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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MVP voters R teh suck    

Ok, I agreed w/ the NL choice completely. Pooholes should probably win 5 or 6 of these things by the time he's done, so long as his body holds up.
That said, Rhino, you know I love you, but you deserved to finish a close second about as much as Bush deserved a second term (ooh! Topical and timely! Sick burn).

In the AL, Pedroia winning just fuels the Massholes through a cold, lonely winter.

/channels Tommy from Quinzee

You who do nawt recawgnize Perdooooya as the one true MVP are nawt true fans!

A quick list of folks who'd have been better than Pedroia:
Mauer
Sizemore
Jeter (kidding)

A quick list of folks who'd have made a better runner up than Rhino:
Utley
Burrell
Hamels
About 10 other guys who play for other teams.

Also - to the two voters who picked Lidge #1: go fuck yourselves.

Labels: , ,

9 Comments:

  • FAHK YOU, YA FAHKIN QUEEAH!

    First off, Mauer? Really? Pedroia hit almost twice as many HR as Mauer did and had a better slugging percentage than Mauer did, despite being about 5'3". He also didn't gag on a dick when he had a chance to make the playoffs, which is a plus. (Or did that "kidding" extend up to Mauer too?)

    As for Sizemore, given that he doesn't have particularly exemplary stats, his team would have had to be not-shitty for him to have a chance. Which didn't happen. The only way a loser is going to get MVP is with A-Rod stats, which Sizemore did not have. But even then, if we're going strictly by stats, you would have take Josh Hamilton, Carlos Quentin, or (gasp) Miguel Cabrera before Sizemore.

    I also can't help but notice that you neglected to mention the Greek God of Walks, who out-slugged and out-OBP'd your pal Sizemore, and knocked in an additional 25 runs to boot. For a team that made the ALCS.

    Realistically, though, Quentin should have won it, even with the injury. If he doesn't get hurt in September, it's his in an absolute landslide. The whole "he got hurt" argument against is stupid.

    Anyway, I totally see the objection, but I have two words for anyone who doesn't like that Pedroia won the MVP with inferior stats: Jimmy Rollins. End of discussion.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:40 AM  

  • I don't think taking into account the winning or losing of the team per se makes sense. Either it's the best player, or it's the player who elevated his team the farthest (in which case I guess you could weight the playoff/not-playoff line particularly heavily, but I'm not sure how you could determine how heavily to do so). Obviously that's a big part of how people vote, and it's logically defensible, but it seems so arbitrary.

    I think the right way to go about "most valuable" as a concept intentionally distinct from "best," for people so inclined, would be through a concept like win shares. Unfortunately, I don't really know how well that actually captures the reality of a player's credit for team wins. I can't find holes in THT's formula (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/2004-win-shares-have-arrived/), but I'm not sure I would be able to even if they were glaring. Also, I seem to recall a lot of derision regarding the way they evaluate defense in the win shares formula.

    I do think it's perfectly appropriate to punish a player for being injured as that absolutely effects their contribution. However, it's not immediately obvious to me that Quentin was injured for long enough to damage his case. Again, this basically comes back to something like win shares, but I think you'd probably have to bump that up a little. Concentrating those wins in a smaller part of the season might actually be more valuable, as someone else may contribute to wins in your absence. It wouldn't be fair to give Quentin credit for what his replacement actually did, but you could factor in some kind of "replacement level win shares" or something for the games he missed (and for the games everyone else missed, as well, if you're going to go that route).

    So, apart from Pedroia, the people that look at first glance like you might be able to make real cases for are Mauer, Sizemore, Youkilis, Hamilton, Morneau, and maybe Quentin.

    Mauer's case rests on positional adjustment, which we know should be a lot higher for catcher than even SS or CF, but is tricky to know exactly how much to take into account. Sizemore's case rests on baserunning and defense, which is tricky. It's worth mentioning that if you go by Runs Created, though, he probably wins (edging out Morneau and Youkilis by playing a more valuable position and better defense; he's only 1 behind anyway). Youkilis wins "most clutch" according to THT's relatively arbitrary metric.

    But since I've brought Win Shares into it, I'll focus on that. Assuming first that the defensive side of the equation is shaky, I'll rank them in terms of just batting WS:

    Morneau (27), Youkilis (25.1), Hamilton (24.9), Sizemore (24.4), Mauer(22), Quentin (21.3), Pedroia (18.8).

    If you include their defensive WS, you get this list:

    Mauer (31), Morneau/Youkilis (29), Sizemore (28), Hamilton (27), Pedroia (26), Quentin (24).

    They give Mauer 9.2 fielding win shares! That seems like a lot to me, though I'm no expert on what the appropriate amount is. I also don't know how they incorporate catcher defense, because I think it's still pretty well agreed that we have no good way to quantify that. Maybe he gets some credit for pitching WS? I don't know, but it's a lot. The top 4 in their list of fielding WS are all catchers (Kurt Suzuki had 11, which some pretty decent players failed to put up with their bats), and the only non-catchers who break into the top 10 in fielding WS (in order) are O. Cabera, Pedroia, and Michael Young. As far as I know, all the defensive metrics agree that Michael Young sucks and has no business still playing SS, so we should assume that my vague memory is correct and the fielding WS are hopelessly flawed.

    So, we should look elsewhere to bring defense and positional adjustment in. RZR, THT's metric seems equally flawed in evaluating this, because it has the top 10 as all outfielders, which means that at the least it can't be used to compare across position. It also has Michael Young as the top-rated SS again, so I'm not feeling too good about it. Still, I think we can say with decent confidence that Mauer should be helped the most, followed by Sizemore, then Pedroia or Hamilton followed by the other, followed in order by Youkilis, Quentin, and Morneau.

    I don't really see any way that Pedroia separates himself from that pack, whereas I do see potential cases for Mauer, Morneau, Sizemore, and Youkilis.

    I guess if I was voting, I would probably say:

    Youkilis
    Sizemore
    Mauer
    Hamilton

    The fifth spot would either go to Pedroia or Morneau, I can't decide. Either one could move up, as well, and both are hurt by not liking to vote for two people on the same team, which I guess in its own way runs counter to my philosophy about the nature of value, but...

    Oh! I haven't even looked at pitchers. Lee and Halladay predictably have the most pitching WS, which may or may not be a junk stat, but I'm not overly enthused about either of them. Lee also violates my same-team pseudo-rule and Halladay may not have been better than him. Maybe I throw Quentin a bone for a great season, even if I don't actually think he was quite in the top 5.

    It's all pretty close. And after all that, I did find myself inclined to give Youkilis the playoff bump! I guess I'm not immune either.

    BTW, batting win shares for the NL go:

    Berkman (35), Pujols (33), Hanley (27.2), Beltran (26.1), Wright (25.8), McLouth, Adrian Gonzales, Reyes, Howard (23.8), Utley (23.2).

    Most pitching WS in the NL go to:

    Lincecum (28.2), Santana, Webb, Haren, Volquez, Dempster, Hamels (19.2).

    So Utley was certainly more valuable than Howard, but maybe not Burrell or Hamels (non-playoff division, obviously).

    By Blogger Jesse, at 8:58 PM  

  • I can't vote a guy for MVP who can't seal the deal on a drunken threesome with two friends of mine.

    Hence, no Youk.

    Incidentally, in thinking about this I did take a look at A-Rod, who had a very very good year that is not quite up to his usual standard, so I agree that he's not the MVP. I did notice once again, however, his line from last year, which was holy shit level awesome.
    BA: .314
    OBP: .422
    SLG: .645
    OPS: 1.067
    SB: 24
    CS: 4
    HR: 54
    RBI: 156
    Runs: 143
    2B: 31
    K: 120
    BB: 95

    Now THAT is an MVP. I think for guys who don't play premium defense, it's really really hard to win me over without a line like that - +400 OBP, +550 SLG, w/ like 40+ bombs and 120+ RBIs. So I am inclined to go for a premium defender. By that measure, regardless of which combination of metric you use (including scouting reports), I think Mauer comes out on top.

    Am I forgetting something REALLY obvious regarding Mauer choking in the late season? Granted, I had pretty much tuned out the AL by September, but did he do anything particularly egregious? Dude's stats in September:
    AVG: .365
    OBP: .414
    SLG: .490
    OPS: .904
    RBI: 19

    In fact, he turned in only one month of sub-800 OPS: April. What am I missing?

    By Blogger Alex, at 9:09 AM  

  • Which two friends do you have A-Rod could successfully manage to bed simultaneously? If both of them have slept with Frank, I call bullshit on them not also having a threesome with Youk.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:15 PM  

  • He meant Youk.

    Before I start tearing this apart, I retract the Mauer in September thing. That was a team criticism, one that the actual voters likely used but one that I personally would not.

    I can't vote for a singles hitter as the MVP. There is one singles hitter on the planet who has deservedly won the MVP, and it's because he's a record-setting singles hitter. Mauer is not. (And remember, singles are for pussies.)

    Luckily, I do not need that to make my case against Mauer (and ONLY against Mauer). I am willing to accept any number of arguments about basically anyone else in Jesse's comment, but not Mauer.

    Set aside where Pedroia's bona fides lie for a moment. Where is the conclusive evidence that favors Mauer over Pedroia? If he can't beat Pedroia, then he can't be part of a conversation criticizing the Pedroia selection, can he?

    Defensively speaking, they are effectively equivalent. On the statistical side, they each have significant defensive WS numbers, with Pedroia's 7.6 far away the best amongst 2Bs, and they each picked up a Gold Glove on the "gut feeling" side. I don't think 9.2 versus 7.6 is meaningful when they are based on totally separate stats. Catchers may play a more important role defensively, but not enough to decide a major award above a guy who is the best at his own position. Besides, the dropoff in value from C to 2B is going to be smaller than that from, say, 2B to 1B or 2B to LF/RF, no?

    Offensively, amongst basic statistics, the side-by-side comparison lends no support to Mauer. He has a significant edge in walks and OBP, but that is all. Pedroia has more runs, hits, doubles, home runs, steals, and slugging, and the rest are basically washes.

    More telling to me is that Pedroia notched 33% more total bases than Mauer (322 vs. 242). That is a gigantic, significant difference, bigger than any edge Mauer has going for him, including defense.

    So please enlighten me as to how superiority in a single statistic, walks, makes Mauer the CLEAR superior. If he cannot even make an argument in basic statistical categories, then there is no argument, sabermetric or otherwise. There needs to be sufficient visual evidence to overturn, and there is none.

    Feel free to disqualify Pedroia compared to anyone else on the exact same basis. My point is simply that wherever Pedroia falls on a "true" MVP ballot, Mauer will fall behind him. Which alone disqualifies him from consideration.

    And for the record, here's what I would have done with my ballot:

    C. Quentin
    K. Youkilis
    D. Pedroia
    J. Hamilton
    G. Sizemore

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:01 PM  

  • Jeff, you missed the whole point of my joke. Cow went from saying he wouldn't vote for someone who couldn't close a threesome with two of his friends (Youk) to talking about what an MVP A-Rod was last year. Just pointing out the double standard.

    As for Mauer, I think the general sabermetric consensus is that OBP is the single most important measure of how many runs you help your team score (obviously weighted to games played). OPS is better in a sense, because it incorporates slugging, but all the "runs created" models weight OBP highest, I think, because it correlates most closely with runs that eventually end up being scored. I'm not sure if they evaluate that individually or a team basis or what, but I think it's been pretty rigorously tested.

    You say "Defensively speaking, they are effectively equivalent." And then you go on to quote the defensive win shares numbers that we (or at least I) decided were bogus. A catcher who can really hit is substantially more valuable than a 2B who hits the same. I think any time you traded two hitters of similar offensive value between two teams, and one was a catcher and one played SS (let alone 2B) we would say that the team that ended up with the catcher got the better end of the deal -- the better value. Why wouldn't that principle apply here?

    Anyway, Mauer's not just a singles hitter. He's a singles hitter who walks, and he had the second highest OBP in the AL. I think offensively he and Pedroia had seasons of very similar value. But Mauer's a catcher, and that probably makes him more valuable. I'm not totally convinced that's true, but your outrage at the notion is unjustified. If you don't think catcher is a more valuable position than 2B then it's a Mauer/Pedroia tie for 3rd, in my schema. Maybe you even give Pedroia the edge for his baserunning. Anyway, I don't really have a strong opinion here, but I'm not finding your contention that Mauer definitely falls behind Pedroia very compelling.

    I don't have any way to independently critique any of THT's calculations, so let's just go to their definition and the numbers. THT claims:

    "Runs Created: Invented by Bill James, RC is a very good measure of the number of runs a batter truly contributed to his team’s offense. The basic formula for RC is OBP*TB, but it has evolved into over fourteen different versions. We use the most complicated version, which includes the impact of hitting well with runners in scoring position, and is adjusted for ballpark impact."

    Maybe you're not sold on the fact that they're right about having a good measure of the runs contributed by a given player, but I'd say that's where the smart money is.

    Our boys:

    Morneau 122
    Youkilis 121
    Sizemore 121
    Hamilton 119
    Pedroia 108
    Mauer 103
    Quentin 101

    So, if we're going to ditch "valuable" as a notion and get back to "best," it looks like Sizemore had the best season (I think the value of his defense being more than 2 runs more than Morneau or Youk is self-evident, and he's a better defender than Hamilton). I think being a catcher is probably worth 5 runs over being a second baseman, though possibly not worth 18 runs over being a CFer. This one has you more like:

    Sizemore
    Youk/Hamilton
    Morneau
    Mauer/Pedroia
    Quentin

    They could have the formula all wrong, but I'm not betting on it. Anyway, I'm talking myself back into Sizemore. He had a pretty phenomenal season on the basepaths (only Ichiro was better in the AL, though you could make an argument for Ellsbury), and his average is pretty well offset by that strike zone control. Anyway, there's no clear candidate, and there's easy way to decide for sure which guy to take. Pedroia wasn't a terrible choice; he had a great season. But Mauer is a legitimate choice.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 1:04 AM  

  • Found Tango's positional adjustment, which apparently is the leading contender:

    Catcher: +12.5 runs
    Shortstop: +7.5 runs
    Second Base: +2.5 runs
    Third Base: +2.5 runs
    Center Field: +2.5 runs
    Left Field: -7.5 runs
    Right Field: -7.5 runs
    First Base: -12.5 runs
    Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

    Adjusting RC to reflect this would yield:

    Youkilis 123.5
    Sizemore 123.5
    Hamilton 121.5
    Mauer 115.5
    Pedroia 110.5
    Morneau 101.5
    Quentin 93.5

    That doesn't take actual defensive performance into account, but that shouldn't shake things up too much. It just gives Sizemore the edge over Youk, and gives Pedroia a shot at maybe catching Mauer for # 4.

    But wait! Fangraphs has phased out Runs Created for the Tango stat wRC, which is based off of his wOBA:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/wrc-and-wraa

    I don't how to evaluate the claim that this is a better version, but I can only assume that this is in favor of increasing correlation with the way runs get scored. They explain the decision to switch like this:

    "Runs Created [is] called wRC now and it’s a more accurate way to calculate Runs Created... I don’t think we’ll be bringing back the Bill James versions of RC and RC/27 since... they do overvalue players with a high OBP and SLG. And a player with a high OBP * TB on a poor team would also be overvalued."

    Their leaderboard in wRC goes:

    Sizemore (124.1)
    Pedroia (120)
    Markakis (119.1)
    Hamilton (117.9)
    A-Rod (113.3)
    Youkilis (112.8)
    Huff (who cares)
    Morneau (109.8)
    ...
    Quentin (108.9)
    ...
    Mauer (102.1)

    Pedroia clearly does much better here. And of course the fact that A-Rod and Markakis were nowhere on the list before, even if they're not real candidates, is a little weird.

    So, Huff-ignored, position-adjusted rankings go like this:

    Sizemore 126.6
    Pedroia 122.5
    Hamilton 120.4
    A-Rod 115.8
    Youkilis 115.3
    Mauer 114.6
    Markakis 111.6
    Quentin 101.4
    Morneau 97.3

    This is a more satisfying list, to me. We can add actual defensive performance, according to UZR from Fangraphs as well:

    Sizemore + 11 = 137.6
    Pedroia + 8.9 = 131.4
    Youkilis + 3.6 = 118.9
    A-Rod - .1 = 115.7
    Markakis + 3.6 = 115.2
    Mauer + 0 = 114.6
    Hamilton - 9.2 = 111.2
    Quentin - 7 = 94.4
    Morneau - 4.2 = 93.1

    Caveat: I'm not sure about the appropriateness of adjusting in this way. I know the UZR above is scaled to runs, so it should be compatible, and I know that it's calculated against other players of that position (which is why Crawford is top ranked, because he's that much better than other left fielders), so it makes sense to include both the positional adjustment and the UZR adjustment. I'm just not sure that throwing them all together like that is exactly the right way to go about it. But it's the best I've got, so I'll assume it's close enough for now.

    But to throw the "most valuable" back in, looking at all this reminds me that I wasn't even thinking of win probability, which is probably better than win shares for talking about value explicitly (as opposed to production). Fangraphs has all the WPA, and their ranking goes:

    Mauer 4.88
    C. Pena 4.24
    Morneau 3.87
    Quentin 3.81
    Sizemore 3.48
    Pedroia 3.29
    Miggy (who cares)
    Ibanez (who cares)
    Hamilton 2.8
    ...
    Youk 2.33

    I think the fact that Pena didn't show up earlier disqualifies him. Similarly, Morneau and Quentin had fallen too far earlier for this to resurrect them, and I see no reason to keep Hamilton in the conversation (great season, but inferior to Sizemore and Pedroia in pretty much every measure here). Youk takes a hit here too, but probably remains the #4 guy. The big question is how much of a bump does this give Mauer. I mean, you could look at WPA as the be all and end all, except that it ignores defense. Our combined positions/defensive adjustments above had Sizemore at + 13.5, Mauer at + 12.5, and Pedroia at + 11.4 (which just involves dividing by 10, according to Tangotiger). If you convert that to a wins scale, you get...

    Mauer 4.88 + 1.25 = 6.13
    Sizemore 3.48 + 1.35 = 4.83
    Pedroia 3.29 + 1.14 = 4.43

    I'm probably screwing this up somehow by this point, comparing to replacement level or average incorrectly or falsely assuming that WPA scales to wins added (or maybe it already includes defense, but I don't think so). Still, that's my best effort. So, WPA or raw production? Or a combination of the two?

    OK, yep, I did screw this up, a little anyway. UZR is scaled to "above average," so the proportions are all screwed up on my big wRC list. But the crux of it all was correct (UZR should still be compatible with the positional adjustment, I think), which means that Sizemore, Mauer, and Pedroia are the only people on our list who benefit significantly from their defense/position. So while the numbers are imprecise the basic idea holds. Going with wRAA (wRC scaled to "above average" so that it matches UZR and can represent wins the way WPA does), adjusted for defense, yields the following rankings of our 3 guys):

    Sizemore 47.9 (+ 4.8 wins)
    Pedroia 44.0 (+ 4.4 wins)
    Mauer 38.4 (+ 3.8 wins)
    (This has Youk as a 4.2 win player)

    Interestingly, this tracks almost exactly with the wins added by both Sizemore and Pedroia in WPA (if that scales the way I think it should), but underestimates Mauer's WPA by more wins than most players contribute in total. I'm wondering if some huge catcher adjustment is already present (or something weird like him getting credit for some of his pitchers' WPA, though I can't really see Fangraphs doing that). But I can't find any actual sign they've done that. I guess replacement should be the basis for evaluating how many wins someone really added, but since we're using the same scale to compare these players, their relative values shouldn't be impacted by that. My head is starting to spin.

    For what it's worth, their "clutch" rating also has Pedroia as the most clutch player in the league this year, followed by Mauer. And A-Rod comes in dead last! Finally, a clutch stat that fits with our intuitive grasp of reality! That doesn't necessarily make it good, of course, but their explanation is reasonable:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/get-to-know-clutch/

    I don't see any point in adding clutch into the conversation once you've already got WPA, though. The important aspect of it is already measured. So, Pedroia gets no help for his case here.

    Well, that was a gigantic waste of time, but I guess I understand some of these stats better. To summarize, the important people are according to Fangraphs' data are Sizemore, Pedroia, and Mauer. That doesn't mean they should be 1, 2, 3, depending on how much you view the relative importance of these measures, but I don't see a way to give it to someone outside of that trio (except maaaaaaybe Youk, if you're really committed to the idea that traditional stats capture something left out by newfangled ones).

    Sizemore or Mauer was probably MVP this year, just like Lehr initially said. Pedroia was probably 2nd or 3rd, and Youk is right in there too -- in fact, both could rank above Mauer if you think WPA is way off as a measure. I don't see any way Pedroia ends up number one, though, except for the playoff bump, which in my opinion makes no sense after you've adjusted for all this stuff.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 9:38 PM  

  • I'm sorry, but that doesn't change anything. 9 home runs is a goddamn deal-breaker unless you're breaking records elsewhere. If that is the new standard for MVP, with no superlative stats of any kind to make up for it, you might as well turn it into fucking kindergarten and give everyone a award. That one number alone defeats any and all stat-based objections to Pedroia's victory.

    If you DQ Pedroia for statistical reasons, Mauer has to go too. It would be illogical to say otherwise. And yet there's Alex, saying exactly that. That's why this argument infuriates me so much. I have been forced to argue against a totally preposterous position.

    1. Pedroia was held up as a bad example, based on unworthy statistics. I am fine with this.

    2. Meanwhile, Pedroia has superior stats to Mauer in every raw statistic where a meaningful difference occurs, except walks/OBP which are basically the same thing. Everything else that favors either of the two, beyond a margin of error, favors Pedroia.

    3. It follows, then, that any objection made w/r/t Pedroia on statistical grounds goes double for Mauer.

    4. But that's not what happened. Pedroia was disqualified by Lehr for the exact same reasons that apparently qualify Mauer.

    If you want to prove they both deserve it, great. It doesn't change the deep fallacies at the heart of Alex's original post. None of this nonsense was a problem when Jeter won, was it? But now that it's Pedroia, oh no! It's a big fucking travesty! Voters R teh suck! Please. Championing Mauer for the exact same reasons he lights into Pedroia is as hypocritical as it gets.

    (And yet you find MY reaction compelling.)

    Pedroia got voted in with his somewhat-impressive, but still subpar for MVP, stats because he is overachieving. He wasn't meant to be as good as the stats he posted. So people are impressed, as they should be. Mauer, on the other hand, was supposed to be Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, that kind of power hitter. But he's not: he's Brian Harper with better defense. He CAN do better than he is. So people aren't impressed. Right or wrong, there's your explanation.

    I have nothing left to say on this. Think whatever you want of Mauer, but if you really think a guy with nine home runs had such a good case for MVP that it was worth the grief this argument required, then I honestly don't know what to tell you.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2:56 PM  

  • Was it worth it? Hell no! Do I even really, care? Not really. Do I only look at this kind of thing when I'm procrastinating? Yes. And you may well be right about why MVP voters voted the way they did; I don't much care why they vote the way they do or even who they vote for. But I am interested in the differences of opinion here about how to determine who does deserve it.

    Ignore all my posts before last night's; they were based on the wrong stats and written as I was trying to get a hold of how I felt about them. For what it's worth, I agree that closer examination of the production stats eliminated Mauer as a real candidate (we'll punt the question of whether or not WPA rescues him for now). From a production standpoint, Mauer was inferior to Pedroia. So, it wasn't what I was thinking about as I was writing all that, but your intuition that Lehr was wrong was accurate, based on what appears to me to be the most advanced production metric. I suspect Lehr's reasoning was not so much that Mauer was better statistically, but that he was a catcher, so we're probably mostly arguing about the wrong things. (Also, to recap, all that useless work yesterday showed that Pedroia's positional adjustment + UZR puts him at very near Mauer's value positionally/defensively, and left him as more valuable with those things considered). Also, I don't remember Lehr arguing for Jeter, so I find the alleged hypocrisy a little harder to grasp, but I'm willing to admit you probably had more conversations with him than me about it.

    But let's leave Mauer and Pedroia and Lehr out of this for a minute to try to get closer to some fundamental agreements or disagreements. As I see it, there are two debates here:

    1) Traditional stats, whether in terms of BA/HR/RBI or OBP/SLG/OPS aggregations, versus efforts to statistically model what kind of production correlates best with the most runs scored outside of a given team.

    2) Raw production (whether OPS or wRC) vs. real contribution to wins (whether in the form of Win Shares or WPA)

    Imagine that next year Sizemore and Mauer are neck in neck at the top of the wRC race (fractions of a contributed run apart). Pedroia's now 3rd - 5th in that measure. Both Sizemore and Pedroia have exactly +10 UZR, such that their defense + positional adjustment is exactly equal to Mauer's, 12.5.

    But in terms of WPA, Pedroia blows them both out of the water. Do you vote him for MVP? We could do this with 3 totally different players if you want, I'm not trying to stuff a member of your team down your throat this way. I'm just curious about what matters for MVP.

    Production or Wins? If it's production, do you take it out of context and give a team-neutral production (OPS or wRC, for example). If you don't, I guess you're just back to RBIs and R, which we know is stupid. I say, if it's production based it has to be isolated from team impact (and therefore you might as well go for the most cutting edge stat you can), and if it's win based, it can't be.

    Finally, how closely does WPA capture how much a player actually contributed to real wins? It makes me nervous, but I can't really see a flaw in using it (unless it accounts for defense or position in some weird, fluky way, and that's why Mauer is so high).

    Food for thought:

    AL and NL MVPs based on wRC and WPA back a few years (not adjusted for defense).

    2007

    wRC. AL: A-Rod. NL: Holliday
    WPA. AL: A-Rod. NL: Fielder

    2006

    wRC. AL: Ortiz. NL: Howard
    WPA. AL: Ortiz. NL: Pujols

    2005

    wRC. AL: A-Rod. NL: Derrek Lee
    WPA. AL: Ortiz. NL: Delgado

    If we factor in defense, the following happens:

    2007
    NL: Wright beats out Holliday in wRC while Pujols passes Fielder in WPA.
    AL: Still A-Rod in wRC, Magglio passes him in WPA.

    2006
    NL: Pujols wins both.
    AL: Jeter passes Ortiz in both.

    2005
    NL: Lee still wins wRC, both Lee and Bay pass Delgado in WPA (wow Delgado was terrible defensively that year)
    AL: Nothing changes.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 5:17 PM  

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