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Justin Verlander wins the AL MVP Award

Nov 21, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers - Game Five Getty Images

You can stuff your “pitchers can’t win the MVP Award” nonsense in a sack, mister, because Justin Verlander just won the 2011 MVP Award.

Verlander — the first starting pitcher in 25 years to be named MVP — got 13 of 28 first place votes.  He only got 27 of a possible 28 overall votes, however, meaning someone left him off because they want to make their own rules for the MVP and not follow BBWAA guidelines. Which is fun.  In other hilarious voting totals, Michael Young got a first place vote. You’ll never guess who cast it. Seems boneheaded to me.

Following Verlander in order: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano.

As we noted last week when he took the Cy Young, Verlander won the AL’s Triple Crown of pitching with 24 wins, a 2.40 earned run average and 250Ks.  He also led the AL in winning percentage, innings and opponents’ batting average. His 24 wins is the most for a pitcher since 1990 when Bob Welch won 27 games.  Of course Verlander’s season was way better than Welch’s, which tells you all you need to know about wins.

There are going to be people who rant and rave about this. Don’t listen to them. No, Verlander’s season was not historic for a pitcher, but that’s not the standard for making a pitcher an MVP.  He was outstanding and each of the position player candidates had a flaw, either in their legitimate candidacy or in the accepted narratives voters tend to like (e.g. they play for a winning team, etc.).

A perfect storm, if you will, blowing the MVP hardware in Justin Verlander‘s direction.

196 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Silver slugger and a gold glove next? Roberto Clemente? Since he’s on a roll lets hype him up to win those as well… It would make a good story….

  2. normb11 - Nov 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    LOL, did they shut down the comments at the Evan Grant page?

  3. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    thefalcon123 – Nov 21, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    Okay, so the MVP goes to the most productive player and production means runs and RBIs, despite being extremely dependent on your team.

    Therefore, here are some Bozosforall MVP award winners (automatically going to player with most combined RBIs and Runs):
    1984: Tony Armas and his 121 OPS+
    2008: Ryan Howard and his 124 OPS+

    Need I go on?

    ___
    Armas was 7th in the AL MVP voting (another year that a pitcher won), while Ryan was the runnerup to Pujols. Neither would have been a horrible choice, certainly no worse than many of the the guys who were listed above in another post (cut and pasted here for your convenience).

    2006 with Justin Morneau
    2002 with Miguel Tejada
    2001 with Ichiro
    1998 with Sosa
    1998 again with Gonzalez
    1996 with Gonzalez again
    1995 with Mo Vaughn
    1992 with Dennis Eckersley
    1987 with Andre Dawson
    1987 with George Bell
    1984 with Willie Hernandez

    Just because Armas wasn’t considered a superstar (though he was a 2-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger award winner and three times was included in the MVP balloting, with a high of placing 4th while with the A’s), there’s no reason why his stellar production of 1984 couldn’t have been rewarded. He was far more productive than the other position players above him, but due to less name recognition, he didn’t have nearly the same opportunity to win as the others. He certainly had more RBIs, more runs and more HRs than the overrated Ellsbury did this year. Again, just another example of how batting average is way overrated.

    • thefalcon123 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      “Armas was 7th in the AL MVP voting (another year that a pitcher won), while Ryan was the runnerup to Pujols. Neither would have been a horrible choice”

      Yeah…umm…they probably would have been among the worst MVP choices in baseball history. But now at least I have confirmation: you are a silly person who should not be taken seriously in these matters.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Keep on telling yourself this, “falcon”. Like arseholes, your opinion not only is nothing different than any other, but it smells as bad.

        Let’s take the 2008 race for example.

        In that year, both Pujols and Howard scored about 13% of their teams runs (100/779 to 105/799) however Howard drove in nearly 20% of his teams runs while Pujols only drove in a little over 15% in the same year, a year that Howard’s team won the World Series, not Pujols. Seems to me that Howard was worth MORE to a team that won it all, than Pujols was to a team that didn’t.

        The only silly person here is you, fool.

      • thefalcon123 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        This logic is so deeply stupid it’s shocking.

        How does a run score: Someone has to be on base. At the right time.
        In 2008, Ryan Howard hit .309/.396/.648 with runners on. An impressive total.
        Pujols hit .354/.494/.638, which is better.

        With runners in scoring positon Howard hit .320/.439/.589
        Albert Pujols hit .339/.523/.678

        The difference was that Howard came up with more runners on base, which had nothing to do with Ryan Howard and everything to do with the players hitting in front of him. You see, an increase in the number of players on base when you come up is not within your control, but will effect the number of runs you drive in…see. And with runners on base, Albert Pujols was a much better hitter! Not to mention that he got on base a hell of a lot more and gave his team ample opportunities to knock him in. They just didn’t. That’s hardly his fault. Fortunately, the MVP is “Most Valuable Player” not “guy who had the most RBI opportunities provided by his team”.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        Seems to me that Howard was worth MORE to a team that won it all, than Pujols was to a team that didn’t.

        2008 splits with Men On

        Ryan Howard – 351 PA, 298 AB – .309/.396/.648
        Albert Pujols – 322 PA, 240 AB – .354/.494/.638

        Who hit better with men on?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      Please dear god tell me you aren’t trying to defend someone who had a .300OBP as a viable MVP candidate.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        What good is it to get on base if you don’t score or drive in runs. The only thing that really matters is what directly affects the scoreboard, either positively or negatively.

        Case in point:

        Yes, Jose Reyes won the NL batting title this year, but given the fact that he only drove in 44 runs (and only scored 101, a low number given his high .337 batting average), he wasn’t worth nearly as much as a Curtis Granderson was this past season. Again, batting average is way overrated.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:39 PM

        Again, batting average is way overrated.

        That’s why I said OBP.

        What good is it to get on base if you don’t score or drive in runs.

        Joe Morgan is that you?

      • thefalcon123 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

        “What good is it to get on base if you don’t score or drive in runs.”

        Because you are viewing these stats as being within the control of an individual player. You’re Reyes analogy is ridiculess because Jose Reyes is a leadoff hitter. He starts out every game with no chance at all to knock in a run. Rickey Henderson knocked in less than 70 runs in 1990 and was the best in baseball by a mile! He just lead off, so he didn’t have the opportunity to knock in runs. Instead, he got on base a ton and got knocked in plenty of times!

      • thefalcon123 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM

        a’hem: ridiculous not “ridiculess”.

      • thefalcon123 - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        “What good is it to get on base if you don’t score or drive in runs. The only thing that really matters is what directly affects the scoreboard, either positively or negatively.”

        1. Player A comes up and hits a single. Player B hits a double in the gap and player A stops at 3rd. Player C grounds out to second, player A scores. Who had the most important hit in that inning?

        2. Player A Singles. Player B grounds into a fielder’s choice. Player C homers. Player B is credited with a run scored, player A is not. Did player B do a better job that inning?

        3. Player A goes 4 for 4 with two home runs. He batted 4 times with no one on base. Player B goes 1 for 4 with a two run home run. Who had a batter game?

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        He was 7th in the MVP voting. I don’t have to “defend” anything. The voters made enough of a statement that he was “viable”. Then again they picked Hernandez as the MVP, so it was probably anyone’s award to take that year.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        So you use MVP as justification for a person’s ability, and then the very next sentence talk about how idiotic the MVP voting is?

        well done!

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        BTW, some guy named Zoilo Versalles won the AL MVP in 1965 with a .319 OBP, so a .300 OBP isn’t out of the realm for a potential winner. Also, Munson won in 1976 with a .337 OBP, so it’s also not a one-time happening that someone with a low OBP wins MVP. There are a few others around .350 as well (Elston Howard, Maury Wills and Willie Stargell).

        Again, he was 7th in the voting, which made him viable.

  4. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    thefalcon123 – Nov 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM
    This logic is so deeply stupid it’s shocking.

    How does a run score: Someone has to be on base. At the right time.
    In 2008, Ryan Howard hit .309/.396/.648 with runners on. An impressive total.
    Pujols hit .354/.494/.638, which is better.

    With runners in scoring positon Howard hit .320/.439/.589
    Albert Pujols hit .339/.523/.678

    The difference was that Howard came up with more runners on base, which had nothing to do with Ryan Howard and everything to do with the players hitting in front of him. You see, an increase in the number of players on base when you come up is not within your control, but will effect the number of runs you drive in…see. And with runners on base, Albert Pujols was a much better hitter! Not to mention that he got on base a hell of a lot more and gave his team ample opportunities to knock him in. They just didn’t. That’s hardly his fault. Fortunately, the MVP is “Most Valuable Player” not “guy who had the most RBI opportunities provided by his team”.

    __
    NONE of which would have made Howard “among the worst MVP choices in baseball history” (your arrogant observation). He may not have been the best choice that year (and I am a huge Pujols fan in regards to individual players in MLB and feel that he is more than worthy of the MVP awards that he has won, including this one), but Howard WAS more valuable in the regard that he drove in a higher percentage of his team’s runs that year (and led them to the World Series title). Now if you want to differentiate between an MVP and an MOP, then a more accurate outcome would be if Pujols were to get the MOP award and Howard were to get the MVP award (since Howard’s play was a greater contribution as a percentage to his team’s success than Pujols’s was). Either way, Howard’s numbers would have supported his being named MVP in a legitimate enough manner so as to have enough credibility to stand up to scrutiny, regardless of what your arrogant arse thinks.

    • Alex K - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM

      So you think we should give players credit for things their teammates do? Because your saying that Howard was more valuable because he had more teammates on base when he came up to bat.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

        Howard gets credit for his production, just as Pujols got credit for the same sort of production. I’ve never claimed that Pujols wasn’t deserving, more so that Howard would have been a credible MVP choice if he had gotten it over Albert, due to producing a higher percentage of his team’s RBIs. Pujols could have easily been the MOP though in that scenario.

    • Alex K - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      You’re also giving Howard credit for having teammates hit the ball while he was on base.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

        Hitters get credit for RBIs that are gotten simply because a faster teammate was on base as opposed to a slower one. Or the defensive guy was a tad slow or inaccurate in relaying the ball from the outfield. We could go on forever looking at variables but the simple fact is that Howard came in 2nd in the MVP balloting in 2008 and was not only a credible choice but could have very well been the more valuable of the two given the fact that he drove in a higher percentage of runs that his team produced than Pujols did that year. Higher percentage of the team’s total = more value. No matter how the other factors lined up.

  5. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    thefalcon123 – Nov 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM
    This logic is so deeply stupid it’s shocking.

    How does a run score: Someone has to be on base. At the right time.
    In 2008, Ryan Howard hit .309/.396/.648 with runners on. An impressive total.
    Pujols hit .354/.494/.638, which is better.

    With runners in scoring positon Howard hit .320/.439/.589
    Albert Pujols hit .339/.523/.678

    The difference was that Howard came up with more runners on base, which had nothing to do with Ryan Howard and everything to do with the players hitting in front of him. You see, an increase in the number of players on base when you come up is not within your control, but will effect the number of runs you drive in…see. And with runners on base, Albert Pujols was a much better hitter! Not to mention that he got on base a hell of a lot more and gave his team ample opportunities to knock him in. They just didn’t. That’s hardly his fault. Fortunately, the MVP is “Most Valuable Player” not “guy who had the most RBI opportunities provided by his team”.

    __
    How does an out get recorded? The ball has to be in the right place for the fielder to make a play.

    How does a run get scored? The pitch has to be in the right place for the hitter to hit it “where they ain’t”.

    So much is part of chance and part of what your teammates do that to pretend that the guy with the higher individual percentages is automatically “more valuable” is nothing short of arrogant. BUT in the grand scheme of things, if one person produces a higher percentage of his team’s total production and in turn, that production leads to a better overall result, then that person is more valuable to his team’s success than the other person with higher personal numbers but a lesser overall team result. In the end, both are great players for their teams and either would have been credible MVPs in the 2008 season. You and your buddies can continue to circle jerk about it but Howard is a credible superstar and would have been plenty worthy of being the MVP in 2008.

  6. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    thefalcon123 – Nov 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM
    “What good is it to get on base if you don’t score or drive in runs.”

    Because you are viewing these stats as being within the control of an individual player. You’re Reyes analogy is ridiculess because Jose Reyes is a leadoff hitter. He starts out every game with no chance at all to knock in a run. Rickey Henderson knocked in less than 70 runs in 1990 and was the best in baseball by a mile! He just lead off, so he didn’t have the opportunity to knock in runs. Instead, he got on base a ton and got knocked in plenty of times!

    __
    Henderson was the MVP because he also hit HRs AND stole so many more bases than anyone else (far superior than Ellsbury could ever hope to be in that regard). Not solely on his leadoff ability. Poor example.

  7. paperlions - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    For the love of god, would you stop arguing with a stupid person.

    I’ll leave it to you to determine who is who. :-)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

      There’s so many of us! I mean them, I said them!

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        Thanks for being the one honest regular here, church. The other regulars here are obviously suffering from delusions of grandeur as regards their baseball knowledge.

  8. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Nov 21, 2011 at 5:12 PM
    So you use MVP as justification for a person’s ability, and then the very next sentence talk about how idiotic the MVP voting is?

    well done!

    __
    Where did you see me term the voting as “idiotic”? I didn’t.

    What I said was that we don’t really know what was important to the voters in that given year, so it could have been anyone’s award more so than in other years when the winner may have been more clearcut. Don’t ASSU.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

      What I said was that we don’t really know what was important to the voters in that given year

      Do you honestly believe that the criteria for MVP should depend on the given year?

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        I don’t think that it should “depend on the given year”, but I recognize that it does happen that way, something that I don’t condone nor can I control. All I can do is analyze it and try to understand why they did what they did.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        Riddle me this, Churchman.

        Why did the AL MVP voters choose some guy named Zoilo Versalles won the AL MVP in 1965 with a .273/.319/.462 line?

        This guy both scored and drove in way less runs than the much-aligned Tony Armas (here) yet Versalles wins it and Armas finishes 7th.

        What was the criteria that year? Seems to me that Versalles must qualify for one of worst choices ever, yet no complaint from “Mr. Know-It-All” falcon.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

        No idea why he won, but it looks like it was a very down year offensively. Should a guy with a .319 OBP ever win, probably not.

        Would love to know how he acquired 5.8 offensive bWAR with that batting line, only thing that really stands out is the amount of doubles. I’m extremely hesitant offering him the full 1.8 def bWAR though.

  9. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    BTW, did I mention that I’m glad that Verlander won the MVP.

    Particularly so, given that the overrated Ellsbury didn’t. LMAO

    • faithfulfriar - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      Particularly so, given that the overrated Ellsbury didn’t. LMAO

      Please explain how 5th in average, 3rd in runs scored, 2nd in total hits, 3rd in 2B, 5th in HR, 6th in RBI as a LEADOFF hitter, 4th in SB, 5th in Slugging % (again, as a leadoff hitter), 5th in OPS while playing 1358 innings in CF and committing ZERO errors is overrated?

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        Overrated in that he wasn’t the MVP, despite what the local media tried to paint him as. Overrated in that he carried his team NOWHERE this season. Overrated, just like the team that he played for this season. He got many good pitches to hit due to the reputation of the batters who hit behind him, a distinct advantage that never gets factored into the discussion. He doesn’t even come close to that type of production if he doesn’t have that kind of protection in the lineup. Matt Kemp, on the other hand, didn’t have near that type of lineup surrounding him, yet he will likely be named the NL MVP. As it should be (though if they choose Kershaw, I wouldn’t complain either).

      • faithfulfriar - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        Overrated in that he wasn’t the MVP, despite what the local media tried to paint him as. Overrated in that he carried his team NOWHERE this season. Overrated, just like the team that he played for this season. He got many good pitches to hit due to the reputation of the batters who hit behind him, a distinct advantage that never gets factored into the discussion. He doesn’t even come close to that type of production if he doesn’t have that kind of protection in the lineup. Matt Kemp, on the other hand, didn’t have near that type of lineup surrounding him, yet he will likely be named the NL MVP. As it should be (though if they choose Kershaw, I wouldn’t complain either).

        So let me get this straight. Ellsbury’s overrated because his team didn’t make the playoffs (when it was clearly obvious the pitching let the Sox down) but Matt Kemp is an MVP even though all of his production produced no playoffs for the Dodgers either? Your logic is contradictory.

  10. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Nov 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM
    No idea why he won, but it looks like it was a very down year offensively. Should a guy with a .319 OBP ever win, probably not.

    Would love to know how he acquired 5.8 offensive bWAR with that batting line, only thing that really stands out is the amount of doubles. I’m extremely hesitant offering him the full 1.8 def bWAR though.

    __
    Just one more reason why relying on WAR type sabremetrics isn’t the be-all end-all. I still care more about production than anything else. Either way, Ryan Howard in 2008 was a very viable candidate for MVP and for anyone to try and characterize as otherwise is ludicrous.

    Nice analysis on your part on Versalles, church.

  11. bigdogpappad - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    He did not even play in a majority of his teams games – factually he only played every fifth game. How many times out of 162 did he actually play a full 9 innings?. That is why they have the Cy Young award – to honor the best pitcher. He did not single handily win 24 games this year, he did not single handily win even ONE game this year, he did not win a single game with his bat or his running abilities on the basepaths. How can you vote for him as the Most Valuable Player when the American league has the Designated Hitter so he is not even a full time pitcher like a full time 100% Pitcher who must hit in like the national League. Great Year for Verlander, Cy Young but not the MVP.

    • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      Verlander faced more batters than any of the other MVP candidate faced pitchers. Add to that the fact that he has to field his position on nearly every ball in play (covering first, backing up home, etc.) while outfielders don’t.

      Also, regarding not singlehandedly winning ONE game, if he pitches a shutout, he by far contributed to the win (as opposed to any of the hitters, who doubtfully scored every single run by themselves to win even ONE game this season). He did pitch a no-hitter, which in effect won the game for his team.

      As for the DH crack, that means that he also doesn’t get to face weak-hitting pitchers every ninth guy, but instead has to face guys whose only job is to hit. So much for your lame argument.

      Now get back to your mom’s basement in HasBeanTown and worry about who is going to manage your team instead of worrying about who is the MVP. The voters have spoken and the MVP isn’t your guy. It’s Verlander.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      Verlander faced more batters than any of the other MVP candidate faced pitchers. Add to that the fact that he has to field his position on nearly every ball in play (covering first, backing up home, etc.) while outfielders don’t.

      Verlander faced 969 total batters. He walked 57 of them (912) and struck out 250 of them (662 remaining). 24 Batters hit HR (638). He had a 40% fly ball rate, so .40*638 (255). He also had a 17.7% LD rate so .177*638 (113) = 638-255-113 = 270 “Defensive Chances”. Except, on ground balls the pitcher doesn’t cover first, the catcher does. So he had 12 chances and 33 assists. So 969+12+33 = 1014

      Jacoby Ellsbury – 732 PA + 388 putouts+6 assists = 1126 [and this leaves out all his contributions on the base paths]
      Jose Bautista – 655 PA + 233+13 = 901 [and this leaves out all his contributions on the base paths]

      Fielders also back up each other all the time, the CF is responsible for all the stolen base attempts at second, and considering the sox catchers of Saltalamacchia and Veritek, there were a lot of them, so we’ll make it a wash.

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM

        Yet “the experts” picked Verlander over Ellsbury. A valid, rational, solid, utterly defensible pick. Ellsbury’s whiny fans can now either accept it or cry until the end of time. I’m guessing the latter.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:24 PM

        Yet “the experts” picked Verlander over Ellsbury

        There is nothing “expert” about being a writer long enough to qualify for the BBWAA. From this day alone, we get one writer who thinks Michael Young was MVP, another writer who feels that pitchers aren’t eligible for MVP. Writers haven’t voted for Japanese players for RoY b/c they feel they aren’t eligible, even though the rules explicitly state they are.

        Experts, don’t make me laugh.

  12. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    faithfulfriar – Nov 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM
    Overrated in that he wasn’t the MVP, despite what the local media tried to paint him as. Overrated in that he carried his team NOWHERE this season. Overrated, just like the team that he played for this season. He got many good pitches to hit due to the reputation of the batters who hit behind him, a distinct advantage that never gets factored into the discussion. He doesn’t even come close to that type of production if he doesn’t have that kind of protection in the lineup. Matt Kemp, on the other hand, didn’t have near that type of lineup surrounding him, yet he will likely be named the NL MVP. As it should be (though if they choose Kershaw, I wouldn’t complain either).

    So let me get this straight. Ellsbury’s overrated because his team didn’t make the playoffs (when it was clearly obvious the pitching let the Sox down) but Matt Kemp is an MVP even though all of his production produced no playoffs for the Dodgers either? Your logic is contradictory.

    __
    The Dodgers had nowhere the lineup that the Sox had this past season. Can’t you read? Or do you just pick and choose what you want to believe.

    In the end, the voters voted correctly. Verlander is the MVP and Ellsbury lost out. The End.

    • faithfulfriar - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      No one’s arguing Kemp’s legitamacy for MVP. He clearly is worthy of it.

      Your reasoning for Ellsbury being overrated provides no factual evidence of him being overrated other than obsurdly claiming he’s lucky to be and is a product of the lineup he is in. Ellsbury, in fact, saw LESS fastballs this year and more off-speed and breaking pitches which is not typical of a guy who is a product of his lineup. Your reasoning just sounds like you have a personal bias towards Ellsbury and the Sox…

      Back to the original question, how is a career .300 hitter who has averaged about 100+ runs, 30 2B, 7 3B, 60+ RBI, and 50 SB a season while playing stellar defense in CF overrated?

      • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM

        And your reasoning sounds like you are merely trying to discredit Verlander’s winning of the MVP because you are either biased against him or in favor of Ellsbury. Ellsbury fell just short of what it takes to be an MVP. He failed to carry his team for the greater part of the season (Gonzalez did that) unlike Verlander, whose performances helped separate the Tigers from the rest of the pack. Ellsbury just isn’t MVP material, bloated stats aside…which makes him overrated.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:30 PM

        Split 2B HR
        April/March 7 4
        May 10 2
        June 5 3
        July 7 8
        August 6 7
        Sept/Oct 11 8

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:34 PM

        Let’s try this again:

        He failed to carry his team for the greater part of the season (Gonzalez did that)

        Split 2B HR
        April/March 7 4
        May 10 2
        June 5 3
        July 7 8
        August 6 7
        Sept/Oct 11 8

        April/March .266/.377/.468 125
        May .314/.381/.446 133
        June .315/.359/.444 127
        July .382/.430/.700 210
        August .280/.342/.057 143
        Sept/Oct .358/.400/.667 189

        Triple Slash by month, with sOPS+ at the end

        Any other theories you want to espouse?

  13. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    faithfulfriar – Nov 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM
    Overrated in that he wasn’t the MVP, despite what the local media tried to paint him as. Overrated in that he carried his team NOWHERE this season. Overrated, just like the team that he played for this season. He got many good pitches to hit due to the reputation of the batters who hit behind him, a distinct advantage that never gets factored into the discussion. He doesn’t even come close to that type of production if he doesn’t have that kind of protection in the lineup. Matt Kemp, on the other hand, didn’t have near that type of lineup surrounding him, yet he will likely be named the NL MVP. As it should be (though if they choose Kershaw, I wouldn’t complain either).

    So let me get this straight. Ellsbury’s overrated because his team didn’t make the playoffs (when it was clearly obvious the pitching let the Sox down) but Matt Kemp is an MVP even though all of his production produced no playoffs for the Dodgers either? Your logic is contradictory.

    __
    The difference in what Kemp and Ellsbury were worth to their respective teams is staggering and supports Kemp winning it in the NL while Ellsbury is left out in the cold.

    Kemp produced 17.9% of the total runs and 20.6% of the RBIs that contributed to the Dodgers total for 2011, while Ellsbury only produced 13.6% of the runs and 12.5% of the RBIs that comprised the Red Sox total in the same year. There is no doubt that Kemp was worth far more than Ellsbury. The playoffs were nearly a foregone conclusion for the Red Sox to attain and they fell short, while no one was picking the Dodgers to win anything this year. Be that as it may, not making the playoffs isn’t the main criteria here, but does reflect the underachieving nature of everything Boston and if Ellsbury was truly the MVP he would have been the difference maker instead of a glorified stat whore.

  14. rhandome - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Good job writing thousands of insulting words about how important RBI and runs scored and pitcher wins are in evaluating a player. You could have saved everyone some time by just writing “I don’t understand baseball stats” and left it at that.

    • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM

      I understand them as well as anyone here. Maybe you can write how much of an arrogant piece of crap you are next time you post.

  15. faithfulfriar - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Kemp produced 17.9% of the total runs and 20.6% of the RBIs that contributed to the Dodgers total for 2011, while Ellsbury only produced 13.6% of the runs and 12.5% of the RBIs that comprised the Red Sox total in the same year. There is no doubt that Kemp was worth far more than Ellsbury. The playoffs were nearly a foregone conclusion for the Red Sox to attain and they fell short, while no one was picking the Dodgers to win anything this year. Be that as it may, not making the playoffs isn’t the main criteria here, but does reflect the underachieving nature of everything Boston and if Ellsbury was truly the MVP he would have been the difference maker instead of a glorified stat whore.

    From your argument about Howard, this % of total team runs scored seems to be your be all, end all stat for determining the MVP. By your logic, Paul Konerko (16%) and Evan Longoria (14%) are far more worthy MVP candidates than Ellsbury, Bautista (13.8%), and Cabrera (13.3%), which is completely insane.

    “if Ellsbury was truly the MVP he would have been the difference maker instead of a glorified stat whore.”

    What a rediculous comment this is. Ellsbury’s September line: .358 BA .400 OBP 22 runs 21 RBI 8 HR 11 2B and posted a 1.067 OPS in 27 games. What else is he supposed to do? It’s not his fault the rest of his team collapsed. He certainly did his part and it could even be argued he almost single handedly carried the Sox to the playoffs by posting 17 hits (6 for extra bases) in the final 10 games when his pitching staff gave up 64 runs in those final 10 games.

    • bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:34 PM

      Where was he the rest of the season? I’ll tell you where…hiding in Adrian Gonzalez’s shadow.

      And “almost” doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand grenades.

      And yes, I do believe that Konerko (who was in the top five in BA, HRs and RBIs for a good part of the season) gets very little media attention compared to what he adds to his team. Longoria is also a very good player who is stuck in a tiny media market and therefore doesn’t get nearly the attention that his talent deserves. Neither were close to being the MVP though…which puts them in the same category as Ellsbury..second best.

      The bottom line is this: No matter how much you and all of the Red Sox fans whine and cry, Verlander is and will always be the 2011 AL MVP….legitimately.

      Hail Justin Verlander! LMAO

      • faithfulfriar - Nov 22, 2011 at 6:43 AM

        Not once did I ever say Ellsbury deserved the MVP over Verlander nor am I “whining and crying” about it. Verlander had a phenomenal year and his numbers are MVP-calibur.

        My argument with you is your constant blasphemous remarks about Ellsbury being overrated. Repeatedly you have made asinine claims (overrated, a product of his lineup, didn’t “carry” his team when he in fact, did) and now, after I have given statistical evidence refuting all of your excuses, it’s “well he was in Adrian’s shadow”? Last I checked Ellsbury always batted BEFORE Adrian in that lineup and was playing well before Adrian even showed up in Boston. They both benefitted from eachother (Ellsbury increase in runs scored and due to Ellsbury constantly on base, usually at 2nd because he steals it, Adrian saw an increased amount of RBI chances which explains his rise in RBI).

        Again, I have to provide actual evidence to refute this dumb “shadow” claim. Here’s pre- and post all-star stats of the two.

        Gonzalez
        Pre-AS .354/.414/.591 64 RS, 17HR, 77 RBI in 89 games
        Post-AS .317/.404/.489 44 RS, 10 HR, 40 RBI in 70 games

        Ellsbury
        Pre-AS .316/.377/.490 62 RS, 11 HR, 49 RBI in 89 games
        Post-AS .328/.375/.625 57 RS, 21 HR, 56 RBI in 69 games

        Ellsbury got better while Adrian’s production got worse. If your rationale was even remotely logical, Adrian would not have had such a drop-off in RBI. But of course, your logic and your argument is baseless. Got any other excuses? If you do, you truly are an uneducated baseball fan…

  16. purnellmeagrejr - Nov 21, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    J Ingraham – the baseball genius said of Verlander, “”He hasn’t appeared in 79 percent of their games” and likened it to a quarterback who only played 3 of 16 games.

    I emailed him, “Would YOU vote for a batter that gets up only 1 in every 9 times – as opposed to a pitcher who has to face all 9 batters and – in the National League – has to hit as well?”

    What the heck am I bugging myself about it for? Beats me.

  17. bozosforall - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Furthermore, even Miguel Cabrera’s numbers (BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+) were superior to Ellsbury’s numbers. So, if anything, it’s Cabrera who should have a beef with Verlander winning, not Ellsbury. Don’t see many here stumping for Cabrera like they are slurping Ellsbury though.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:35 PM

      Maybe because defense matters? And offensive production at CF is far more valuable than at 1b?

      Don’t see many here stumping for Cabrera like they are slurping Ellsbury though.

      You do realize that a few of us arguing for Ellsbury are not Sox fans right?

      • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:47 AM

        Yeah, because I can see you quite clearly wearing the colors of your favorite teams. LOL

        Fact is that Ellsbury was no better than Cabrera, while Verlander was a cut above both.

        No one was screwed out of anything here, not nearly like Morneau got screwed over in 2008.

  18. yankees2468 - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    I am an old fashioned baseball fan, have been a fan for about 50 or so years now and yes I am a Yankees fan – grew up at Yankee Stadium. I believe the MVP Award should always go to a full-time player, one who hits and plays his position in the field for as many games as it takes to have an impact on the outcome of how his team does. Now don’t get me wrong, a full time pitcher does have an impact on how his team does but I believe that should be considered in the voting for the Cy Young winner. I do not believe a pitcher should ever win both the Cy Young and the MVP (Most Valuable Player). In my mind the Cy Young is the Most Valuable Pitcher Award!!!

    • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      The FIRST MVP ever was…wait for it…A PITCHER. So much for “old-fashioned” tradition not allwoing Verlander to win MVP.

      The Hank Aaron Award is for the best hitter, just like the Cy Young is for the best pitcher. MVP is for the best of them all. Verlander proved to be that player. The end.

  19. cshearing - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Yeah, not to rain on Verlander’s parade, but I also believe a pitcher should not win the MVP. If that means they need to rename the award, or come up with a new Best Position Player award, I don’t really care. I just find it odd that even though pitchers have their own award they are eligible for this one. I liken it to a goalie winning the Hart in hockey, which I also do not agree with. The best goalie gets the Vezina.

    Again, not a knock on Verlander. The current rules are such that he is eligible, so he should have won. I just do not agree with the current setup.

    • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      They should add a “Willie Mays Award” (best position player who both hits and fields well) to be on a par with the Cy Young (pitchers and DHs would for all intents and purposes be ineligible for this award due to them not having the necessary statistical minimums in hitting and fielding, respectively).

      Then the MVP race can be truly opened up to everyone, given that the everyday players would have an award of their own, one that would in effect exclude pitchers and DHs from being eligible, much like the Cy Young does for hitters and fielders.

      I’d also like to see an “Ozzie Smith Award” for those true light-hitting but slick-fielding players who save tons of runs by flashing the leather but who have no hope of winning any of the big awards due to the fact that they just aren’t heavy hitters.

  20. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Nov 21, 2011 at 11:34 PM
    Let’s try this again:

    He failed to carry his team for the greater part of the season (Gonzalez did that)
    Split 2B HR
    April/March 7 4
    May 10 2
    June 5 3
    July 7 8
    August 6 7
    Sept/Oct 11 8

    April/March .266/.377/.468 125
    May .314/.381/.446 133
    June .315/.359/.444 127
    July .382/.430/.700 210
    August .280/.342/.057 143
    Sept/Oct .358/.400/.667 189

    Triple Slash by month, with sOPS+ at the end

    Any other theories you want to espouse?

    ___
    Looks like he had two great months out of six. Gonzalez was the more important driving force for a greater part of the season than Ellsbury was. Also, looking at Cabrera’s stats, he was every bit as important as either of the two Red Sox hitters to his team this year. Then again, Verlander was better than all three of them and the AL MVP voters confirmed this. Still waiting for even a few writers/bloggers to slurp Cabrera the way that so many feel the need to slurp Ellsbury, given that Cabrera put up numbers that were comparable to (and even exceeded in many cases) those of Ellsbury. Verlander was special. The end.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Looks like he had two great months out of six

      How do you define great? The last number in each column is OPS compared to league average, so in 4/6 months he was better than 1/3 of the league, 3/6 43% better, and 2/6 almost 90% better. That’s also based merely off hitting which doesn’t include his defense which ever metric has as great this year.

      The Cabrera comparisons aren’t valid for two reasons. One, Ellsbury’s defense is far better than Cabrera’s defense, without the positional component factored in. Two, it’s much easier to find a slugging 1b than a slugging CF, so that makes Ellsbury that much more valuable.

      Verlander was better than all three of them and the AL MVP voters confirmed this

      This is circular reasoning. You think Verlander was more valuable so you would vote for him for MVP, and because he was voted MVP it proves he was more valuable…

      • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        I disagree that Ellsbury’s defense is both better and more valuable than Cabrera’s, given that Cabrera likely makes far more putouts at first than Ellsbury does in CF. In fact, Cabrera (while mostly playing 1B in recent years) has logged significant time in both LF and RF, as well as 3B, making him a much more versatile and valuable fielder. Not his fault that the team needs his glove at 1B instead of 3B, and shouldn’t be held against him. Plenty of “slugging CFs” out there…Granderson for one, Josh Hamilton for another..and the list goes on. Meanwhile, several teams, including the Rays (Casey Kotchman) get by with a non-slugging 1B, so you can feed into the stereotypes all you want to but they don’t always turn out to be true. And for someone who has “so much speed”, Ellsbury’s measly 39 steals (getting caught an additional 15 times that he tried) are pretty weak.

        As for Verlander being better than all three of them, that was my personal opinion…an opinion that I stated was confirmed by the AL MVP voters. Better than the opinion of the Ellsbury slurpers, whose opinions were rendered moot by the AL MVP voters. So, no circular reasoning there at all, just confirmation of what my opinion was. I trust the AL MVP voters far more than I trust any of you Ellsbury slurpers.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        In fact, Cabrera (while mostly playing 1B in recent years) has logged significant time in both LF and RF, as well as 3B, making him a much more versatile and valuable fielder.

        You do know there are ways to look this up right? Here are the last years he’s played each position:

        3B – ’08 – 14 games
        LF – ’05 – 134 games
        RF – ’04 – 100 games

        So essentially in ’07 was the last time he played a position outside of 1B full time. He’s not versatile now (and the majority of his defensive metrics back then were bad, but that’s another story).

        Plenty of “slugging CFs” out there…Granderson for one, Josh Hamilton for another..and the list goes on. Meanwhile, several teams, including the Rays (Casey Kotchman) get by with a non-slugging 1B, so you can feed into the stereotypes all you want to but they don’t always turn out to be true

        I can’t believe I have to defend this, but here goes:

        >.200 ISO (in order)
        CF – Granderson, Kemp, Hamilton, Victorino
        1B – Fielder, Reynolds, Morse, Teixeira, Pujols, Cabrera, Pena, Howard, Trumbo, Votto, Santana, Konerko, Gonzalez

        As for Verlander being better than all three of them, that was my personal opinion…an opinion that I stated was confirmed by the AL MVP voters. Better than the opinion of the Ellsbury slurpers, whose opinions were rendered moot by the AL MVP voters

        If you don’t think this is circular reasoning, I don’t know what to tell you.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        Also, you keep referencing that you think Verlander was great, why do you think that (and saying that he won the MVP isn’t justification). What about his year was so great?

        And by god help me if you cite his win total I’m going to copy/paste that response every comment you make.

  21. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Something wrong with this page?

  22. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    @ faithfulfriar – Nov 22, 2011 at 6:43 AM
    You even stop to think that pitchers stopped pitching to Gonzalez and started pitching to Ellsbury as the season wore on? You even stop to think that Gonzalez may have worn out as the season progressed while Ellsbury coasted in the early part of the season? You even stop to think that there are so many factors (such as the one that is likely at the root of Gonzalez’s late season slide, namely his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery from the previous season having an effect on his overall conditioning, possibly due to the fact that he was unable to complete his normal off-season conditioning program like he usually does in between seasons) that come into play when analyzing any player? No excuses…only factors that may well have come into play regarding the turn of events as the season progressed.

    I doubt that you do, instead all you probably do is pore over Bill James’s vastly overrated sabremetrics digests and consider yourself “educated” about baseball. You can call my argument “baseless” all you want to, but in the end my choice was named MVP and yours wasn’t. BTW, when someone bats BEFORE someone else in the lineup, they are considered to be “protected” by the later batter (though not in the “classic” sense). Either way, most pitchers are going to pitch to the leadoff guy as opposed to the #3, #4 or #5 guys, therefore, Ellsbury will always benefit from having guys like Gonzalez, Ortiz and Youkilis (when healthy) hitting behind him. Ellsbury has a long way to go IMO to reach the status of classic leadoff men like Rickey Henderson or Wade Boggs. You can continue to kneel at his altar all you want to, I’ll continue to believe that he is overrated. You can continue to be mad about it, I’ll continue to laugh at you. BTW, I don’t really care what you think about my remarks, claims or baseball education. In fact, you can shove your alleged “blasphemy”, “asinine” and “uneducated” judgment of me up your arse. I’ll continue to smile at the fact that Verlander won the MVP and enjoy the frustration of those who just can’t accept that.

  23. faithfulfriar - Nov 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    @ Bozosforall

    “You even stop to think that pitchers stopped pitching to Gonzalez and started pitching to Ellsbury as the season wore on?”

    Again, if you ever read my posts citing ACTUAL EVIDENCE rather than your heresay, Ellsbury wasnot the benefactor of “being protected”. Guys who are supposed to be pitched to in order to avoid another bat in the lineup typically see more fastballs which as not the case here (infact, opposite). Use common sense for a second. Players being “protected” usually are immediately before or after the hitter “protecting”, not multiple spots away in the order. Increased stats? Of course, but to say one benefitted more from the other needs evidence rather than just your opinion.

    “I disagree that Ellsbury’s defense is both better and more valuable than Cabrera’s, given that Cabrera likely makes far more putouts at first than Ellsbury does in CF”

    wow…just wow. This comment fully explains your lack of knowledge in baseball. Your name fits the bill…

    • bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      You can try and use raw statistics to claim that he wasn’t the benefactor of “being protected”. And yes, I did acknowledge that he wasn’t being “protected” in the classic sense (if you ever read MY posts).

      And as for your opinion regarding my baseball knowledge, I couldn’t care less what you think, given your robotic approach to analyzing the game. I’m guessing that the “friar” part of your name is because you still haven’t gotten laid yet in your miserable life.

  24. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Nov 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM
    Also, you keep referencing that you think Verlander was great, why do you think that (and saying that he won the MVP isn’t justification). What about his year was so great?

    And by god help me if you cite his win total I’m going to copy/paste that response every comment you make.

    __
    Why would I cite his win total? The guy was dominant in nearly every start he made this year, win or lose. Consistantly, throughout the year. He was the one guy that everyone talked about not wanting to face in the playoffs (never saw anyone say that they were afraid of Ellsbury), which had nothing to do with his win total and everything to do with the fact that he was the most intimidating single player in the playoffs. So you keep on looking up those obscure Bill James-type sabremetric statistics, while I pay attention to what really happens on the field.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      The guy was dominant in nearly every start he made this year, win or lose

      Was he really? Define a dominant start. Was it the 5 ER he gave up on the last day? Or what about on 5/24 when he gave up 6 ER in 6IP? Or 5 R on 7/15? Or 4 ER on 8/27?

      He was the one guy that everyone talked about not wanting to face in the playoffs

      Yes, let’s use media cliches to defend a point and not hard evidence.

      So you keep on looking up those obscure Bill James-type sabremetric statistics, while I pay attention to what really happens on the field.

      Ah the last bastion of the man with no point. Ad hom attacks. Should have stuck with the tried and true mom’s basement though. Kids these days just have no imagination.

      • bozosforall - Nov 25, 2011 at 12:08 AM

        Ad hon attacks? I’m not the one that started throwing around the “stupid, moronic, idiotic, etc.” labels regarding the posts of others. And if all you have to go by is sabermetrics, then you only see part of the picture.

  25. bozosforall - Nov 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    The BEST part of all of this is that no matter what is posted here, Verlander is and will still be the AL MVP for 2011 and Ellsbury won’t. LMAO

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