A Glad Vlad Makes Gary Mad, Manny Sad

The voters have spoken, and their choice is…Vladimir Guerrero as AL MVP. We assume the writers doled out a little (deserved) extra credit for his late season push and excellent defense. Sheff takes second place–a bit of a surprise–with Manny coming in third and Papi fourth. (And no, it does not appear that Papi Naderized Manny).

11 comments… add one
  • And wow, Tejada gets a second place vote! Another BBWA card revocation proceeding should begin now!
    The AL voting gets interesting once you get below Vlad – look at Sheff’s second place numbers versus Manny’s, and Sheff’s first place numbers versus Manny’s and Papi’s. Clear conflict on the second tier voting, and rightfully so, in my opinion. I could have even fathomed a scenario where Sheffield won the hardware; he helped carry a team made of smoke and mirrors.

    SF November 16, 2004, 2:34 pm
  • One other thing – Vlad’s September to remember surely had impact on the voting, but let’s not forget that his May and June were also fabulous, so good that YF himself was presciently touting Vlad for MVP way back then, if I remember correctly. He carried the Angels early in the season, too, when the team was wracked by injury. A great year, from start to finish. His worst month of full play was one in which he hit .298. And let’s not forget his cannon. Kudos.

    SF November 16, 2004, 2:37 pm
  • It’s hard to say anyone got screwed here. Offensively, Vlad and Manny are practically a wash if you run down the statistics. Defensively, Vlad has a big edge. Sheff may have been the most clutch, and his second half was terrific (defensively he sits somewhere between the other two). My vote would have gone to Manny. He’s the player I’d most fear as a manager in a clutch situation. He’s more patient than Vlad, and that goes a long way in my book. Sheffield had a mediocre first half, and while there are some sabermetric stats that put him ahead of the other two fellas, my feeling is they just performed at a (very) slightly higher level.

    YF November 16, 2004, 2:47 pm
  • Correct, nobody got screwed. I don’t know how Manny gets your nod, though, considering Vlad was superior in all ways, offensively (HRs and RBIs are pretty much a wash, but Vlad can run better- both faster and smarter). He’s better defensively (apples and oranges, here), and he led a pitching-poor team to a division crown, whereas one could argue that Manny, however valuable, was whipped cream on an offensive sundae (though that might not be my own argument), and fields like he’s wearing leaded ice skates. No quibble with this one, from my standpoint.

    SF November 16, 2004, 3:10 pm
  • I’m not quibbling, and I may be irrational, but my feeling is that Manny is simply more dangerous. He’s on base more often and his power numbers are slightly better (could this be Fenway?). Whatever the case, I’d hardly call him whipped cream. He was the keystone. Manny made the Sox the most potent offensive team in the league.

    YF November 16, 2004, 3:26 pm
  • A bit more on the Vlad vs. Manny offensive comparison. Their power numbers are roughly even. Manny walks more often, but pays with strikeouts. Vlad has more speed, but Manny’s not going anywhere with Papi sitting behind him in the lineup. There is, however, one big and meaningful differential: Manny saw an extra 500 pitches over the course of the year, his pitch-per-plate-appearance average being dramatically better than Vlad’s (4.0 to 3.2). Manny’s killer at bats chew up pitchers, and the entire Sox team benefits. That’s most valuable, if not Most Valuable.

    YF November 16, 2004, 4:01 pm
  • “Most Dangerous Player” Award?
    Where to start…

    SF November 16, 2004, 4:47 pm
  • You cite Ortiz hitting behind Manny to explain away his not running, but that’s straight-up ridiculous. If Pokey Reese were hitting behind Manny would Manny then turn into Otis Nixon and run with abandon? If anything, that line of argument depreciates his value, since Manny clearly gets a load of pitches due to the fact that Ortiz is incredibly dangerous.

    SF November 16, 2004, 4:50 pm
  • Not sure I follow this. The Sox don’t run much; it’s an organizational strategy based on statistical analysis, and Manny’s certainly not going to be leaving an open base for Ortiz, (or closing up the hole by departing). Doesn’t make Manny any better a baserunner, but it does make a simple comparison deceptive. And if Manny getting on base somehow depreciates his value…well, you’re on your own there. Manny was IWed 15 times–with Ortiz behind him. Ortiz and Manny feed off each other, to be sure, but Manny is the lead figure.

    YF November 16, 2004, 5:20 pm
  • Manny wouldn’t run even if the organizational ethos was different, and nobody should pretend otherwise. He’s just not a very good baserunner, though watching him this year it is clear he is better than he has been. That’s all. I am not in the business of claiming Manny isn’t a deadly hitter – he is, without a doubt, and there’s no question he’s a top 4 MVP candidate. The point is that Vlad is a superior baserunner, and not just because of stolen bases. Vlad is a superior defender, this isn’t arguable. Vlad and Manny are nearly a wash offensively as you yourself point out. Vlad wasn’t surrounded by Ortiz-like giants, yet he carried a team to the division. But Manny gets your vote? How is Manny the MVP in this scenario?

    SF November 16, 2004, 5:29 pm
  • He wouldn’t run, but we’re judging on performance, not subjective consideration. Vlad is a better baserunner, no doubt. But Manny’s not tragic on the pads, and his numbers are artificially lowered by his situation. Where’s the debate?
    In any event, I think we’ve covered matters here. Vlad’s a complete player, Manny causes more problems for his opponents by taking so many pitches. Vlad is a deserving winner.

    YF November 16, 2004, 6:11 pm

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