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“The Triple Crown is nonsense”

Sep 24, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Miguel Cabrera Getty Images

Brian Kenny (or his headline writer) says it, and he’s absolutely right.  Not absolute nonsense, of course — it’s really cool and rare to win the Triple Crown and if Miguel Cabrera does it he deserves tons of huzzahs and kudos — but nonsense in terms of naming an MVP:

I like the Triple Crown. Really, I love its place in baseball history and how it’s one of the exclusive clubs of the immortals. I also like giving the Most Valuable Player Award to the best player in the league. Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers — Triple Crown or not — is just not that guy … if Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown this year, he deserves to be put alongside Carl Yastrzemski, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. It just doesn’t mean, on its own, that he was the best player in the American League. He’s not. Mike Trout is.

It has been established wisdom in baseball for the better part of a decade — and much longer in some circles — that RBI is an extremely poor measure of an individual player’s worth, that batting average is far less important than many other metrics and that, while chicks dig the long ball, there is much more to baseball than power at the plate. In light of that, how can one say that the leader in those three categories is automatically the most valuable player in the game?

Granted, in most years that player probably is the best. But not when there’s another guy whose overall offense is almost as good, and who then laps the Triple Crown leader in every other aspect of the game. Aspects of the game which the very same people who get all mad at “sabermetrics” have argued for years that the sabermetricians were ignoring.

If you reject the notion that RBI and batting average tell you the most about a player’s overall value, you cannot slavishly look to the triple crown categories as the authority on who is the most valuable. To do so makes no sense at all.

138 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. paperlions - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    It’s it a little early on a Monday to be re-baiting Tiger fans?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Not all things that someone doesn’t want to hear constitute “baiting.”

      • paperlions - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        I understand, and completely agree with the position….but considering how exhaustively this has already been covered the last week or two…it just feels like killing a dead horse (as my boss says).

      • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:46 AM

        I get that, but I find it notable when someone like Brian Kenny weighs in.

        Not all of this is about my or HBT’s position. Part of a blog’s purpose is to put out the consensus as it builds.

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        Quick, which player is better?

        67 R 36 2B 4 3B 3 HR 37 RBI 16 SB .287/.346/.397 .743 OPS 4.5 WAR
        99 R 37 2B 3 3B 31 HR 79 RBI 14 SB .287/.336/.510 .846 OPS 3.3 WAR

        According to WAR, Denard Span is better than Adam Jones. Does anyone make that trade? Pretty much says all there is about the ‘defense component of WAR;’ it’s total BS.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        ez- That is FANTASTIC!

      • 18thstreet - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

        If I were comparing too players, I wouldn’t even bother looking at runs scored and RBIs. Seeing that player A has a better OBP than player B, and that player B has a much better slugging than player A, I’d ask “which one plays better defense?” before giving a definitive answer. (Also, I’d like to see plate appearances, which often screws these things up.)

        I don’t think it’s obvious, at all, looking at the Adam Jones/Denard Span example.

      • detroitr1 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        No, but you’ve posted articles that questions Tigers fan’s support for Cabrera or you post an article that sarcastically questions Leyland for defending his player. According to Craig, it seems that Detroit Tigers fans are the only fans that question MVP voting logic or get passionate at over their star players.

        Interesting that you don’t post any articles that exist in favor Cabrera for MVP. Let me do your job for you and post one: Here’s a pro-cabrera MVP vote from Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire:

        http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120921&content_id=38786978&notebook_id=38789570&vkey=notebook_det&c_id=det

        It will be interesting to see the reaction of Cabrera pulls off the Triple Crown and wins MVP.
        Looking forward to the Thumbs Down.

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        I’ll one better it. Span’s WAR is higher than Josh Hamilton. 4.5 to 4.1.

        Can we kill WAR now?

      • alang3131982 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Well, fWAR has Span trading both those players. In addition, no one takes WAR as gospel, noting that the defense components from year-to-year fluctuate tremendously.

        If you want to get rid of WAR, get rid of RBIs and average b/c they all have flaws. No statistic is perfect, nor does anyone think one should be the be all end all.

        That said, the Trout-Miggy debate comes down largely to base running and fielding. You dont need WAR to suggest that Miggy is nowhere near Trout’s ballpark in either of those parts of baseball.

      • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        I’m not sure which version of WAR you’re using, ez. Fangraphs has Hamilton at 4.9 WAR and B-R has him at 4 WAR in 592 PA’s.

        Span in 533 PA’s:
        fWAR- 3.4
        rWAR- 4.4

        WAR isn’t without faults, but why kill someting that is useful?

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        A stat is produced by a mathematical equation. WAR pretends to be a stat, but it includes UZR and the like for its defensive component which are based on observation, not measurement. Thus, WAR is more worthless than a stat that you assign little significance to. Further, WAR foolishly changes from year-to-year thereby allowing outliers affect the whole system.

        Here’s an equation for you: Junk times stats = WAR (i.e. junk)

        and I pulled my WAR ratings off ESPN’s stats. Not sure if they use f or b WAR, but it’s all shit anyway.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        leave him alone, he’s ‘baiting.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        WAR foolishly changes from year-to-year thereby allowing outliers affect the whole system.

        huh? Of course it changes from year to year, it’s a record of what has happened. Do you disallow HR’s because Cabrera hits a different amount each year?

        WAR pretends to be a stat, but it includes UZR and the like for its defensive component which are based on observation, not measurement.

        So remove the defensive component completely, and you can still use the stat. It’d be almost a super offensive version (offense, base running and positional). Or you can regress the defensive component, averaging 3 years worth of values. There’s plenty of things you can do to the stat*, but it seems your choice is to eliminate it completely.

        *note, if you are going to regress defensive components, you’ll have to do it for everyone. Have fun….

      • Bill - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        rWAR/fWAR/WARP:
        Span: 4.4 / 3.4 / 2.1
        Jones: 3.1 / 4.3 / 5.9
        Hamilton: 4.0 / 4.9 / 4.3

        Here’s a good example of where a thoughtful fan interested in understanding how baseball players provide values might look at how the various systems compare these three center fielders and notice that, while two of them agree that Jones and Hamilton are among the best and Span is pretty good, there’s one outlier there suggesting that Span is better than we think. He or she might then look at the various components that go into those numbers and make his or her own determination as to what might explain the discrepancy, and may conclude that Span has probably not quite been worth the 17 runs on defense that DRS gives him credit for, and that the other two metrics make more sense in this case.

        Another type of fan might think: “one version of WAR, in this one instance, conflicts with my preconceived notions! Guess it’s all trash, back to BA/HR/RBI.” Guess that’s what the aptly named ezthinking is doing? But either way, it has no relevance to this particular discussion:

        rWAR/fWAR/WARP
        Cabrera: 6.8 / 6.9 / 6.0
        Trout: 10.4 / 9.5 / 8.2

        In the face of that kind of dominance, I don’t think “there are weird things elsewhere!” works. I think you’ve got to look into the things that went into those particular numbers for those particular guys, figure out what’s gone wrong, and convince us.

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Nice discrepancy rates in WARP to WAR – 100% on Span, 80% on Jones, 25% on Hamilton.

        An even smarter fan would junk the whole system.

      • jtorrey13 - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Hey ezthinking –

        One measurement system shows Mt. Everest is 29029 tall. Another shows it at 8848 tall. Yet another says 5.50 tall.

        Ah, let’s junk it and call it “furple” tall.

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        jtorrey13 … Feet, meters and miles? Those are valid measurements which all equal the same distance. WAR/WARP/etc… do not.

        Get out of wikipedia and go to school.

  2. kiwicricket - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    What I find interesting, is the Most ‘Valuable’ Player aspect. It’s tough to define, laced incessantly with narratives and nonsense.

    Where would Oakland be without Cespedes/Reddick? Or Baltimore without Adam Jones? Either team would have ZERO chance of making it past .500, let alone playoffs. Are they better than Miggy or Trout? Not in a million, but arguably more valuable to their team.

    I hate when it comes down to people making an argument over the final 2 weeks of a 6 month season. “If a certain team makes it to the playoffs, this guy deserves such and such” A team standing of +/- 2games is enough to sway a decision? Crazy.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      The Jays without Bautista have seen their run production decline by 2 runs a game. Obviously, he was a very valuable player.

    • Bill - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      “Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.”

      That’s from my ballot. In my opinion, what comes after “that is” permits only one possible definition of “most valuable,” which is also the only reasonable one: the most valuable player is the league’s best player, with no regard at all to how his team does or would have done without him. It’s an individual award, so having it turn on the other 24 guys on the roster makes no sense at all.

  3. psunick - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Kenny’s comment that “third base and centerfield have virtually the same value defensively” seems very strange to me.

    Good article though.

  4. proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    A very fishy argument Craig. The award is called Most Valuable Player not Best Player. The Angels have several dangerous hitters on their team. Detroit only has 2 plus a guy in CF who is quite good. Without Cabrera, Detroit would probably be a .500 team.

    • dwrek5 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Detroit being a .500 team without MCab is not saying much. Thats just 4 wins at the moment.

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        The Angels are not much better with Trout in the lineup than with Cabrera though. So let’s give the award to Daniel Murphy since he is on the best team with the best record in the AL.

      • dondada10 - Sep 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        The Mets have the best record the AL? YES!

    • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Since when is the best player in the league not the most valuable to their team?

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Great point. Old school AND new school can get behind this, even if they use different measuring sticks. Anything more involves speculation, creative writing, and backtracking.

    • Matt - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      You’re actually underselling Miggy based on your argument…if 4 of their wins were actually losses they’d be right at .500 while WAR (fan graphs version) has him at 7.

  5. ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Pujols is the MVP. If he doesn’t start hitting, the Angels are hanging with Seattle regardless of what Trout does.

    Ryan Rayburn is the White Sox MVP.

    See it’s easy to make these arguments.

  6. kevinleaptrot - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    As most, if not all readers of this blog know, Ted Williams twice won the Triple Crown but was snubbed in the MVP voting. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone, including Miguel. It would be nice if he won the TC, but he is not the best player in the AL right now.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      The example doesn’t work that well, because Williams WAS the best player in the AL in the years he won the Triple Crown. He wasn’t the best player, though, because he led the league in batting average and RBIs. It was because his total hitting contributions (the sum total of his skills) were better than DiMaggio’s hitting, fielding, and base running contributions.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        Just pointing out that the one thing missing from this argument is the eyeball test. I’m doubting very many here are old enough to have watched them play lots of games (which would’ve had to be at the ballparks to get a big sample size). To me, arguing one methodology over another is absurd without being able to take in as much as you can with your own eyes. Even if it’s good for nothing else, television allows us to see quite a bit.

  7. legacybroken - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    I don’t get Craigs irrational hate for Miggy and the Tigers and his mancrush on Trout. Craig’s obsessive Trout love is bordering on Skip Bayliss and Tebow and John Madden and Favre manlove levels.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      So do you have a good argument against Trout or not?

    • A.J. - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      No one hates Miguel Cabrera, since when does voting someone 2nd for MVP qualify as hate.

    • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      “hate”?? Really? How is it hate if he thinks that a guy with nearly as good numbers offensively and WAY better defence and on base skillz is better? That’s not hate. That there be logic.

  8. temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    The way I look at it, there are a couple of flaws with the whole subject. First, the MVP is a lame award. If I’m correct, it’s supposed to be the player who, without very much help, propelled his team to the postseason. Okay, some or all of that gets messed with in the final decision. But should it?

    I’d rather see the “Willie Mays Award” or something like it, which names the best position player that year. You could change it to a different name, but that one, to me, puts the ideal right into your mind without any further explanation.

    The MVP needs several subjective decisions to be made, while the WMA needs only one. You’re not debating where in the standings the team finished. You’re not arguing about how good the other players on the team are.

    You’re doing what you’re supposed to do, a combination of the eyeball test and sabremetrics. Both need to be included, and both are equally important. I tire of each camp’s insistence that their way is the right, if not only way.

    Second, the Triple Crown IS a big deal. It’s EXTREMELY difficult to pull off. And it’s gotten harder over time through the specialization of relief pitching. To lead the league in average and power categories means you’re having an amazing year. And the fact that it hasn’t been done for 45 years in either league should be a clue how special it is.

    As for RBI, call me old school. If I’ve got lots of players on my team with lots of runs scored and lots of RBI, I’m going to go out on a limb and say my team is scoring a lot of runs, and that’s good. Sabremetrics are great. So are RBI. No need to throw the baby out with the bath.

    As for who deserves the MVP? I don’t know, and I don’t care. But I’d probably argue Mike Trout is the most complete player, and deserves the Willie Mays Award.

    And then I’d tell you I’m more impressed with Miguel Cabrera, who may just do something that hasn’t been done since before I was interested in baseball. And yeah, that’s a long time.

    • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      The problem with RBI is that it is not a good way to measure a players skill. RBI are not a bad thing, they just don’t do what a lot of people try to use them for.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        And I’d argue that it’s a bottom-line kind of stat, more to do with results, than how they were gotten – which means that overall talent and/or style points don’t necessarily go into the equation. To me, it still counts for skill…of driving in runs. You play Hunter Pence because he’s going to drive in 100 runs, not because he looks good doing it, and you don’t care how much of that has to do with other stuff. The runs still count, regardless of how.

      • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        You want a guy to have 100 RBI then bat him in a line-up spot where he will have a lot of opportunities. RBI total depends a lot on the quality of your teammates because they have to be on base to get batted in. That’s why it’s not a measure of skill. The number 4 hitter in a line-up’s skills don’t ave anything to do with the 1-3 hitters getting on base to be driven in.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        Yeah, but you’ve still got to do it. Okay, if no one’s on, a good hitter has less RBI chances. But the converse is also true. Should we penalize someone for getting the job done, just because they had lots of chances to do it? If they failed, they’d be moved out of prime lineup spots if not benched, no? I don’t know the details, but seeing as the Phillies didn’t exactly burn up the league, I’ll assume Hunter Pence didn’t have the bases loaded every time he came up before he was traded. But hey, maybe he did. Stat heads?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        You play Hunter Pence because he’s going to drive in 100 runs, not because he looks good doing it, and you don’t care how much of that has to do with other stuff

        I’m probably missing a joke here or something, because Hunter Pence has never driven in 100 runs.

        However, I think there is a point about doing your job and getting the run in. [If Fiorentino sees this, he'll never let me live it down] Take a guy like Ryan Howard. Even though his power is declining, his walk #s are declining, and his ability to hit lefties is almost non-existent, he still tends to rack up RBIs. Now, how much of that is due entirely to Howard?

        This is the problem with RBIs and those who look at them. How much credit should Howard get for the RBI versus how much credit do we give Utley/Rollins for being on base in front of him? Save the HR, someone has to be on base to get Howard a RBI.

      • nategearhart - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        But if you have two guys who do everything exactly the same, but their RBI totals are different just because one guy hits in a better spot in a better lineup, then RBI has told you NOTHING except where that guy bats in the lineup and how much better his teammates are. The two are still exactly the same player.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        But MVP is not for most skilled player. Teams need runs to win; therefore, the guy who can bring in the most runs is most valuable to the team (on that measure — there are others too). They play Miggy in a spot where he can bring in runs because unlike some people on the team kellyraburnsantiago he can hit them in instead of leaving them on base all the time. BTW, a good number of Miggy’s rbi’s were from knocking himself in with those 42 hr’s.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        I’ll grant you there are better stats than RBI, such as the one that determines what percentage of total baserunners (including yourself) you drive home compared to others. I’ll leave it to the sabermetricians (probably anyone else, compared to me) to give the proper stat with its acronym. But the RBI is still a good stat. That said, it says more about who’s doing the figuring. At some point, you realize that some folks are totally focused on who wins the most games, and how the players help them do it, and some lock themselves in the basement obsessed with fantasy leagues and the like, and care more about stats for their own merit, without remembering it’s about winning, not accruing. I’m sure the core stats the casual (not locked in the basement) fan looks at will change. Until then, I’ll try to appreciate all sides: old stats, new stats, and most of all, what I see.

  9. gpatrick15 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    If Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, then I don’t see how he could lose the MVP to Trout. Trout is better defensively, yes, but Cabrera is better offensively. So which one is more valuable? I like Mike Trout. He’s a great, phenomenal ballplayer. He will win 3 or 4 MVP’s at his pace. But I think everyone is in love with the narrative that’s attached to his name and the highlights that he produces. And just because the great Ted Williams won the Triple Crown twice and got snubbed in the MVP vote doesn’t make it right.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      You think the people swayed by “the narrative” are supporting Trout, and NOT the guy poised to win the first Triple Crown in 45 years with a late season power surge? You seem to be missing the major narrative of the lost couple weeks.

      And doesn’t “Trout is better defensively, but Cabrera is better offensively” greatly oversimplify?

      For one thing, while Cabrera is the better hitter, Trout base running brings them to basically a tie offensively. Even if you give Cabrera the edge there, it’s a small one, whereas Trout superiority on defense is substantial.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        while Cabrera is the better hitter

        Also, it’s not like the gap between the two hitting wise is the exact same as the gap between the two for defense/base running. wRC+ has Trout at 172 and Cabrera at 169, so we can say it’s almost a push offensively, or give Cabrera a slight advantage due to the more games played. However, add the huge advantage Trout has defensively and base running, and I can’t see how people say they are the same.

  10. lembeck4 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    You know what’s really nonsense in terms of naming an MVP? Ignoring the fact that Mike Trout has been sinking like a stone in terms of his offensive production since August 1st, while Miguel Cabrera has been on a tear.

    Trout since August 1: 53/194 = .273 batting average, 42 runs, 16 XBH (10 HR), 23 RBI, 28 BB, 56 K
    Cabrera since August 1: 62/176 = .352 batting average, 38 runs, 29 XBH (17 HR), 48 RBI, 23 BB, 33 K

    Trout had a BAbip of .438 and .412 in June and July…..329 and .333 in August and September respectively. Over a long enough timeline, I.E. a full MLB season, the truth comes to light. The kid is a great player with a bright future, but in the big leagues one should be required to perform at an MVP level past August 1st in order to win the award.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      So essentially what you’re saying is we should base the award on whichever months of the season Cabrera has outplayed Trout, while ignoring the fact that Trout was the more productive player for a far greater time period.

      Makes sense.

      • lembeck4 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        No, I’d be fine with having an award for an entire season be given to the player who deserved it for the entire season. I know, bizarre logic. If you want to give the MVP to a player who has steadily declined in the 2nd half, that’s your opinion.

      • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        So, lembeck4, it matters when a “cold” streak is? If you’re talking about it being a full season award then it shouldn’t matter that Trout hasn’t been as good since August 1. Since we only need to look at how their full season numbers look.

  11. legacybroken - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Trout was on a torrid pace from his callup through to August 1st but once Pitchers got tape on him they have been able to look for weaknesses. If he was truly an MVP, Trout would have adjusted and would still be putting up those numbers. Right now he’s just a kid that put up great numbers for half a season but has cooled down since. Miggy on the otherhand has been consistently strong all season and has even picked it up a few notches in recent weeks. Trout is having a great year and deserves to be the unanimous rookie of the year but not MVP. Also the media needs to stop annoiting Trout the next big thing. He could still go on to be an alltime great or just as easily turn into Jeff Francouer 2.0.

  12. gpatrick15 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    All I’m saying is that it’s ridiculous to discount winning the Triple Crown. It takes a special caliber player to do so. Just because the stats used in Miguel Cabrera’s favor are deemed “archaic” by sabermetricians shouldn’t discredit the near impossible feat that Cabrera is on pace to reach. It certainly doesn’t subtract from his MVP pace; winning the triple crown only strengthens it. And if Mike Trout won the Triple Crown the media would be further down is throat than they are now. They’d be all over it. Cabrera may reach it, and no one bats an eye.

    • Bill - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      No, the thing is that it doesn’t detract from his case OR strengthen it. Winning the triple crown is an awesome thing, but has nothing at all to do with how valuable he is. Say he ends with a .335 average, 44 HR and 139 RBI. If Josh Hamilton goes on a tear and ends with 45 HR, is Miguel Cabrera suddenly less valuable than he would have been if Hamilton had ended with 43 HR?

  13. dangle13x - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Of course this article is written by Craig Calcaterra. You degenerate slime, some life you lead. Seriously, you are f*cking worthless. Blog writer bahahahaha. Maybe someday you’ll make that bold jump to print huh buddy?

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      And yet you read his blog…and sign in…and comment…what’s that make you?

      • dangle13x - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM

        Yea, you white trash philly rat. When it’s a team I’m invested in and this “writer” continues to pour it on, I’m given that luxury. Haha what’s your excuse? Maybe he’ll follow you on twitter if you get his back baahahahaha f*cking losers.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        “White trash Philly rat?” Awfully presumptuous of you isn’t it? And do you kiss your mother/sister/cousin/wife with that mouth?

    • mordecofe - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      troll gonna troll.

      what an internet tough guy.

    • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Get you refund as you leave, dangle.

  14. Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Since sabergeeks don’t hold a lot of faith in two of the three…

  15. dangle13x - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    No wonder your wife left you. Go fail the bar exam again.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Well, you’re factually wrong on both counts, but I do like your pluck and moxie.

      • dangle13x - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        haha pluck my moxie. Sweet line buddy. SI is looking for a jewwy looking failure to write zingers for their table of contents, I think you’ve got a shot. Sorry your ex wife is banging other dudes.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        “Jewwy looking?”

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Um…have we gotten past pluck and moxie at this point?

        Craig, did you send him up to the big house while you escaped incarceration?

        Maybe it’s time to pull the plug on dangle13x.

        Or is that too Jewwy of me?

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        I say Craig has more of a vampire-like pasty look to him…but that may be me.

      • pauleee - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        So what exactly is the line for a “timeout”? This is not exactly bicepts-grade (yet) but still. Or do you give him some leeway becasue it’s Monday morning?

      • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        Fucking hell. “Jewwy Looking”? What’s next? Is he gonna go with a “you people” and a “some of my best friends”? Craig, perhaps its time to exercise some of that blog-given power?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        some of my best friends”

        My accountant is a Jew

        -Yunel Escobar

        (apologies if this is stepping over the line, I hope everyone will get the joke).

    • allisonhagen - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Trust me, he’s not sorry she’s “banging other dudes”.

      • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        I want to go on record as wanting to thumb this cooment up many more than one time.

    • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Stay classy, dangle.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        That was a Jewwy thing to say.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

        Why, thank you.

  16. Carl Hancock - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Where were these writers back when Barry Bonds was winning MVP after MVP award and snubbing much more well rounded players like Albert Pujols? A guy that in those early seasons would play OF, 1B, 3B and even an appearance at SS. Could you imagine Barry trying to play the infield?

    The last part of his career Barry Bonds hit a ton of home runs and walked a ton. Those 2 major stats made his OPS astronomical because pitchers avoided pitching to him. The same argument could be made that he wasn’t the best player in the game and shouldn’t have won the MVP because of that. But writers at the time were all about touting Bonds as THE MVP and everyone else be damned.

    Now it’s the reverse. The guy leading in the major stats isn’t the MVP. Sports writers. Gotta love ‘em.

    • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      But Bonds’ straight offensive numbers were so much better than everyone else’s that he was still more valueable. And it’s not like he was a terrible defender either. He was actually a very good defensive left fielder in those years.

    • Bill - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Yeah, no. Bonds could have won four or five more MVPs than he did.

  17. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Well, I banned dangle13x. Not because of anything he said about me — I can handle more than that putz can dish out — but because of “Jewwy looking,” and because I went back and looked at his past comments and realized that he’s never offered any meaningful baseball input while always attacking other people, frequently with racial-tinged bullshit.

    By the way: if anyone can tell me what about me is “jewwy looking,” I’d really like to know. Just as a point of curiosity.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      I knew those glasses would come back and bit you on the a$$.

    • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Seriously? He means that in his opinion you look Jewish, and the way he phrased it, I suppose he thinks that’s an insult. My husband, who is half-Italian, has noted in the past that there is some physical resemblance between people of Jewish heritage and those of Italian heritage. (Shrug.)

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        Craig’s Irish.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        You’re kidding, right?

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        Nope.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Well, slap my ass and call me Sally. Calcaterra is a very distinctive Italian surname, from the Italian for “earth” (terra). Who woulda thunk it.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        It’s complicated. Short(ish) version:

        Name: Italian. But it comes from my paternal grandfather, who was not my dad’s natural father. My dad was adopted by his mother’s second husband (Calcaterra). When my dad was born, his last name was McIntyre. His mother was, however, a Romanian Jew. Which (though I played dumb earlier) probably explains that dickweed’s comments earlier.

        My mom’s family is half Irish, half English.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        Cool background. Good all American mutt. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Craig noted his Irish heritage in a post (I sincerely hope it was in a post—if not, Craig, 100,000 apologies) a long time ago.

        I’m married, so I’ll leave the second part to someone else. But, Sally—whether that is in fact your real name, or even if it’s not, since you said to call you that—a surname isn’t really a good indicator of genealogy. Just ask Shane Victorino. After all he is Hawaiian, and not Italian.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        Nope, not Sally. I was just expressing surprise. :-) Johanna’s the name. Nice to meet you.

        A surname is definitely not a perfect indicator, and it is flat-out wrong in cases of adoption or blended families, but it can give a general idea in many cases. I never thought of Victorino as particularly Italian. Possibly, but also Spanish, Portuguese, or Filipino. Since Shane’s features are not indigenous Hawaiian, I am guessing he is of mixed race and may be a member of one or more of those cultures.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        I know. I was replying that way solely to be snarky. :P And I mentioned the Flyin’ Hawaiian just as an example—but I’ve only seen mention of Italian in reference to his name. I think his name was changed from Victorine a generation or two back, but I’m not exactly sure of the details. All I know is that he will be missed in these parts. :(

      • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        slap my ass and call me Sally“??? Y’know we gonna call you Sally for a while, right?

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        I was feeling frisky today. :-) I guess I asked for that one.

      • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        Coffee again, eh? Addiction leads to so many things…

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        No coffee, just a good night’s sleep.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Seisenta, coming from you, that just sounds dirty…

      • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        I take pride in my dirt, hair. I got more dirt that the bible got psalms, word to your moms.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      if anyone can tell me what about me is “jewwy looking,” I’d really like to know. Just as a point of curiosity.

      Well, duh. It’s the hair, obviously!

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        What about hair?

    • kopy - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      It’s because this happened to you when he insulted you. Don’t know why, but we all saw it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHk4vu8xEQc

      • kopy - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        P.S. I love YouTube videos where you can gather exactly what’s going on without any sound.

    • cur68 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      I have no idea what about you is “Jewwy Looking”. Perhaps he misspelled “Jawa Looking”? I bet in the right clothes you could pass as a Jawa. Or a nerf herder. Either one.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      The International Space Station zipped by its usual orbit around the Earth. In the viewing lounge, an astronaut taking pictures paused to observe a funny-looking satellite the ISS happened to be close to. It started moving a short while ago into a different orbit. After a short period, small thrusters stopped the satellite’s movement. All of a sudden, it became frantic with activity as the non-descript cylinder had several doors open from its sides, revealing a slew of instrumentation and panels sticking out like a praying mantis raising its forearms. Then from the bottom jutted outward what looked to be a cannon. A great pulse of light shot out from under it towards the Earth. Then it closed all of its openings and became a silent cylinder once more…

      “Craig, if you’re done smiting that internet commenter, we have more HBT Daily to do,” said Tiffany.

      “Sure my dear,” answered Craig, in his usual Braves Bathrobe, puffing on his bubble pipe. “Just following up with my spy satellites. I want to get a picture of the crater I left… Now, let’s do some more Miggy-Trout comparisons!”

    • El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      Craig, no commentary or extra reasoning needed. Ban the antisemitic f@cker.

  18. voteforno6 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    I wonder if some people would feel the same way about the Triple Crown if Mike Trout was poised to win it, instead of Miguel Cabrera.

    • paperlions - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      I’d feel the same….because Trout is still a better and more valuable player than Cabrera. They are essentially the same offensive player (= OBP and the advantage Cabrera has in power is nullified by park effects and Trout’s base running)….but Trout is an infinitely better fielder.

      Value is value, and the triple crown is an interesting but entirely incomplete evaluation of player production, performance, and value.

    • nbjays - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I’d love to see Miggy win the Triple Crown… it has been a very long time since anyone has done that.

      HOWEVER… being the best in 3 strictly offensive, strictly batting categories does NOT make one the best player in the league, i.e the MVP. It simply makes one the best hitter in the league.

      Mike Trout is not far off of Cabrera in hitting, but is light years ahead of him in baserunning and in an altogether different universe defensively.

  19. indaburg - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Am I the only one who doesn’t have a problem with either Trout or Cabrera winning the MVP title? I am? Ok, then. Carry on.

    Seriously, the MVP is a misnamed award that is kind of like the Best Movie Oscar of baseball. It’s nice to have, but it doesn’t really mean anything.

  20. willclarkgameface - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    The Triple Crown is valuable in name alone. Keep it around. Historically, it’s a fun award and just another part of this game of baseball that is yes, probably outdated, but needs to be left alone and is at this point more for the fans to discuss.

    I agree about MVP: it’s all Trout this year and if it’s not, BBWAA writers are idiots. I’m still surprised that they pulled the trigger on Verlander and the MVP last year. He definitely deserved it and he won, so good for him.

    Trout should get ROY and MVP this season, no question.

    Miggy should (better) get the Triple Crown. I’m tired of Red Sox fans waxing poetic about one of the more overrated, “can’t play until I’m motivated” players of the last 50 years in Yaz. Sure he holds one of 3 12+ WARs, but come on. I just don’t see Yaz as THE guy. My summation of Yaz is his performance in the one game playoff in 1978: sure he hit a home run to get them on the board, but he also popped out to the third baseman to make the final out of the game…simply weak.

    • pauleee - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      First off: The Triple Crown is NOT an award. You have “won” it when you are tops in the league in 3 particular offensive categories.

      As for the Yaz comments, you’re biggest problem is that you have (seemingly) evaluated him based on 1 game at the end of his career. Don’t you find that a little problematic?

  21. klj58 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    I am not going to get in the middle of the argument about who should be the MVP but I have to question why everyone wants to discount RBI as a reliable stat. I understand that batting average and home runs really don’t mean that much but isn’t the object of the game to score more runs than the other team? That being said, to me the two most important stats would be runs scored and runs batted in. Am I missing something here?

    • pauleee - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Place Cabrera in the leadoff spot. What happens to his RBI total (through no fault of his own)?

      • klj58 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        Certainly, but theoretically he would then be scoring more runs. I remember a stat from several years ago that was runs socred plus rbi less home runs that I thought was a great stat but nobody even mentions it anymore. I think it was called run production or something. Again, I just don’t understand discounting rbi as a meaningful stat.

    • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      The reason people discount RBI is that it relies heavily on what a guys teammates do. Your RBI opportunities are directly in relation to when your teammates are on base. You can’t control when and if your teammates get on base.

      • klj58 - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        I agree that is true, but my guess would be that except maybe on the worst teams that most 3-4-5 hitters have about the same number of opportunities to knock someone in. I would say that the guys with more RBI are just getting it done more often. Maybe they need a stat that is similar to BA/RISP but would be RBI per RISP or even just runner on base. I know, we really need more statistics, don’t we.

  22. laithagha - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    The sabermetric movement is cute n’ all, but any argument discounting traditional stats such as batting average and RBI is absurd.

    Now, batting average means more if the player’s OBP is significantly higher due to BB total and if SLG is significantly higher due to extra-base hits. This, of course, leads us to OPS, which pretty much tells us everything we need to know about a hitter’s performance—other than his prowess on the base paths. That’s an easy fix: create a stat that basically combines OBP and SLG with stolen bases (subtracting times caught stealing) into one calculation and you get a stat that measures bases per plate appearance.

    As far as RBI, consider this: switch Miguel Cabrera and Ramon Santiago in the Tigers lineup. How many runs are the Tigers scoring then? Probably a lot less, since run production is based largely on the abilities of the middle-of-the-order hitters. Then consider this: MLB’s top three hitters with runners in scoring position: Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer and Miguel Cabrera. These are three of the best hitters in baseball, each of whom appears to excel even more when scoring opportunities are presented.

    Nothing against complex equations—I was an engineering major, I’ve done plenty of calculus in my day (and enjoyed it)—but WAR does not directly measure anything. Rather, it is based on a complex equation that somewhat arbitrarily weights different aspects of performance. Give me the stats that directly measure performance, and I can figure out who the best players are. Sure, you want to factor in defense, but any statistical measurement of that is significantly more flawed than any traditional offensive stat.

    The Triple Crown stats aren’t everything, but it’s no coincidence that this season the leader in all three categories also leads the league in OPS. (Look at OPS leaders of any year, and you’ll see a “who’s who” of that season’s best offensive players.) Oh, and Calcaterra’s argument that Trout is better than Cabrera in every other area just isn’t true. Sure, Trout’s defense and base running are superior, but any measurement of hitting favors Cabrera. (Save for runs scored, but that, I would argue, is more a team stat than RBI. Justin Upton, after all, is top 5 in runs.)

    Other considerations: Cabrera’s team is better situated to make the playoffs, and batting third is more challenging than batting leadoff.

    • Alex K - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      How are the amount of runs a player scores more of a team stat than RBI? That makes zero sense. With either you most likely need a teammate to do something (get on base for RBI or get a hit for a run).

      In your replacing Cabrera for Santiago, does that take Cabrera out of the line-up completely? Because if so of course the team would score a lot less runs! Cabrera is really good. But if you’re talking straight line-up construction then there would be a difference but it wouldn’t be that huge.

      Also, there is nothing arbitrary about the weights given in WAR. They are based off of studies of their corralation to scoring runs.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      The sabermetric movement is cute n’ all, but any argument discounting traditional stats such as batting average and RBI is absurd.

      Why? Oh, you’re just making obtuse claims with no evidence to back them up. Hope this doesn’t become a theme…

      This, of course, leads us to OPS, which pretty much tells us everything we need to know about a hitter’s performance—other than his prowess on the base paths.

      Except it doesn’t. First, OPS (and I assume you mean OPS and not OPS+) doesn’t even factor in hitting environments or league run environments. So someone with say, a .900 OPS in the deadball era would look like a “worse hitter” than someone with a .950 OPS in the offensive explosion of the 90s era.

      Second, OPS is a great napkin math stat to compare two hitters, but it falls apart even further because it treats OBP and SLG as the same. In truth, OBP should be able 3x more important than SLG. Never mind that it commits the cardinal sin of combining two numbers with different denominators (one uses PA, other uses AB).

      That’s an easy fix: create a stat that basically combines OBP and SLG with stolen bases (subtracting times caught stealing) into one calculation and you get a stat that measures bases per plate appearance.

      So you want an all encompassing offensive stat, gotcha…

      As far as RBI, consider this: switch Miguel Cabrera and Ramon Santiago in the Tigers lineup. How many runs are the Tigers scoring then? Probably a lot less, since run production is based largely on the abilities of the middle-of-the-order hitters. Then consider this: MLB’s top three hitters with runners in scoring position: Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer and Miguel Cabrera. These are three of the best hitters in baseball, each of whom appears to excel even more when scoring opportunities are presented.

      Is Santiago batting third and Cabrera batting at the bottom of the order? If so, not as little as you think. Even the most pessimistic to optimistic usage of batting order has a team winning maybe 1 to 1.5 more games over the course of the season (roughly 10-15 runs). Cabrera is a great hitter, not because of those around him. If people are on base, he’ll drive them in. If they aren’t, he won’t. RBI’s are largely a function of those in front of the hitter, not due to some special ability a hitter has.

      Nothing against complex equations—I was an engineering major, I’ve done plenty of calculus in my day (and enjoyed it)—but WAR does not directly measure anything.

      What do you mean it doesn’t measure anything? It provides values for offense, defense, base running and adds a positional component. How does that equate to “not measuring anything?

      Rather, it is based on a complex equation that somewhat arbitrarily weights different aspects of performance. Give me the stats that directly measure performance, and I can figure out who the best players are. Sure, you want to factor in defense, but any statistical measurement of that is significantly more flawed than any traditional offensive stat.

      The only arbitrary measure is on defense. Offense relies on linear weights. If you don’t like defense, take it out of WAR. This really isn’t hard to do.

      Oh, and Calcaterra’s argument that Trout is better than Cabrera in every other area just isn’t true. Sure, Trout’s defense and base running are superior, but any measurement of hitting favors Cabrera. (Save for runs scored, but that, I would argue, is more a team stat than RBI. Justin Upton, after all, is top 5 in runs.)

      You’re wrong again. wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) has Trout > Cabrera. You can’t just look at counting stats and think Cabrera > Trout because obviously Cabrera has more playing time, so he should have more counting numbers (RBI, Runs, etc). Also, Trout bats leadoff every game whereas Cabrera bats third. So at least one at bat every game Trout can get a maximum one RBI vs Cabrera’s three.

      Other considerations: Cabrera’s team is better situated to make the playoffs, and batting third is more challenging than batting leadoff.

      More statements with 0 facts to back them up.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        I’m amazed that you took the time to make an argument this thorough to debate a person who has no idea what he’s talking about.

        Thanks for taking one for the team.

      • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        You do realize that OPS+ factors in the player’s own team’s pitching staff performance. Thus when the Phillies pitchers pitch well, it lowers the ballpark factor of the Bank which really has nothing to do with how the ‘park’ plays or how well Chase Utley ‘truly’ hits.

        Just more fake math.

  23. El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Wow the NYPost is really stupid, but this is the icing on the stupid cake. Literally makes every single terrible argument you can make in favor of Miggy.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/backpage/poll_who_should_win_al_mvp_yWjrQepyKCoUuPbKf105dP

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Mmmm…caaaake…

      • El Bravo - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        “stupid cake” was the full quote…God, why does everyone quote out of context these days?

        *cough* “You didn’t build that!” *cough*

  24. bronxbomber213 - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    yea batting avg is the worst thing to measure a player by everyone hates it…unless of course people want to illustrate how poor someone is playing then all we see is ” so and so has been struggling of late as he is only XX for his last XX (.xxx) so I’m not quite sure how avg isn’t one if the most important stats a better could have….homers IMHO are the worst to judge by because they have no meaning if you drive in runs…40 bombs and 125 RBIs on a dude hitting 250 is not as valuable as 25 bombs with 110-120 RBIs and hits 325 but what do I know I don’t have saber whatever to back me up…the real question is how valuable trout or Cabrera are to their over hyped squads if they both don’t make the playoffs?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      So you want to compare two players, who hit the same number of RBI somehow, with one essentially being Curtis Granderson last year (.250 with 40 HR and 125 RBI) and the other being Mike Trout (.325 with 25 HR and 125 RBI). Well in that case, let’s look at the stats:

      Trout – 51.9 batting runs (.323/28/122)
      Granderson – 40.2 batting runs (.262/41/136)

      It’s roughly a difference of 1 WAR, or one win between just the hitting with those specific numbers (no defense, no base running and no positional components included).

      • bronxbomber213 - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        so based on ur almighty WAR u would say that, like the post up a little, that dernard span is a better player than Adam jones?!? I would hope u wouldn’t make that assanie statement dude

        he said this:

        Quick, which player is better?
        67 R 36 2B 4 3B 3 HR 37 RBI 16 SB .287/.346/.397 .743 OPS 4.5 WAR
        99 R 37 2B 3 3B 31 HR 79 RBI 14 SB .287/.336/.510 .846 OPS 3.3 WAR
        According to WAR, Denard Span is better than Adam Jones. Does anyone make that trade? Pretty much says all there is about the ‘defense component of WAR;’ it’s total BS.

        now im no expert on ur numbers game but based on this it pretty much clowns saber metrics if u ask me…what’s wrong with the good old fashion eyeball test? sometimes numbers are just that..numbers and can be made to support or bring down any view point

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        so based on ur almighty WAR u would say that, like the post up a little, that dernard span is a better player than Adam jones?!? I would hope u wouldn’t make that assanie statement dude

        Actually I wouldn’t, and in this comment thread specifically I’ve said to remove the defensive component if you don’t like how it’s calculated.

        According to WAR, Denard Span is better than Adam Jones. Does anyone make that trade? Pretty much says all there is about the ‘defense component of WAR;’ it’s total BS.

        Except it doesn’t. Defense makes up one component of WAR, it’s not the entire metric. Dismissing an entire metric based on one component is similar to dismissing an entire medium based on one genre. [paraphrasing KenTremendous] but you are essentially saying, after reading a trashy romance novel, Fuck You Tolstoy, your medium sucks!.

        now im no expert on ur numbers game but based on this it pretty much clowns saber metrics if u ask me…what’s wrong with the good old fashion eyeball test?

        Dozens of things are wrong with the eyeball test. For one, science proves that often what we think we see happen, doesn’t actually happen. For instance, players can’t actually see the ball right before it hits home plate. The speed of the ball combined with how long it takes the eyes to register what it’s seeing, is too slow for the player to react. Two, memory is a horrible way to keep track of specific information. Three, logistically you’d never be able to watch enough baseball to make an informed opinion of players. Think about it, 15 games a day, 3 hours a game and you’d have to watch plays multiple times just to get a bearing on how good/bad a player is defensively. Even if you wanted to create an ELO metric, you’d never have enough time to eat/sleep/work. All you’d do is watch baseball.

        sometimes numbers are just that..numbers and can be made to support or bring down any view point

        Yes, you can lie/distort numbers to make them say whatever you want. That doesn’t actually change the numbers though, just the narrative.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        so based on ur almighty WAR u would say that, like the post up a little, that dernard span is a better player than Adam jones?!?

        Also, you specifically asked who would want which player and gave an example of two separate lines. I broke out an estimated value for each. Now, Granderson and Trout are similar style players, but if the Granderson player were Adam Dunn (butcher in the field, butcher on the basepaths), that would boost the first player’s value even higher. But you just asked for a batting comparison.

  25. braddavery - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Lost in the shuffle is the fact that if Cabrera does get the Triple Crown, he doesn’t NEED the MVP Award. HE GOT A TRIPLE CROWN, WHICH HASN’T HAPPENED IN 45 YEARS. The MVP Award is given out every single year. The Triple Crown is more valuable to Cabrera’s career than an MVP Award. I would gladly take the TC over MVP. So whether he gets the MVP Award or not, if Cabrera gets the TC, he wins the baseball personal achievement season.

    • ezthinking - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      I’m with you. Triple Crown is much bigger than the MVP.

      Hell, Pedroia won an MVP with stats beaten regularly by other players including other second basemen.

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