Renegade BBWAA Awards

Over at Statistically Speaking, and The Hardball Times, my pal and colleague Pizza Cutter has posted the results of what I guess we are deeming the Renegade BBWAA Awards. The premise was simple: contact as many stathead bloggers as possible, and ask them to offer first, second, and third place votes for the three major awards in each league. The awards in question were the MVP, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year. It did not make much sense to include Comeback Player of the Year or any other absolutely ridiculous award designed to give some sponsor of major league baseball air time.

The results are posted at both of the linked sites in the above paragraph, but instead of going over who we voted for, with arguments for and/or against, I wanted to touch on how we probably picked the same player as the BBWAA in five of the six instances. I cannot see Albert Pujols not winning the NL MVP, though I sincerely doubt it will be a unanimous victory as in our poll. Geovany Soto is a lock for NL Rookie of the Year, and while I personally voted for Johan Santana for NL Cy Young Award, I have a very strong inclination that Tim Lincecum will walk home with some impressive hardware.

The AL Rookie of the Year award was essentially won by Evan Longoria after one week in the major leagues. Okay, maybe not literally, but what I mean is that ever since his call-up, this has been his award to lose, and despite missing time with an injury, he will probably receive votes for a more “important” award, let alone enough to win this one. In the AL Cy Young Award race, I felt our results most clearly depicted what happened in the junior circuit this year, with Cliff Lee eventually winning, but Roy Halladay finishing very, very close. I can honestly see Cliff being an almost unanimous choice in reality, but Halladay definitely deserves some first place votes. Hey, at least Toronto has some BBWAA members!

The only award that seems to be up in the air is the AL MVP. I mean seriously, who is the AL’s most valuable player? Our votes resulted in a tie between Joe Mauer of the Twins and Grady Sizemore of the Indians. Alex Rodriguez finished third, with Dustin Pedroia finishing fourth. I support the Mauer choice even though he lacks the drama and superstar quality that writers seem to look for. I cannot support the Grady Sizemore choice for the simple reason that I just cannot truly justify giving both the Cy Young Award and MVP to players on an 81-81 team. A team does not have to make the playoffs to have an award winner, but the Indians were out of the race all season. Sizemore had a fantastic year, and put up gaudy statistics, but if I had to vote for the MVP specifically from the Indians, I might actually be more inclined to go with Lee. And why isn’t Evan Longoria getting more mention?

I really see Pedroia taking home the award when it is announced, but has there been a tougher AL MVP race in recent history? It seems that nobody is a clear-cut candidate. Anyways, if you are interested in participating in this next year, simply send myself or Pizza Cutter an e-mail.



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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.


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Kent
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Kent
7 years 7 months ago

Sizemore put up “gaudy” numbers? 33 HR’s, 90 rbi and a .268 AVG count as “gaudy” these days (even with the 38 bags)?

Ray
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Ray
7 years 7 months ago

I had Mauer and Sizemore virtually dead even around the 100 RARP mark after factoring in Clutch, Net Double Plays, and a pretty crude estimate of defensive value. If I had a vote, I’d flip a coin with the loser settling for second place.

Vegas Watch
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7 years 7 months ago

“I cannot support the Grady Sizemore choice for the simple reason that I just cannot truly justify giving both the Cy Young Award and MVP to players on an 81-81 team.”

Oh come on, that is some BBWAA logic right there. If you think Lee was more valuable, then say he deserves it ahead of Sizemore. But you can’t say they can’t win both awards because the Indians were only .500. That’s ridiculous.

And Longoria isn’t getting more attention because he only played 122 games and finished 29th among AL position players in VORP.

Ray
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Ray
7 years 7 months ago

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. Sizemore and Mauer were still more valuable than Longoria offensively and maybe defensively on a per game basis anyway, but there would have been a reasonable argument for a top five finish had he played 150+ games at this level.

Michael
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Michael
7 years 7 months ago

I agree with Vegas Watch. It’s certainly possible that the most valuable non-pitcher and the most valuable pitcher played for a .500 team if the rest of the roster was well below average.

I thought that Pedroia was the AL MVP but Pizza Cutter’s article was a bit dismissive of that viewpoint, choosing to comment on Pedroia’s height. I started with VORP, adjusted for the run value of Fielding Bible’s plus/minus number of plays, and Pedroia was a close second in the AL to Cliff Lee. Lee faced weaker than average competition and made his contributions in a less valuable context considering his team was a long way out of play-off contention for most of the season, so I didn’t have a problem bumping Lee down to third on my ballot. Pedroia also was among the league leaders in WPA, which of course weights performance based on the context of contributing to wins. I’m not saying that my logic was the only reasonable argument and Pedroia MUST by AL MVP, but I do think it was one reasonable conclusion.

Sure, I’d like to participate in future balloting — I already prepare my views for the Internet Baseball Award balloting. However, I’m just an avid baseball fan, not a blogger.

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