Latin Kings

First Ozzie. Then Bartolo, A-Rod, and now Albert Pujols, who was awarded the NL MVP this afternoon. It’s nice to see Latin achievement in the game recognized. It would be nicer if more was done to encourage African-American participation. On that front, let us note our disappointment with Derrek Lee’s third place position in the MVP voting (and admittedly, I’m conflating two, probably unrelated issues here: the declining black presence in MLB, and BBWAA’s voting ineptitude.) Pujols may have been a deserving winner, but it’s a close call, and the man in second place should not have been Andruw Jones.

MVP voting (1st, 2nd, 3rd, total)
Pujols: 18, 14, 0, 378
Jones: 13, 17, 2, 351
Lee: 1, 1, 30, 263

Win Shares
Pujols: 38
Jones: 23
Lee: 37

Pujols: 1.039
Jones: .922
Lee: 1.080

It just seems hard to believe that only 2 voters considered Lee superior to Jones. Perhaps these were the same two who gave their Cy votes to Clemens. That’s just not very encouraging.

14 comments… add one
  • Andrew Jones had a nice season, but Derek Lee was so much better. Just look at the difference in batting average and OPS. Somehow, I’m sure Dusty Baker is at fault.

    Greg November 15, 2005, 6:44 pm
  • YF may protest the positioning of Lee in the voting, but he knows full well why he finished in third: his team had no chance at going anywhere. I know YF thinks this isn’t a fair criterion in measuring the MVP candidates, but it’s about time he realized that he a) isn’t a voter and b) contention matters. The voters weren’t voting for simple “superiority” down the line, it’s not the “MSP”.

    SF November 15, 2005, 6:55 pm
  • YF obviously realizes that he isn’t a voter and that voters think contention matters. When you criticize Terry Francona for a bad decision you realize that you’re not a baseball manager, and, yet, you manage to criticize anyway. It’s truly a remarkable characteristic of people, this criticizing thing. Now, it might become tiring this criticizing the whole MVP choice thing, but YF is not alone in the blogosphere in this regard. Most bloggers find Jones’s selection above Lee ludicrous.

    Nick November 15, 2005, 7:47 pm
  • It is tiring, Nick. And it’s especially tiring when, in both the AL and the NL, the deserved player wins, and we still have to question the voters for their 2nd and 3rd and 8th place votes. In both cases, with A-Rod and Pujols, the deserving guy got the award, so in my book, the voters did fine – why berate them for not picking Lee as the bridesmaid, exactly? Boring. Same old story. Let’s re-debate the MVP and the meaning of the V part, over and over. Actually, on second thought, let’s not.
    (Now the Gold Glove, that’s another story…)

    SF November 15, 2005, 9:06 pm
  • But SF, really now, is it too much to ask that the BBWAA actually get two votes correct in the same category?
    They’ve done it once so far this year: the AL MVP. In every other major award category (AL CY, NL CY, AL ROY, NL ROY, & NL MVP) they have gotten either one or both of the top 2 spots wrong.
    That’s absurd. Why? Why must intelligent baseball fans be insulted like this every year? It’s unnecessary. Clearly the qualified, voting members of the BBWAA are all either badly myopic or badly narcoleptic, or maybe both, and it’s really a shame.

    Sam November 15, 2005, 10:40 pm
  • SF apparently believes reasonable criticism and rational analysis aren’t valuable. Pretty sad.
    BTW: check out Bronx Banter for a similar analysis.

    YF November 15, 2005, 11:16 pm
  • I am all for reasonable criticism. But it seems like trying to start a massive debate over why someone finished THIRD instead of SECOND is a tiny bit silly, a tad bit unreasonable. And worse, boring.

    SF November 16, 2005, 9:01 am
  • Isn’t Manny making upwards of $20 million per year the next three? That’s over $7 million more per year. And Manny’s older. He better be ahead of Matsui handily in win share and VORP.
    Also, you have to factor in Hideki’s connection to the Japanese market. He probably is still a bargain for the bombers.

    Nick November 16, 2005, 9:18 am
  • It’s not unreasonable, SF, as it illustrates the warped thinking of the BBWAA. And even if they got the winner of this award to the most deserving candidate, it illustrates why they have not done so in other categories.
    I’d also note that we can even have this discussion using your criteria for the award (ie, value to team) rather than mine (best player), and we can do this in a RATIONAL way, and when we do (say, by looking at VORP as opposed to Win Shares or OPS figures) the voters are still way off base, to use a baseball metaphor.
    It seems like it should be the roll of the blogosphere to continutally point out such failures of the MSM, not whitewash them, as you suggest.

    YF November 16, 2005, 12:19 pm
  • Not suggesting a whitewashing. Just pointing out I find this discussion boring, we’ve been through it so many times. It feels forced, considering the writers DID get it right this year. I am no fan of the voters; they often make mistakes (see Colon, Bartolo). But the whole “Lee should have finished ahead of Jones” debate seems like a stretch, a need to make debate where there’s an easy and revealing host of explanations: the writers are still kind of stupid (though not irretrievably), they don’t pay attention to purely statistics when deciding (reasonable to me, though we disagree on this front), and they clearly consider team contention as a factor (to me also a valid portion of the decision). Debate how stupidity plays into the valuation of each criterion all you want, but I find this semi-outrage over Lee and Jones’ position in the voting lacking.

    SF November 16, 2005, 12:45 pm
  • “But it seems like trying to start a massive debate over why someone finished THIRD instead of SECOND is a tiny bit silly, a tad bit unreasonable. And worse, boring.”
    This is a baseball blog, and baseball is in its OFFSEASON. Do you have something better to do, SF? I don’t.
    And look, even when inseason, baseball is a sport that … how to put this … allows for analysis. Some people would even call it a slow game. Not surprisingly, in my experience, I’d found that those people also tend to be uninterested in baseball as a sport. In a word, they find it boring.
    I obviously don’t. Just as obviously, none of you fellas does. But even for somebody who loves the game as I do, it’s hard to deny that baseball is a game that allows for a whole lotta analysis.
    And I wouldn’t deny it. I wouldn’t want to. Hell, I’ll be honest, that’s probably half the reason I love the game. Baseball is unique. Baseball is … poetic. Among many other fine qualities.
    Baseball is a game that allows for a lotta words. And that’s why we’re here.
    So again, SF, I ask you, do you have something better to do? I don’t.

    Sam November 16, 2005, 5:32 pm
  • Now there’s a loaded question, Sam, on the order of “when was the last time you received a package from Victor Conte?”. So I will answer by not answering and repeating that nitpicking the 2nd and 3rd place finishers means the voters did something right and all analysis is just white noise.

    SF November 16, 2005, 8:40 pm
  • Well, when WAS the last time you received a package from Victor Conte? Does SF have something he wants to confess?

    Sam November 17, 2005, 8:05 am
  • It was the bad Vitamin B that YF gave me…

    SF November 17, 2005, 9:36 am

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