Monday, October 26, 2009

The Tao's AL MVP Ballot

Hey kids! It's the last in our series of ballots for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance posteason awards.

We've always had some trouble with the whole "valuable" aspect of MVP awards. Mostly because when people start talking about a player's relative value, they point to a whole host of things that are generally beyond the player's control.

Was the player on a winner? A playoff team? Was he on a team that was good enough to get into the playoffs, but not good enough to get there without him? How tangible were his intangibles? And how big of a towel does he need to cover his dong after getting out of the shower?

(Okay, that last one was proabably a step too far. But you get the idea.)

In some ways, this is why we'd prefer to think of these awards as "Player of the Year" awards, so that you can rid yourself of all the extraneous horsepoop. Alas, we'll just play along so as not to be any more difficult than we need to be.

So how do we determine value? Well, as we mentioned in this snazzy interview with the New York Daily News' Jesse Spector, we're more of an OPS dude. Because some of the advanced metrics make our pretty head hurt. So we took a look at the leaders in OPS, then figured it out based upon our particular likes and dislikes and prejudices. (And our apologies to Shin-Soo Choo, who we really tried hard to get into our top ten. Because we think he's awesome. Maybe next year.) Anyways, here's what we came up with.

1) Joe Mauer, Twins - 1.031 OPS, 28 HR,96 RBI, 8.2 WAR: There really shouldn't be any debate about this, because Mauer's year was so far ahead of anyone else's. And if you are so inclined, you can consider the fact that he is a catcher, and heap an extra scoop full of intangible goodness on top. Mauer's season was one for the ages.

2) Mark Teixeira, Yankees - .948 OPS, 39 HR, 122 RBI, 5.2 WAR: There are those who love Derek Jeter, and think the sun shines out his ass, and therefore any of the glow around the new first baseman must just be the refracted light from his glory. But we think that Teixeira's outstanding season stands on its own.

3) Ben Zobrist, Rays - .948 OPS, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 8.5 WAR: In addition to putting up numbers that were stunningly surprising in the heart of a strong lineup, Zobrist also provided unparalleled defensive flexibility. By season's end, Zobrist had played every position on the diamond, save for catcher and pitcher, and provided good defense wherever he played.

4) Miguel Cabrera. Tigers -.942 OPS, 34 HR, 103 RBI, 5.5 WAR: Cabrera is a scary good hitter who more than carried his weight in a Detroit lineup that scuffled for much of the year.

5) Evan Longoria, Rays - .889 OPS, 33 HR, 100 RBI, 7.3 WAR: Longoria's exceptional fielding (14.4 UZR/150) bumps him up on this list.

6) Derek Jeter, Yankees - .871 OPS, 18 HR, 107 RBI, 7.4 WAR: We might hate him and all he stands for, but he had his best season in years, and posted a sterling .406 OBP.

7) Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox -.961 OPS, 27 HR, 99 RBI, 5.5 WAR: Okay, we really hate Youk. And we could make an argument that he should be higher on this list, but we suspect that his OBP is aided by some Fenway calls and his SLG is aided by the the Fenway dimensions. And we hate him.

8) Kendry Morales, Angels -.924 OPS, 34 HR, 108 RBI, 4.3 WAR: One of our favorite breakout stories this season. He has stepped up to the next level, assuming the role of the impact bat in the middle of the Angels lineup.

9) Adam Lind, Blue Jays -.932 OPS, 35 HR, 114 RBI, 3.7 WAR: In the value metrics, he takes a step back because of his dubious fielding and his role as the DH for most of the season. But Lind was the most consistent in the Jays offense, which actually ranked in near the top of the AL.

10) Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -.933 OPS, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 4.6 WAR: Love him or hate him, A-Rod produced in his 124 games this season. In a full season, he would have been in the top three.

18 comments:

Paul McCartney said...

JET!!

Tao of Stieb said...

Oh, Macca. You're so reliable.

Was your father as bold as a Sergeant Major?

Paul McCartney said...

Every day until Jet is the Friday Rock Out song.

Tao of Stieb said...

We're so sorry...

Paul McCartney said...

You're knowledge of all things McCartney greatly impresses me.

Darren Priest said...

You've been pretty slack with the Friday Rock Outs. I've had to find my own.

Save me from myself, Tao!

abigail breslin said...

AL East Bias! AL East Bias!

Tao of Stieb said...

Well, the AL East kinda is the only division that really matters, right?

Also, #1 and #4 are AL Central, and #8 is AL West.

Plus, #1 and #2 for rookie of the year were AL West (A's). And my Cy Young winner was AL Central.

(Look at me scrambling to rationalize! East Coast bias!)

Mark said...

Ha, you've underrated Jeter. That doesn't happen to often.

Anonymous said...

@ Darren Priest

not sure if this compounds or exacerbates your 'rock out malaise', but on you tube someone has created a Danzig-Shakira mashup of the very same Shakira song feted by those animatronic scamps in your link.

Joanna said...

yay Adam Lind. Despite the shitty season the team had, Lind had a (albeit very quiet) break-out season. Vote Lind!!! our little ray of sunshine.

Anonymous said...

I can hear the training sessions to Cardinals' hitters already:

McGwire: OK, guys, here's how you fill the syringe. Make sure there are no bubbles in the juice. Next, find your best bud in the clubhouse. Pull your pants down and grit your teeth when he sticks the needle in your cheek. It only hurts for a little while. You'll thank me for it during your next contract negotiation.

Anonymous said...

...Uncle Albert

Peter D said...

Is this the same Derek Jeter that hit only 5 home runs with 26 rbi's on the road this year?

That bandbox of a stadium had nothing to do with his statistical improvements this year.

Yankees #1 (Boston Sucks) (We don't even think about Toronto) said...

No it's the same Derek Jeter who singlehandedly dragged his team to the World Series on his back through sheer dogged determination!

Gay Jays Fan said...

Tao, if you give me a call I promise you no more lonely nights.

Peter D said...

I'm not familiar with that Yankee's team. I only know the one that struggled until their superstar Alex Rodriguez came off the DL and carried their team with support from Teixeira and Sabbathia.

Timmy D said...

Breaking: The Beest is staying as CEO of both the Jays and the 'Dome.