Verlander Named MVP – Sadly, As I Expected

by ThomasWayne

Man do I hate it when I am right about stuff that I know is going to happen when it shouldn’t. It’s like when a friend tells you his plans for the weekend with the not-yet-divorced-air-headed-bimbo he just met in line at the unemployment office (Vegas, baby….Vegas!!!) and all you can think is “wow, this is going to end badly” – ever have that happen? That’s how I feel about Justin Verlander winning the AL MVP. Or at the very least it proves I can foresee the thoughts of the feeble minded men (read: sheep) who voted on MVP for the American League for 2011.

This is from my Michael Young MVP article from September 22nd. You can read that article in it’s entirity here : http://www.dugoutcentral.com/?p=2236

For those who want the quick version here are the specific excerpts:

Every year we look at a handful of guys (usually the one’s ESPN and such tell us to look at) and we choose an MVP from that small assorted batch. On more than one occasion (Miguel Tejada and Dustin Pedroia spring to mind) the media so heavily pushes for a particular candidate that the voters fall into line and select them in an almost predetermined fashion. It’s called a fall-in-line-vote. That’s not to say that inevitable winner of the award doesn’t deserve to win – it just means the sheep that vote follow the heard and get tunnel vision…

Let’s look at this years crop of AL ‘chosen’ – Justin Verlander, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez.

A solid group of great players all having great years.

As a matter of fact – I called the Granderson MVP before the season started – err…before the 2010 season that is. Here was my pick for AL MVP as it was written for Dugout Central prior to the 2010 season.

  • AL MVP: CURTIS GRANDERSON- New York Yankees–Look out boys, it’s my boldest prediction of all. I loved the addition of Granderson the minute the trade was announced. His game is built perfectly for the New Yankee Stadium and the lineup around him. He’ll be looked upon as the spark for the best offense in the game. He could easily finish the year with 35+ homers, 90+ RBI, 20+ steals, and a whopping 130+ runs scored.  Most importantly, the press likes him and he’s an acknowledged good guy. The kind of guy you can get behind win casting your vote. If he can keep his average up (around .280 or higher), and have a career year in OBP, he could easily win the award over the glamour choices of ARod, Longoria, Teixeira, Jeter, Youkilis and any number of big names you can add to the list.

Like I said – that was from March of 2010. I’m a regular Nostradamus.

Except Granderson won’t win the 2011 award. It’s already been determined by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and others. Your MVP will be Justin Verlander.  Mark it down. Or mark it zero if you are Big Lebowski fan. Either way – you can mark it, and count on it.

The ESPN and SI influence over this year’s choice is as I previously mentioned – a fall-in-line-vote. Verlander is having a great year, but I for one, and many of you, don’t believe a pitcher should win an MVP award over any substantial everyday player.

Many of you – at the time – felt that my prediction within a prediction of Verlander winning was way off base. No way it would happen. And I wish it hadn’t. I stand by my belief that no matter how great the pitcher or the year he has had is – he is not and can never be more valuable than a great everyday player.

I’m sure many of you will break out some new statistical apparatus (approved by SABR, NASA and the CIA no doubt) that will show the value of Verlander over any individual everyday player. For the sake of what will largely be a statistical free argument on my part I will use Miguel Cabrera as my counter argument to Mr. Verlander – teammates make for the easiest and cleanest of examples.

Justin Verlander started 35 games for the Tigers this year (give or take a game, I must admit I am not looking up any stats as I am writing this so feel free to jump on my back for that as we go along).

 In those 35 or so times he toed the slab for Detroit Verlander was – more often than not – the friggin’ man. He won 24 starts and (without looking up the numbers for certain) presumabley had his team scored some a few runs here or there and/or had he not been removed from a game when it was tied he might have won 4 or 5 more. He was totally dominant and deserving of a unanimous Cy Young Award.

Now here is the crux of my case against him as a MVP.

The Tigers, if I am not mistaken, played 162 ball games this year – just like every other team in baseball. Basic math tells me that Mr. Verlander – having never played for the Tigers in any other way, shape or form outside of those 35 assorted, incredibly outstanding performances on the mound - had absolutely nothing to do with 127 of those 162 games played. Even if Verlander had gone 35-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 35 perfect games he still added nothing positive (or negative) to those other 127 games.

Now – Miguel Cabrera played everyday for those same Tigers. He too was an MVP candidate (I believe he finished fifth in this years voting) as the season ended with seriously terrific individual numbers (again, I don’t have the actually numbers in front of me but I know he lead the AL in doubles, average and OBP). He scored over 100, drove in over 100 and walked over 100 times as he easily staked his claim as the best everyday player on the best team in the AL Central this year. He also played in 161 of the Tigers 162 games this year.

What would you rather have –  great player playing in 35 games or a great player playing in 161 games? The Tigers won 95 games this year. Who had more of an impact on those 95 wins – the man who pitched in 24 of them (with a maximum of 35) or the man who played in all 95 wins.  The rest of the Tigers pitching staff had a hand in the other 71 wins. You could argue that anyone of those men on any given day was just as valuable as Verlander in securing an individual win for the team.

The main component to my argument is that Verlander doesn’t win 24 games without Cabrera’s participation. You can probably argue Verlander wins an MVP because Cabrera IS THE MVP.

This is completely off the top of my head – and I will research it later tonight to find out the official answer – but I am willing to bet that Cabrera had some sort of positive offensive impact on a minimum of 10 of Verlander’s wins. And believe me, If I am wrong on that statement I will post that info as well.

Verlander is a great pitcher and he had a great year. But regardless of whatever some long winded statistical formula may tell you he only had an impact on a maximum of 35 of 162 games. Cabrera played in 161 and is one of the five best offensive players in the game today and most likely had a hand in more than a few of Verlanders 24 victories. 

So is Cabrera the AL MVP? Maybe. Maybe not. But he and multiple other everyday players (Granderson, Bautista, Ellsbury, etc) are all far more deserving of MVP status than Verlander simply based on the fact that they affect the outcome of the entire season, not just a small portion of it.

So back to the sheep as they graze. Why did Verlander win the award? Simple. Bandwagon jumpers know no bounds. It’s easier to participate with the heard than try to reason on your own. Once “the establishment” (ESPN, SI – I mean, for Christ sake, SI had Verlander on the cover touting him as MVP in mid August) passes on the required info to the rest of the heard – how dare the mindless in the heard go against them.  Wait – SI and ESPN think Verlander should be MVP??? Wow…I guess…well…yeah…so do I. I’m now part of the winning team.

Mindless sheep. They ruin it for the rest of us.

I congratulate Mr. Verlander on his win. Keep Cabrera’s (or Granderson’s, or Ellsbury’s, or Bautista’s) MVP award well dusted and polished on your mantle.

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76 Responses to “Verlander Named MVP – Sadly, As I Expected”

  1. JohnBowen Says:

    TW! You’re back!

    YOU HAVE AN ALLY.

    Evan P. Grant, of Dallas or something, voted for your boy Michael Young. I mean, gave him a first place vote!

  2. JohnBowen Says:

    If I may respond to the actual article:

    “But regardless of whatever some long winded statistical formula may tell you he only had an impact on a maximum of 35 of 162 games. Cabrera played in 161 and is one of the five best offensive players in the game today and most likely had a hand in more than a few of Verlanders 24 victories. ”

    Most of the time – especially in the modern era, where pitchers don’t throw 300 IP anymore – it is very difficult for a starting pitcher to be anywhere near as valuable as a comparably elite position player. Last year, for example, Felix Hernandez was the best AL pitcher last season (clearly, in fact), but was nowhere near as valuable as your Hamilton/Cabrera/Longoria.

    This year, Verlander had a truly elite season, one of the best by a pitcher in recent memory.

    The reason he can be considered for MVP is simple: On those 34 starts when he pitched, he was, on average, 5 (or more) times as valuable as Miguel Cabrera.

    Which isn’t tough to imagine. Verlander faces about 28-29 people per appearance. Cabrera makes around 4 PA’s per game. Verlander was involved with 969 PA’s, or right around 300 more than Cabrera.

    This, of course, isn’t counting fielding plays. But do you really want to make a fielding-based argument for Miguel Cabrera, a poor defensive player at the game’s easiest defensive position?

    And here’s another fact – Justin Verlander’s impact ISN’T LIMITED TO THE DAY HE PITCHES. It may seem that way, until you’re in Jimmy Leyland’s shoes. You’ve just finished filling out your lineup card with your worst hitters first and Alex Avila 8th when you realize – you’ve got Justin Verlander going tomorrow! And you know what that means? You can burn an effing hole in your bullpen if you need to for that day’s game, because Verlander is almost guaranteed to pitch into the eighth.

    Flash forward a couple days – now everyone in your bullpen with the possible exception of Jose Valverde is rested and ready to go because Justin Verlander went deep again.

  3. Raul Says:

    I appreciate the effort, John.

    But no.

  4. JohnBowen Says:

    “SI had Verlander on the cover touting him as MVP in mid August”

    Actually, it was mid-September.

    And no one hates the MSM more than I do, but there was plenty of dissent on this topic.

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (one of the actual writers, now commonly spotted on MLB Network wearing regular ties) has argued against Verlander taking first for a while now.

    ESPN’s Keith Law, a man “approved by SABR, NASA and the CIA no doubt” had Bautista first.

    Rob Neyer, formally of ESPN and now of SB Nation had Ellsbury first and Verlander fifth.

    Fangraphs, also a NASA approved group, showed Ellsbury as the MVP based on WAR, and didn’t even have Verlander as Cy Young.

  5. JohnBowen Says:

    Miguel Cabrera had 34 games where he didn’t have any hits.

    Do those games still count as arguments for why he should be MVP?

  6. Raul Says:

    “Miguel Cabrera had 34 games where he didn’t have any hits.
    Do those games still count as arguments for why he should be MVP?”

    Maybe he got a lot of game-winning walks…

  7. brautigan Says:

    Raul: +1

    TW: Spot on.

    Verlander had a beast of a year, and averaged over 7 innings per outing, which by today’s standards is Herculean. He never once threw under a 100 pitches in a game (which is damn consistent), his low being 104 and his high was 132. And John, your point is well taken, but you’ve said something similar to this before: “The reason he can be considered for MVP is simple: On those 34 starts when he pitched, he was, on average, 5 (or more) times as valuable as Miguel Cabrera”. By what virtue do you assign “5 times more valuable” than Cabrera? If he is “5 times more valuable than Cabrera”, how much greater is his value than Avila? Peralta? Tis a slippery slope you’re basing that argument upon.

    Verlander threw approximately 3,939 pitches. Cabrera saw about 600 pitches. One could make the argument that Cabrera had greater value with the 600 pitches he saw. Another argument is Verlander is expected to throw 3,000 to 4,000 pitches a season, so his volumn of pitches is predicted, yet you assign greater value to the fact he throws more pitches than Cabrera sees in an at bat?

    If the figure is always set at “5 times greater value”, then pitchers should win MVP awards the majority of the time.

  8. JohnBowen Says:

    “Verlander threw approximately 3,939 pitches. Cabrera saw about 600 pitches.”

    Cabrera saw way more than 600 pitches…

    “If the figure is always set at “5 times greater value”, then pitchers should win MVP awards the majority of the time.”

    No, it’s not always set at 5 times greater value.

    AJ Burnett going out there and giving up 4 runs in 4.2 IP basically every start (exaggeration) isn’t 5x as valuable as Robby Cano.

    And to clarify – “5x the value” is JUST FOR THE DAY the Verlander is on the mound. Obviously, by only playing every 5th day, Verlander comes back to life.

    I think we can all agree that, if a pitcher is on, he is the most valuable person on the field *on the days that he’s pitching*.

    So, how much more valuable is he *on those days* than a great position player? (again, not saying he’s 5x as valuable overall, just on the days he pitches…maybe)

    I dunno – since we’re using Cabrera, let’s compare the two, on average.

    In an average start, here’s Justin Verlander’s line:

    7 and a third IP, 5.1 H, 1.97 ER, 7.3 K’s, 1.67 BB’s, 29 batters faced, 22 retired.

    Miguel Cabrera’s line:

    4.27 PA, 3.53 AB, 1.22 H, 0.3 2B, 0.185 HR, 0.685 R, 0.648 RBI, 0.667 BB

    Really tough to have a perspective with all those decimal points and partial HR and stuff. But that’s basically what you’re looking at.

    If a Verlander is three times as valuable as Cabrera on days Verlander starts, then there’s no way he should’ve been MVP with Cabrera playing five times as much.

    Since Verlander and Jose Bautista tied at 8.5 WAR with Bautista playing every day and Verlander playing every fifth day, that would suggest a relationship of right around 5x on Verlander’s day.

    Of course, that doesn’t even include Verlander’s ability to save the bullpen on the days after his starts, or the fact that he allows Leyland to gut his bullpen the day before. Verlander’s contributions ARE NOT limited to the days he pitches.

    To address this again: “If the figure is always set at “5 times greater value”, then pitchers should win MVP awards the majority of the time.”

    That’s not the case!

    All I’m saying is that a pitcher CAN BE 5x as valuable (or more) on game days if he has a very very good year. And that, when balanced out with the 4 days a cycle he doesn’t pitch, he’s still a perfectly viable candidate for MVP because of what he’s contributed on game days. Like, if I give a dollar to charity every day of the week and you give nothing 6 days a week but then give $7.00 on Sunday, aren’t we equally charitable?

    If this is the case, I don’t expect pitchers to win the MVP the majority of the time. I maybe expect them to win about as frequently as any other position, but really, it’s a little less than that because it is harder to be as valuable as a starter in this day and age because pitchers don’t throw 300 IP anymore.

  9. Raul Says:

    Can be 5 times as valuable.
    Or 4 times.
    Or 3 times.
    Or 2 times.
    Or 1.5 times.

    Find me someone who was 2 times as valuable as Miguel Cabrera on the days he pitched. I’m curious to know what that pitcher looks like.

  10. Cameron Says:

    My arguments for SP in general is that a starting pitcher, though he doesn’t play every day, faces more batters on average than a batter sees plate appearances over the course of a season. There’s enough contributions, they’re just clustered together.

  11. JohnBowen Says:

    “Find me someone who was 2 times as valuable as Miguel Cabrera on the days he pitched.”

    Ok.

    Ted Lilly.

    Keep in mind that Miguel Cabrera has 4 chances to realistically affect the outcome of a game.

  12. Cameron Says:

    And before you say Miguel Cabrera has the chance to affect the game with his glove and his legs… Have you SEEN Cabrera play? The bat’s the only good thing on him.

  13. JohnBowen Says:

    Yeah, he can affect the game with his glove the same way Verlander can affect the occasional game with his bat.

  14. Cameron Says:

    I’m actually more pissed that Jcoby Ellsbury came in second than Verlander coming in first. Though that’s more because I don’t like Ellsbury as a player than anything.

  15. Cameron Says:

    In theory, that’s something that deserves to be derided loudly.

    As this is Miguel “Iron Glove” Cabrera, I agree.

  16. Cameron Says:

    Heh, nice little fuckup on the part of mlb.com. In the list of starters that have won the MVP Award, Jim Konstanty is on the list despite not starting one game in 1950.

  17. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL, you and Chuck have this weird hatred for the dude.

    Ellsbury is MVP if Carl Crawford makes that catch.

  18. Cameron Says:

    Except Carl Crawford was a Ray that time Ellsbury broke his ribs. …And that other time he broke his ribs.

  19. JohnBowen Says:

    “Heh, nice little fuckup on the part of mlb.com. In the list of starters that have won the MVP Award, Jim Konstanty is on the list despite not starting one game in 1950.”

    HE HAD SIXTEEN WINS AND REAL PITCHERS WIN

  20. Cameron Says:

    Jim Konstanty in 1950 may, in fact, be the dumbest award ever handed out by the BBWAA. And I’m counting Pete Vukovich.

  21. JohnBowen Says:

    Pitchers won 10 MVP’s out of 50 between 1931-1955, before the Cy Young award came into play.

    That seems about right.

    Just because a new award was introduced for pitchers doesn’t mean that the MVP suddenly became a different award.

    At least it shouldn’t have.

  22. JohnBowen Says:

    @20, Huh, look at that. Jackie Robinson should’ve had back-to-back MVP’s.

  23. JohnBowen Says:

    From the article –

    “I stand by my belief that no matter how great the pitcher or the year he has had is – he is not and can never be more valuable than a great everyday player.”

    So, not only can a pitcher absolutely not be MVP, but there’s not a limit?

    Dustin Pedroia had, what I would call, a great season in 2011.

    If Bob Gibson repeated his 1968 this season, no freaking way would Pedroia’s great 2011 be more valuable (or anyone else’s, I might add).

  24. Cameron Says:

    If Pedro repeated ‘99 or ‘00, he’d be MVP this year without a doubt.

    …And he should’ve been MVP in ‘99. Still on the fence about 2000, Giambi had a good year.

  25. JohnBowen Says:

    “Still on the fence about 2000, Giambi had a good year.”

    Giambi had a fantastic year, but I think the award comes down to ARod or Martinez.

    By WAR, ARod’s 2000 season was tied for the third best ever by a SS, behind Wagner’s ‘08 and Yount’s ‘82 and tied with Ripken’s ‘91.

    Martinez’s 2000 season was tied for 15th all-time due largely to the fact that he only made 29 starts. However, his rate stats – 291 ERA+, 0.737 WHIP are so crazy, out-of-this-world good, that I would’ve given it to him. Also, he was almost TWO FULL RUNS better than second place in ERA, 1.74 to 3.70.

    That guy was beyond incredible.

  26. Cameron Says:

    Only because WAR can’t accurately calculate Houns Wagner bending the league over his knee in 1908, John.

  27. Lefty33 Says:

    “I stand by my belief that no matter how great the pitcher or the year he has had is – he is not and can never be more valuable than a great everyday player.”

    100% not true.

    You cannot convince me with stats, logic or anything else that Carlton in ‘72 did not deserve to win the MVP.

    He had one of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had over the last fifty years and he finished 5th?

    When you are able to put up a season like he did on a team that went 59-97 and where only one starter hit over .260, THAT is MVP caliber without question.

  28. Cameron Says:

    Oh wait, yes it can and I need to get my eyes checked.

  29. Cameron Says:

    And amongst overall players, Pedro Martinez’s 2000 is in a tie for 134th for WAR in a single season. However, that list is so polluted with deadball pitchers that it’s not a fair representation.

  30. JohnBowen Says:

    Right. As funny as Old Hoss Radbourn’s twitter is, and has flat-out ridiculous as his 1884 season is, you sorta have to count them in a different category.

    “You cannot convince me with stats, logic or anything else that Carlton in ‘72 did not deserve to win the MVP.”

    Spot-on.

    Johnny Bench won that year with a fairly ridiculous campaign himself, but Carlton was in a league by himself that year.

    I know you hate the mere thought of us agreeing Lefty, but Carlton DID finish first in WAR that year…1 Michael Young ahead of Joe Morgan.

    To compound matters, a replacement level team supposedly wins about 49 games in a 162 game season, so around 47 in a 156 game season.

    That means that the Phillies, as a team, finished with a team WAR of 12, or almost exactly what Carlton had.

    They were 1 Steve Carlton away from being a freaking AAA team.

  31. Cameron Says:

    And to think it only took 37 years to drag themselves out of that hole.

  32. Raul Says:

    “Supposedly”

  33. JohnBowen Says:

    A fun little tidbit from today:

    The only player to homer off both Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver this season?

    Adam Dunn.

  34. JohnBowen Says:

    @32, yeah.

    Shit’s not exact, never said it was.

  35. Cameron Says:

    Before the season started, that wouldn’t have surprised me. This year? Dunn would be lucky to homer off AJ Burnett.

  36. Cameron Says:

    Got a baked chicken breast in the oven.

    …Yes, something that won’t kill me with its unhealthiness.

  37. Lefty33 Says:

    “I know you hate the mere thought of us agreeing Lefty”

    I’ll try and cope John. It’ll be hard, but……I’ll try.

  38. JohnBowen Says:

    :D

  39. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 31 – Well I mean they did make it to the playoffs six out of eight years from ‘76-’83 with two WS appearances and one win so I wouldn’t exactly say 37 years.

  40. Cameron Says:

    Just saw an ad for Southern Comfort with Tabasco. …Yes, that is a drink. Not a cocktail, an official Southern Comfort product.

    I have friends who are such alcoholics they’d start knocking back paint thinner if there wasn’t any booze in the house and they wouldn’t go near it with a ten foot pole.

  41. JohnBowen Says:

    @39, yeah, shit.

    Those teams turned it the fuck around in a hurry.

    They acquired bits and pieces through free agency but also noteworthy is the young 3B who made his debut in that ‘72 season.

    Also, that was some defensive core that they had. Up the middle you have Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Manny Trillo, and Garry Maddox. That’s crazy.

  42. Mike Felber Says:

    Thomas, great to see you back!

    I must respectfully say you did not make a very good argument here. You make some extreme statements & do not support them with checking the evidence. If you do not want to to engage WAR-though I remind all that there are several versions, so you should site which one your refer to-at least say WHY you think a pitcher cannot have, say, 4 or 4 times the impact that a player does, with a performance we would calculate is objectively as good per game.

    According to your logic, any greater # of games could be stated as a valid cause for the MVP, regardless of per game production. Even comparing rate stats per position players. And is there any doubt that 35 perfect games would be far & away the greatest season in MLB history? However you count what someone does towards winning, or calculate rate stats.

    John, I do agree that it is debatable whether Verlander deserves it this year. but I wholly agree with your statements that though more difficult with fewer IP, sometimes pitchers deserve it. There are many ways to consider impact, & batters faced vs. PA is one of them. Your point about Verlander’s + impact on the team on off days holds water.

  43. Mike Felber Says:

    I clearly meant to type 4 or 5X the impact.

  44. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 41 – “They acquired bits and pieces through free agency but also noteworthy is the young 3B who made his debut in that ‘72 season.”

    Funny how he worked out OK for them in the end.

    “Also, that was some defensive core that they had. Up the middle you have Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Manny Trillo, and Garry Maddox. That’s crazy.”

    That was the key to how they won.

    In ‘08 the Phillies won by pulverizing the opposition but in ‘80 it was all about manufacturing runs, the bullpen, and defense.

    Schmidt hit 48 in ‘80 and the other seven regular starters combined for 58.

    Boone had won a GG in ‘78 and ‘79, Maddox won in ‘80, Bowa won in ‘79, Trillo won in ‘79, ‘81, and ‘82, and Schmidt won in ‘80.

    Of the eight non-pitching defensive positions on that team other than Rose at 1B and Luzinski in LF they were very, very good everywhere else.

  45. Lefty33 Says:

    If it was already mentioned I digress, but Sandberg today announced that he’ll be back to manage the AAA IronPigs again in ‘12.

    Also Andy Tracy will manage the A team in Williamsport, PA.

  46. JohnBowen Says:

    “If it was already mentioned I digress, but Sandberg today announced…”

    I can’t actually think of a scenario where one of us would know that before you, Lefty!

  47. Cameron Says:

    Ah Greg Luzinski. How did that guy hold any job other than DH? I’ve seen plenty of old games in Philly and he may be one of the worst defenders I’ve ever seen.

  48. Chuck Says:

    “Which isn’t tough to imagine. Verlander faces about 28-29 people per appearance. Cabrera makes around 4 PA’s per game. Verlander was involved with 969 PA’s, or right around 300 more than Cabrera.”

    The single worst argument I’ve ever seen, bar none.

  49. Chuck Says:

    When arguing the merits for SP’s winning MVP, the MLBNetwork staff were tossing around the same arguments we were.

    Ken Rosenthal said something I agree with, and it points to John’s argument about Pedro in ‘99 and Lefty’s with Carlton in ‘72.

    (I’m unfortunately old enough to remember Carlton’s ‘72 season. Ridiculous)

    Anyway, Rosenthal said for a pitcher to be considered he had to have an “elite” year and would have to be “head and shoulders” above any position player, and in his opinion Verlander wasn’t head and shoulders more valuable than Cabrera, much less anyone else on the ballot.

    Regardless of what stat methods you prefer, it’s hard to make an argument for Verlander winning MVP.

  50. Cameron Says:

    My desire to see Verlander was more to see a pitcher win it than anything else, and this was the strongest case in a while. The only other pitcher in a while I thought that put up a decent case was Zack Attack’s ‘09… But with Mauer having the year he did, that wasn’t gonna happen.

  51. JohnBowen Says:

    “Regardless of what stat methods you prefer, it’s hard to make an argument for Verlander winning MVP.”

    Not really.

    He DID win the MVP. The case was made pretty clear by 13 voters.

    “The single worst argument I’ve ever seen, bar none.”

    Ok, buddy.

    There are two primary players on every PA, and Verlander was the primary player on more of them than Cabrera.

    Period. Those are the facts. Now, Cabrera gets credit for the PA’s he’s involved with on defense, plus his ability to affect more overall games. But, he sucks on defense, and I don’t think his impact is really much more with Verlander’s on days where he goes 0/4, or 1/4 w/o a run or RBI or advancement. And he can’t personally save the bullpen like Verlander can.

  52. JohnBowen Says:

    @50, yeah.

    I would’ve gone Mauer-Greinke for my 1-2 that year, but it was close; people forget that Mauer missed almost a month that year.

  53. Cameron Says:

    He still won less than half of the first place votes. Granted, he won eight more than the next guy to rack first place votes up (Jose Bautsita’s five), it was a fairly close point margin.

    I think if anything, the abundance of good hitters like Jose Bautsita and Jacoby Ellsbury ended up screwing themselves over by competing with each other too much like the 2009 NL Cy Young when they couldn’t decide which Cardinal starter to hand it to and Lincecum won by basically racking up every second place vote.

  54. Chuck Says:

    John, you can’t compare batters faced by a pitcher to PA’s by a hitter.

    Like Raul said..nice effort, but, no.

  55. Chuck Says:

    Billy Beane clearly needs therapy.

    He REALLY asked for either Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton for Gio Gonzalez?

    Wooooooooooooooo.

  56. Chuck Says:

    #51

    You’re right, John.

    He DID win.

    Whether he SHOULD have won is no longer relevant.

    PS. Tim Raines isn’t a HOFer until he gets elected.

  57. Cameron Says:

    Morrison? Seeing how he’s struggling and how Miami’s management ain’t that high on him, I could see that happening. Morrison’s got all the potential in the world, but I’m questioning if he’s gonna reach it.

    Then again, I said that about Alex Gordon was proved wrong. …You know, like four or five years too late.

  58. JohnBowen Says:

    He asked for…one or the other?

    I get that LoMo has a ton of potential, and he put together an alright 2011, but Mike Stanton is ALREADY a budding superstar.

    “I’ll have your finest filet mignon…or barring that, one of Cameron’s soup concoctions.”

  59. Cameron Says:

    << You just haven't killed your taste buds like I have.

  60. Brautigan Says:

    Cameron @ #14 is proof he is Chuck’s long lost love child.

  61. Brautigan Says:

    1) I wouldn’t trade Gio Gonzalez straight up for Logan Morrison. Oakland needs an OF in the worst way, not another 1B. This doesn’t make any sense.
    2) I wouldn’t trade Mike Stanton straight up for Gio Gonzalez. Barring injury, Stanton is going to be a HOF quality player. Gio is going to be a top notch pitcher, but he isn’t even close to Stanton’s trajectory.

  62. JohnBowen Says:

    Ryan Sweeney is currently listed as the starter at all three outfield positions. LOL.

  63. Cameron Says:

    Another first baseman? Braut, their options for first base are, what? Daric Barton or Chris Carter? Barton sucks and Carter’s a bust. I’d take LoMo for Gio.

    Also, they’ve got some OF coming up. It looks like Michael Taylor might actually start for Oakland next year. I like Taylor, five-tool kid with a great ceiling.

  64. Brautigan Says:

    Oakland also has Brandon Allen. As JB noted, Ryan Sweeney IS the Oakland OF. They need help NOW.

    Grant Green may be playing in Oakland next year by default. They also have to wait for Michael Choice.

    Trading for Logan Morrison doesn’t make any sense.

  65. Cameron Says:

    “Oakland also has Brandon Allen.”

    Again, still not seeing the downside to trading for Morrison here.

  66. Cameron Says:

    …And I just got to thinking about Oakland’s future outfield of Grant Green and the two Michaels. It’s a nice thought.

  67. Brautigan Says:

    Taylor’s OPS last year in the PCL was .816. Carter’s was .896 (.894 in 2010).

    If Carter is a bust, what the hell is Taylor?

  68. Brautigan Says:

    “Again, still not seeing the downside to trading for Morrison here.”

    The downside is: You’re trading away your team’s best starting pitcher. If you’re trading Guillermo Moscoso or Trevor Cahill, then yes, I can see it. But not Gonzalez for Morrison. That isn’t…..rather, shouldn’t….be happening.

  69. JohnBowen Says:

    When you show one man on your depth chart as the starter for three different positions, are you saying you would rather just have Ryan Sweeney out there playing the OF by himself then start your “second-string” guys?

  70. Cameron Says:

    Actually, I’d call Cahill the best off the numbers. Gio’s got better stuff than Trevor, but Trevor walks WAY fewer guys.

    Also, Morrison can play LF, if badly. They need SOMETHING at least.

  71. Cameron Says:

    Actually Cahill didn’t walk that many less guys this year. And his ERA went up more than a full point.

    Sorry, didn’t watch the A’s much this year because they sucked so hard.

  72. Brautigan Says:

    Cahill had an .OPS of .666 in the first half of last season (ERA 3.12). (hmmm, sounds demonic). The second half, his .OPS was .842 (ERA 5.80)

    You realize, Cahill had 9 less walks than Gonzalez, right? And he gave up 39 more hits? And 21 less runs. Should I go on? LOL

  73. Cameron Says:

    Posted that first bit without checking, to be honest. Still was remembering 2010 Cahill.

  74. Cameron Says:

    Interesting draft notes from the CBA.

    -Teams in the ten smallest markets and with the ten lowest revenues will enter a lottery for six additional first and second round picks. (I like this.)

    -Teams that don’t exceed their draft spending limit will have a chance to obtain picks from teams that over-spent. (I’m on the fence about this, given how much KC spends on the draft.)

    -There will be no more MLB deals for draft picks. (I actually don’t like this.)

    -The draft signing deadline moves to the July 12-18 range from August 15th. (THANK GOD!!!)

    -Teams that spend more than 5% over-slot on the draft will face a 75% tax. Teams that go over slot by 5-10% face a 75% tax and the loss of a first rounder. Teams that go over slot by 10-15% face a 100% tax and the loss of a first and second rounder. Teams that exceed slot by 15% or more face a 100% tax and the loss of two first rounders. (A spending reduction measure more than anything. Again, on the fense, given KC’s spending habits.)

    -A worldwide draft is a “significant possibility” by 2014. (Interesting. Makes the new rules regarding international spending kinda pointless. Wonder if they’ll work in the Asian countries in addition to the latin nations.)

  75. Cameron Says:

    Also, looks like draft compensation is going to be gone alotgether. Elias is getting canned.

  76. Brautigan Says:

    2011 Cahill was looking like 2010 Cahill, but then he had that second half swoon. So I can understand your momentary flub.

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