MVP(s)?

One more nuance to the MVP debate: ESPN.com has an article by Peter Gammons frontlining their site proclaiming that the Cardinals are “three deep in MVP candidates”. How can this be? Can a team with three players having extraordinary seasons claim a right to having the one MVP of the league? Does the MVP have to come from a team with no other stars? How would YF address this issue? It seems that by his standards if the player having the best season is by right the most valuable this shouldn’t matter. Let’s hypothesize: Say one of the Cards’ big three was having a statistically equivalent season to Bonds’ (which they aren’t, but let’s indulge). Would they deserve MVP status? Does Bonds’ solitude give him special claim to the trophy? I’d like to hear his opinion on this one. The mines are set…

10 comments… add one
  • If, if, if. Gammons gives the impression that there should be some debate as to the NL MVP, which is, IMHO, ridiculous. He seems to like the OPS stat in rating his three Cardinals, but in passing we see that Bonds is some 400 points ahead of all three in the category. What if one of them had numbers approximating Barry’s? Well, wouldn’t those numbers be elevated—aren’t their numbers elevated now—simply because all three are in the same, stacked lineup? It’s a huge advantage. If Barry had Pujols in front of him and Rolen or Edmonds behind him, where would his numbers be?
    But let’s get back to that article: now LaRussa is telling us the most important thing is to have players who go out there and play the game the right way. Didn’t he win a couple of rings on Jose Canseco’s back?

    YF September 16, 2004, 8:33 am
  • I thought he won only one ring on Canseco’s back, when it could or should have been 3 or 4 – the A’s were the consensus best team in ball in the late 80s/early 90s, and they underachieved, losing to lesser teams in the Dodgers and Reds. So perhaps his statement is a dig at guys like Canseco, in fact, who never accomplished as much as they should have. I dislike LaRussa intensely so I am not really in the business of defending him, but to say he rode Canseco to multiple titles isn’t right.
    Back to my post: I am not sure you are answering the main question here –
    Does Bonds get special consideration for MVP because he doesn’t have a Pujols or an Edmonds around him?

    SF September 16, 2004, 10:01 am
  • I think it was intended as a dig at Canseco, but my point was that this was crap. But you are right: they won 1, lost 2 ws.
    As for your question, clearly what you’re looking for is that I say, Yes, he deserves special credit, so that you can paint me as some kind of hypocrite because this is using “team MVP” as a factor when I have argued that the award should go to the POY. Well, fine. Bonds should get credit for being stranded alone in a lineup, because it’s harder to put up big numbers when you’re alone, without the men on base before you and the protection behind. And I think it’s reasonable to give SOME weight to a player’s leadership ability and to what he’s been able to do for his own team. But the PRIMARY factors, as far as I’m concerned, should come from raw on-field performance.
    If we’re just going on value-to-team, then why doesn’t Jeter have 9 MVP awards?

    YF September 16, 2004, 10:19 am
  • Why is it ALWAYS about the Yankees?! You’re sooo vain…

    SF September 16, 2004, 12:47 pm
  • yer infatuation with derek jeter is pathetic, yf. even if it was value to team as the only mvp measure, rivera tops jeter year after year. jeter is a good, but without rivera, you guys wouldn’t even have gotten close to four rings.

    Anonymous September 16, 2004, 3:46 pm
  • Yes we love him, right down to the monogrammed J on the door of his Bentley. (We have our sources). Sue us. As for Rivera, we put him aside in this discussion: pitchers have their own award. Which is not to say that he hasn’t been the most important cog in the Yankee machine over the years. Or that Sheff hasn’t been this year.

    YF September 16, 2004, 4:49 pm
  • What the hell, I’ll weigh in here, too.
    All things being equal – Pujols and Bonds with nearly identical numbers – I’d give the edge to Bonds. While both players would be equally valuable in relation to the rest of the league, Bonds would be more valuable in relation to his team than Pujols. Seems the award would go to him. Probably would be a close vote, though, and who knows what the BBWA would pull out of their asses as criteria. Never telling with that cantankerous bunch.
    I’m in the “MVP doesn’t have to be on a winning team” camp, as well as the “a (really, really, really good) pitcher can win one” camp.

    Clay September 16, 2004, 6:11 pm
  • Credit where credit is due: YF whipping boy Jeff Brantley did come out last night with a changed tune, promoting Bonds as not only this year’s NL MVP, but also, perhaps, the greatest player of all time. (We still give that crown to the Babe, but let the debate run…)

    YF September 17, 2004, 8:22 am
  • Ugh, how would you EVER know that Babe Ruth was the best player of all time? Did you ever see him play? Could you tell me how the Babe covered the field defensively? Did he hit frozen ropes off guys throwing 92mph sinkers?
    These kind of debates are so damn stupid. Barry Bonds is the best player of this era, hands down. But there’s no possible way one can compare him, as a performing player, to anyone who played in the 1920s. We can look at the stats and try to compare in a vacuum, but that would be stupid. Can we put a moratorium on this stuff?

    Anonymous September 17, 2004, 3:42 pm
  • It seems to me there are a few sacred truths in baseball, and one of them is the supremacy of the Babe on the list of the game’s all-time greats. Like SF, I am generally loathe to compare athletes across eras, but here we have an exception to the rule, for Ruth’s accomplishment seems to me so large that it dwarfs that of his would be competitors. Ruth changed the way baseball was played with his power, and put up numbers that far eclipsed his contemporaries. He still resides at or near the top of countless statistical categories. And of course this was after he had switched over from the pitching position, where he won 94 games with a lifetime era of 2.24; had there been a Cy Young award in 1916, it would have been his. No other player can match this. No other player, for that matter, has inspired anything like the legend of the Babe—we use the term Ruthian for a reason.
    Yes, there are a few purists who will look back to Cobb (and even Wagner or Lajoie) as the game’s all-time great. There are, too, legitimate arguments to be made for Mays and Josh Gibson. And I don’t doubt that Bonds is a better athelete than any of these men. His superiority over his own peers places him in Ruthian territory—and this is part of what makes watching him so fascinating; he is, in a sense, a throwback.
    But in the end there is Ruth, standing alone in territory no other player has yet to visit.

    YF September 17, 2004, 4:31 pm

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