• Let The Whining Begin…

    Posted by on November 15th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    From the Tornoto Star:

    The baseball writers made a mistake, voting Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez as the AL’s most valuable player over Red Sox inspirational designated hitter David Ortiz.

    The fact that four Yankees rated top-10 status should be an indicator that maybe A-Rod’s onfield support group in the Bronx was somewhat deeper than Papi’s at Fenway.

    Excuse me, but, Ortiz has one of the best lead-off batters in the league over the past few years, Johnny Damon, hitting in front of him, and perhaps the greatest right-handed batter of this generation, Manny Ramirez, batting directly behind him. It’s not like Ortiz was sandwiched between chopped liver and cream cheese this season.

    From the Boston Herald:

    Apparently, America is not ready to elect a designated hitter as its Most Valuable Player. We can put Geena Davis in the White House, but we can’t give the MVP to a man who routinely snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Alex Rodriguez won the American League MVP award yesterday, but the story here in Boston is that David Ortiz did not. Ortiz did everything a designated hitter possibly could do to win the award, but the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America continue to treat the DH as if it were VD.

    Gee, maybe there’s a reason why the award is called the Most Valuable Player and not the Most Valuable Hitter?

    From The USA Today:

    Alex Rodriguez collects testaments to his greatness the way mere mortals collect lint. He is a money machine without compare, a pinball wizard who tilts the scoreboard, a superstar who is designed like your video-game hero of choice.

    But Rodriguez is no more the MVP of the American League now, as a first-place third baseman with the Yankees, than he was as a last-place shortstop with the Rangers, who finished 25 games off the pace in 2003 — or one game for every $10 million that Tom Hicks guaranteed A-Rod, with a couple million to spare.

    David Ortiz should’ve won the award, even if he doesn’t play the field. You didn’t need to weigh the numbers to know Ortiz made more dramatic contributions to the Red Sox than Rodriguez made to the Yanks. Two out of every three nights, Ortiz was sending some late-season, late-game ball to the moon. That was good enough for me.

    David Ortiz did bat .346 last season in “Close & Late” Situations. But, Vlad Guerrero batted .408 in the same spots. Victor Martinez batted .372 in those situations. Therefore, using the “Close & Late” case – and playing on a contending team – then Vlad or Victor should have been the MVP – and not Ortiz.

    From Jayson Stark at ESPN.com:

    The MVP award wasn’t about defense the year Jose Canseco won it.

    The MVP award wasn’t about defense the years Juan Gonzalez won it.

    The MVP award wasn’t about defense the years Frank Thomas won it.

    But suddenly, this year, defense mattered. And Alex Rodriguez will be eternally grateful, we’re sure.

    A-Rod had himself another spectacular season, all right. Nobody denies that. But is there any doubt that the only reason he just won his second MVP trophy was that he’s a member of the leatherworkers’ union and David Ortiz isn’t?

    How else, after all, would we justify this choice?

    I like Jayson a lot. He’s a nice guy. But, I wish he had read WasWatching.com last September when I wrote:

    In 1995, Edgar Martinez (the DH) of the Seattle Mariners was by far the best hitter in the league. In fact, Martinez’ 1995 season was probably the best season (in terms of relative batting value) by a RH batter in the AL since 1941. And, his team won their division and made it to the ALCS.

    And, who won the AL MVP in 1995? Mo Vaughn (the 1B) of the Boston Red Sox. (Edgar finished a distant 3rd in the voting.) Why? Probably because Mo was a position player who hit a lot of HRs and had many RBI for a team that won.

    I could do this all day. But, instead, I’m going to throw one stat out there – and I welcome those from the “Ortiz was more clutch and therefore deserving” Camp to chew on it. From the sortable stats at ESPN.com:

    David Ortiz came to the plate 92 times in 2005 in “Close & Late” Situations. His On Base Average was .447 in those spots. Therefore, in 51 of 92 “Close & Late” Situations this year, Ortiz was retired.

    Alex Rodriguez came to the plate 90 times in 2005 in “Close & Late” Situations. His On Base Average was .418 in those spots. Therefore, in 52 of 90 “Close & Late” Situations this year, A-Rod was retired.

    It’s 51/92 versus 52/90. Where’s the huge edge in being clutch for Ortiz? I don’t see it – probably because it’s not there.

    Comments on Let The Whining Begin…

    1. hopbitters
      November 15th, 2005 | 10:12 am

      I’m not a big fan of them, but A-Rod led Ortiz in batting win shares. All this outrage is amazing when year after year all the other awards and HoF inductions go to the wrong person without so much as a shrug from the mainstream media, but a Yankee wins over a Red Sox hero (defensibly by just about any measure other than “but I like the other guy better”) and they’re all up in arms. And who is it that actually voted on this in the first place? Oh, that’s right – the same people that are complaining.

    2. Raf
      November 15th, 2005 | 1:40 pm

      Some of these writers need a nice tall glass of “STFU”

    3. Don
      November 15th, 2005 | 1:42 pm

      Waaah-waaah! Mommy, mommy!! A Yankee won a major award, I’m frightened!!! Make it go away, waaaaaaaaaah!!!!

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