On Second Thought…

Maybe David Ortiz is a legitimate MVP candidate.

Duh.

24 comments… add one

  • Yeah, he’s a legit candidate, but personally I’d still lean towards some position players who are also having great years (Wells, Mauer). I guess it all comes down to how much stock you put into the walk-off factor. He’s a beast, no doubt about it. You just *knew* what was coming. That poor kid pitcher had no chance.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 1, 2006, 11:53 am
  • it totally makes no sense that they pitched to him in that situation with a base open. none at all. it’s an eternal question right up there with “why do people run from the police?”–why, oh why, do managers pitch to david ortiz in walkoff situations?
    i don’t buy the manny rationale. manny is not nearly as clutch as papi. it cannot possibly statistically make sense at this point not to take a chance with manny instead.

    beth August 1, 2006, 12:00 pm
  • It’s being stuck between a rock and a hard place, isn’t it? You walk Papi and now you have the tying run at second with Manny up and 1 out. That’s not a very appealing spot to be in.

    Nick-YF August 1, 2006, 12:37 pm
  • You can’t walk him. The statistical chance of Ramirez getting a single or even just driving in a run with the bases juiced is probably far greater than the odds of Ortiz jacking one for the win. Walking him would have been inadvisable, from a statistical standpoint.

    SF August 1, 2006, 12:54 pm
  • But it’s not just the “walk-off factor”, Rob. It’s also the fact that Ortiz may lead the league in RBIs and HRs, as well as heroics. Add those first two to the last, and you’ve got a recipe for a legitimate MVP, position player or not.

    SF August 1, 2006, 12:55 pm
  • The position player argument against Ortiz ever winning the MVP is tiresome.
    By that logic, no designated hitters should EVER be considered for MVP.
    The MVP question should boil down to a simple matter of literally evaluating the title of the award. Which player was more valuable to his team than any other?
    Looking at it another way: If you took one player away from each team, and replaced them with an average player at the same position, whose absence would most change the outcome of that team’s season?
    Take away Ortiz’s walkoffs and 105 RBIs (especially impressive, given that he’s not even the cleanup hitter), and the Sox would be struggling to keep pace with the Jays, in my opinion.
    Ortiz at least should be considered a top contender for the award again.

    Hudson August 1, 2006, 1:36 pm
  • Ortiz will probably win the MVP based on the fact that he was “snubbed” last year. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve it, that’s just how it is. Also, Hudson, that argument neglects the fact that other players will step up to fill his shoes. Unless the Sox are a team like the Mariners or Cubs rather than a team like the Rangers, their other position players will definitely fill the void to some extent. Obviously you lose some runs, and I agree that the AL East would be a lot different sans Ortiz, but the Sox would still have Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon and Manny to name a few.

    RichYF August 1, 2006, 1:45 pm
  • Ortiz deserves the MVP; hands down.
    Hypo for Sox fans: Pick your poison; who’s going on the DL would be more devastating,
    Papi or Paps?

    bloodyank78 August 1, 2006, 1:50 pm
  • I think DH should be a factor in the MVP voting. If you’re measuring value you should factor in all parts of the game the player contributes to. That’s not to say that DHs shouldn’t win the MVP ever. It can/should happen if the DH is adding much more value on the offensive side than any other player. Is Ortiz doing that compared to Wells, Mauer or Jeter? It’s possible.
    This to me is similar to the CY Young argument and the difficulties of selecting a reliever as the winner. It can happen (Gagne’s Cy Young was deserved) but it’s exceedingly difficult for a reliever to be more valuable than a great starter who pitches more innings. Mariano Rivera has never won a CY Young and I’m not sure he’s ever been snubbed. Last year, for instance, the voters got the wrong guy. It shouldn’t have been Colon. It should have been Santana.

    Nick-YF August 1, 2006, 2:02 pm
  • I’ve talked before about how aggravating the field/no-field argument is. Relief pitchers shouldn’t win Cy Youngs and starter shouldn’t win MVPs under these arguments. Anyway, I think the tide is turning, and Papi is making the point moot with heroic after heroic.
    And I think the snub factor will have something to do with it. But SF is right. People aren’t talking about Ortiz as MVP just because he has five walk off hits (Cory Snyder also had five such hits in a season). If those came during a mediocre season, it’d be disregarded as a fluke. It’s that he’s far, far outpacing the AL in RBI and leading both leagues in homers while once again hitting .300.
    And poor Carmona. That home run was just a self-fulfilling prophecy. Carmona knew it was going to happen so he pitched poorly, and it happened.

    Paul SF August 1, 2006, 2:20 pm
  • It’s only aggravating if it becomes a dogma, which, of course, some people make it. But, in my opinion, it makes sense that a great starting pitcher is more likely to win the CY Young than a greater reliever, as it makes sense that a great hitting positional player is more likely to win the MVP over a great hitting DH. There are seasons when that shouldn’t be the case.
    Now, say it was a matter of Bonds during his recent Ruthian run, and he was playing DH in the AL. His offensive output was so much better than the next guy that he would have won the MVP even as a DH.

    Nick-YF August 1, 2006, 2:30 pm
  • Papi is the best hitter in baseball.. Hands down. He is the most clutch hitter I have ever seen. When you knew he would be up, you wanted only for loretta not to hit into the DP. Everyone knew how that game was gonna end. Hell, I told me wife it would happen with a 2-0 pitch. He is the MVP because his heroics are the norm. His ability to win games is no surprise; it is what he does. Papi is a superhero.

    Manny's Mission August 1, 2006, 2:34 pm
  • I don’t mean to take anything away from Ortiz’ performance – he’s been great. The reason I still lean toward a Wells or Mauer is those guys not only play defense, they play premier defensive positions and are also hitting a TON (just like Papi).
    OPS leaders, AL:
    1 Manny Ramirez, 1.056 – LF, and not a very good one.
    2 Travis Hafner, 1.033 – DH
    3 Jermaine Dye, 1.030 – RF. A decent one, yes? Frankly I don’t know.
    4 Jim Thome, 1.027 – DH.
    5 David Ortiz, 1.015 – DH. Clutchness noted.
    6 Vernon Wells, 1.003 – CF. I repeat, Centerfielder.
    7 Jason Giambi, .976 – DH/1B (terrible).
    8 Justin Morneau, .965 – OF. I know nothing about him.
    9 Joe Mauer, .960 – C. CATCHER.
    10 Paul Konerko, .930 – 1B
    To me, the guys who jump off the page are Wells and Mauer. CF’s and C’s who hit like those guys are hitting are few and far between. DH/1B/CornerOF’s who hit like that are a bit more common.
    That said, I acknowleged that he’s a legit candidate. Assuming things continue the way they’ve been this year, him winning would certainly not be a travesty. Hell, Manny could win it and that would be fine (OPS leader, fairly clutch himself IIRC, and he at least goes out there and plays D).

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 1, 2006, 2:36 pm
  • In years when a DH (or a pitcher) is not under any consideration for the MVP, the voters place an overwhelming emphasis on offensive numbers. Fielding is an afterthought. Of course, fielding seems to be an afterthought in some Gold Glove voting too.
    Some people will argue the (rather) esoteric point that a player needs to be from a winning team to qualify for the MVP; they will suddenly discard this concept if the player is a DH on a winning team.

    Vic SF August 1, 2006, 2:37 pm
  • In the NY Sun, Jay Jaffe writes “In the AL, the MVP award is up for grabs, and if WARP rankings are taken to heart, the field is dominated by pitching.” It’s on page two of the article. Interesting read, at least from the stats perspective.
    Top three?
    Liriano
    Santana
    Papelbon

    attackgerbil August 1, 2006, 2:39 pm
  • By the way, I’m in no way trying to predict the MVP voting. I’m just explaining how I would do it. I recognize that how it will really go down will be different. Several guys will be eliminated because they do not play for playoff teams (for instance, assuming Minny doesn’t complete the miracle comeback and snag the WC, Mauer is likely out of the running, ditto for Wells in Toronto).
    By the way, I do *not* feel that a DH shouldn’t ever win the MVP. That makes no sense. In my opinion, however, a DH needs to be a clear cut ahead of his position player competition in hitting (and, again, the position in question matters. Between Ortiz and a corner OF or 1B type? Meh, the clutchness argument is enough for me there if the overall hitting stats are similar. Between him and a CF? That’s another story).

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 1, 2006, 2:42 pm
  • In fact, it really comes down to this, as stated susinctly by an Ortiz-for-MVP supporter (Hudson):
    “Looking at it another way: If you took one player away from each team, and replaced them with an average player at the same position, whose absence would most change the outcome of that team’s season?”
    I quite agree. Look up what the average CF or C hits. Compare to Wells and Mauer. Now look up what the average DH/1B hits. Compare to Papi.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 1, 2006, 2:45 pm
  • By the way, Justin Morneau is a first baseman, a fairly good one IIRC. Jermaine Dye, again, if I remember this right, costs the White Sox runs with his fielding in right according to ZR, which surprised me. He’s a great athlete all-around, though possibly some of the injuries have taken what speed he did have.
    Personally, I’m glad Vernon Wells has been brought into this conversation. He has a penchant for the dramatic as well, and is finally putting in the season people have been predicting for him for years. I’d still vote for Papi, but Wells getting the nod would hardly be reason for outcry…

    Quo August 1, 2006, 3:01 pm
  • //You can’t walk him. The statistical chance of Ramirez getting a single or even just driving in a run with the bases juiced is probably far greater than the odds of Ortiz jacking one for the win. Walking him would have been inadvisable, from a statistical standpoint.//
    but manny hitting a single or sac fly would also probably only result in one run. the indians were up by two. worst case scenario for them is manny hits a single and therefore scores a run or possibly ties the game without making an out. but then mike lowell’s behind him–what are his numbers in clutch situations? with two outs? beyond that (esp. if manny had made another out) you end up facing mirabelli and crisp, who haven’t exactly been lighting up the ballpark.
    it’s been shown, meanwhile, that ortiz is irrefutably almost 100% going to get the walkoff hit in such a situation. As that post states, “since the end of the 2004 regular season, Ortiz has come to the plate in a walk-off situations 19 times — and reached base 16 times. He is 11-for-14 (.786), with 7 HR and 20 RBI. In 2005 and 2006, he is 8-for-9, with 5 HR and 15 RBI.” you can go there for the complete breakdown of his PAs in those situations and their results–it’s a tremendously well-researched post.
    anyway, the chances of manny cutting the lead to one or tying the game on a single if ortiz is given an intentional walk cannot possibly outweigh the risk of letting ortiz win the game outright, it seems to me. not with papi’s track record at this point.

    beth August 1, 2006, 3:35 pm
  • Whoever said that David Ortiz is the best hitter in the MLB was incorrect. That title goes to Albert Pujols.

    Alexander Devon August 1, 2006, 5:56 pm
  • Alexander – I’d say Ichiro is the best hitter in MLB, followed by Mauer.

    Sam August 1, 2006, 6:04 pm
  • People say Ortiz should have been walked, but I wouldnt want to pitch to Ramirez either, which makes John Kruk’s thought intriguing for an opposing team.
    HE said he would have walked Ortiz, then walked Manny bringing in a run and took his chances with Mike Lowell.
    A couple years ago a NL team did that to Barry Bonds, walked him bringing in a run to face the next batter.

    TJ August 2, 2006, 10:01 am
  • To add to the MVP debate. Jeter leads in VORP (Value over replacement player), Ortiz is 7th…
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=9653

    SM August 4, 2006, 12:54 pm
  • I saw that he just went on top. Perhaps, Jetes get the first MVP of his brilliant career. I wouldn’t argue with that.

    Nick-YF August 4, 2006, 1:08 pm

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