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Thread: AL mvp....

  1. #226
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    According to WAR:

    Alejandro de Aza, Zack Cozart and Darwin Barney, among others, have outvalued Jay Bruce this season.

    Alex Gordon outvalued Joey Votto last year.

    Andres Torres should have been 4th in the 2010 NL MVP voting, just a nick behind the real winner, Albert Pujols.


    It is reasons like these that I really don't like using this metric.
    Sabermetrics have been a tremendous analytical tool in evaluating baseball, but I often think about the linear weights system developed by Pete Palmer several decades ago. Palmer is brilliant, but others who studied his linear weights system eventually demonstrated a number of shortcomings in its player evaluations. I mention this because WAR, for all of its value, is sometimes held up as if it was infallible even though not everyone even calculates WAR the same way. I would not be shocked if 5 or 10 years from now sabermetricians are demonstrating that the way that WAR was calculated in 2012 was erroneous.
    I believe Trout is probably the best player in the AL this season but it will not be a disgrace if Cabrera wins the MVP.
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  3. #227
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    According to WAR:

    Alejandro de Aza, Zack Cozart and Darwin Barney, among others, have outvalued Jay Bruce this season.

    Alex Gordon outvalued Joey Votto last year.

    Andres Torres should have been 4th in the 2010 NL MVP voting, just a nick behind the real winner, Albert Pujols.


    It is reasons like these that I really don't like using this metric.
    If you only believe the metric is accurate/useful when it confirms your existing beliefs, you're right, it has no value.

    I think the biggest inherent issue with WAR from a perception standpoint is that of replacement value. In our minds, Bruce and Cozart have the same baseline of zero -- of not being in the lineup at all. But according to WAR, Cozart gets a head start because finding a SS worthy of being in the lineup is more difficult than finding a RF. I think that's a big reason why WAR doesn't feel right to a lot of people. We just don't intuitively feel replacement level.

    On top of that, I think we have a hard time keeping in our minds all of the actual performance over an extended period of time; we end up giving more weight to recent and particularly memorable events and rely on archetypes. Thirdly, I would argue we simply don't have much of an intuition for the relative value of defense and baserunning when compared to offense and have a really hard time accepting the significant impact they can have when you compare one guy is who is a stud in those areas to a guy who is below average.

    That's not to say WAR is perfect, certainly. Especially defense should have some health error bars around it. But when you consider just how huge of an advantage Trout has (Trout's WAR edge over Cabrera is the same as Cabrera's edge over Alfonso Soriano), the difference this year is beyond the margin of error.

    Ultimately though, the value of WAR is the framework it provides. Feel free to create your own version of WAR, assigning whatever values to offense, defense, baserunning and replacement level you want. If you want to add in another variable for leadership or something, fine. But it creates a framework that can be consistently applied to all players so that personal bias is taken out of the equation. And for anybody who has a problem with the numbers WAR produces, I would encourage them to make their own adjustment. Remove defense entirely if you want. Cut it in half. But to just dismiss it because it's conclusions don't feel right simply means if you are wrong, you'll never know it.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-03-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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  4. #228
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    Re: AL mvp....

    I think WAR when comparing players at the same defensive position is somewhat valuable. When you start using WAR to compare CF's to 3B to SS then I think it loses some reliability. I'm not discounting Trout's defense at all; I just think Cabrera is the MVP this season in the AL. I don't know how one could use statistics to measure leadership.

    As to "Why" the silly responses: there were responses on here like: Trout's WAR compared to Cabrera's WAR is like comparing Brandon Phillips to Willie Harris...Really? You mean the Willie Harris that shouldn't be playing in MLB this season? You can't just subtract the numbers. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in my mind. Trout and Cabrera are both tremendous players and comparing them is not like comparing the best 2nd baseman in MLB to Willie Harris. It's silly to say that.

    Bum

  5. #229
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    If you only believe the metric is accurate/useful when it confirms your existing beliefs, you're right, it has no value.

    I think the biggest inherent issue with WAR from a perception standpoint is that of replacement value. In our minds, Bruce and Cozart have the same baseline of zero -- of not being in the lineup at all. But according to WAR, Cozart gets a head start because finding a SS worthy of being in the lineup is more difficult than finding a RF. I think that's a big reason why WAR doesn't feel right to a lot of people. We just don't intuitively feel replacement level.

    On top of that, I think we have a hard time keeping in our minds all of the actual performance over an extended period of time; we end up giving more weight to recent and particularly memorable events and rely on archetypes. Thirdly, I would argue we simply don't have much of an intuition for the relative value of defense and baserunning when compared to offense and have a really hard time accepting the significant impact they can have when you compare one guy is who is a stud in those areas to a guy who is below average.

    That's not to say WAR is perfect, certainly. Especially defense should have some health error bars around it. But when you consider just how huge of an advantage Trout has (Trout's WAR edge over Cabrera is the same as Cabrera's edge over Alfonso Soriano), the difference this year is beyond the margin of error.

    Ultimately though, the value of WAR is the framework it provides. Feel free to create your own version of WAR, assigning whatever values to offense, defense, baserunning and replacement level you want. If you want to add in another variable for leadership or something, fine. But it creates a framework that can be consistently applied to all players so that personal bias is taken out of the equation. And for anybody who has a problem with the numbers WAR produces, I would encourage them to make their own adjustment. Remove defense entirely if you want. Cut it in half. But to just dismiss it because it's conclusions don't feel right simply means if you are wrong, you'll never know it.
    To me the value of WAR is that it allows players to be compared based upon "all things being equal". I think for a lot of detractors, the fact that all things aren't equal in reality represents a stumbling block for them. Really few people think about the magnitude of the inequalities. That was one of the brilliant things about Bill James to me. He was intimately sensitive to the inequalities and couldn't get passed them instead he dug his saber teeth into them like a bulldog. Ever since, statheads have been chewing on ways to close the gap from the 80% that James accomplished (i.e. he got us 80% there) to 100%. Often this means making mountains out of molehills over gains in "resolution".

    Bottom line, there needs to be some framework or baseline for a valid comparison to be made.
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Funny thing, even if Wins Above Replacement stat was never invented, Trout still should clearly be the MVP.

    Offensively, he and Cabrera are almost equals, and defensively, Trout blows Cabrera away. Both were on contending teams, Cabrara's made the playoffs, but Trout's had a better record. Sure Cavrera might win the Triple Crown, but that only represents half of his value as a player. Would you give the MVP to a QB who leads the league in completions, yards and TD's, but also leads the league in interceptions, when there is another QB who has similar completions, yards and TD's, but who has a third as many interceptions?

    Just looking at the easy eyeball test stuff, Trout is clearly the more valuable player, and thus the MVP.
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post

    As to "Why" the silly responses: there were responses on here like: Trout's WAR compared to Cabrera's WAR is like comparing Brandon Phillips to Willie Harris...Really? You mean the Willie Harris that shouldn't be playing in MLB this season? You can't just subtract the numbers. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in my mind. Trout and Cabrera are both tremendous players and comparing them is not like comparing the best 2nd baseman in MLB to Willie Harris. It's silly to say that.

    Bum
    Actually there is nothing silly about saying that Trout's WAR is greater than Cabrera's by the same number that Phillip's is greater than Willie Harris. Just becuase Cabrera is a tremendous player doesn't mean that some one might not be quite a bit better.

    It simply puts into context that how superior that Trout is ahead of his competition. Or, in other words, that Trout would help a team win as much as Cabrera and Phillips combined.
    Last edited by PuffyPig; 10-03-2012 at 12:47 PM.

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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Actually there is nothing silly about saying that Trout's WAR is greater than Cabrera's by the same number that Phillip's is greater than Willie Harris. Just becuase Cabrera is a tremendous player doesn't mean that some one might be quite a bit better.

    It simply puts into context that how superior that Trout is ahead of his competition. Or, in other words, that Trout would help a team win as much as Cabrera and Phillips combined.
    I disagree. It shows how if you give people a stat that they can't compute or completely understand, they will use it in a way that is incorrect. Based on your response, you are just looking at this one stat and that is your deciding factor. I find this more short-sighted than the people that say Cabrera is going to win the triple crown and that's why he is MVP. That's not what I am saying.

    Bum

  9. #233
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post

    It simply puts into context that how superior that Trout is ahead of his competition. Or, in other words, that Trout would help a team win as much as Cabrera and Phillips combined.
    Just a thought here, slightly off-topic. How does Team WAR (aggregate of all players) correlate to actually winning? Is it a good fit?
    Intuitively, it would seem that it should correlate well.
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  10. #234
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Defense is getting a lot of attention in the general debate, but Trout's biggest advantage is his baserunning. Personally I love that. I'm a huge fan of the running game and Trout is spectacular on the bases. It doesn't matter what method you use to factor in Trout's speed advantage, it's huge. While I'd vote for Cabrera, I'm not going to be upset if Trout gets over the top because he's a demon on the bases.

    On Cabrera's side of the ledger, his GIDP totals are kneecapping him. He needs to shoulder some blame for that. DPs are a bad, bad thing. Yet some of it is a function of where he hits in the lineup. As a #3 hitter, he sees more DP chances than Trout does as a leadoff hitter. Currently Cabrera has hit into 28 DPs while Trout has hit into only 7. Yet if you flip around their PAs with a man on first and less than two outs, Cabrera would have 16 and Trout would have 12. Those would also be misleading numbers in the other direction. In reality Cabrera has roughly double Trout's DP rate. Point is that some methods of assessing overall offensive value exaggerate the difference.

    One potential demerit for Trout is his .381 BABIP. My inclination is that, while he's not likely to post anywhere near that number in future seasons, it shouldn't be held against him for the purposes of this season. Yet if we're taking an exhaustive look at the numbers, Trout has been lucky. Some might be inclined to discount for that.
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  11. #235
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Mike Trout has an American League best OPS+ (that is OPS that is adjusted for the parks that you have played in). That suggests that he has actually been a better hitter than Cabrera. Cabrera has a slight edge in PA's.

    The rest of their games aren't close.

    This isn't about WAR. It's about who is better. The better player provides the most value. How people can argue otherwise boggles my mind. Mike Trout has been better, by a lot.

  12. #236
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post
    I disagree. It shows how if you give people a stat that they can't compute or completely understand, they will use it in a way that is incorrect. Based on your response, you are just looking at this one stat and that is your deciding factor. I find this more short-sighted than the people that say Cabrera is going to win the triple crown and that's why he is MVP. That's not what I am saying.

    Bum
    Is that what ANYONE here is saying? Is anyone saying just look at WAR and know that Trout is the better player? Is anyone saying, "I don't care what inputs go into WAR, but this stat tells me all I need to know?" No. Literally no one is saying that.

    Many have clearly broken it down for those that dismiss WAR, or refuse to attempt to understand it, into something very cut and dry. Trout and Cabrera are similar offensive players. Trout actually has a better wOBA than Cabrera, but I'll even concede that it is fair to consider Cabrera better at hitting than Trout. But it is very, very close. Trout blows Cabrera away on the bases, and on the field. It really is that simple.

  13. #237
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Just a thought here, slightly off-topic. How does Team WAR (aggregate of all players) correlate to actually winning? Is it a good fit?
    Intuitively, it would seem that it should correlate well.
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  14. #238
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post

    One potential demerit for Trout is his .381 BABIP. My inclination is that, while he's not likely to post anywhere near that number in future seasons, it shouldn't be held against him for the purposes of this season. Yet if we're taking an exhaustive look at the numbers, Trout has been lucky. Some might be inclined to discount for that.
    I agree with this completely, which is why I don't think it is crazy to believe that this may actually be the best season that Mike Trout ever has. If he regresses his BABIP, and that is incredibly likely, he is going to have to pick up his power, lower his strikeouts by a decent chunk or walk a lot more than he already does. Those things could certainly be possible given his age. But, Mike Trout does have a hit on 38.1% of the balls he has put in play this year. Those count just as much as those cheap home runs hit in Yankee Stadium count.

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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Is that what ANYONE here is saying? Is anyone saying just look at WAR and know that Trout is the better player? Is anyone saying, "I don't care what inputs go into WAR, but this stat tells me all I need to know?" No. Literally no one is saying that.

    Many have clearly broken it down for those that dismiss WAR, or refuse to attempt to understand it, into something very cut and dry. Trout and Cabrera are similar offensive players. Trout actually has a better wOBA than Cabrera, but I'll even concede that it is fair to consider Cabrera better at hitting than Trout. But it is very, very close. Trout blows Cabrera away on the bases, and on the field. It really is that simple.
    Puffy Pig has more than once.

    I haven't dismissed WAR at all, but to know that one would have to actually read posts, not just jump all over them stating absolutes as if they weren't opinions but facts. I agree that you think Trout should be the MVP. He won't be, and I don't think he should be but even if he won, I wouldn't jump all over anyone about it just because they disagree. I will say that I think leadership from Cabrera has played a big part in Detroit running down Chicago. I can almost guarantee that Trout is not the "leader" in the Angels clubhouse.

    Personally, I would vote this way:

    1. Cabrera
    2. Hamilton
    3. Trout

    2nd and 3rd will be close. I don't think 1st and 2nd should really be that close this season. There's more to every player in MLB than stats and when it comes to MVP voting, sometimes it is important. And sometimes one cannot create a stat for it. It's crazy...

    Bum

  16. #240
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: AL mvp....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post
    There's more to every player in MLB than stats and when it comes to MVP voting, sometimes it is important. And sometimes one cannot create a stat for it. It's crazy...

    Bum
    Well, it is very clear that by the stats, that Mike Trout has been significantly better than Cabrera and Hamilton. So what is that thing that is important that they are so much better at than Trout that puts them above him?


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