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  1. Cue the Red Sox fan shitstorm.

    Comment by Lewis — July 14, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  2. The hardline case against Bautista (or any other player on a team that misses the playoffs) would be that his team didn’t derive any benefit from the difference in # of games it won with/without him.

    To meet that critique, we have to point out that even for an also-ran, marginal wins are worth something (just far less than they’re worth for a team on the playoff bubble). The data Nate Silver generated years ago about marginal revenue per marginal win might be useful here — it would be fun to see an individual stat like $PA. :-)

    Comment by MB — July 14, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  3. .598 wOBA in high leverage situations? Not that it means much, but that’s ridiculous.

    Comment by mlstarr — July 14, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  4. It’s not the Best Hitter Award (which Joey Bats would certainly win), it’s the Most Valuable Player Award. If Bautista weren’t on the Jays, they’d still be 4th. If Gonzo weren’t on the redsox, they wouldn’t be winning their division. If the redsox make the playoffs, Gonzo will have been more valuable.

    I’m a Toronto native and huge fan of Bautista, and I’m OK with the fact that Gonzo will likely win MVP. The V in MVP isn’t computed with w0BA or WAR, it’s finding the biggest standout on a playoff-bound team. And that’s OK.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  5. I grew up within a dozen or miles from Fenway and learned to read by scouring Shaugnessy, Ede, and Gammons’ columns in the globe. Bautista is the MVP of the first half. End of conversation.

    Comment by Beau — July 14, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

  6. Could you refer me to where you found the stats for “runners on base in front of him”? I’d be very interested to see this data, especially for fantasy RBI potential.

    Comment by Sean — July 14, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

  7. That makes absolutely no sense. Why are players on winning teams the only ones that are valuable.

    Answer this honestly. If the Red Sox had Bautista’s production instead of AGon would they be in a better, worse or same position they are in now?

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  8. “If Gonzo weren’t on the redsox, they wouldn’t be winning their division.”

    That’s not (definitively) true.

    If the Sox didn’t sign Gonzalez, Youk would have stayed at 1st and they could have just resigned Beltre with the same pool of money.

    That net effect is around a 1 win difference so far this year. Account for Gonzalez’s unsustainably high BABIP and Beltre’s unsustainably low BABIP and the difference projects to be almost negligible by season’s end.

    Comment by Lewis — July 14, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  9. Joe Pos just did an interesting article on the subject:

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/07/ducks-on-pond.html

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  10. The V doesn’t have to be taken so literally. Everyone can interpret it however they want, but in the end it’s an arbitrary voting process. From the BBWAA, emphasis mine:

    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.

    Comment by Teej — July 14, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  11. This. This is why I never liked the argument of “remove Player X and the team isn’t as good.” You cant just remove players from teams and not factor in the alternative solutions.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 14, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  12. Nice logic AdamM. WAR attempts to strip out all of the context in a player to show his VALUE relative to others in the league/replacement player. Get a clue.

    Comment by Paulie — July 14, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  13. Jays would be 4th without him? Are you serious? The team is a bottom 5 team without him. He is the offense.

    Red Sox probably still get into the wildcard without A-Gon. Have you looked at their offense and that’s with Crawford injured and struggling? It’s just way too good.

    Switch Bautista to Boston for A-Gon and I am sure Boston would be at least the same team if not better (likely better).

    Winning MVP because your team makes the playoffs is so freaking stupid. That’s based on team success. No player can directly carry a team to playoffs himself. He can be a big time contribute but you also need other players to contribute to get into the playoffs. Does Bautista have that same contribution as A-Gon? Hell no.

    Comment by Sniderlover — July 14, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  14. I wish they’d just rename it the Best Baseball Player Award so we can stop having this conversation every year.

    Comment by Teej — July 14, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  15. But I’m getting 6-1 odds on AGone. RBIs ARE ALL THAT MATTER. MVP SLAM DUNK

    Comment by Telo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  16. Just because we have better stats now than when the MVP award was invented doesn’t mean we can ignore a hundred years of baseball history. The MVP award goes to the best player on one of the winningest teams. The Jays aren’t a winner, so Bautista shouldn’t be eligible. It’s not fair, but then it’s never been fair.

    Same thing goes for the Cy Young award. Yes, wins are outside of the pitcher’s control, but it’s always been a factor in Cy Young voting in the past. Just look at who the award is named after … Cy Young isn’t the best pitcher of all time, he wasn’t even the best pitcher of his generation; that’s why Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson went to the HoF before him. The award is named after him because he is winningest pitcher ever.

    My point is, winning matters, and has always mattered.

    We’ve historically stayed consistent with how our statistics are computed, despite obvious flaws in batting average, so why should we change how awards are given out?

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  17. As a sports fan, one of my three least favorite conversations is the idiotic “The MVP is not the best PLAYER, it’s the most VALUABLE player, the guy who makes the biggest difference for his TEAM” conversation. Which typically devolves into predictably nonsensical arguments that generally involve Player X’s team having a better record than Player Y’s team, or sometimes the especially nonsensical “If you took Player Y away from Team Y, then Team Y would be horrible, but if you took Player X away from Team X, Team X would still be pretty good” argument.

    My god. Just give the award to the best player and be done with it. Jose Bautista has been the best player in the AL this season, which means he has been the MVP. Pretty straightforward stuff.

    Comment by Robbie G. — July 14, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  18. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

    WAR is a metric, not an MVP calculator. You can’t take context out of a pennant race. The Red Sox are in it, the Jays aren’t. That’s context that matters.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  19. That’s the Hank Aaron Award I believe – which Bautista won last year.

    Comment by jo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  20. Kind of stunning to look at that 2 WAR difference between Bautista and Gonzo.

    How many players have amassed just as much WAR as Bautista has before the break?

    Comment by jo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  21. @ Adam

    That was an embarrassing post.

    The last sentence was a doozy.

    Comment by Guy — July 14, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  22. The Blue Jays are 7 games ahead of Baltimore. Joey’s had 6.6 WAR. The Jays would be in 4th without him.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  23. When I was growing up (and still do), I and everyone around me assumed MVP was best. I agree with previous sentiments, Jose Bautista is no doubt the best player in baseball right now and deserves the award. It would be a shame if such a historically great season ended up not getting the ultimate recognition.

    Comment by Dark Leviathan — July 14, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  24. I just don’t understand how the best player in baseball (by a pretty big margin) somehow isn’t the most valuable to his team. I just can’t wrap my head around that logic.

    Comment by Tim — July 14, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  25. I’m only mentioning this because it’s a common error and you make it twice, but “between” is a preposition, so it should be followed by object pronouns, not subject pronouns:

    correct: “between him and Bautista”
    incorrect: “between he and Bautista”

    Comment by Grammar Dude — July 14, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  26. If only winners win awards like the Cy Young, explain Felix Hernandez last season… a 13-12 record and on a team nowhere near the playoffs. Your logic does not compute, Adam, sorry. You might have lived in Toronto but you sure sound like a Red Sox fan.

    Comment by keyser soze — July 14, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  27. Eric, you have it absolutely right, summed up in these lines:

    “Gonzalez is the best player in the American League.”
    “The Red Sox are World Series contenders. The Blue Jays won’t come anywhere close to making the playoffs. Is that the only reason Gonzalez is being touted as the potential MVP over Bautista?”

    To answer that last question, Yes. And it’s all because the meaning of MVP is so nebulous. We all know the Cy Young award goes to the best pitcher. There are furious debates over how to determine the best pitching season of the year (wins vs. FIP, ect.) but everyone is working toward the same end goal.

    With the MVP, beyond debating the measuring and ranking of the candidates’ performances, we bicker about the very meaning of the award. Does it go to the best hitter? The best over-all player? The player who is of most singular value to the team? There’s no one answer, so Bautista and Gonzalez are BOTH the right MVP choice, depending on how you personally define Most Valuable Player.

    Mr. Seidman makes the case that Bautista is so clearly the best hitter that he’s dwarfed the achievements of other players who are the top candidates based on alternate MVP definitions. It’s a fantastic MVP argument, but that last line needs a rewrite.

    The MVP itself doesn’t need to be redefined, it needs to for once just be defined.

    Comment by Mac — July 14, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  28. Just stop.

    Comment by Guy — July 14, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  29. Andre Dawson in 1987 was MVP from a last place team, that needed binoculars to see the playoffs.

    Comment by DStewart — July 14, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  30. I think these arguments could be cleared up if anyone was really sure what they want MVP to mean. Clearly statheads would like it to be about whoever was truly the best player, I wouldn’t disagree with that. Team records, RBI totals, etc. Are all very poor indicators of the player himself. However, it’s pretty clear looking at the winners historically, that that’s just not what it means right now. Right now, the MVP -is- someone who is on a winning team, who is the best or most popular player on that team, and who at least has the reputation for driving in a lot of clutch runs. A-Gon fits that bill perfectly. He’s a huge draw in Boston right now, he’s clearly their most important player thus far, and the team is winning. I don’t disagree that Bautista is the better player. This article is almost kind of useless in pointing that out, the stats are so obvious. Bautista is clearly head and shoulders above the rest right now; just check the WAR leaderboards for a quick confirmation of that. But it ignores the fact right now that that doesn’t really matter for the -MVP- award. Hank Aaron award, sure, but not the MVP award. Not when you see who it’s gone to in the past.

    Comment by Sam — July 14, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  31. AfrickenMEN

    Comment by CheeseWhiz — July 14, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  32. This is my favorite comment ever.

    Comment by Wes — July 14, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  33. I guess there’s no point arguing with fanatics of The Gospel of Linear Weights … but I for one have always thought of these advanced statistics as a tool, an attempt to quantify what regular folks qualify.

    The MVP Award has always been qualitative, and most folks voting on the award will treat it as such. Enough people will disqualify Baustista from winning the award that it won’t matter how loud you nerds shout WAR.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  34. http://tinyurl.com/3o4jufn

    Comment by bsally — July 14, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  35. I never realized the rules defined “actual value” as “strength of offense and defense.” I’m shocked at how reasonable that is, and how little room there is there to factor in team wins.

    The writers may have spent eighty years misapplying them, but those rules actually do a pretty good job of making this a “best player” award (outside the silly character clause.)

    Comment by Rick — July 14, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  36. Actually if you go to overthemonster.com most red sox fans are in agreement that Bautista is hands down the MVP.

    It is stupid to think that an MVP should come from a playoff team, and if that is the only reason AGon gets the award, it is a joke.

    Comment by Derek — July 14, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  37. Not really. I’m a Sox fan, but this is a no brainer.

    I don’t think you’ll find (m)any sabermetrically-minded Sox fans who disagree that Bautista is the MVP.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 14, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  38. Sox fan here but it’s obvious that Joey Bats is the MVP favorite. When you look at RBI/RBIopp Gonzo has driven in 26% of the available base runners and Bautista has driven in 28% so RBIs should have nothing to do with it. I wouldn’t trade Gonzo for Bautista in real life because of the age differences but considering the difference in contract size Bautista is one of the most valuable pieces in the game. If he breaks 10 WAR this season and doesn’t win MVP I’m buying a Bautista jersey and wearing it to all of my Sox games.

    Comment by Nilsilly — July 14, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  39. Yup. Another Sox fan who would like Boston to get another MVP, but it would be undeserved this year.

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 14, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  40. You are certainly making an argument here — that what a player’s teammates do should determine how valuable that player is. I don’t think you’ve made any attempt to argue why that argument is superior to the counter-argument — that a player’s value should be evaluated independent of how good or bad his teammates are. Calling people who disagree with you “nerds” doesn’t do anything to support the argument you’re trying to make.

    Comment by Nadingo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  41. Nothing about “Most Valuable Player” says anything about a team making the playoffs.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — July 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  42. Your insecurity is palpable.

    Comment by Guy — July 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  43. The whole notion of the MVP having to come from a playoff team is rediculous. If that’s the only pool of players that an MVP is allowed to come from, that’s like saying JD Drew is worthy of having more consideration for MVP than Jose Bautista just because he plays on a playoff team.

    Sheer idiocy.

    The problem with the award, as with most MVP awards, is there are guidelines that are supposed to be used, but the people who vote for them do whatever they want with whatever guidelines in their own brains makes sense to them.

    Comment by JohnHavok — July 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  44. Quick clarification question -

    My understanding of the Hank Aaron award was that it is specifically for the league’s best hitter. It can be distinguished from the MVP because MVP includes facets of the game like fielding and base running, and pitchers are eligible. I didn’t think the Aaron award was the “best player, non-pitcher division” award.

    Is this right?

    Comment by Rick — July 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  45. you cant just add and subtract WAR to record in a vacuum

    Comment by jim — July 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  46. If we’re taking the term “valuable” literally, you’d also have to account for contract. In which case, the award should go to Andrew McCutchen or Jacoby Ellsbury or someone else who’s being paid peanuts this year.

    When you’re shopping, when you’re talking about something being a “good value,” you mean that it’s worth a lot in comparison to its pricetag.

    I don’t support this philosophy of the MVP award. But it’s less stupid than the “best player on a good team” philosophy.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 14, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  47. No- JD Drew gets no consideration, much less than Bautista. Bautista still is going to get a ton of 3rd/4th place votes from old school voters. That is much better than getting 0 votes, like Drew. But nice nonsensical example anyway.

    And what’s wrong with subjective guidelines?

    Comment by TP — July 14, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  48. yes context matters, but guess what, when Bautista is literally as good as a replacement player AND agone *put together,* it makes up for the blue jays not being in the hunt

    Comment by jim — July 14, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  49. I thought the Hank Aaron award was best hitter.

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 14, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  50. What’re your other two?

    Comment by Ari Collins — July 14, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  51. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Aaron_Award

    Comment by jim — July 14, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  52. bautista a) should win easy, because yeah a-gone is good, but he (joey) is just so far beyond everyone else and b) might break the home run record (the real one, the roger maris one,) which would definitely give him the MVP

    Comment by jim — July 14, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  53. I dislike the discussion of what is valuable because even people making the Gonzalez over Bautista debate automatically exclude pitchers.

    If Gonzalez is better than Bautisa because he’s on a winner, then doesn’t Sabathia have to be at worst number 2 on this winner’s MVP ballot?

    Is Halladay the NL MVP?

    People have typically dropped pitchers because they have their own award, but the rules for MVP don’t say anything about no pitchers included. Trying to define valuable as anything but production by adding in context put the argument in a terrible position.

    How is Gonzalez any more valuable to his team than Sabathia? It you try to add in silly modifiers to the award you can’t half ass it.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  54. Are you comments intending to set baseball back 40 years, or are you just being facetious

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 14, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  55. The difference between 1st and 2nd in the Major Leagues in wOBA (Bautista and Gonzalez) is the same as 2nd and 30th. (Asdrubal Cabrera).

    The difference in WAR between the two (Jose/A-gon) is the same difference in WAR between Adrian Gonzalez and MELKY CABRERA.

    Adrian Gonzalez has been having a great season, and would definitely be an easy MVP if Jose Bautista didn’t exist. But he does. OK Blue Jay!

    Comment by Allan — July 14, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  56. Cue the non-FanGraphs-reading Red Sox fan shitstorm?

    Comment by ToddM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  57. You need to account for all that grission

    /end sarcasm

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  58. I’m simply arguing for tradition. Wrong site, I know.

    I didn’t create the definition of an MVP, you can infer it yourself by looking at all the past award winners. With a few notable exceptions, it goes to the best player on a playoff-bound team.

    Showing how Bautista is the superior hitter does not change this traditional definition.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  59. We should start a movement – “Sox Fans for Joey Bats”. Kind of like “Jews for Jesus”.

    Comment by mcbrown — July 14, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  60. How cool would it be if MLB revoked the voting licenses of anyone who didn’t even bother to put Bautista on their ballot? The definition of MVP says nothing of team performance on it, I don’t think anyone can destory Bautista on the character clause, and he is obviously eligible. It would be awesome if MLB did something like that.

    Comment by A guy from PA — July 14, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  61. :)

    Comment by Telo — July 14, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  62. Well, to this Red Sox fan, this is about right.

    Comment by NBarnes — July 14, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  63. Blue Jays wouldn’t even exist without bautista.

    He’s valuable because he makes more money for his club. BoSox sell out with or without A Gon.

    Comment by Joe — July 14, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  64. Does A-Gone get extra credit for his service as hitting coach to David Ortiz?

    Comment by mcbrown — July 14, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  65. Belief that an MVP must play for a playoff team is beyond retarded, especially in case of baseball with only 4 teams making the playoffs and hitting/fielding being virtually uninfluenced by the rest of the team-

    Comment by MV — July 14, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  66. Reyes has been more valuable than Halladay. Though I do think that due to the way the award is structured that if a pitcher was truly more valuable for a season than any position player they should get the award.

    Caveat to that though. You have to deduct the pitcher negative effect if he’s in the NL.

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  67. Heck, rule 3 makes Bautista’s case even stronger. I’m not saying anything against A-Gon’s character, but Jose has been an ultra classy player these last two years. Every writer and player in town has gushed about his leadership and team spirit. And he gives some of the best and most thoughtful interviews you’ll find.

    Comment by patmccaw — July 14, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  68. If the MVP award had no qualitative aspect to it, Willie Mays would have won about 11 MVP’s in his career. This is true of any number of players to include Ted Williams. (who didn’t win because he was a jerk) In my view Bautista is superior based on his numbers, production, comparison, whatever, but Gonzalez will win becasue he plays for Boston. That is not a mathematical comparison, but a reality of how the MVP is voted upon.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — July 14, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  69. But Reyes isn’t on a playoff bound team, and that’s the point. Halladay is far an away the best player from a playoff team in the NL, should he walk away with the NL MVP award by these people’s logic, or do they ban pitchers as well as non-playoff players?

    Top WAR hitter from a playoff team in the NL is Victorino followed closely by the three Brewers. I can partially understand eliminating pitchers IF you vote for who is the best non-pitcher player. Eliminating pitchers AND eliminating non-playoff teams is absolutely terrible.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  70. JohnHavok has the point – the main (and only, really) argument for Gonzalez is ‘he plays for a better team’ – an argument that holds true for every Sox player.

    Comment by MV — July 14, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  71. I wrote about this at my blog and one of my friends posted a few interesting RBI related stats (the argument some make why AGonz is more valuable).

    Comment by tdotsports1 — July 14, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  72. “The whole notion of the MVP having to come from a playoff team is rediculous.”

    This has always been the way has been determined in every sport. It’s either best player from a playoff contender, or player having historically great year, or player that a nice story can be about. Look through whatever sample of MVP’s you want, and I guarantee the overwhelming majority will be from teams in playoff contention. Arod of 03 and Dawson from 87 are the very rare exceptions to the rule.

    What Adam has been arguing in this thread is the way the award has been determined, regardless of if the logic of it is agreed with, it is the way it is.

    (For the record, I’m a Sox fan that thinks Bautista locked it up weeks ago, but that doesn’t change how voters have always voted for this award)

    Comment by Seels — July 14, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  73. You never know with the folks who thought Dennis Eckersley was an MVP in ’92.

    Comment by mikecws91 — July 14, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  74. @ Adam

    Or instead you can refer to the actual definition, you know the one that has been posted in this thread verbatim.

    Comment by Guy — July 14, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  75. Why emancipate slaves? We have always had them. Why let women vote? They never have before. The world is flat. The earth is the center of the universe. Bread has never come pre-sliced. It’s called progress, my scarlet hosiery-loving friend. Look into it.

    Comment by Seideberg — July 14, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  76. Once again, look to baseball’s history on the voting results of MVP awards, and players that won it while on non-contending teams are the extreme minority. It doesn’t matter what the definition is, this is how the award has always been voted on. I’m an advanced stats guy, but nothing is changing nearly a century of voting practice.

    This isn’t the same as hall of fame voting where writers are determining an individual players worth over a career, they’re determining who had the most value in one season, and value will always necessitate the playoff hunt.

    Comment by Seels — July 14, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  77. I love the concept that a player would be “more valuable” to his team, if only his team were better.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  78. Sox fan, Joey Bats is the MVP, no question.

    Comment by Kirkwood — July 14, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  79. Context matters.

    A Gon is on pace to have an MVP caliber season

    Bautista is on pace to have one of the BEST seasons in baseball history

    The gap is to big!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But thanks for telling us what context is, who knew?

    Comment by Salo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  80. @Dr.

    Personally I’d like it if they changed the award in such a way that it does go to the most valuable position player,but currently that is not how the rule explicitly states it.

    I mean isn’t the Cy Young essentially the pitcher only MVP?

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  81. Being of high character is part of the award. I tend to think there are very few instances where a players character really has a tangible effect though

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  82. Bonds won four straight and seven total, by all accounts he was an ass.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  83. The Jays don’t get the majority of their money from ticket sales. They get a lot of money from ad revenue and exposure to the entire country.

    Comment by jo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  84. “Cue the Red Sox fan shitstorm” – What an intelligent and fair post.

    Maybe a shitstorm debunking your assumption…

    Comment by TL — July 14, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  85. If Gonzo weren’t leading MLB in two of the three Triple Crown categories, I would agree.

    Yes, all statheads know RBIs say more about the people in front of a hitter than the hitter himself, and know that Gonzo’s swing is ideally suited for Fenway causing him to 60 points better at home … he’s still at the top of two stats that are traditionally very important.

    Probably 100% of people who read articles like this value WAR and w0BA more than AVG and RBIs, but what about people who don’t? And who’s voting on the awards?

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  86. Maybe the MVP award should just go to the team instead of the player.

    Comment by SC2GG — July 14, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  87. Even Justin Timberlake knows Jose is the MVP… enough said. Here is the story if your confused, from the Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/article/1024426–kelly-justin-timberlake-you-re-my-hero

    Comment by MeloJ — July 14, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  88. They have that, it’s the World Series

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  89. Oh lighten up.

    Obviously not all Sox fans are idiots. It’s just the type of subject that will inspire plenty of homerism. That’s all.

    Comment by Lewis — July 14, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  90. I don’t think the high character is a yes/no issue though.

    Bonds may have won them despite being an ass. Kinda like an amazing hitter can be the most valuable despite playing a easy position and being a terrible runner.

    Its the aggregate value of a player that determines if they are the most valuable … or at least in my opinion it is.

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  91. Not to mention the inherent value of still having Kelly, Rizzo and Fuentes in the system.

    Comment by vin — July 14, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  92. doesn’t really matter – AGone won’t keep up this crazy babip-inflamed career high (by 50pts) batting average anyways, which will make his case entirely based on leading the league in the most team dependant stat (rbi) in existence, and playing for a very good team, which would be a hilarious justification for MVP award.

    Comment by everdiso — July 14, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  93. @Dr.

    That’s debatable

    Comment by balagast — July 14, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  94. “the MVP -is- someone who is on a winning team, who is the best or most popular player on that team, and who at least has the reputation for driving in a lot of clutch runs.”

    1) no it’s not
    2) that would be the stupidest award in existence

    Comment by everdiso — July 14, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  95. Why continue to use wooden bats?
    They’re dangerous, and kids grow up using metal bats.
    Why use umpires?
    Automated systems and cameras are much more accurate.

    I didn’t create baseball’s traditions, I’m just saying they’re still here … and using fancy statistics isn’t going to sway the traditional vote. I’m okay with Joey Bats not winning MVP, because Arky Vaughan lost in 1935, because Willie Mays lost in 1960, and because Teddy Ballgame lost too many times to mention.

    They all lost to inferior players on teams who won the pennant. If it was OK then, then it’s OK now, because baseball is rooted in tradition.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  96. Maybe, but considering the site we’re on and the theoretical audience, this isn’t the kind of post I like to see. It’s an unnecessary (and ungrounded) comment, IMO.

    Comment by TL — July 14, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  97. THIS. I really wonder about Papi’s resurgence possibly being related to AGone. One side of my brain says “ridiculous” the other side says “Jedi Master”.

    Comment by Telo — July 14, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  98. Dear Mr. Eric Seidman,

    I seriously love you and would like to offer you the internet as a representation of your awesomeness.

    This is the best article I’ve read all year – great work!

    /salute

    Comment by Stayonboard — July 14, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  99. Baseball Prospectus is my favorite source for those numbers:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=975547

    Click on any of the statistical categories to get a definition.

    Keep in mind that the percent numbers are based on plate appearances, not at bats, which skews the numbers for players like Bautista who are walked a lot with guys on base (23% of PA with men on base compared to 10% for Adrian Gonzalez).

    Comment by NWS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  100. I credit most of the existing narrative to the fact that so many people “went out on a limb” (ha) and chose A-Gon as their pre-season MVP. Now that he’s having a great year, they’re locking onto that as a means of validating their pre-season picks. I don’t think it’s so much an RBI or better team thing; I think it’s that they’re not even considering Bautista’s year because they’re so eager to be “right.”

    Comment by Dave — July 14, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  101. didn’t say it was a smart award, but that’s how it functions today. Stop trying to tell me what it should be based on the name, and just take a look at the historical winners. :P

    (although I’ll admit the part about driving in runs was simplistic, and doesn’t apply to any pitchers that won)

    Comment by Sam — July 14, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  102. It really is amazing to me that people play “the argument from tradition” as if it were a trump card. It is a universally poor argument no matter where it’s applied.

    Comment by chris — July 14, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  103. “this isn’t the kind of post I like to see”

    Get over yourself?

    Comment by Noxcar — July 14, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  104. thank you

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  105. I’d wager the Sox would have won more with Beltre. Beltre’s glove is more better than “Greek god of walks” at 3rd, then Gonzo’s glove is better than Youk’s’ at first. Beltre would have had a very similar offensive performance, so it is very possible keeping Beltre and not signing Gonzo would have own more..

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  106. Jeffry:

    If AdamM is perpetrating a troll, it’s good enough that all those red minuses should be green pluses. Until you brought up the subject, I didn’t give his statements a lot of attention, but they are so classically, perfectly, consummately cliches, I am tending to believe that, indeed, AdamM is a troll.

    If so, congratulations, Sir Troll.

    Comment by Gary York — July 14, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  107. So, I just spent the last 15 minutes reading every single comment on this article, and I have come to the conclusion that AdamM is either a) the dumbest person alive, or b) really good at messing with people for the fun of it.

    Honestly, how do you keep that poor of an argument going for that long?

    Comment by n_jaeger — July 14, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  108. Hahaha, I like the comments here. You’re stupid! No I’m Not! Yes you are, and you’re even more stupid because you apparently understand why you’re stupid, and you’re still stupid! It’s what happens when a person who doesn’t fully understand statistical analysis tries to use statistical analysis to prove a point about the validity of statistical analysis… Man, I’m confused.

    Comment by Me — July 14, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  109. Obviously the only stat that should matter is the number of wins the team has accumulated in games in which the player has appeared. Sort of like Hockey’s +/- stat.

    Comment by Ronin — July 14, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  110. MVP vote has always been the most broken thing in baseball. Want proof, go look at 1995. Two guys tied for 15th in WAR won the MVP voting in both leagues. Larkin and Mo Vaughn.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=1995&month=0&season1=1995&ind=0

    I personally think the award tends to go guys that are more marketable, and have great seasons. Being from a winning team or a big market tends to help the vote and guys who nobody likes has no chance regardless of how good they perform (Albert Belle anyone! (>50 doubles, >50 homeruns and 126 RBIs with average defense and you do not win!! broken system)

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  111. LOL!

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  112. I don’t disagree that Bautista is the best player in the AL right now, but if we’re really talking about team value consider that the Rangers are 37-19 with Josh Hamilton and 14-22 without. That’s the difference between first and last place.

    Comment by Engboy — July 14, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  113. If I was voting I would vote for Joey Bats even if he took the rest of the season off. Frankly, that is how close I see it!. Heck he should win both the AL and NL MVPs he has run so far away with it this season.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  114. So you give the award to Hamilton based on a lack of team depth at his position on the Rangers?

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — July 14, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  115. If anything, wouldn’t playing for a great team make a great player less valuable because there are so many other players on the team that contribute to the success?

    By overlooking great players on terrible teams (and the Jays aren’t even terrible– they are just in an impossible division), the great players are being penalized twice. Not only will they not win any team awards or have team success because they were signed/traded to non-playoff teams, but now those players are virtually ineligible from winning INDIVIDUAL awards too? That is something I’ll never comprehend.

    Out of all of the major sports, an individual in baseball has the least influence over the outcome of a game/season. If he’s a pitcher, he controls I’m guessing ~40% (doesn’t bat, can’t control the fielding) of the outcome of 20% of the games if he pitches a complete game every time. Position players get four or five plate appearances a game, and depending upon position, might have a minor impact defensively. Further, baseball allows the fewest teams into the playoffs. Tying MVP consideration to team success automatically would eliminate the majority of the stars from contention.

    The Astros are 30-62. If Bautista were on that team, he could have a season with 100 home runs, with a .450 OBP and they still wouldn’t make the postseeason because it wouldn’t change the fact that they’ve given up the most runs in all of baseball– as an NL team. It would be the greatest single season in baseball history, yet he wouldn’t be deserving of the individual honor of MVP? Ten years from now, when we look back at the 2011 season, wouldn’t we remember Jose Bautista? Not the guy who had a far, far worse season, but played on a contender.

    Comment by TYML — July 14, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  116. AdamM, perhaps I misunderstood, but it seemed like you were implying metal bats would be less dangerous than wooden ones…

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — July 14, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  117. He’s definitely trolling here

    Comment by TL — July 14, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  118. Andrew McCutchen needed Ryan Braun to get hurt to make the All-Star game.
    Derek Jeter has 5 gold gloves, Chase Utley has zero.
    Ryan Howard will make $25 mil/season in his age 35-37 seasons.
    It took Bert Blyleven 14 tries to make the HoF

    Baseball *is* 40 years behind.
    But go ahead, shoot the messenger

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  119. @balagast

    How would you like to define the champion then? Best regular season record? Best of 21 series between the two top finishers in each league?

    Comment by ianriccaboni — July 14, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  120. @ Engboy

    That’s a laughable argument.

    Comment by Nox — July 14, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  121. ^He doesn’t like to see you posting about posts you don’t like to see, see.

    Comment by Welp — July 14, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

  122. Take out A-Gon out of Boston and they are probably still in Wild Card spot. But Tigers are just leading their division- so Miguel Cabrera should be the MVP.
    If Adrian Gonzalez is more valuable than Bautista because he’s on a playoff team does that mean JD Drew is more valuable than Bautista?
    Also if the Red Sox end up making the playoffs by 10 or 15 games then he’s not really that valuable because they made it so easily. Then it should go to the best player on a team that just made it.

    Comment by Shrewd Cat — July 14, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  123. Baseball writers vote on the MVP award right? What are they saying? All you have to do is google “2011 MLB First Half Awards” to find out.
    Here are just a few sites that give the nod to Gonzo:

    mlb.com
    sportingnews.com
    foxsports.com
    cbssports.com
    yahoo.com

    I’m not trolling, I’m arguing like a sports writer, one that doesn’t have a degree in statistical analysis. I’m arguing from a specific point of view, like from someone who votes.

    Voters – 1
    Nerds – 0

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

  124. “this isn’t the kind of post i like to see”

    hit alt+f4 to hide it

    Comment by jim — July 14, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  125. There is some precedent in the last 10 years for players winning the MVP and not being on a playoff team. I believe 4 of the last 20(nl + al) have been from non playoff teams.

    Although, it is interesting to me that nobody is really talking about 2nd half regression from a guy hitting nearly 100 over his career OPS+… instead I see several people expecting Adrian to be the one that regresses.

    Comment by PadresFuture — July 14, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  126. I totally agree on Joey Bats being MVP material, but I think it should be more considerable to be on a winning team. Sure A-Rod from the early 2000′s put up the same type of eye-popping numbers as Bautista has done for the last year and a half, but an MVP ought to earn that award through not only his stats but his ability to make the entire team better.

    I think that gives A-Gone a much more competitive edge for the award but time will only tell whether or not pitchers actually keep pitching to him or giving him the 2004-era Barry Bonds treatment.

    Comment by Mikey Cee — July 14, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  127. I know you’re well-meaning here, pal.. but kind of retarded to think something like this. Taking half the season off would disqualify him from having enough at bats to win any award, buddy!

    Comment by Mikey Cee — July 14, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  128. Giving the MVP award based on team performance is pretty redundant. We already award the performance of teams through the playoff system.

    Comment by TheBirds — July 14, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  129. …and Bautista will keep his friggin on base % above .470? Maybe if pitchers just pitch around him for the rest of the year he could keep that up.

    There’s no stat to prove Gonzalez’ BAPIB inflation isn’t helped out by how much he likes to poke balls off the Green Monster. Doesn’t it help his case when the 2 lefty hitters around him in the lineup are also having upticks in their batting avg?

    Comment by Mikey Cee — July 14, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  130. Let’s face it, unless you believe Gonzalez is ~8-10X better than his career defensive #’s, he isn’t even the highest WAR player on his own team!

    I’d put Granderson or Ellsbury up for 2nd place (behind Batista) based on the current season as their WAR is not skewed by an out of whack UZR #. Gonzalez might have better offensive #’s but those 2 have been more valuable if you regress the defensive #’s.

    ESPN will make sure Agon wins it… they’ll strike up the campaign in late August like they did with Pedroia in ’08 and conveniently forget about the park effects (his wOBA is 44 points higher at home, his average is nearly 60 points higher at home).

    Comment by Joe — July 14, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

  131. As of right now, Jose Bautista is the best player in baseball. The most “valuable” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/value) player to have on any given team, therefore (as I see it), is Jose Bautista.

    Think of it this way: If there was a fantasy draft right now in MLB, and if any given team had no prior relationship with Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista would be at the top of everyone’s priority list.

    He is the Most Valuable Player in the American League, and also in the major leagues as a whole.

    Comment by Ben — July 14, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  132. “We’ve historically stayed consistent with how our statistics are computed, despite obvious flaws in batting average, so why should we change how awards are given out?”

    Seriously? Isn’t improving the world something we should always strive for? I know this is baseball but the more victories for science, the more the world moves towards understanding. If we continually stay stuck in the past we continue to strengthen discrimination. I mean if you want to go back to the era of wins importance we can take away women’s right to vote and racial segregation but I enjoy people. I enjoy moving forward and finding out new ways to improve the world around me or to better understand it. Sabermetrics is the future of baseball no matter how tightly you cling to the past, not just because of sites like fangraphs.com or b-r.com but because baseball GMs put it to use. It’s shown that this is in fact the better way to look at value. Wins are important but the only thing any GM can truly do is increase the odds of winning, not guarantee it. Wins, RBIs, and playing on a playoff team don’t mean anything. We have better ways to look at baseball, so why not move forward? I want my beaches clean, the environment safe, the world in harmony, and the space program to explain new worlds and civilizations peacefully. Moving forward is a good thing, I see baseball more beautifully as a result and I wish I could show people that, but they only see me as a number geek. Until then I’ll keep trying. I wish you would join the movement to better understand as well.

    *end hippie talk

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) — July 14, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  133. “The MVP Award has always been qualitative, and most folks voting on the award will treat it as such. Enough people will disqualify Baustista from winning the award that it won’t matter how loud you nerds shout WAR.”

    This is wrong. Look at the winners over the last 6 years:

    2010: Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto
    2009: Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols
    2008: Dustin Pedroia, Albert Pujols
    2007: Alex Rodriguez, Jimmy Rollins
    2006: Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard
    2005: Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols

    With the exception of Rollins and the two winners in 2006, every MVP winners was 1st or 2nd in WAR in their league. In those cases in which they didn’t lead the league in WAR, they were always within one win. (Rollins finished 7th, two wins behind David Wright).

    You can quibble some over the choice of winners, but WAR and the consensus of MVP voters tend to agree now. I can’t see why that wouldn’t happen if the voters aren’t being influenced by advanced metrics… except in 2006.

    Comment by Brian — July 14, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  134. Or Granderson?

    If you actually regress UZR #’s and don’t put stock into a half year or 1 year UZR # as the end all be all has actually been more valuable

    Or Ellsbury?

    Or Pedroia?

    Or…..

    This award will just become the narrative of what the mainstream media wants and a new guy on a media darling makes a good story.

    Comment by Joe — July 14, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  135. Four reasons why AGon is leading the MVP race:

    1) To the shit-ton of voters, walks still are not valued as much as hits. I’m sure to a few, walks are considered concessions talented hitters try to abstain from.
    2) There is suspicion that Joey Bats turned his career around unnaturally.
    3) The Jays is a shell of a team, so Joey can’t be valuable. If he was, they’d be better.
    4) Toronto? Isn’t that in, like, Canada?

    It is what it is and personally, I don’t care right now because there’s too much baseball left to play.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 14, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  136. Would he really be an “easy” MVP without Bautista? He’s not far ahead of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is the anchor of the Tigers linup in their run for the AL Central. He has relatively little around him in the Detroit lineup and the Tigers have even worse options to replace him than Boston does to replace Gonzalez.

    Gonzalez does have the nice RBI total this year, but his wOBA is barely ahead of Cabrera (.429 to .415) and his stats are being padded by a .394 BABIP that is waaaay beyond his career average. Factoring in park factors between Fenway (for a lefty) and Comerica (for a righty) the difference is even smaller. Cabrera’s BABIP is only .320 which is below his career average by a decent amount.

    The only real difference between Gonzalez and Cabrera at this point is the raw RBI total and defense. Cabrera is more valuable to the Tigers lineup, but Gonzalez better D does provide some value as well. Then again, how important is defense at the least important defensive position on the spectrum?

    Comment by Eric — July 14, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

  137. … and all their teams made the playoffs

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

  138. Well that sure was confusing at first glance.

    Comment by Spoilt Victorian Child — July 14, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  139. Neither Jose Bautista or Adrian Gonzalez are AL MVP.

    Let’s look at Jered Weaver and compare him with ESPN and MLB’s favorite pitcher, Justin Verlander:

    Yes, Verlander had an amazing no-hitter in Toronto on May 7th and has had an incredible month of June.

    However, throughout the season, Verlander has given up three or more runs eight times this season while Weaver has only given up three or more runs five times this season.

    Verlander has enormous offensive support compared to Weaver (Detroit is 8th in runs scored and 5th in wRC+, Angels are 20th in runs scored and 14th in wRC+),

    Verlander is also more than twice as likely to give up a home run (7.5% of flyballs are home runs compared to Weaver’s MLB lowest 2.7%),

    Verlander gets similar, even slightly superior defensive support compared to Weaver (.232 BABIP compared to Weaver’s .241). Not to mention Weaver’s era is lower than Verlander’s by a greater number of points than the difference in their strikeout totals (29 points). Also, Weaver has the second best FIP (2.39) only to Halladay in all MLB. Verlander is tied with Lincecum for ninth (2.72).

    Both teams have similar records: the Angels have better pitching (6th in FIP, Tigers are 19th) and the Tigers have better offense. Even with just one star pitcher in the rotation the Tigers have a winning record, while the Angels have better pitching on average.

    However, the other starting pitchers have less of an effect on taking away Weaver or Verlander’s value because they do not directly affect the games in which Weaver or Verlander are pitching as much as the offense does (as the offense plays every day). Weaver has to therefore keep more runs off the board (and he’s been doing that), while Verlander not only gets more support from his offense (4.53 run support/9 innings compared to Weaver’s 3.46 RS/9), but Detroit’s offense has also been carrying their other subpar starting pitchers and relievers as well (if they weren’t carrying them, they wouldn’t be winning overall considering their pitching stats).

    All in all, Weaver is giving his team a better chance to win on average than any other starter in MLB. Verlander is very valuable to his team, but taking away Weaver from the Angels’ roster would make them a definite losing team (maybe as bad as the Athletics). The Tigers’ offense are for the most part carrying most of the pitching staff (other than Verlander), so while they’d definitely be worse without him, they’d have a better shot at winning overall than the Angels without Weaver. The Angels would lose many more games without Weaver due to lack of run production and the rise of their FIP in games which he could have pitched. Detroit’s offense would still be scoring runs and while their FIP is high, they would still be giving over 1 more run of support per 9 innings to their replacement starter than the Angels would give their replacement.

    Weaver’s major league-leading 3.36 WPA also helps solidify the fact that he’s given his team the best chance to win among all starters. Verlander is 6th at 3.02.

    Also, Verlander has much more of an intimidation factor due to his 100 mph fastball. The fact that Weaver is not intimidating but is having more success isn’t a negative for Verlander, but it’s a bonus for Weaver.

    Therefore, Jered Weaver should be the first half Cy Young Award winner.

    However, Verlander is still a great pitcher this season and it should be an amazing Cy Young race during the second half.

    MLB and ESPN should be marketing this statistical rivalry! Deserving rivalries (DiMaggio and Williams, Mantle and Maris, Yankees and Red Sox, Sosa and McGwire) get more attention than “domination” (by Verlander in the media). The media coverage and public interest for BOTH of these pitchers would be much greater if analysts were doing things the right way. They could even be household names by now!!

    And if anyone doubts that a rivalry has as much or more drawing power as “domination”, look at prices for bleacher tickets at Yankee Stadium when they play the Mariners. Then look up ticket prices for the same seats against the Red Sox and see if there’s any difference in pricing.

    Both MLB and ESPN are failing Marketing 101 this season.

    Weaver has a case for first half MVP as well:

    The Angels have only Howie Kendrick as a good offensive player with a .364 wOBA (his wRAA is 12.7) The Tigers have five players with a wRAA over 10: Cabrera, Peralta, VMart, Boesch and Avila . Offensive players take a lot more value away from a great pitcher (than another starting pitcher) by taking some of the value in the pitcher’s win factor.

    Weaver’s WPA is very impressive considering how much a starting pitcher plays compared to a position player. Considering Bautista’s 5.53 WPA and monster stats, he is by far the best hitter. However, his team is still losing and his value can’t be truly proven (if he’s taken away from the lineup, they’re still a losing team, as they are with him in the lineup already). Great hitter, but not MVP.

    Adrian “El Cid” Gonzalez is a terrific player but plays in the most stacked offensive lineup in baseball. If you took him away from the Red Sox, they’d still be winning and he doesn’t come close to Bautista among hitters. Weaver is the best player on his team and doesn’t have any offensive players with star power stealing his value (Kendrick is 6th among wRC+ leaders at second base, I’d hardly call him a star hitter).

    Jered Weaver: AL Cy Young and MVP for the first half. Hands down.

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 14, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  140. This reply caught my eye before I read the comment above it, and I wondered for a moment what question could be answered with “males from the continent below the Mediterranean”.

    Comment by MBD — July 14, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  141. Hey, is there any way (site?) that we can access the “number of guys on in front of you” stat? My friend and I have the Pujols (and now Votto/Fielder) Howard argument and I just can’t get him past RBIs…

    Comment by Bill — July 14, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  142. And now my comment is one step removed from Africa because of the speed with which spoiled Victorians claimed the territory – metacommentary on how European colonization in the 19th century distanced us from our humanity?

    Comment by MBD — July 14, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  143. I don’t know about the rest of everyone else, but I am not reading that entire thing. For 2 reasons, 1 obviously it’s way too long, you can make a separate article with this. And 2, the moment I read that you put Jered Weaver is the MVP.

    Comment by Mike — July 14, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  144. I come to this site for the very reasons you mention. I’m just pointing out that this community is in the vast minority, and most MVP voters are not among them.

    For as long as the sabermetric community uses statistics that regular folks can’t possible figure out themselves, there will be a percentage of people that dismiss them.

    Disparaging these people for misusing or misunderstanding these stats is not going to gain you any mainstream support. The writers who vote for the MVP write for the mainstream, and most likely always will.

    It’s just the way things are.

    Comment by AdamM — July 14, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  145. I disagree. For a player to be the most valuable to his team out of any player in the league, that player’s team must gain large amounts of value from that player.

    For the Blue Jays, take Bautista off their roster, they remain a 4th place team, maybe lose 6 or 7 more games. They stay exactly where they are, his absence does little to really hurt the team. Sure, they become statistically worse, but nobody in baseball really cares whether you’re in 4th place and 12 games out or in 4th place and 19 games out. The team derives very little value from his play. Sure, that’s not his fault, and no one is saying it is (well, at least no one with even a small amount of intelligence), but it’s a fact, his play gives the Blue Jays very little of actual value.

    For Gonzalez, his play is the difference between being in 1st place and not making the playoffs. Take him off the team, there is no one who can come close to replacing him. The team derives much more value from having Gonzalez, going from 3rd place to 1st place, than Toronto does with Bautista.

    Yes, Bautista helps his team gain more wins. But wins mean very little in the context of a team that’s missing the playoffs whether they have those wins or not. All the extra wins get the Blue Jays is a worse draft pick and maybe a little bit of respect around the league. The extra wins Gonzalez gets Boston give them a playoff appearance and, potentially, a shot at a world series, which is what teams play for. Which of those is more valuable?

    Comment by Dylan — July 14, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  146. Adam

    On the player pages, you will see a section called “Value”. Why is WAR used to denote Value? Because it measures how many wins a player contributes. These days, a win is worth about $5MM, so at 6.6 WAR, Bautista is worth about $33MM – already about half of the entire 5-year contract he signed.

    AGon is having a great season, but at 4.8 WAR, he is worth about $9MM less than JBau.

    Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — July 14, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  147. Definitely a troll.

    Comment by williams .482 — July 14, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  148. Bautista isn’t the one with the .394 babip so far. Also Bautista the past two seasons is so dramatically different than his first several that the information is almost useless.

    Comment by Dr.Rockzo — July 14, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

  149. Why the F@ck is anyone talking about who people are considering for MVP in mid-July? Who cares? Is there really that little to analyze in baseball that an article devoted to the “wrong” player being talked up for MVP at the AS-break needs to be written?

    Comment by evo34 — July 14, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

  150. Your analysis is flawed. Boston’s lineup is loaded with or without Gonzalez in it and if he didn’t play at all this season, they likely would not be a 3rd place team right now.

    Comment by Eric — July 15, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  151. Loaded? Darnell McDonald, Mike Cameron, Carl Crawford, and JD Drew have combined for over 700 PA’s of sub-300 wOBA. And either Papi would need to play 1st, going from Gonzalez’s likely +7 or 8 to at least a -1 for Papi, but Gonzalez’s PA’s would be replaced by someone like Drew and his .298 wOBA. And if you don’t play Ortiz at 1st, you get an even worse hitter at 1st, since the Red Sox don’t seem to have anything in terms of backup 1B, not even anything in the minors that I see. Taking away Gonzalez kills that team.

    Comment by Dylan — July 15, 2011 @ 12:28 am

  152. walker in 97 had 9.4 WAR, withing the margin of error of leader biggio’s 9.7, and the rockies were sub-.500 that year… walker’s year warranted it.

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 12:35 am

  153. OPS+? dude, really?

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  154. hit alt+f4 to get a new article

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 12:41 am

  155. Gonzalez* gets credit for Ortiz when Bautista gets credit for Lind and Escobar. Seriously, just watch how Jose carries himself and talks with teammates when on the bench. He’s always looking for the advantage/something to help teammates.

    * – Is it just me, or is ‘AGone’ one of the worst nicknames of all time?

    Comment by jw — July 15, 2011 @ 12:43 am

  156. Yeah…. it’s called a red flag.

    Comment by PadresFuture — July 15, 2011 @ 1:05 am

  157. Dude, really? Thats the best you got? What stat do you prefer oh mighty king of I decide what stat is the most accurate and precise to use? Go ahead, pick one. Any way you look at it you chose to ignore the most obvious point here… Bautista’s stats are bound to regress regardless of which one you prefer… wOBA, wRC, WAR, OPS+. Good god are you one of those people that is sitting here thinking what is the matter with the dude quoting stats from baseball reference, like doesnt he know that fangraphs has like totally better stats and stuff…. bring something intellectual next time and not a lame response…. out!!!

    Comment by PadresFuture — July 15, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  158. Just spent an enjoyable time killing insomnia reading the comments!

    Here are the facts.

    1. Joey Bats is the best player in the AL.
    2. The MVP typically goes to a player on a playoff team.

    I think the logic behind #2 is that, if your team doesn’t make the postseason, there was no “value” to your performance, no matter how good it was. That is, the second-place finisher is the first loser.

    I’m fine with that, but I’d also be fine with giving the best player the MVP award, too. The interesting thing this year is that Joey B is having such a tremendous year, he might just transcend the conventional thinking on the award. That would be cool.

    The only time in recent history that happened was in 2003, when A-Rod took the award playing for Texas. The interesting thing is — according to bWAR — he was only slightly better than Carlos Beltran that year, beating him out 7.7 to 7.4.

    Andre Dawson’s snagging of the MVP in 1987 for the last-place Cubs is even more interesting because, again according to bWAR, he was the 38th-best position player in the NL that year, behind immortals like Mike LaValliere, Mitch Webster, and Milt Thompson. He probably won it for belting 49 homers — and for signing a blank check to play with the Cubs in a year the owners colluded to hold down free-agent salaries.

    My takeaway from those two exceptions is that writers find home runs sexy.

    Comment by Jay Stevens — July 15, 2011 @ 1:32 am

  159. ianriccaboni – first team in AL East, duh ..

    Comment by MV — July 15, 2011 @ 3:26 am

  160. +1…. Instead of bothering to read the book above…. I just looked up the AL pitching WAR leaders and noticed he isn’t even leading for pitching WAR.. while not the perfect metric, it suggest he might not even be the CY young winner at this point, yet alone MVP.

    Comment by Hank — July 15, 2011 @ 3:29 am

  161. wow, i’ve never seen a comment get 100 minuses, that’s amazing…. this comment is def LVP of the article

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 4:37 am

  162. OPS+ is a measure of performance relative to league, not absolute performance… a guy could be hitting .100/.200/.300 and still have an OPS+ more than 100 points higher than his career average… it’s a meaningless stat for what you’re getting at

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  163. tl;dr

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  164. and nobody does homers better than jose bautista (robinson cano excluded ;)

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 4:44 am

  165. They’d retain Beltre and play Youk at 1B if they didn’t trade for Gonzalez, genius-

    Comment by MV — July 15, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  166. You forgot one important factor, Eric: Literally everyone predicted before the season that Gonzalez would win the MVP. Do you really expect those people to pick someone else when Gonzalez is putting up incredible numbers on a 1st place team? I’m talking about media people and less informed fans of course, but this is the way their minds work.

    Comment by Bill — July 15, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  167. Anyway, I’m more upset about the fact that Pedroia is having an equal season to Gonzalez yet no one seems to realize it. I saw last week a writer for WEEI gave him a C+ for the first half.

    Now THAT is a bigger injustice than picking Agon over Bautista for MVP.

    Comment by Bill — July 15, 2011 @ 8:13 am

  168. So you’re awarding the MVP based on the talent of the players around the player in question. That’s logical. I prefer to look at individual performance for individual awards.

    Actually, by your logic, we should give Theo Epstein the MVP. That I would be okay with.

    Comment by Bill — July 15, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  169. Yes, what a tragedy that Pedroia won in ’08, when he was second in the AL in WAR, less than a full win behind Grady Sizemore.

    Comment by Bill — July 15, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  170. you make me want to cry

    Comment by cuck — July 15, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  171. “Why use umpires?”

    If you mean for balls and strikes, that’s a darn good question, and no one has yet given me a satisfactory answer.

    Comment by philkid3 — July 15, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  172. The MVP is the highest individual honor in baseball and it’s the most prominent award (as pitchers are eligible for MVP, it makes it more prestigious than the Cy Young Award). Why would we want to have to qualify that award based on the context of his team based upon the way the baseball races shook out? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an award where you can look at any player in history and see X number of MVPs and it has a very clear meaning– “he was the best player in the league that year X times.” Not “X times he was the player who was very good that was on a very good team that might not have made the playoffs without him– but they might have anyway.”

    Here’s the problem that “relative value” proponents create (hypothetically). If the best player in the history of baseball were drafted by the worst team in the sport, he would never be able to win an MVP award. Pick your greatest player of all-time: Ruth, Mays, Bonds, Mantle, et al. Put them on a perennial loser, and that player could never win an MVP. So down the road, when we evaluate their careers, we’d have to say “great player, but never dominated. He never won an MVP. Can’t be considered an all-time great.” The Pirates have had 17 straight (I think) losing seasons; they didn’t miss the playoffs each year because they lacked that one absolute superstar.

    Plus, the relative value also penalizes great players, on good teams, that happened to be locked into unfair divisions. The Rays are 49-41, good enough for third in the AL East. That puts them 4.5 games out of the Wild Card. If the season ended today, any Rays player would be ineligible for MVP consideration (not that they have a deserving candidate). Yet, if they played in the NL Central, they’d lead the division by a game (two games in the loss column)– and they amassed that record while playing in a division with arguably the two best teams in the sport.

    The Red Sox have two other great-hitting first basemen on the team– Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Why aren’t people discussing that in terms of A-Gonz’s value? The Red Sox have been an incredibly successful team and only missed the playoffs last year because they had one of the more injury-plagued seasons I can remember while playing in a stacked division. When healthy, that Red Sox team has been fantastic– wouldn’t that diminish Gonzalez’s value if it’s relative to team success?

    Comment by TYML — July 15, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  173. Also, since when is Justin Verlander’s MLB’s favorite pitcher?????? (I still haven’t read your book, but it’s kind of right in the beginning so I didn’t miss that out)

    I believe the favorite pitcher honor would probably go to Roy Hallday (at least for a SP) and probably Mariano Rivera if you count relief pitchers.

    Comment by Mike — July 15, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  174. “The Red Sox have two other great-hitting first basemen on the team– Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz”

    There is a problem with this sentence here and I think we know what it is.

    Comment by Mike — July 15, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  175. Sure, let’s all use this site’s WAR leaderboard to unilaterally declare the MVP, because WAR decisively equates to value, even if our WAR is different than baseball-reference WAR, it includes one year of defensive stats that we admit take three years to normalize, and no on can calculate the damn number.

    But hey, we have a leaderboard with the heading value, so the guy at the top must be the most valuable, so let’s retroactively use this all-encompassing yet admittedly flawed statistic to alter the de facto definition of MVP, because the general public doesn’t know shi!t.

    Ya, that attitude is going to help.

    Comment by AdamM — July 15, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  176. The “hardline case” would actually pay attention to the official criteria.

    The MVP award was intended to go to the best all-around player. The fact that moron beat writers have subjected us to 60 years of semantic masturbation around the word “valuable” doesn’t change that simple fact.

    Comment by Jay Levin — July 15, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  177. @adam

    Can’t tell you how many times in the last six months I’ve seen BABIP, WAR and FIP referred to in mainstream baseball writing and on air broadcasts … this morning’s Wash Post used WAR to support Danny Espinosa’s case for ROY despite a .242 BA …

    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’

    Comment by Phil — July 15, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  178. Yeah, he should have used an em dash after “team,” not a hyphen.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — July 15, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  179. The real injustice here is that people actually care what WEEI writers say.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — July 15, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  180. Look, I’m a Red Sox fan and I’d like to think that Gonzalez is the American League’s first half MVP. In fact, he is, if we are only including humans in the discussion because Joey Bats is obviously from another planet.

    Comment by Nick — July 15, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  181. No, nor did I say that, but putting words in my mouth is a nice way of making an argument, albeit a flawed one. The award should be given based on who provides the most value to his team, someone whose performance does not elevate his team above 4th place does not provide much real value to the team.

    Last time I checked, the P stands for player, so no, by my logic he shouldn’t get it.

    Comment by Dylan — July 15, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

  182. I didn’t kill the electric car, and I didn’t vote Jeter to the ASG. I’m not the guy recording a grounder that advances runners an out, while not doing the same for bunts fly balls. I’m not keeping Tim Raines out of the HoF, and I’m not burning coal for power. I’m no advocate for intelligent design.

    I embrace new ideas and concepts, but recognize the futility in trying to change deeply engrained existing ones.

    In the interests of progress, make a new award and call it the Most Valuable Player Above Replacement Level … it’s just not the same as MVP unless the player is a winner. It doesn’t mean I agree with it, it means I accept it.

    Hitting (-) on my posts doesn’t change the way things are.

    Comment by AdamM — July 15, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  183. While I disagree that they’d retain Beltre (he’ll be earning 34 million in his age 36 and 37 season, I’ve never seen the Red Sox make that kind of financial commitment to a player that old, I have seen them refuse to make that kind of commitment to Pedro and Damon), even if they did they would still lose multiple wins. Gonzalez is going to finish 2 or 3 higher in WAR than Beltre, and that looks like it will be about the difference in the AL East and/or Wildcard race.

    Also, the “genius” part really didn’t add anything to your post, you made a good point, no need to be an ass about it.

    Comment by Dylan — July 15, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  184. Brewers Fans: Hey Greinke, you suck!

    Zack Greinke: Actually my Fielding Independent Pitching suggests that my performance has been much better than my actual results. I have the highest K rate of my career, and my K/BB rate has been phenomenal. I’ve just been really unlucky on Balls In Play, and the sequence of hits against me.

    Brewers Fans: You still suck!

    Comment by AdamM — July 15, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

  185. I tend to disagree more than agree with the bulk of AdamM’s arguments, but I think he’s making more sense than he’s being given credit for. The MVP award has never been as much of a straight-up “Who’s the best?” award that the Cy Young has. There has always been (generally, albeit not necessarily year-by-year, i.e. Dawson in ’87) an extra premium (relative to the Cy) based on team success. If you have two guys at 7.5 WAR, and one is on a 1st place team, and one is on a 4th place team, the 1st place guy will probably win the award, and I think that’s appropriate. If you’ve got a guy that’s at 7.0 WAR on a 1st place team, and then a 8.0 guy on a 4th place team, and the 7.0 guy gets the award, I don’t have a problem with that either. While of course the argument that a player from a non-playoff team should never win the MVP is stupid (because it assumes that any wins not contributing to a playoff appearance have no value), I think it’s also true that wins that make the difference between a playoff and a non-playoff team have EXTRA value, and that it’s OK to give a guy a bonus for being part of that. But that also means that if you have a team that wins the division by 20 games, your non-quite-first-in-WAR MVP candidate probably shouldn’t get an extra lift . . .

    I guess my conclusion would be that baseball’s traditional MVP amalgamation of “x parts pure awesomeness plus y parts team success” has some logic behind it, even if it’s often been poorly applied. Bautista has clearly been the best player in the league this year, but if Boston squeaks into the playoffs, then I don’t think it’s insane for Gonzalez to narrow the gap and maybe even take the MVP based on his involvement in those high-leverage wins.

    Comment by Matt — July 15, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  186. “… and all their teams made the playoffs”

    If you don’t count Howard in 06 and Pujols in 08, then that statement is factual.

    Comment by marc — July 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  187. Might also be interesting to point out to the RBI loving morons that if they’re calling RBIs clutch they should also note Gonzalez has hit into 20 double plays compared to Jose Bautista’s 5. Joey Bats is also far and away the WPA leader in the MLB. That’s an MVP.

    Comment by Kiddie Love — July 15, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  188. I’d be ok with the MVP only going to a playoff contender if it was really clearly defined that way. As it is though, “a player can’t be that valuable if his team didn’t make the playoffs” is just an argument that biased fans use to justify repping their players. I saw that logic a lot when arguing with people who were saying that CC should win the Cy Young last year.

    My preference is that it just goes to the best player though. Firstly, there’s no other worthwhile source of recognition for great hitters on bad teams. Secondly, by the same logic that says, “it doesn’t matter if a player is great if his team doesn’t make the playoffs” can be used to say “it doesn’t matter if a player if great if his team doesn’t win the World Series,” and there’s a World Series MVP award for that.

    It seems like the most of the Gonzalez MVP claims are coming from the old sports media. I was fuming when Joe Buck said that Gonzalez was the hands down MVP. How can anyone say that? It’s one thing to favor him over Bautista, but to say that there’s no competition? While at the same time saying that Matt Kemp is an MVP candidate (which I think he is, but look at where the Dodgers are.)?

    Comment by Bip — July 15, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  189. First of all, Batista is having a better yr.

    Why is the league always talking about RBI’s when Batista has scored more runs than Gonzalez?

    Runs are harder to come by and the fact is neither one of them are leadoff hitters, that shows how important each players is.

    Batista has Lind and uggh behind him while Gonzalez has Youk and Ortiz. As of now, Batista still wins the MVP in my books by a good margin.

    Batista has a lead over Gonzo who has a lead over Granderson who leads MiguelCabrera over Konerko and Youk

    Comment by cyrwr1 — July 15, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  190. it gets a hell of a lot worse if you go by rWAR, he was behind mauer, hamilton, a-rod, kinsler, youkilis, and within the margin of error of several others… not as bad as morneau in 06, but still bad

    Comment by jim — July 15, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  191. I don’t know if one way of doling out the MVP makes more “sense” than the other. Ultimately the way the writers do it has its own logic, one that gives value to team success and a great player’s part in that.

    Comment by Jay Stevens — July 15, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  192. It doesn’t matter how many of you disagree with me, you’re not the ones voting on the awards.

    You can debunk the AL MVP narrative until you’re blue in the face, but the fact is that this narrative is being provided by the very people who vote on the awards. If they say AGon is the MVP favorite because he has lots of RBIs, then he is. It’s their say that counts in the end, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous you find their arguments.

    The fact that you can’t accept the argument just shows how detached from reality you are.

    Comment by AdamM — July 15, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  193. In the end, the AL MVP narrative can be debunked by everyone here, but it doesn’t change the fact that the narrative is being provided by the very people who vote on the awards. If they say AGon is the MVP favorite because he has lots of RBIs, then he is. It’s their say that counts in the end, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous their arguments are.

    Comment by AdamM — July 15, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  194. The real, real injustice is how Pedroia gets so much WAR value from a 1/2 year of defense. It’s as if Fangraphs created a stat with certain guidelines but all its writers and spreadsheets chose to ignore them!

    Poo > WAR

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 15, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  195. Took me awhile but I think I now have it. He used “Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz” instead of “Youk and Papi”. amirite?

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 15, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

  196. The irony of Grienke having a terrible season but irrationally using FIP as a justification for his performances is delicious.

    Hey, Zach; more outs, less K’s. Try it, it works.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwinngg — July 15, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  197. bautista’s WPA and WPA/LI are both almost twice a-gone’s, and far and away the tops in the majors

    THAT’S an MVP

    Comment by jim — July 16, 2011 @ 5:14 am

  198. “The real, real injustice is how Pedroia gets so much WAR value from a 1/2 year of defense. It’s as if Fangraphs created a stat with certain guidelines but all its writers and spreadsheets chose to ignore them!”

    Right, because a .383 wOBA from a 2B (best in baseball, btw), has nothing to do with it.

    Comment by Bill — July 16, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  199. Oh, and you’re totally right about the UZR sample issue, because it’s not like Pedroia is +8.5 per 150 for his career.

    Comment by Bill — July 16, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  200. You’re conflating “care” with “investing value”. I know their opinions are a joke, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the perception as it relates to MSM and fans. These things have an effect on MVP balloting, that was the point of this post. And ultimately, it has an effect on HoF voting. That’s why it matters.

    It’s especially bad locally when we’re supposed to overrate our great players, not underrate them.

    Comment by Bill — July 16, 2011 @ 9:13 am

  201. The BABIP argument is the best one. If Gonzalez had a BABIP around league average (or even under .350) then there would be no discussion here because the BA between Bautista and Gonzalez would be very similar.

    Comment by Matt M — July 16, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  202. There are three questons presented:

    1) Who is the AL’s best player? Clearly Bautista
    2) Who should win the AL MVP? I don’t know. It depends what it means to the voters.
    3) Who will win the AL MVP? Probably Gonzalez

    Comment by Zabka — July 16, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  203. you mean like josh hamilton did last year?

    Comment by cuck — July 18, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  204. That’s why Bautista is so amazing, he’s on pace for 11.1 WAR[1]. (Probably less now because of the injury of course).

    Even with the injury, I would assume he still projects for more than 10, though that’s not actual knowledge just an assumption.

    Even so, 10 WAR is better than any of A-Rod’s seasons[2]. That’s why Bautista deserves the MVP, he’s performing better than A-Rod ever did; that’s better than an elite Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest Third Baseman of all time, not to mention a PED user.

    On top of that, Bautista is far and away the best player on his team, making him the most valuable. Trade Bautista and A-Gon’s teams, and A-Gon is more valuable because Bautista is suddenly surrounded with much higher caliber players. Basically, A-Gon on the Astros would be more valuable than Bautista on the BoSox or Yankees.

    The ability to make the whole team better is important, but not something that should be measured for MVP as the sole deciding characteristic, and even so, Joey-Bats impacts his team far more than does A-Gon the BoSox. This is due to his high value compared to his teammates.

    All in all, Bautista deserves it, as we all know really. Value can be measured tangibly or intangibly depending on whether you look at normal stats (AVG/HR/R/RBI), sabermetrics (WAR/wRC/UZR), or through even the dictionary definition: “relative merit.”[3]. Bautista is far and away the most valuable through any of these categories and therefore deserves the MVP award whether or not the voters decide to go with a non-playoff team or not.

    [1]http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/jose-bautistas-historic-season-and-the-hall-of-fame/
    [2]http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1274&position=3B/SS
    [3]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/value

    Comment by cuck — July 18, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  205. Not sure how you expect them to read it if they’re non-FanGraphs-reading.

    Comment by corey — July 22, 2011 @ 2:15 am

  206. You mention how many runners Gonzo and Bautista have on when they bat. How does one find this stat?

    Comment by Tommy — August 8, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  207. Adam,

    When tradition is wrong, people seek to change it. See American History for a few examples.

    Tradition is, by far, the worst reason to keep doing something. If “tradition” is your primary reason for doing something, change your actions.

    I’m in education. Tradition is our enemy. Same thing with baseball writers and MLB front offices.

    It’s okay to stand up against tradition when tradition is wrong. Hell, it’s even rebellious.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — August 8, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

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