"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
Well, I don't think awards are meant to be particularly predictive of player's true skills levels. It's a recognition of one good season. I think most people could sit down and agree who has the highest WAR, because that is a fact based assessment. When it comes to MVP type stuff, it's no more than a collective opinion of a few selected people. I mean, it really has no more value than if you selected 50 random posters from Redszone to do the voting.Still nobody has answered my key question: If the award doesn't go to the best player then what value does it have? If the MVP doesn't go to the best player (it usually doesn't) then why should we care who wins it?
I honestly don't care who wins it, unless it's a Red, where it might be nice to get the national recognition of one of our players, but it certainly doesn't mean very much in the grand scheme of things.
How bad would the Astros have stunk without a player like Votto though? They would have been X wins worse, just like the Reds would have been X wins worse without him, assuming both teams replaced him with the exact same player. That player, would provide the exact same value no matter the breakdown of his team. He is worth Y amount of runs.
I'm not arguing whether it's right or wrong, I'm explaining the perception that goes along with it, and the matter of "value to their team" as the award describes. It suggests a significant team element, out of the player's control. True the same amount of runs for either team would be changed the same, and the overall amount of wins would be unchanged to the team, but the overall impact on the team would be completely different to a non contender to a contender. And I think that is where that secondary stuff will continue to come in play.
It's simply not the best player award, and is not perceived that way. I'd like to think that when a guy like Trout blows everyone else out of the water that voters would not be able to ignore that regardless of that secondary stuff, but I doubt it.
It's not a false debate.
The creators intended something different than "the best player". Otherwsie they would have said "best player".
The addition of the words "to his team" must have been meant to mean something. You've indicated those words are superfluous to the definition of value but that argument cannot be accepted in regards to interpretation, where it is assumed that the author intended ther addition of words to have a purpose.
I'd suggest that pretty much everyone here (and every baseball writer who votes) can clearly see that there is a difference between the the phrases "best player" and the "player judged most valuable to his team". Many do not like the distinction but pretty much everyone recognizes that it exists.
They named the award for the best player the Most Valuable Player Award because that sounds a lot better than the Best Player Award. It is a fancier way of saying the same exact thing. There is no need to try to cram some unintended "interpretation" into such a simple concept.
Yet from the earliest times when the award was created, the writers have interpreted as I have suggested it was intended to be. I would have thought there would have been a huge outcry from those involved with such a "farcical" interpretation.
And BTW, the definition of MVP was created by the creators of the award, and is the same today as when it was started. The writers today aren't making up new defintions, they are simply relying upon what was done at the time.
Last edited by PuffyPig; 09-25-2012 at 01:54 PM.
There is no definition of MVP in the ballot. It is such a simple concept that it requires no definition in the ballot. The ballot instructions have not changed. Some of the writers have justified their poor votes by making up some ridiculous definitions of "most valuable player" that are clearly not intended by the instructions in the ballot. It usually involves some excuse for allowing the performance of other players and teams to influence their votes for the MVP.
I think it's worth noting that WAR is not technically "best player" but rather best player relative to his position.
If you truly wanted "best player" you'd have to remove the positional adjustments from the equation.
Now, perhaps that makes it a good metric to determine "value" but I do think there's a difference between best player and 'most valuable.'
"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
There is no definition to switch.
The point I have been making in this thread is that people are debating which player had the better year, but historically it doesn't matter which player had the better year because many of the writers vote based on how teams perform rather than the best players. Given that the award doesn't often go to the best player (everyone agrees that is the case) then why should we really care about the award?
In other words, to look at everybody's production as if they were coming from the same pool of players from which they might be replaced, you have to make the positional adjustment.
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.
Hence, if you truly want best player regardless of position, you need to remove replacement level from the equation and only gauge pure run production.
I'm trying to draw a distinction between "value" derived at a position and truly being the "best" player regardless of position. If you want the best player regardless of position, you should not be including positional adjustments in such a calculation. To reiterate, I'm not saying to change WAR, but rather using WAR in the context of "best" player is not very wise. On the other hand, I think if you're looking for "value," then WAR positional adjustments are a good idea.
Last edited by Brutus; 09-25-2012 at 08:12 PM.