Homer: Oh, why won't anyone give me an award?Well, to the the Fielding Grammies, we can now add the MVP awards, a/k/a the the Hitting Grammies, or if you prefer, simply the Ribbies (because that criterion seems to be the only one that justifies the voting). I'd love it if Jeter had won, but my reaction to Morneau winning has more to do with the fact that he wasn't even the most valuable player on his team, that honor rightfully belonging to either Johan Santana or (if you feel pitchers have no part in the discussion) Joe Mauer. David Laurila of The Royal Rooters of Red Sox Nation solicited a response that put me in heady company with some heavy hitters including Bill James, Pete Palmer, Peter Golenbock, Jim Callis, Jayson Stark, and fellow BPers Joe Sheehan and Kevin Goldstein:
Lisa: You won a Grammy.
Homer: I mean an award that's worth winning. ["award show"-style music plays while a disclaimer scrolls by on the screen, reading, "LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Mr. Simpson's opinions does not reflect those of the producers, who don't consider the Grammy an award at all."]
My thoughts can be summed up in a word: "Horseshit." Morneau isn't the most valuable player on his own team. Or even the second. And any BBWAA writer who can't figure that out for himself ought to root for the XFL to come back so he can find a sport to which his mental capacity is more suited.Sheehan's take on the MVP votes is better digested at length at his usual haunt:
The writers got it wrong, plain and simple. They identified two guys who had lots of RBIs on good teams and voted for them, ignoring all of the other information available. They ignored defense, they ignored doubles, they ignored OBP, they ignored pitchers and the value they have… they collectively saw the shiny things, got distracted, and further diminished the value of the awards they give out each year. The Most Valuable Player award is redefined to fit the storyline every year, but when it’s defined as "having lots of RBIs and good teammates," we’re well past the point of a defensible argument.Sheehan's anti-BBWAA sentiment is so great he's taken a page from the Republican tack of slumming the opposition ("The Democrat Party"), presumably referring to them as Riters (or maybe it's just Retards, which is worthier of a giggle if hardly politically correct).
The problem isn't the results of any specific vote. The problem is that we have no expectations of anything better. We've simply conceded that the people charged with delivering these honors will make it up as they go along, picking the story they liked the best and inventing a rationaliztion to fit. So in some years, being an up-the-middle guy matters. In some years, having lots of guys on base in front of you matters. In some years, you win the award on style points. In some years, you win it on numbers. "Value" doesn’t matter, except in sentences like, "statistics don’t really capture the value of" Player X. The ballots attached to those lines quite often then list guys in order of their RBI counts.
...But I'm getting caught up in the outcomes, which is a mistake. Don’t consider the outcome. Consider the process. The process for determining the nominally "official" MVP vote is that it's restricted to a subset of a subset of the people who cover the game for a living. There was a time when the BBRAA [sic] was representative of pretty much all of the people who covered baseball. That hasn't been true for a long time, and it gets less true each and every year. There's a strong argument that the BBRAA represents the dying wing of baseball coverage.
...The more likely path is that the BBRAA awards are replaced, in the minds of the people within the game and the fans that follow them, with something else. For my money, the IBAs [Internet Baseball Awards] would be a perfect replacement. If you compare the IBA results with BBRAA results for the history of the former, the IBAs hold up much better. The difference between the two is largely that the BBRAA awards have precedent on their side and the advantage of publicity. With each error-filled vote, though, the credibility of these awards erodes just a little, and eventually, it’ll be whittled down to nothing.
You are in a hotel lobby.That ain't even the half of it...
Jim Hendry is here.
"I just signed Alfonso Soriano!" Jim Hendry says.
> examine Soriano contract
Alfonso Soriano signed for $136,000,000 over 8 years.
> I hate you and wish you would die.
I don't understand that.
Jim Hendry performs his Dance of Joy.
> punch Hendry
You catch Hendry unaware!
Hendry is wounded!
The other GMs look at you with awe.
Hendry runs away!
Some GMs applaud you.
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