field. That shouldn't even be in the discussion.
    There is plenty a player does off the field that effects his value to his team, in my opinion.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.


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