Need something more to be thankful for this season? How about Steven Goldman. Columns like this are why.
Good call YF. I think for Yankees writing, Goldman is the best out there. (Though I don’t include LoHud, Bronx Banter, and you all in that estimation, because you guys are basically holdin’ it down daily.)
Honestly, dumbest in history? Pedro being left off several ballots entirely comes to mind, with the NY beat writer(s) claiming that pitchers should not qualify. The history of that has been discussed already, however.
For dc: Also, Derek Jeter certainly had a strong case in 99. Going purely by the stats, his case was not as good this year, even though he had a great year. No one’s season was extremely far and away the best case. It’s just not there. Morneau was a bad choice, IMO, because it’s hard to make a case for him being the MVP of his own team, as Goldman points out. Jeter certainly is, but was he really more important to the Yankees than Mauer was to the Twins? Or Santana? Jeter’s defense has been discussed ad nauseum here, and in the media. At best it’s “not good”. Mauer is probably in the top 3 or 4 defensive catchers in the majors. That has extreme value that cannot neccessarily be measured (just like intangibles). Take the preparation a catcher must go through during the week with the pitchers that Jeter isn’t around for(and doesn’t need to be) for the Yankees. Going over scouting reports on countless hitters, discussing pitch selection strategy for each hitter, etc. I don’t know. It’s just hard to understand the complete outrage. Was Jeter a better choice than Morneau? Sure. Absolutely. Was his case so good that it was a no-brainer? Obviously not, since the no-brainers didn’t end up making that decision.
To take what dc would call an unbalanced and biased viewpoint, as far as the defense goes, GGs notwithstanding, Jeter’s defense sometimes helps the Yankees, and sometimes hurts the Yankees. I’m going to go out on an extreme limb and say it ends up even-ing out, to where he actually produces no net value as a SS defensively (wow, I just asked for a storm of comments with this, didn’t I?), compared to other SSs and defensive players. Now take someone like Travis Hafner, who produces no net value defensively as well, while being the superior offensive player. At least last year, you can actually make an argument that A-Rod WAS an above-average 3B defensively.
The thing is, every year there’s a handful of 1B/DH with 30 HR’s / 100 RBI’s (maybe less now that players “stop” using the roid) and it’s reasonable to assume if Moreanu (or Hafner) wasn’t on that team, it would have a net positive of way less.
I don’t think it’s that clear as well, and I think YF’s would bitch a bit less of Mauer won it, for example..
Honestly, if I were a Twin fan, I would be outraged that Mauer didn’t win the thing, and if he had beaten Jeter, I would have been fine with that as a Yankee fan. As Goldman noted–as we all noted, before the votes were in–his performance this year (a catcher with a batting title!), at a crucial defensive position, was phenomenal and indeed historic. And I think you need to give Papi some credit for all those walk-off shots, in addition to his otherwise magnificent season. So no objections here if either of those two had won–though of course it would have been a disappointment. But Morneau? No way. And Jeter’s range issue is kind of a red herring here. His offense is coming at a defensive position–that makes it more valuable than what you get from 1b/dh.
As YF said, I would have been disappointed if either Santana or Mauer won, but I definitely would have respected the decision. I would be a little more than disappointed if Ortiz won, but that’s because I’m a Yanks fan and I don’t like the Red Sox. But the Morneau decision is dumb.
Incidentally, does this finally put to rest the idea that players from the Northeast (i.e. NYC) have an advantage when the MVP voting comes around?
Nick: it should put that to rest. the voters are scattered across the country, so there should be no east coast bias. instead, it’s a flat-earth bias from the old-school codgers who’ve been around forever and dominate the bbwaa. too many of these folks have “seen it all” and either don’t understand, dismiss, or ignore the new tools and thinking about the game. value has so long been defined as rbi, that this is the primary default criteria for the award. the issue is ignorance. the writers, as a group, are still arguing about baseball’s jamesian evolution, while guys like billy beane are off in the lab building on what they’ve learned.
does this finally put to rest the idea that players from the Northeast (i.e. NYC) have an advantage
No, Nick, it doesn’t, because the writers are the ones who perpetrated and extenuated the influence of the alleged bias in the first place.
Mauer? NP. Incredible performance from the most demanding position of the nine. Santana? NP. So far past the rest of the field as a pitcher, it makes its own case regarding pitchers being worthy of the MVP, especially in the AL. Ortiz? NP. His numbers are just SICK in 2006 regarding runs created, total bases, plus a boatload of RBIs, walks, and that “intangible” of how he captured the imagination in so many games this year. Plus, he broke Foxx’s record. Jeter? NP. Discussed ad nauseum.
The rest, I would have had a bit of a problem, except maybe Dye.
Agreed, AG, on all points. And I got the NP without the clarification. :)
Dye is an interesting case. Would he have gotten more serious consideration if the White Sox had made the playoffs?
Quo, Jermaine Dye had an absolutely remarkable year, and for whatever reason, the voters didn’t even nod at him. He hit for a combination of power and average that will cause fear in opposing pitchers next season, to be sure.
actually, no storm from me quo…i already declared about a hundred times on this site that Ortiz was my pick for mvp this year…i don’t happen to think a guy that doesn’t own a glove should be disqualified…just like i don’t think points should be taken away because someone doesn’t think jeter has enough “range”, or some equally inane and immeasurable deficiency of his fielding…he doesn’t hurt the yanks in the field [uh, just like ortiz doesn’t hurt the sox in the field], and he has made some special plays along with most of the routine ones…jeter’s best asset, like ortiz, is timing…they both seem to do the right thing at the right time…i don’t think there’s a stat for that…
I know you have dc. Actually, my needling of you in my comment had more to do with the fake webcode I made for it that didn’t show up in the end.
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