MVP Elections – 1984 AL

willie-hernandezGreetings again, HHS-ers!  Dr. Doom here, via Doug again.

You’re going to notice a pattern here:  whenever a reliever wins an MVP, I’m going to give it the sideways eyes and have us re-examine, because… I’m just not sure I buy relievers being that valuable.

So that leads us to 1984.  I feel like every time I look at one of these years, the BIG story in baseball is something going on in the other league.  We looked at the AL in 1981, when the NL was the real mess.  We looked at the NL in 1967, when the greatest pennant race in history was in the AL.  Finally, with 1984, we rectify that trend.

THE big story in baseball in 1984 wasn’t  that fabulous young rookie pitching for the Mets; it wasn’t the Cubs trying to get to the World Series; it wasn’t a young Padre team that came sort of out of nowhere to win their division. No, the story of 1984 was absolutely and unequivocally the Detroit Tigers. I think most fans know about the Tigers white-hot start to the season.  Detroit began the year 35-5. But more than that, they never trailed in the division race. They took over first place all alone following their fourth game of the season, and they never looked back. Even though they cooled off a little (let’s face it – no one’s going to win 87.5% of their games all year, essentially what the Warriors were in basketball this year), they were so relentless that their largest lead of the season (15 games) came in the final week of September, and they also matched their largest difference from .500 (+46 games) on the last day of the season. To call them the “prohibitive favorites” would be to put it too mildly. Why those Detroit teams never became a dynastic franchise is a book worth writing. Not by me, but I would read such a book.  Regardless, this team had a TON of talent, and it all coalesced perfectly in this one transcendent year.

And when awards time came, it was obvious to anyone who follows awards voting patterns that a team THAT good (104-58) is probably going to be given a truckload of awards at the end of the year.  Of course, what was odd about this one was that they went to one man.  What was odder was that the man in question was a relief pitcher named Willie Hernandez.  Hernandez was fifth on his team in innings (140.1) in spite of making no starts (ten other pitchers made at least one start).  He appeared in 80 G, so average an inning and two-thirds per appearance. Hernandez was about 21 innings shy of competing for the ERA title and, had he done so, his 1.92 ERA would easily have led the league.  The same can be said for his .941 WHIP.  Oh, and he also went 9-3 with 32 saves.  Unsurprisingly, as has been the case in a couple of these posts before, Hernandez follows the narrative of the new player to the team who helps push thing “over the top.”  The Tigers had been stuck between a .519 and .568 winning percentage (83 to 92 wins in a full season) since 1978, destined to remain stuck in or about 3rd place in the standings.  They had finished as low as fifth, but finished second in ’83, so were making positive strides.  If the voters chose to believe that Hernandez was a key piece of the puzzle in turning them into a 100+ win team, it would be consistent with what we saw in the last three of these posts, too.  Look, I would never say anything to claim Hernandez was bad in ’84 – remember that the point of the years I chose for this exercise is not to look at necessarily “bad” choices – it’s to look at years where there could have been many right answers.  Perhaps you feel that Hernandez was the right answer in ’84.

The problem with Hernandez is that he may not have been the most valuable Tiger in 1984.  There are cases to be made for at least three others.  But before we get to them, let’s digress a little and take a look at Aurelio Lopez, Hernandez’s fellow reliever.  Lopez pitched only 3 fewer innings than Hernandez in 9 fewer games.  His ERA was, admittedly, worse (2.94 compared to 1.92).  Yet he struck out 94, close to Hernandez’s 112, and posted a 1.169 WHIP, a solid mark though not in the class of Hernandez’s 0.941 score (the difference is about two extra baserunners per 9 IP). And, his 10-1 record was similar to but better than Hernandez’s 9-3 mark. I think baseball fans today often parody the writers of the past as being blind to anything beyond the W-L record.  Yet, in similar workloads, it’s clear that the voters understood that a slightly better record wasn’t everything in this case.

Okay, since it wasn’t too hard to make the case that Hernandez had the edge over Lopez, let’s move on to the three other Tiger candidates for MVP.  Taking them alphabetically, we begin with Kirk Gibson.  Gibson had the highest MVP-vote finish in ’84 of any of the non-Hernandez Tigers.  He batted .282/.363/.516 for the 10th-best OPS in the AL.  He scored 92 and knocked in 91 while banging 27 HR.  This was his first full season (he played 149 games; his previous high was 128 the year before, and in the four seasons before that he played more than a half-season only once, with 83 games in the strike-shortened 1981 campaign).  Still, Gibson was well on his way to staking his claim which I think it’s fair to say he still holds:  greatest player in the All-Star Game era to never make an All-Star team.  Chet Lemon didn’t show up in the MVP voting at all, which is a bit surprising.  Playing CF well is hard enough; doing so while hitting .287/.357/.495 (for the 12th best OPS in the AL) with 20 HR is even harder.  He added 77 R, 76 RBI, and 34 2B to round out his season.  The final Tiger I’m going to highlight is Alan Trammell.  Trammell was, of course, the third best shortstop in the AL East… but of course, that also made him the 3rd best shortstop in baseball, as that’s what happens when you’re in the same division as Robin Yount and Cal Ripken, Jr.  But in ’84, Trammell really had quite a year.  Playing in only 139 games (which may have held him back from a higher MVP finish), Trammell batted .314/.382/.468 (5th best average in the AL), with his OPS the 13th best in the AL (note how close together all these Tigers were).  Trammell matched Lemon with 34 2B, plus hit 14 round-trippers to go with 69 RBI and 85 R.

The Tigers weren’t the only team with candidates, though.  The runner-up in the voting was, shockingly, Kent Hrbek.  Hrbek finally put it all together playing for his hometown Twins* in 1984, putting together the AL’s 5th-best OPS with a .311/.383/.522 slash – the batting average ranking 7th in the league, and the SLG ranking 5th.  Hrbek added 27 HR and 31 2B, 80 R, and 107 RBI for a team that reached .500 after losing 100 games just two years earlier.

*Bill James once said that the Reds seem to have more “homegrown” players than anyone else.  But seriously:  Hrbek, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Joe Mauer, Jack Morris, Glen Perkins, Jim Eisenreich, Terry Steinbach – almost every single very good player from that state has had SOME time with the Twins.

Another candidate was the man finishing 3rd in the voting:  Dan Quisenberry.  Quisenberry ranked in the top-3 in Cy Young voting every year from 1982-1985.  Quiz, known as one of the best relievers of his era, led the league in saves in all four of those years.  In many ways, of the four, 1984 was his worst year.  But at his worst, Quiz was still among the best; his 44 saves (one shy of the single-season MLB record he had set the year before) may not sound out-of the ordinary now (and in fact would not be, even within a few years), but it was considered a pretty remarkable number in 1984.  He also reached that number pitching 129.1 innings in 72 G, which are both numbers that don’t make us think “closer” today, but were good numbers for the role they called “fireman” back then.  Never a strikeout artist, Quisenberry excelled at keeping runners off the basepaths.  In particular, his stingy 12 walks allowed stick out – less than one per nine innings!  His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.42 was better than any qualifying pitcher, even though his strikeout total was rather pedestrian (2.9 per 9).

Two more candidates come from the land of the pinstripe.  The first we’ll look at is Donnie Baseball himself, Don Mattingly.  Mattingly, whose Yankee career (1982-95) coincided exactly with the longest World-Series-appearance drought in franchise history (I always felt bad for the guy for that reason – he never even got to enjoy the one part of being a Yankee that’s supposed to be a birthright, particularly for a player who stays there more than a decade).  In 1983, Mattingly had actually played more outfield (48 G) than first base (42 G).  But in 1984, he was handed the starting job at first, and boy how he grabbed that opportunity.  He lapped the field in winning the AL batting title with a .343 average (second place was the man we’ll get to in a minute), and his .537 SLG was second in the league.  Not only were his 207 H best on the junior circuit, but so too were his 44 two-baggers.  He scored 91, drove in 110, and clouted 23.  Adding in his OBP (.381), Mattingly came up juuust shy of the OPS title, having the second-best number in the league, just .002 behind Dwight Evans.  Mattingly’s teammate Dave Winfield is worth discussing, too.  Winfield was fourth in OPS with a .340/.393/.515 line, those slash components ranking 2nd, 4th, and 8th in the league, respectively.  Winfield was also the only 100-100 man outside of the cozy confines of Fenway, scoring 106 and driving in 100.  He knocked 19 out of the park and added 34 off the wall.

Finally, we get to our last two candidates, who hail from Baltimore.  As is always the case in a year in which there’s no uber-candidate in the AL in the 1980s, Eddie Murray must be considered as the MVP.  He had a usual Eddie Murray season:  97 R, 107 RBI, 29 dingers.  His slash of .306/.410/.509 ranked 8th/1st/10th, and his OPS was tied with Mattingly for 2nd in the league.  An extenuating circumstance is this:  from 1968-1983, the Orioles finished in 1st or 2nd every year but two (3rd in 1972 and 4th in 1978).  They had just won the World Series in 1983.  So when they fell back to 5th place in the crowded AL East (going 85-77), it must’ve come as a shock to the voters.  Perhaps that’s why Cal Ripken, Jr., the reigning MVP finished worst of any player to receive votes for MVP.  Ripken was still the best defensive shortstop in the AL, probably by a large margin.  That alone seemingly could’ve made him a candidate.  But the fact that his batting line (.304/.374/.510) was nearly identical to his MVP season the year before (.318/.371/.517) should’ve made it a near-certainty that he would get serious consideration in the voting.  His OBP was 13th, the other two slash categories were 9th, and he was 8th in OPS.  Ripken scored 103 and drove in 86.  His 37 2B were 4th, and only 12 players in the AL hit more than his 27 HR, and (duh) he played every game (as did Murray, actually).

1984 was a weird year.  I’ve presented a lot of candidates, but it’s worth digging deeper, too.  So, is it one of these guys?  Some I haven’t mentioned (like Alvin Davis, the outstanding Rookie for the Mariners, or one of the Blue Jays having a good year), are also worth checking out.  Could it be one of them?  I look forward to this discussion, particularly as we get closer and closer to the baseball that more and more of us actually watched.  Happy discussing!

DIRECTIONS:  Please list 5-10 players on your MVP ballot (ballots with fewer than 5 candidates will be thrown out).  Ballots will be scored as per BBWAA scoring (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1).  Strategic voting is discouraged, though unenforceable, so please just don’t do it, as the goal here is to (somewhat) mimic the BBWAA process.  The post will be live for about a week; please discuss and vote whenever you’d like, but there will be no vote changes, so don’t vote until you’re sure you’re ready!

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45 Comments on "MVP Elections – 1984 AL"

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David P
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Ripken’s 10.0 WAR lead the AL (Stieb was second with 7.9) yet he only received one 10th place vote in the MVP balloting. Seems like just as he was given credit for Baltimore winning in ’83, he was given blame for them failing to win in ’84. For some reason, voters decided that Eddie Murray was to be held harmless for Baltimore’s drop-off.

David P
Guest

How did Hernandez do while the Tigers raced off to a 35-5 record, burying the rest of the AL East?

19 games, 35.2 innings, 1-0, 7 saves, 3.03 ERA.

Not exactly numbers of a future MVP. Of course, Hernandez largely won the award on the basis of saving 32 games in a row, a record at the time.

Paul E
Guest
“*Bill James once said that the Reds seem to have more “homegrown” players than anyone else. But seriously: Hrbek, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Joe Mauer, Jack Morris, Glen Perkins, Jim Eisenreich, Terry Steinbach – almost every single very good player from that state has had SOME time with the Twins.” Not to imply that I know exactly what James was implying, but I suspect he was implying that those Reds players were actually from Cincinnati, not merely the state of Ohio. He may have also been implying (and, of course, I’m not certain) that these “homegrowners” were actually Reds’ signees… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I think maybe it’s like Nebraska, where everyone in the state is a Cornhusker fan. In Ohio you not only have the Reds & the Indians but the Pirates a few miles to the east & the Tigers an hour to the north and their Triple A team in Toledo as well. Plus Columbus was the Double A and then Triple A team for the Cardinals for a couple of decades and then later for the New York Yankees for a quarter of a century. Plus you have or have had minor league teams in Decatur, Akron, Dayton and elsewhere.… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Here’s why Willie Hernandez shouldn’t be the HHS 1984 AL MVP: In the HHS 1981 vote just completed, there was a candidate named Rollie Fingers who finished with one second place vote—mine—but who otherwise got very little attention, despite the fact that he won the original vote of the baseball writers. Now, Fingers won 6 and saved 28 for a team that played 109 games. Hernandez won 9 and saved 32 for a team that played 162 games. Yeah Hernandez pitched more innings, including a lot of mop-up work, as the Tigers’ 63-17 record shows for games in which he… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Of course, just to play devil’s advocate, Fingers had a WPA of 3.4, while Hernandez posted an 8.65, the fifth-highest number of any pitcher in the WPA era. It’s entirely possible that the innings Hernandez pitched were more valuable than the ones Fingers pitched.

no statistician but
Guest

Give one comp to Hernandez by a wide margin, but give how many others to Fingers by some pretty wide margins, especially pWAR compared to the rest of the team—an astronomically wide margin—and you see Fingers as more to his team in his year by, yes, a wide margin.

Doug
Guest
Hernandez got a bunch of WPA (3.3) from his 15 outings of 3+ IP, which included only one outing with negative WPA. For Fingers in ’81, it was only 4 outings of that length, but also a whack of WPA (1.6), all positive. For outings of 2+ IP but less than 3 IP, it looks like this: – Hernandez: 23 outings, 3.5 WPA, one negative outing – Fingers: 15 outings, 1.9 WPA, two negative outings If you add together the above two to get all outings of 2+ IP, it’s: – Hernandez: 38 outings, 6.8 WPA, two negative – Fingers:… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

I agree that it’s a bit of a stretch to even view Hernandez as the most valuable player on his own team, much less in the league. But given their record relative to the rest of the league I don’t think it would be wholly unreasonable to see him as being worthy as one of 3 or 4 Tigers on someones ballot especially if, like me, you’re not inclined to vote for starting pitchers for MVP unless they have a truly remarkable season.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
This is hard. I don’t think Hernandez is a terrible choice, given his number of innings. But I also think giving him the CY is sufficient. An everyday CF who does it all like Chet Lemon is certainly more valuable. Let’s not sleep on Rickey Henderson, who got zero votes, but who was still 80’s Rickey. This can go so many ways, but I’m giving it to Mattingly, simply because I remember the excitement he brought to the game that year. 1. Don Mattingly 2. Cal Ripken 3. Chet Lemon 4. Eddie Murray 5. Rickey Henderson 6. Dwight Evans 7.… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I think Mattingly was more deserving in ’84 than when he won it the following year.
Boggs and Brett were beasts in ’85.

And Donnie doesn’t drive in 145 without Rickey scoring 146.
(Rickey scored 45 runs in the 1st inning !)

Richard Chester
Guest

16 of those 45 first inning runs scored were driven in by Mattingly

Paul E
Guest
FWIW, I can’t ignore Ripken enjoying one of the finest seasons ever by a SS – even if the O’s fell off their world championship season. Plus, I believe I would be splitting hairs in deciding who was the more valuable of Hernandez, Lemon, Trammell, Gibson for the 100+ win Tigers. So: 1) Ripken – 1st in oWAR, WAR, Win Shares, VORP, bWARP, and third in Offensive Win Shares 2) Murray – why not compound my error above? 3) Henderson 4) Evans 5) Mattingly 6) Boggs 7) Moseby 8) Trammell 9) Winfield 10) Hernandez In 1984, THREE recently traded Phillies… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

I’ve been derelict here: let’s say January 15th is the closing day for this round of voting. Happy voting & discussing.

birtelcom
Guest

WPA in MLB, 1984:
1. Willie Hernandez 8.65
2. Tony Gwynn 7.33
3. Eddie Murray 6.90
4. Dwight Evans 5.65
5. Alvin Davis 5.57
6. Keith Hernandez 5.24
7. Gary Matthews 4.96
8. Tim Raines 4.79
9. Dan Quisenberry 4.63
10. Ryne Sandburg 4.60
11. Bruce Sutter 4.41
12. Dwight Gooden 4.25
13. Dale Murphy 4.23
14. Don Mattingly 4.18
15. Rickey Henderson 4.03

birtelcom
Guest

Most single season WPA in the AL since 1961 (“Expansion Era”):
1. Mickey Mantle (1961) 8.96
2. David Ortiz (2005) 8.77
3. Willie Hernandez (1984) 8.65
4. Jason Giambi (2001) 8.54
5. Carl Yastrzemski (1967) 8.45

Doug
Guest

Thanks for that context, birtelcom.

Season WPA is definitely not a metric that many will have a good sense of. Seems like good WPA and good WAR work out about the same, which is a good thing since they’re ultimately measuring much the same thing, albeit in very different ways.

birtelcom
Editor
I think WPA’s scale is, in effect, tied to “average” level, rather than the “replacement” level to which WAR is scaled. Each plate appearance result generates a plus or minus WPA for the hitter and pitcher respectively. The amount of that plus or minus increment is based on the amount of win probability for the hitter’s or pitcher’s team caused by the outcome of the plate appearance — as compared to the league-wide average win probability that results from that score/inning/out/men on base situation. Because that comparison is to the average result, I think WPA ends up being scaled to… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Hence, the best WPA scores are a bit lower than the best WAR scores. Makes sense.

Josh Davis
Guest

Recently stumbled across this site and love the re-voting idea. I’m really enjoying the discussion and variety of perspectives. So many great arguments from differing points of view. Here is my ballot:
1. Don Mattingly
2. Eddie Murray
3. Dave Winfield
4. Dwight Evans
5. Cal Ripken
6. Kirk Gibson
7. Alan Trammell
8. Kent Hrbek
9. Lloyd Moseby
10. Rickey Henderson

Dr. Doom
Guest

Glad you’re enjoying! Thanks for voting!

David P
Guest
1) Ripken – Easily the best player in the AL. Baltimore got off to a poor start, but fought it’s way back for while before eventually succumbing to the Detroit Death Star. 2) Stieb – Second in overall WAR. No team battled the Detroit Death Star more valiantly than the Blue Jays. 3) Trammell – Best player on the best team should fare no worse than 3rd. 4) Moseby – See Stieb above. 5) Lemon – By far best team in the league deserves at least two players in the top 5. 6) Murray – See Ripken above. 7) Hernandez… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Interestingly, Chet Lemon received nary a single MVP vote in his entire career. There were multiple seasons in which he should’ve shown up in the voting. Heck, I think there’s a pretty strong Hall of Fame case to be made for him. He had an identical OPS to (actually .001 more than) Alan Trammell, played a key defensive position… and got no MVP love. I’m not actually sure what the deal was. He was, in my opinion, the best player on the best team in 1984 (or right up there with Trammell, anyway), and yet people never seemed to care… Read more »
David P
Guest
I imagine Lemon was done in by several factors: 1) Lack of an identifiable skill – Did everything well, nothing outstanding. If you look at the counting stats, he was rarely in the top 10. One 9th place finish in BA, a 1st, 3rd, and two 8ths in doubles, a 7th in slugging %, a 6th in triples, a 10th in runs scored. 2) Wasn’t a run scorer or RBI man. Scored 99 runs in 1977 but next highest was only 79. Drove in 86 runs in ’79, next highest was 76. 3) Underappreciated defensive value -Defense was probably his… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I would add a #6 to your list that hurt him both in his #’s and in the public/writers perception of him: In spite of being fast enough to be nicknamed “The Jet” Lemon was horrible on the base paths, bad enough that it was even noticeable to the casual fan. I saw him play in person a couple dozen times, both in Chicago & Detroit and it was far more than his just not using his speed to steal bases. He would stick near the bag even on fly balls where there was almost no chance of their being… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
I’m going to gas a little on Ripken, not because I think he wasn’t having a great season, but because I think his WAR figure is somewhat obviously inflated, and by a situation noted with reference to Nap Lajoie in the NBJHBA. In 1984 Ripken played in his usual 162 games, his usual 1400+ innings, but he fielded 75 more chances than in his next highest season, including 49 more assists, and around 140 more than his career average per season. What does this mean? Does it mean that Ripken for this one season was an ever greater fielding demon… Read more »
birtelcom
Editor

B-ref’s WAR components show Ripken as 23 fielding runs above average in 1984, 22 fielding runs above average three other times in his career, 20 over once, 17 over once and 16 over once. Doesn’t really seem much of a fluke in that context. Arguably his greatest hitting years (1991 and 1983-84) were flukier in the context of his career as a whole then his rather consistently high fielding numbers.

David P
Guest
On the one hand, I agree with NSB that we should be cautious with defensive numbers. And most experts say that you really need 3 years worth of data to get stable results for fielding. On the other hand, I see no reason to single out Ripken. We should look at all the WAR leaders to see how they fared defensively in 1984. Here´s the top 10: 1) Ripken – +23 runs (best of his career, second best were 3 different seasons at +22). 2) Moseby +20 runs (by far the best season of his career; second best was only… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Agreed on the fluky nature of his hitting. Seemed like he gave away at bats and wasn’t real selective as a hitter. Made contact and didn’t strike out relatively much for the era, but, at 6’4″ and 220#, maybe he should have higher EBH numbers (and higher SO numbers)?
An awful lot of .270 seasons for a guy who was hitting .300+ as a 22-23 year old

Brendan Bingham
Guest
nsb: Perhaps I’m repeating what birtelcom said, just with different language and numbers. Comparing 1984 with 1983, it looks like there were two things at work that drove Ripken’s defensive numbers up in 1984. First, Baltimore pitchers recorded fewer strike outs in 1984 than 1983, meaning there were more batted ball outs in 1984 (3604, vs 3583 in 1983). Second, Ripken collected a slightly higher percentage of the team’s chances on batted ball outs in 1984. Ripken got 534 of the team’s 1784 assists in 1983 (29.9%) vs 583 out of 1910 in 1984 (30.5%). Ripken also collected 272 out… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

I’d guess that increase in the number of assists that Ripken had was also at least party due to an increase in the number of innings pitched by left handers in 1984 over 1983. In ’84, if my count is correct, Oriole lefty’s threw 581 innings, in 1983 it was 545 even tho as a team they threw slightly fewer IP’s (1439 vs. 1452) in 84.

oneblankspace
Guest

My voting:
1. DMattingly, NY
2. Boddicker, BAL
3. Armas, BOS
4. RHenderson, NY
5. Stieb, TOR
6. DwEvans, BOS
7. Blyleven, CLE
8. Baines, CHI
9. Quisenberry, KC
10. Morris, DET

I looked at traditional black and grey ink, and whether the teams qualified for the postseason. Boddicker led in Wins and ERA, and was top 4 or tied in CG, IP, and ShO.

oneblankspace
Guest

He would have been #1 on my ballot anyway, but I saw Mattingly hit a homerun at Comiskey Park that season. It hit the right-field foul pole, and we were sitting in fair territory in right field.

Paul E
Guest

obs,
Mattingly homered to RF at Comiskey on 7/28/84 and the next day as well. No description beyond “to RF” is provided. On Saturday the 28th he homered off Gene Nelson in the 4th; on Sunday he homered off Bannister in the 8th inning.
Any recollection of which day or which pitcher? Just curious – hey, I saw Dave Adlesh’s only career homer 🙂

Phil Gaskill
Guest

Hey, I saw Danny Ainge’s first career homer (out of only two). And I saw Dave Edler’s only double of 1980. So there. 😉

oneblankspace
Guest

It was the Sunday game. It was Eckrich kids T-Shirt day as well, and late in the game after the Sox had a big enough lead.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Well, we’ve got a lot of comments, but not too many votes. I guess that means I should throw my two cents in. Here’s my vote: 1. Eddie Murray – Avoided outs better than anyone. Also had a secondary average over .400 (.401; only Rickey Henderson at .468 and Kirk Gibson at .407 share that feature). So… he didn’t get out. And not only that, when in, he mashed. Tough to top that. He’s also the only player (well, the only SERIOUS candidate; Robin Yount was more involved for the Brewers, but that’s neither here nor there) to score or… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Here’s a vote, but my honest feeling is that there was no clear-cut choice for AL MVP in 1984. Some comments first. On the mound and at the plate the Detroit team most resembles another runaway winner, the 1998 Yankees. Both had a lineup of very good players, most of whom had good years, but not career years. The Yankees had better pitching and batting, but as for dominance at any position, only Hernandez qualifies. It’s notable as well that no player on either team has as yet made the HOF, although Rivera and Jeter will soon, Pettite, possibly, Trammell… Read more »
--bill
Guest

Before my vote, let me point out that the Indians bullpen trio of Camacho, Jeffcoat, and Waddell had a heck of a year: 7.8 WAR in 288.1 innings pitched.
Also, the Royals had a great last 2 months (34-22, .607) to catch the Angels; for comparison, Detroit finished 33-24 over the last two months (.579). I couldn’t find any real cause for the Royals; their hitters did better in July and August, and their pitchers in September.

Anyway:
1. Cal Ripken
2. Eddie Murray
3. Chet Lemon
4. Don Mattingly
5. Dave Stieb
6. Lloyd Moseby
7. Bert Blyleven
8. Wade Boggs
9. George Bell
10. Doyle Alexander

David P
Guest

For the rest of their careers, Camacho, Jeffcoat, and Waddell combined for exactly 0 WAR.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Here are the results, with points listed, and first place votes in parentheses: 1. Don Mattingly, 76 (4) 2. Cal Ripken, Jr., 65 (3) 3. Eddie Murray, 61 (1) 4. Lloyd Moseby, 35 5. Rickey Henderson, 30 6. Dwight Evans, 28 7. Dave Stieb, 24 8. Chet Lemon, 24 9. Dave Winfield, 22 10. Alan Trammell, 18 11. Willie Hernandez, 15 12. Kirk Gibson, 14 13. Bert Blyleven, 11 14. Wade Boggs, 10 15. Mike Boddicker & Alvin Davis, 9 17. Tony Armas, 8 18. Kent Hrbek, 4 19. Harold Baines, 3 20. George Bell & Dan Quisenberry, 2 22.… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

and I was the only one with Baines, Quisenberry, or Morris.

Hartvig
Guest
#%&*@#$^)! Had some family obs this weekend & totally spaced off voting. Doesn’t look like my likely vote- I hadn’t done a great deal of looking at anyone outside of the people already mentioned and I hadn’t even looked at all of them yet- but I don’t think it would have changed much. I would have had Trammell in my top 3 & I doubt I would have had Winfield higher than maybe 8th so they might have switched places. I was also curious if anyone knew why Stieb had so many no-decisions in spite of averaging 7 & 2/3rds… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
If Doug wants to hold off posting the next MVP ballot (1985 AL, if you didn’t see my post above), I’d be fine with that. With the Hall of Fame announcement tonight, I would like us to return to the greatest thing this community has ever done – the Circle of Greats. We can hold off on MVPs until after those rounds. If I am indeed correct (which I hope I am), we debut the players born in 1972 this next round. Those with 20+ bWAR or 10+ Major League seasons would be: Chipper Jones Manny Ramirez Carlos Delgado Shawn… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Too bad there’s only like ten of us still coming to this website.

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