Will Transparency Destroy Us?

The Baseball Writers Association of America, whose contract with Major League Baseball references as many third-party transactions with Satan as Fox’s World Series contract and the liner notes to a Robert Johnson collection combined, has declared its intentions to make future baseball award votes more transparent than in the past.

Sure enough, the BBWAA released all individual ballots for last night’s Rookie of the Year voting.  While it seems like transparency can only help to legitimize a process that has been under scrutiny longer than Strom Thurmond’s voting record, a glance at the RoY voting suggests that we may be in for some trouble.  See why after the jump.

No NL Rookie was so far ahead of the pack as to make this one a foregone conclusion, as Mike Trout did with the AL Rookie of the Year (along with the Oscar for Best Actor and the Nobel Prize in Physics).  Bryce Harper (5.0 rWAR, 4.9 fWAR) and Wade Miley (3.2, 4.8) were roughly each other’s equivalent in opposing disciplines, while Norichika Aoki (2.9, 3.3), Zack Cozart (2.4, 2.7), and Todd Frazier (1.9, 2.8) compiled resumes worthy of a long look for a third place vote.

Predictably, Harper and Miley split the majority of the first place votes, with Harper taking 16 and Miley 12, and the majority of the second place votes, of which Miley received 13 and to Harper’s 8.  If you know there were two voters representing each NL team, you may have noticed that 15 of them missed the memo about the two-man race.  I’m not here to judge them, or at least to judge those who were more impressed by Frazier’s 120 wRC+ (one point shy of Harper’s) than by Miley’s season.  Several even put Frazier ahead of Harper, perhaps giving a nod to his 21-point edge in slugging percentage (though I’ve seen the argument that Frazier single-handedly kept the Reds’ season alive during Joey Votto’s injury a few too many times in the past two days).

One voter, Enrique Rojas, even saw fit to bestow a first place vote upon the Rockies’ Wilin Rosario, who hit well for a catcher (111 wRC+), but was the worst defensive catcher in baseball, at least according to Matt Klaassen at Getting Blanked (a must-read), leaving him with 1.9 rWAR and 1.8 fWAR. I’m not particularly bothered by differences of opinion in the voting for this award.  What stands out, though, are some of the chapter affiliations of the voters whose votes were more suspect.  Check out this chart, courtesy of CBS Sports:

Three voters found a reason to vote for Frazier ahead of both Harper and Miley, which is perhaps not insane, but requires a general disregard for fielding metrics (Harper’s had 9.9 FRAA to Frazier’s -1.9) and stolen bases (18-3, though Frazier had an edge in non-steal baserunning) and a willingness to attribute far too much team success to a single player (and perhaps to ignore some of the Nationals’ MLB-best 98 wins).  One of the three was Cincinnati’s representative.  Cincy’s other voter put Harper and Miley first and second, but made room for Frazier.

Aoki would have been my third choice, and wasn’t a crazy option for a second-place vote, but you’ll note that of the two voters who placed him second, one represented Milwaukee.  Rosario got a second-place vote from a Colorado voter.  The other Colorado voter put Jordan Pacheco, a .2-win player with below average offense (93 wRC+) and atrocious defense (-11.3 FRAA) third on his ballot.  Yonder Alonso’s only third-place vote came from a San Diego voter.  There’s a vote for Matt Carpenter on there too.  Oh look, that guy’s from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Both Washington representatives voted for Harper.  The Arizona voters split their votes, but wait- one of them is Keith Law?  Former Blue Jays employee and current ESPN snarkster Keith Law takes one of the spots for an Arizona writer?

There’s no reason to throw a fit over a local writer throwing a third-place vote to a hometown guy in a race where third place was wide open.  But after seeing the individual ballots for a relatively controversy-free award, I’m not sure I trust the process more than I did before.  Is there an expectation that every voter will skew his picks toward his hometown team?  If so, does a player suffer if one of his hometown guys issues an objective ballot and leaves him off?  The two Cincinnati candidates had two Cincinnati Enquirer writers on their side (though Cozart was still somehow shut out), while most other teams seemed to be represented by one local writer and one national writer who was shoehorned into a jurisdiction.

This may feel like a non-story, but we’re two days away from Miguel Cabrera winning Mike Trout’s AL MVP Award.  If the voting is close, and all the Detroit voters put Cabrera at the top of their ballots, fans looking for a target for their travesty-induced rage will have names at which to spew their vitriol, rather than a faceless take-back-the-RBI movement.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

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114 Comments on "Will Transparency Destroy Us?"

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Dr. Doom
Guest

I don’t understand… I’ve ALWAYS assumed that hometown guys give their own players a little bit of a bump. And frankly, if everyone’s doing it, it’s really not a problem. And ROY is such a mess anyway, I don’t particularly see that it matters. But that’s just me, I guess. This does nothing to convince me that voting is any better or worse than I already assumed – it’s pretty much exactly what I expected.

Forrest
Guest

This though, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a bias based on non-baseball playing skill, definitely affects who wins an award that rewards baseball skill. That’s the problem, and that’s really a big problem.

MikeD
Guest

It only works if all local writers show bias toward their own players, in essence cancelling each other out. It doesn’t necessarily work that way.

For the most part, though, I think making the voting more transparent will force a greater degree of bias out of the system. If a BBWAA knows that one of his off-the-charts votes will be published and that he’ll come under fire, it may force them to think more. I know. Crazy thought. Let’s see what happens.

Tmckelv
Guest

I agree with the Doctor. I too assumed that the hometown guys got a bump. So that is no real shock. I always figured anyone with 1 or 2 points in the voting received them from a hometown voter.

It is not great of course, and I think that over time the transparency (and subsequent backlash on individual voters) will change that.

Doug
Editor

Bill Center, the San Diego voter who liked Alonso, also had Miley 4th or worse. He was the only voter who didn’t have both Harper AND Miley in the top 3.

Wine Curmudgeon
Guest

In the long ago days when I was in the newspaper business, I voted for things like this (though not, obviously, this) — awards, football polls, etc. This voting is not unusual in any way, shape or form.

Ed
Guest

Re: Keith Law voting for Arizona. Here’s a link to the BBWAA FAQ about voting. I assume this is how Law got in:

“Typically, the writer votes in the chapter where he resides, but sometimes national writers vote as part of smaller chapters that don’t have enough qualified voters.”

http://bbwaa.com/voting-faq/

Ed
Guest

Check out the AL vote:

http://bbwaa.com/12-al-roy/

Two voters, one representing Seattle, one representing Chicago, write for Japanese news organizations. Weird. And one of the Oakland voters comes from the San Francisco Chronicle. Again, a bit strange given that Oakland has its own newspaper.

Doug
Editor

And a New York Post writer representing Atlanta?

JT
Guest

I’m more disappointed in Rosario’s lack of support than anything. While I was pulling for Frazier to pull off the upset, I expected Harper to run away with it. But I think Rosario was grossly overlooked.

As for the AL MVP, as much as I like Trout, I don’t see him winning it over a Triple Crown player. If Cabrera had faltered in just one of those three stats, yes I believe Trout should have won. But as it stands, Miggy is the man.

Mike L
Guest

This might sound a bit recidivist, but I’m not sure I care. All these people bring their own special biases into the process. There are plenty of sportswriters who don’t embrace the new statistical measures, there are some who value one type of player over another. It’s not all that different from the Hall of Fame vote. So, whether I see who voted or not…

no statistician but
Guest
Just a reminder: The awards are titled Rookie of the Year, not Rookie with the Best Stats; Most Valuable Player, not Player with the highest WAR. The subjective evaluation is invited, in other words—not that claiming that nothing counts but a statistical formula isn’t just as subjective as alternative views. People see what they see, some with blinders on to one thing, some with blinders on to another or several, and some with a view of all things. Even the last group may disagree among themselves. I don’t don’t see how questioning the integrity of this or that voter gets… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
Rookie of the Year is a little bit like the Heisman Trophy in that over time I think that there’s maybe been a subtile but very winding shift towards what the voters are looking for. With Harper’s selection I think it shows a current trend towards a) likely prospects for the future and b) advanced metrics verses traditional although in his case the advanced publicity may have factored into the first consideration as much as his historic performance at his age did. While it’s hard for me to fathom how Tony Conigliaro is not one of Harper’s 10 closest comps… Read more »
Brent
Guest

The most amazing thing I see on the list is that the 2nd St. Louis writer is from the Belleveille News Democrat.

Belleville, IL has a population of just short of 45,000 people, according to the 2010 census. It’s daily circulation is just north of 53,000 papers.

Brent
Guest

Last sentence should read “The newspaper’s circulation is just north of 53,000 papers.”

MHB
Guest

It’s the major paper for the illinois suburbs of St. Louis.

kds
Guest
One thing that interests me is that all of the most prestigious national papers are absent. No NY Times, no Washington Post, no LA Times, no Chicago Tribune, no WSJ. I think most or all of these are due to policies by the papers that their writers may not vote, to avoid conflict of interest issues. I think this transparency will be more important for HoF voting, where there will be less pressure to vote for the local guy. I think you could make a strong case that this years ballot will have more than 10 well qualified candidates, (not… Read more »
mosc
Guest

You better believe I’d throw Bernie Williams or Don Mattingly at the bottom of my HOF ballot as a NYY fan for their first year. It would be unforgivable to me that those guys get zero votes. Do I think they’ll get in? No, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t represent them. If 75% of the people feel the same way than I have no problem with them getting in either. Would I write them in during subsequent years? No.

Josh
Guest

Easy solution. With this new transparency, the BBWAA has a responsibility to remove certain writers who blatantly show bias from future voting. In the future, I would also suggest that each voter pick two players who get honorable mention, but not points towards the award. So, for example, if no other voters had Jordan Pacheco in their 5 names, except for the two Colorado based voters, to me that would be proof of bias/not taking the voting seriously/etc.

mosc
Guest

They aught to add some fan voting to remove one writer every year. Bill Center, you showed poor objectivity and a hometown bias. You ARE the weakest link, goodbye!

mosc
Guest

It may sound crazy but it’s perfectly reasonable. Turnover on these things is small anyway and the award is supposed to be about who is getting it not who is giving it. It would also be a good bit of fun.

bells
Guest
I don’t really see it as much of an issue. Yes, there is certainly a hint of bias here and there, but really, even if the voter is ‘objective’, there is a huge amount of possibility for bias. One of the reasons baseball depends on stats so much to make arguments is because they just play so many games, it’s impossible to see day in, day out what all the players do on all the teams. I think that if you cover a team, there’s a natural context that gets put in place around the players you cover, that you’re… Read more »
bells
Guest

I should say ‘two possible solutions’ rather than ‘the two solutions’; I’m just hypothesizing, I’m not actually sure I know what I’m talking about.

Ed
Guest

Looking over the NL Cy Young award votes, it’s interesting to see that the “contrarian voters” (i.e., those that did not have Dickey first) tended to come from online sources. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN had Kershaw first; and Tim Kurkjian of ESPN had Kimbrel first.

Meanwhile, Cueto, who finished fourth overall picked up his lone first place vote via one of the Cincinnati voters…

http://bbwaa.com/12-nl-cy/

bstar
Guest

Glad you broached the subject, Ed. Cueto would’ve gotten my vote, too. I have a long explanation as to why, but I’m not sure it’d be fair to hijack Bryan’s thread right now.

I thought Dickey would win, but not by this much.

mosc
Guest

I think Dickey was a good choice. I value total innings more highly than most folks I guess. I want to nominate Bill Center, AGAIN, as the worst ballot. He voted for Chapman but not Kershaw. 2 guys left off Kershaw, Bill was the one that put an overhyped closer ahead of an absolute stud front line pitcher. No homer SD pick like he did in the ROY voting, but equally damning leaving Kershaw completely off.

Brent
Guest

I think the AL vote is a much more interesting topic. Verlander would have tied Price had the two LA writers not placed Weaver 2nd instead of Verlander (they were the only two writers who thought Weaver should be in front of Verlander). The outlier vote for Rodney 1st (from the Texas writer??) really had no effect because if you move both Verlander and Price up one spot (they were 2nd and 3rd on that writer’s ballot), they each get two more points so it is a wash.

Brent
Guest

Sorry, I mispoke because I misread the current scoring system. If the two 3rd place votes by the Angel writers were 2nd place votes, it would only be 2 more points for Verlander, so it would not have been a tie. Therefore, the outlier vote for Rodney is also important.

mosc
Guest

Right, if you swap verlander and rodney on that guy’s ballot (1 verlander 2 rodney 3 price), it’s 3 points for verlander. Move them both up and it still gains verlander 2.

John Autin
Editor

Since the transparency we’re talking about is fairly new, I’d like to wait and see how the voters themselves are affected by it. Sunshine=disinfectant, that sort of thing.

Josh
Guest

JT…so, let’s say if Hamilton had been healthy, played in 10 more games (for a total of 158), and hit two more home runs…you would vote for Trout because Cabrera no longer led the league in home runs? Or in other words, Hamilton’s injury cost Trout your MVP vote?

JT
Guest

That is correct. Of course, there’s no telling if Hamilton had remained healthy that he definitely would have hit those two home runs. In 1954, Ted Kluszewski hit only 1 home run in his last 10 games. Who’s to say Hamilton wouldn’t have gone in a similar power slump?

Josh
Guest

Okay, just as long as we are clear that because Cabrera happened to lead in three arbitrary categories, including one which is heavily dependent on another, he was in your mind more valuable than if he had the same numbers and didn’t lead one.

JT
Guest

Arbitrary or not, they have been traditionally seen by fan and writer alike as important and exciting. I’ve already stated that I like tradition.

Josh
Guest

I believe in tradition too. I hate the DH, interleague play, and the fact that Milwaukee switched leagues in the 90s and Houston is switching now. At the same time, I have accepted the inevitability of changes. The DH isn’t going away, so I would rather see it in both leagues rather than in one.

By the way, traditionally, the Triple Crown has not guaranteed the MVP. Since 1931 (the first year of the BBWAA award), only 5 of the 9 TC winners prior to Cabrera actually won the MVP.

mosc
Guest

Triple crowns should mean less than the playoff push. Cabrera meant the most on a team that needed it to go from out to in. Trout fell off when his team needed it most and was unable to get the job done team wise.

Better player? Trout. MVP? Cabrera.

Adam Darowski
Guest

Trout fell off to a .900 OPS in September/October. That’s pretty bad.

/sarcasm

mosc
Guest

and Cabrera had a 1.071 in a bigger ballpark. That makes up for a whole lot of “defense”. Outfielders have over-hyped defensive contributions. If trout had a glove, you wouldn’t put him in center and you know it. Not that 3B is the most challenging position either, I just think DWAR is overly kind to Trout compared to more fairly applied to Cabrera.

Overall season was close, but Trout was better. Last month of the season (Cabrera’s tear started much earlier in fact), was not as close. Cabrera.

Adam Darowski
Guest

This is juat another reason why the Hall of Stats will never consider the awards that a player won during his career. They are as flawed as the run batted in.

mosc
Guest

You’ll also ignore post season accomplishments too, which is silly. You should compute some kind of WSWPA or somesuch and use that to leverage post season performances. Game 7 of the world series up by 1 in the 9th? The closer’s got a season worth of leverage on him.

bstar
Guest

To be fair to Adam, his earlier versions of wWAR DID have some sort of postseason WPA metric for every player. Adam didn’t like its implementation and chose to leave it out for this version.

mosc
Guest
Certainly didn’t mean to be an Adam specific comment. Stat guys are terrible about including post season data, mostly because of format complexities it poses. Even fewer take into account any kind of increased importance compared to the regular season that snapshot represents. Post season play is also an opportunity for the lucky few which gives added opportunities disproportionate to the far more player balanced regular season. Still, addressing variable time windows of a player’s season would have other side benefits. We’d be able to better analyze the cost/benefit of players who miss games regularly, better factor in war service… Read more »
Ed
Guest
Personally I disagree with including postseason for two reasons: 1) When discussed in reference to a player’s HOF candidacy, only positive performance ever seems to be discussed. Take, for example, Tony Perez. Perez was a borderline HOF candidate who has poor postseason numbers. And yet I never once heard someone mention Perez’s postseason numbers in the context of his candidacy. Yet, had the opposite been true, if Perez had positive postseason numbers, I’m sure they would have been used as evidence to boost his candidacy. I find the lack of consistency troubling. 2) If two players have the exact same… Read more »
bstar
Guest
Fair points, Ed. I actually DO like the “talk about the postseason only if the player performed well” rhetoric. It may not be totally fair or consistent, but if there’s one thing that induces the gag reflex in me it’s someone taking a small sample size of postseason ABs and forming a negative argument about that player (such and such is 1 for 14 in the series, he really needs to get it going, blah blah blah). I just can’t stomach that stuff. If we don’t even look at BA until maybe the first of June until it semi-stabilizes, why… Read more »
Luis Gomez
Guest

What is wrong with the Run Batted In?

Sincerelly, Joe Carter.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Let’s eliminate the egg-salad-sandwich-eating word grinders from the equation. No more reporters. The reporters can report on what happened. They should never be the story itself. First thing: Bring the Henry Aaron award up into equality with the Cy Young. This allows for the built-in subjectivity of the MVP to exist without argument. The Hank and Cy awards will be determined by the top 50 Sabermetricians in the country (the voting for who those 50 should be delightfully complicated). Each of those 50 will not only be transparent, they will be required to publish a lengthy analysis of how they… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

75 votes, not 60

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Here’s how the Hank Aaron award is determined: This coveted honor is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in both the American League and National League. Originally introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award was the first major award to be introduced in 30 years. Unlike the MVP or other awards, the Hank Aaron Award is given by Major League Baseball, while the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year are awarded by the BBWAA and the Gold… Read more »
Dan McCloskey
Editor

Miguel Cabrera won the Hank Aaron Award this year, and he’s going to win the MVP. Even if it was somehow decided that the Hank Aaron Award become a more prestigious award, my guess is he would still win both. I get your point VZ, but when one of the awards is most outstanding offensive player and the other is most valuable player, it doesn’t change much because all those guys voting for Cabrera for MVP certainly aren’t factoring in defense.

Ed
Guest

I’m still not convinced that Cabrera will win. It seems clear to me that Trout will be first or second on every ballot. I’m not sure the same is true for Cabrera. I could see some voters placing him 3rd or 4th behind Trout and some combination of Cano/Beltre/Verlander.

FWIW, ESPN has a poll up on their site and 21 of the 28 voters picked Trout. I’m not familiar with all the voters but it seems like a fairly diverse group including a few ex-players.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8631348/mlb-2012-american-league-most-valuable-player

bstar
Guest

Actually, Voomo, the players have been really bad (just as bad as the fans) at picking All-Stars and the managers haven’t been noticeably better either at picking the reserves. I wouldn’t trust any major award to them. They’re far too busy watching their own team. And they only play two-thirds of the league 6 times a year.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Points taken.
Hmmm.
Well, we’ve eliminated everyone but the commenters on this website as being viable MVP voters.

brp
Guest

From what I’ve read on this compared to traditional media and other sports sites, that’s not necessarily a bad thing 🙂

Jim Bouldin
Guest

“..references as many third-party transactions with Satan as Fox’s World Series contract and the liner notes to a Robert Johnson collection combined.”

I think it’s pretty well known that a lot of those guys listen to Stairway to Heaven backwards on a regular basis.

Jim Bouldin
Guest

This is fairly off topic I suppose, but I just thought I’d note that if you hold a calendar at the right angle, it’s not really all that far from November to April.

KalineCountry Ron
Guest
Some of you guys are able to go to baseball reference and see how many players had certain minimum number stats. I was wondering how many players had the stats that Cabrera had this year; So with at least a minimum of 109 runs, 205 hits, 40 doubles, 44 homeruns, 139 rbi, .330 BA, .606 Slugging, 165 OPS+ 375 total bases, 139 Runs Created, 84 XBH’s, 57 adjusted batting runs, 5.6 adjusted batting wins, 6.0 Situ. Wins Added (WPA/LI). How many times have these numbers been duplicated by a player in a season? Curious how many of those times it… Read more »
mosc
Guest

You’re asking for the 7 degrees of separation between a player and some historic baseball legend. If you can’t find one, you’re not looking hard enough. You can just adjust a cutoff here or there until you group Cabrera in as elite company as you like. The better stat task would be to link him to the other triple crown winners without using hr/rbi/ba based on single season performances with as few extra other players as possible.

😛

Richard Chester
Guest

In answer to your question I have found that only Lou Gehrig (1927 and 1934) has matched or beaten all of those stats. There is no data available for Gehrig on WPA/LI.

bstar
Guest

Cabrera was actually better in 2011. He posted higher BA, OBP, OPS, OPS+, 2B, runs scored, batting runs, WAR, fewer strikeouts and more walks.

Doug
Editor
KCR, Moving the thresholds down slightly to rounder numbers, these are the players with seasons of 200 hits, 40 doubles, 40 HR, 100 Runs, 125 RBI, .325 BA, .600 SLG, 150 OPS+, 125 RC. Gives a bit more context to Cabrera’s season. (This is an amended post as I botched the original list. The new list below is significantly more exclusive. Thanks to Richard Chester for alerting me to my error.) Player ▴ HR H RBI OPS+ RC BA Year Age Tm R 2B 3B BB SO OBP SLG OPS Pos Albert Belle 49 200 152 172 158 .328 1998 31… Read more »
bstar
Guest

In other words, Cabrera’s season has been matched by others, though not many times. I don’t think that’s a big surprise.

All you need is three metrics to have Mike Trout stand alone.

-only player ever with 30+ HR, 45+ SB, and 125+ runs scored.

-only player ever with 30+ HR, 45+ SB, and OPS+ over 170.

And we haven’t even talked about defense yet.

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

Richard Chester, BStar, and Doug, Thankyou for the informative posts. That is pretty elite company that Miguel is with.

With my SN you should know how much I appreciate an all-around player like Mike Trout, and his great 5 tool season, but my lifelong allegiance to the Tigers, a hitter with Power and Average like Cabrera, is a thrill that hasn’t happened often in Tigers history.

bstar
Guest

Kaline, I was surprised to hear it’s the first MVP for a Tiger position player since 1940. I’d have sworn that Cecil Fielder won one when he led the league in RBI three straight years, but nope. He finished second twice.

Doug
Editor

On the other hand, of the 14 times an AL pitcher has won the MVP, it’s been a Tiger 5 times (Verlander, Hernandez, McLain, Newhouser twice). The two by Newhouser were back-to-back and followed Spud Chandler, for three pitchers in a row.

Four others (Grove, Shantz, Blue, Eckersley) have been Athletics (as was Fingers for the most famous part of his career, but not his MVP season).

Nine pitchers have won ten NL MVPs, including 3 Dodgers (Vance, Newcombe, Koufax) and 3 Cardinals (Dean, Cooper, Gibson).

Pitchers were MVPs in both leagues in 1924 and 1968.

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

Greenberg won in 1940 as a Leftfielder. Previously won the MVP at First base iirc 1935. Kaline finished 2nd twice, in 1955 to Yogi, and 1963 to Elston Howard. Trammell, as Tigers fans still say, got screwed in 1987, and Fielder did finish second twice as well.

bstar
Guest

***CABRERA WINS AL MVP***

no statistician but
Guest

Meaning Cabrera at least did better than Trout in November?

Chad
Guest
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – I am a Tiger fan, and think Cabrera deserved to win. That being said, it is undeniable that Trout had a fantastic season, and was also deserving, and I would not have been outraged had he won the award. If you feel Trout had a better season and should have won, fine; I would hope you could also agree that at least it went to someone deserving. I doubt we will be talking 20 or 30 years from now about what a travesty the vote was, and how the… Read more »
RichW
Guest

That specific comment I agree with. Trout however was the MVP by quite a bit IMO.

Jim Bouldin
Guest
Personally, I cannot remember any year in which two such phenomenal (and difficult-to-compare) seasons were compiled in the same league. I do think consideration must be given to how much of the season one plays, and this factor tips the balance in favor of Cabrera IMO. It’s no fault of Trout’s that he missed a month of course, but if you’re not playing, for whatever reason, you’re not contributing value. If Trout stays healthy and the Angels stay good, he’s going to win the award, likely multiple times. Cabrera is now at his peak most likely, so the future trajectory… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Ruth and Gehrig were mighty close in 1927. The rule at the time was that a player could win the MVP only once so that eliminated Ruth due his MVP award in 1923.

brp
Guest

I have always *hated* the “well, he’s young so he’ll win the award later” type of argument. It’s completely irrelevant to what happened on the field and there’s no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow. Trout could rip up his knee or get hit by a pitch or a thousand other things and never be the same player again.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Speaking of baseball writers, when is the Hall of Fame going to get rid of any reference to Bill Conlin. You can go to their web site right now and see a picture of him and read fawning words written about him. What Bill Conlin has done is on par with Sandusky. Joe Paterno had a statue removed for looking the other way. I guess we live in a society now where things like the statute of limitations means more than the truth.

no statistician but
Guest

Good point. I’d guess it is because no one pays any attention to the non-player and non-manager HOF members after they get in. Gee, let’s go to Cooperstown and look at Jack Brickhouse’s likeness and record as an announcer? Listen to a record of him plugging Meister Brau, the custom brew?

Timmy Pea
Guest

Tennis HoF suspends Bob Hewitt for messing with little girls. The baseball HoF should scrub Conlin as well. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20121116/hall-of-fame-suspends-bob-hewitt.ap/?sct=obnetwork

John Autin
Editor

I can’t decide which is worse — ignoring the wrongdoing, or going so far as to expunge all mention of the individual, as described in the SI link. As far as the Tennis Hall of Fame is concerned, B– H—– is now an unperson.

I think our Halls of Fame should simply add a “Disgraced” wing.

bstar
Guest

Timmy, thanks for jogging my memory on the Bill Conlin thing. I spent a few hours reading everything I could about the situation the other day. It’s eerie how similar it is to the Sandusky scandal in that so many people knew about it but swept it under the rug. Of course, times were different then. Sad stuff.

Timmy Pea
Guest

I think it’s easier to scrub a non-player type. It’s hard to ignore the great feats of O. J. Simpson or Pete Rose, or just to pretend they never happened. College sports does that a lot by retroactively forfeiting games and such and for the most part I don’t like it. This Conlin stuff is terrible. If OJ would have copped a plea and spent 20-25 years in jail he would get much more sympathy than Conlin or Sandusky.

RJ
Guest

So I go on holiday for a week and in the meantime somebody gives Hunter Pence an MVP vote. What.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Are you from England RJ?

RJ
Guest

What gave it away Timmy?

Timmy Pea
Guest

Regular Americans go on vacation. I was under the impression that baseball was not very popular in England. The more popular soccer is, baseball suffers. For example take the Caribbean vs. South America, or the far east vs. the middle east.

RJ
Guest
Hah, after scanning that sentence I would never have guessed it was “holiday” that gave it away. It’s usually the use of an extraneous “u” that reveals my true colours. Baseball is not popular in the UK, although the websites of some mainstream newspapers are starting to pay it some attention during the playoffs at least, though I suspect this is more to do with international readerships than anything. Personally speaking, I have some family in the US, and caught the bug after watching games out there, despite the inauspicious start of having a late 90’s Royals-Tigers matchup as my… Read more »
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