Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 12:49 pm

MLB MVP Awards

Justin Verlander was just announced as the AL MVP, on the heels of his AL Cy Young award.  Does a pitcher deserve the MVP award?  Perhaps.   Instead of answering that, let me throw some ideas at you, and see if the BBWAA is getting it right. 

When talkin Cy Young, it's pretty easy to quantify and compare pitchers.  Verlander won the pitching Triple Crown (Wins, Strikeouts, ERA).  Pretty easy choice.  I can't argue.  Something that happens once every 3.5 years on average.

The MVP award is a bit harder to award, if you're going to allow both pitchers and position players to win the award.  Essentially, you're forced to compare apples to oranges.  Let's not even do that, however.  Let's go visit the NL.

Clayton Kershaw should get the NL Cy Young.  He also won the pitching Triple Crown.  I've got no argument there, either.  His stats are very similar to Verlanders.  (3 less wins, but on a much worse team)

Now is where it's going to get dicy.  Verlander: Triple Crown, Cy Young, MVP.   Kershaw: Triple Crown, Likely Cy Young, and Likely MVP, right?  Wrong.  By most accounts, Kershaw isn't even in the running!  Most articles I've read have not even had Kershaw mentioned as a top 5, or even top 10 candidate.  How is this even possible?  I would bet that you could swap their stats, show them to most baseball writers, and with exception of the Wins column- a majority wouldn't even notice the switch.  (I think the wins is misleading- Verlanders 24 wins were on a team whose batting average was 4th in MLB, whereas Kershaw's Dodgers were 21st:  Put them on each others teams, Kershaw wins at least 24 or more).

The Baseball Writers Association can't even be consistent from league to league with it's definitions and comparisions.  If the BBWAA doesn't award Kershaw the MVP- I say strip them of voting rights and give it to a random fan to throw a dart and determine a winner.  Probably just as much chance of picking the right guy.

Category: MLB
Posted on: November 2, 2011 7:46 pm

Same Cubs, Different Day

Well, Cubs fans...the Theo Epstein Is A God phase is over.  What was it?  Two weeks?  Today he fired Quade- which was fine with 99% of Cub fans.  What irked many was eliminating Sandberg as a candidate without even giving him serious consideration, much less an interview. 
First, listening to the television, and hearing a list of the 'A' list candidates for the Cub's job...I just kept shaking my head.  There wasn't a Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine, or even freshly retired Tony LaRussa.  No, this list was comprised of guys I had barely, if ever, heard of.  You know the type- you wouldn't hire them to mow you lawn because you're not sure they can start the mower, much less cut it to your satisfaction.
Second, Sandberg is IMO, the most qualified of any one without MLB coaching experience.  Former MVP, All-Star, fan favorite, player favorite- he knows what it takes to play in the Bigs at the highest level. (who remembers that he won a NL Home Run title?).  After a few years off, he wanted to manage.  He did what was asked- start at single-A, where he succeeded.  Moved up to AA.  Success.  AAA?  You better believe it- success again.  In fact- his resume this past year alone is deserving of a ML shot:  He took a team that had NEVER had a season over .500, and took them to the championship game- all without a hitter in the top 20 or a pitcher in the top 10 in the league.  He took a team that shouldn't have succeeded, and turned them into a team that far surpassed expectations.

I don't know what Epstein is thinking.  I really don't.  I understand wanting to avoid catering to what the fans want- however, sometimes the fans know a winner when they see one.

Category: MLB
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