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National sportswriter says … Dustin Pedroia is your AL MVP thus far

Jul 1, 2013, 4:03 PM EDT

From the man who picked the Philadelphia Phillies to finish ahead of the Braves and the Kansas City Royals over the Tigers, we get this:

 

We don’t know his reasoning yet. When questioned on Twitter he played coy, so I assume a column is forthcoming.

It’s not as crazy as the Phillis pick I suppose — Pedroia has considerable defensive value and, at present, is third in the American League in WAR if you’e into that sort of thing — but it definitely is an offbeat choice what with Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado and Chris Davis walking the Earth.

And people say I like to troll on Twitter.

  1. Jason Collette - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I’m guessing Michael Young is his NL mvp?

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      You obviously haven’t heard that Michael Young agreed to switch positions in Texas that one time. You think that kind of leadership grows on trees, son?

      • eightyraw - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        One time? He did begrudgingly did it twice! This is why I always became so enraged with the Jeter: Yankees :: Young: Rangers talk – only one of those piss-poor defenders moved positions for a better teammate.

  2. aceshigh11 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Pedroia is my favorite player, but…no.

    Just…no.

    He’s a tough, ballsy player who gives 100% every game, but you can’t seriously make that argument with Cabrera and Davis in the same league.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Obviously, he was trolling the Den.

  3. vanquish0916 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    And Brandon McCarthy FTW!

  4. charlutes - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I hate this. I hate the dumb tweet, I hate journalists writing about journalists writing dumb things, I hate twitter, and I hate the vast majority of dumb people who buy into crappy writing, celebrity worship, celebrity basing, and feed the crap machine.

    • shaggylocks - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Seriously, I hear ya. If only reading it all was optional! I dream of the day when we can just turn away and not read it all, but alas, it is not to be.

    • southpaw2k - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      This tweet from Morosi reeks of self-promotion. He knows he can’t defend himself in 140 characters, so he’s going to post something stupid that is bound to catch a lot of people off guard and maybe even anger some readers. That way, if and when he does post a more detailed argument of why he thinks Pedroia is the first half MVP, he has probably thousands of readers itching at the bit to read his article.

      It’s pretty pathetic when a sports writer intentionally goes outside the box just to make himself sound smarter than everyone else because he didn’t pick one of the more obvious choices. How much do you want to bet his forthcoming article will be more about why the MVP shouldn’t be Cabrera or Davis instead of why it should be Pedroia?

  5. waiverclaim - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    go home morosi, youre drunk

    • chacochicken - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      In defense of drunks, some of us do our best work while departing from sobriety, thank you very much. There is a great micro distillery nearby so that’s my excuse.
      http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/

  6. rockthered1286 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Defensively he’s pretty daggum good but offensively he’s not even close to a top bat in his own division, let alone the entire AL. Go home Morosi, you’re drunk.

    • nbjays - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Offensively, he’s arguably not even the best hitter on his own team.

  7. The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I imagine he’s playing the “You can’t be MVP if you’re not on a playoff team” card. Boston’s in first, Detroit isn’t in the “current” playoff picture, and Baltimore would be in the play-in game. Of course basing your MVP on whether the team makes the playoffs is dumb enough at the end of the season. Basing it on whether the team would make the playoffs if the season ended on July 1? That’s just ridiculous.

    • nbjays - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      It’s not even safe to predict the Bosox for the postseason even after 161 games, let alone after 84 games (see September 28, 2011).

  8. hammyofdoom - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    While I do think that Pedroia gets underrated by people outside of Boston, I don’t think there is any way he should be above Davis and Cabrera in this discussion. His defense is elite, I truly do believe he is a top 3- if not the top- defensive second baseman in baseball and his 60 or more extra base hits a year is also in elite category when combined with a high OBP and low strikeout numbers. But to say that his very great, solid performance is better than the worldbeating ones being put on by the corner infielders in the AL is ridiculous

    • 18thstreet - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      I say this as a guy who loves Dustin Pedroia, but I don’t understand how anyone could say he’s underrated. Everyone loves the guy. He’s the rare gritty player who is actually good. ESPN is over the moon on the guy.

      • redsoxu571 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Considering that Davis and especially Cabrera are bat only candidates (really, really awesome bat only candidates), the overwhelmingly negative response to the notion that Pedroia even belongs in the conversation is all the proof you need that Pedroia, while highly regarded, is still a bit underrated due to non-traditional MVP profile.

        I’m not saying he should be regarded at the level of Cabrera or Davis (I don’t, as of now), but it’s not an insult to bring him up or even say that you, personally, would pick him.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        I’m not saying he should be regarded at the level of Cabrera or Davis (I don’t, as of now), but it’s not an insult to bring him up or even say that you, personally, would pick him.

        Because it’s a matter of degrees. Yes Pedroia is a great defender, and he’s an above average offensive player, but Davis/Cabrera are having absurd offensive years. Cabrera has a 207 wRC+ this year. That’s essentially steroided Bonds numbers. Davis has a 199. That’s Bonds peak pre-SF days, when he was winning multiple MVP awards.

        The further up the scale you go, the harder and more amazing it is. Pedroia is really really good, but his defense doesn’t make up for the enormous gap in the offensive differences (and his defense isn’t elite anymore).

  9. micknangold - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    After watching Chris Davis hit a combined mile of home runs against the Yanks this weekend I have to disagree.

  10. strk3 - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I’m new here, but I’m starting to notice the Phillies seem to make their way into a lot of Craig’s posts.

  11. petey1999 - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    “Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

    “The briar patch, eh?” said Brer Fox. “What a wonderful idea! You’ll be torn into little pieces!”

    Well done, Jon Morosi.

  12. rockthered1286 - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Let me throw this out there:
    Machado has more hits (+10), 2B (+16), 3B (+1), HR (+1) and is within 5 RBI’s of DP so far this season. He’s played some stellar D at the hot corner this year as well, but would you consider him a solid MVP candidate? Most would say no chance.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      I’m guessing that Morissey noticed the Red Sox are good, and named the first player he could think of.

      I don’t think the Red Sox have an MVP candidate. Clay was terrific, but now he’s hurt. Lester was terrific, and now he’s not. The bullpen collectively has been about as good as advertised. Iglesias is playing way over his head. Ortiz has been terrific, as has Pedroia. But there’s no MVP there. There’s a very balanced team who is not dependent on anyone (as far as I can tell).

  13. 13arod - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Miggy and Chris Davis are going to fight for the MVP

  14. arusticat - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Predicting something and being wrong is different than looking at what has been and analyzing it. I live in Boston and think that Pedroia brings a lot to the table – but I would probably go with Davis in Baltimore.

  15. redsoxu571 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    You know what I hate? That people take two clearly (emphasis on clearly) better hitters and then TOTALLY poo poo the notion that Pedroia could even be in the conversation, considering that Cabrera is an atrocious fielder at a mid level position and terrible baserunner, while Davis is a mediocre fielder at a low level position and average-at-best baserunner.

    I agree that I wouldn’t take Pedroia over these two either, especially Davis, in terms of MVP…they’ve been that much better with the stick. But to say this is nothing more than “writer is drunk” is frankly BS. Don’t forget, some people factor in other aspects too such as team composition and especially leadership (an arena that Pedroia deserves and gets points in), so maybe that is the final piece in Morosi’s mind.

    It goes to show you that players with non-traditional MVP profiles (Mike Trout?) will usually have their other strengths undervalued in these debates.

  16. paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    The use of DRS for bWAR often does weird things….like resulting in Pedroia being 3rd in the AL in “value”. According to fWAR, he is 9th, which seems far more reasonable considering his solid but far from spectacular offense to go with above average defense. I can’t remember the exact values, but baseball winds up being something like 50% pitching, 10% defense, and 40% hitting from a (what accounts for winning/losing perspective). There is no way that Pedroia’s defense outweighs advantages on offense from guys like Davis and Miggy….not to mention that others are better offensively and at least as good defensively (Longoria, Mauer, and Machado).

    • redsoxu571 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Considering that fWAR includes a positive baserunning value for Cabrera, I’m going to have to say that we’re still trying to sort out defense and baserunning into WAR (which itself has its own margin of error), so you’re going to get some weird results no matter what methodology you use.

      The bottom line is that you have to make sure to include plenty of context, and don’t rage against anyone’s reasonable opinion if they can provide a reasonable argument.

      (Given your statement about defensive values, you underestimate how bad Cabrera’s defense can be. Also, you don’t seem to realize that Pedroia’s offense is plenty valuable given his OB skills…there’s a major gap between his offense and the other two players, but you treat it like a chasm).

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        …but the power numbers are a chasm, especially when you include park factors (Fenway really really helps Pedroia’s raw numbers), which you must do.

        Plus other guys are just as good or better defensively (Longoria, Machado, Mauer, Trout) and also as good or better at the plate (again, you have to account for Fenway).

    • ptfu - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      ” I can’t remember the exact values, but baseball winds up being something like 50% pitching, 10% defense, and 40% hitting from a (what accounts for winning/losing perspective). ”

      Wait, what? I thought it was 50% hitting (including baserunning), 40% pitching, and 10% defense.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        Yeah it has to be 50/50 offense and defense, and then split defense into pitching/defense. I thought baseball prospectus did something on this, but I can’t find a link. I do have this comment from Dave Cameron:

        Dave Cameron: You’re yelling and screaming about things that no one disagrees with. The game is something like 50% hitting, 40% pitching, 10% defense.

  17. paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    At this point, Miggy, Davis, Longoria, Machado, and Trout all are “in the discussion”. I can’t see an argument for Pedroia even being top 5, which is no slight…lot of guys having great seasons.

    • redsoxu571 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Why should Machado be in the argument and not Pedroia? I’ll respect someone arguing that Machado should be higher, but to say he is clearly ahead of Pedroia is to show that you really don’t understand the difference that 50(!) OBP points can make.

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        I understand that, do you understand how big of an effect Fenway has?

        On the road Pedroia is hitting .273/.343/.335. His splits are a little more dramatic this year than usual, but Fenway is very very kind to RHB.

  18. 2dmo4 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Morosi is and always has been a troll. He says ridiculous crap hoping to get attention like this. The guy shouldn’t have the job he has.

  19. spudchukar - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    What can be more obvious? This post overvalues the intangibles of Pedroia. The WAR awards one exposes the issues with sabermetrics. Both deserve criticism. But some reason commenters here insist on a Manichean stance. We need both, and neither is more valuable than the other.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      The WAR awards one exposes the issues with sabermetrics

      No it doesn’t. It only does if you ignore all the comments sabr writers have made about WAR, and come up with complaints they’ve already addressed.

      • spudchukar - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        As if baseball writers haven’t raised the same types of questions about the importance of intangibles. It is good to see critiques of WAR, but even with critiques the measurement is seriously lacking. It may be slightly better than UZR measurements, but it still has a long way to go before it is the definitive word on player performance.

  20. thebadguyswon - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Hi. IM Jon Morosi and I’m an idiot.

  21. johnholly1039 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Who’s his NL MVP? Placido Polanco?

  22. denny65 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    Morsi? I thought he was president of Egypt; what does he know about baseball?

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