|10-04-2001, 04:02 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Something (?) To Talk About
Neyer's column today (below). Thought it had some good topics for talking points. See anything?
Thursday, October 4
News and notes on baseball
By Rob Neyer
Figures and flippancies while wondering why some MVP voters seem to think that how often a candidate reaches base and hits the ball hard is little more important than how often his teammates do the same.
Things aren't nearly so clear-cut in the American League, though. Yes, Ichiro has to be the Rookie of the Year. And yes, Roger Clemens is going to make a mockery of the Cy Young balloting.
But I don't think that he should. What's more, there are a bunch of solid MVP candidates in the AL, though in my mind only four who deserve serious consideration: Roberto Alomar, Bret Boone, Jason Giambi, and Alex Rodriguez.
Why not Jim Thome? Because if you're going to pick a power-hitting first baseman, Giambi is clearly having the better year.
Why not Ichiro? I might devote a column to this at some point, because the arguments for Ichiro are interesting and merit discussion. But the short answer is that his defense and his "intangibles" simply don't outweigh the huge edge in hitting stats for some of the other candidates.
In a nutshell, here are the arguments for those aforementioned four candidates...
Roberto Alomar is a Gold Glove second baseman with fantastic offensive numbers, and he's doing it for a division winner. Argument against? None.
Bret Boone is a second baseman who has not, believe it or not, been quite as effective with the bat (and legs) as Alomar. However, that's before adjusting for their home ballparks, and of course Safeco Field generally favors the pitchers while Jacobs Field does not. Argument against? Boone is not considered Alomar's equal with the glove.
Jason Giambi leads the American League in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and he's even still got an outside shot at leading the AL in batting average, too. His home ballpark is tough on hitters (though Giambi himself has performed better at home than on the road), and his team is the second-best in the American League. Argument against? He hasn't played in seven of his team's games, and his defensive contributions don't match those of the other candidates.
Alex Rodriguez is the best player in the American League. He's played every game this season, he's considered a good (or better) defensive shortstop, he leads his league with 51 home runs, he's fast on the bases ... sheesh, is there really anybody who thinks that Alex should not be the highest-paid player in the game? Well, the argument against is that his team isn't good, and that he plays half his games in a very good park for hitters.
You might be able to guess my choice from the above, but it's not ready to withstand rigorous analysis because I haven't yet done the rigorous analysis myself. Feel free to send in your arguments for whoever you like, and in November I'll devote a column or two to the subject. In the meantime, I urge the MVP voters to at least consider the guy on the fourth-place team. And I leave you with a question that I've never seen posed: When considering an MVP candidate, should salary be a factor?
|10-04-2001, 04:07 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: The bowels of Shea
He might have covered this before, but why is he anti-Clemens for the Cy Young?
Also, what is his point on the Braves? Yes, sure there are plenty of other cities that would give their left eye (sorry Andre) to have just one post-season, but what is he getting at?
You Gotta Believe
|10-04-2001, 10:33 PM||#3|
NetShrine All-Century Team
Join Date: Apr 2001
He's covered that before. It has to do with the fact that, while Clemens is having a good year, the award should not go to anyone who's having a good year, but rather the 1 pitcher who is having the best season.
Clemens's W-L record is more of a result of his run support than Cy Young Award level pitching.
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|10-05-2001, 10:02 AM||#4|
Inducted Into The NetShrine Assembly of Fame
Join Date: May 2001
Location: New Jersey
I'm wondering why he was so surprised that Turner Field had so many seats open....when the Yanks played them in the WS, Yankee fans were able to walk up and get pretty decent tickets...not sure why that is, especially during a pennant race...and especially since Atlanta has been on a good run now, for a long time...
is the area not populated enough? Atlanta's a pretty big city...do people live too far away from the park?
No way did the Orioles "need" the older Raines...but I couldn't be happier for father/son...may as well have a feel good story down there to end the season with...especially one that doesn't mention his greatness Cal...
b-ball or luna...
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