The Baseball Exchange


What Was I Even Whining About? by 27yankees

Yesterday, I made a post about how silly some of the voters for the AL MVP award were.

Today, we learned that Jimmy Rollins won, and the complaints of yesterday quickly faded away to a new set of complaints.

For example: Jimmy Rollins? He had a great season, sure, but really. His numbers were inflated by Citizen’s Bank Park. His team just barely beat the Mets. David Wright’s play was just as deserving of an MVP award as Jimmy Rollins. You could justify it by saying that the Phillies got into the playoffs, but it’s not Wright’s fault that the Mets didn’t get into the playoffs. According to VORP, Wright was second in the NL behind Hanley Ramirez, who’s team clearly was not close to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, J-Roll was ninth in the NL in VORP. Heck, even teammate Chase Utley had a higher VORP than him.

Both J-Roll and Wright play excellent defense, though J-Roll does it at a more difficult position. However, though they had similar numbers, Wright made nearly 100 less outs in a similar number of at-bats, and his OBP was far higher than that of J-Roll.

However, this year the writers were looking for a good story. What’s surprising is that they found it in J-Roll, when there was such an obvious feel-good story in Matt Holliday. He was fourth in the NL in VORP. His numbers may have been inflated by the Coors effect, but he was clutch and was a key to the Rockies getting to the playoffs. I fully expected him to get all the votes; he was far more deserving than J-Roll.

Thankfully, Holliday got second place by a very close margin, so most of the writers agreed with me, but it’s still disappointing to see him fall second. He may never have another season like this again.


In other news, the Brewers traded Johnny Estrada to the Mets for Guillermo Mota. And boy, did Omar Minaya screw the Brewers over and get exactly what he wanted. Find a catcher? Check. Make sure it’s a short commitment? Check (Estrada is under contract for one season). Lose Guillermo Mota? Check.Omar Minaya, for any faults he might have when it comes to getting prospects into his system, is a shrewd GM. He made a great move here.



The Writers Screwed Up by 27yankees

The punchline here is that they didn’t screw up. The AL MVP was Alex Rodriguez, and he more than deserve it. In fact, he deserved to win unanimously. Did he? No. Why? Because the sportswriters out of Detroit are major homers.

The Detroit Tigers were several games out of a playoff spot. The Yankees barely scraped a playoff spot. In fact, considering how much A-Rod contributed, had he not been on the Yankees in 2007, replaced by an average third baseman, the Yankees would not have made the playoffs. That’s a lot of value that he provides.

There is no excuse for not voting for A-Rod. He did it all – excellent defense; consistent performance; excellent hitting out of an important defensive position, hitting in the clutch. Magglio had a great year; in a typical year he should have won. But A-Rod did not have a typical year; in fact, A-Rod had a historical year. There is a very legitimate argument that A-Rod had won of the ten greatest seasons of all time in 2007, and even an argument that, after Barry Bonds’ 2001 season, it is the second most valuable season by a hitter of all time. A year as historically amazing as A-Rod’s is just a class above Magglio’s year.

There were some other interesting things to note about MVP voting.  Mike Lowell… fifth? I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. According to VORP, there were fifteen more valuable hitters in the AL than Lowell. That’s a lot of people.

Jorge Posada ended up sixth behind Lowell. Despite the fact that Posada had the fourth highest VORP in the AL. I mean, catchers who can post and OPS+ of 154 with average defense just grow on trees, right?

In addition, Carlos Pena’s voting sadly disappointed me.  The fifth most valuable VORP-adjusted hitter in the AL got ninth place in voting.

Also surprising was Bobby Abreu receiving a seventh place vote. In perhaps his worst season ever, where he barely scrape a 114 OPS+.

Hopefully, the writers will learn. But until then, they make good blog fodder.

TwentySeven



Phils sign Romero for 3/12 by red

The Phillies have resigned J.C. Romero in a 3-year, 12 million dollar deal. After being traded from Boston to the Phils, he had been lights out with a 1.24 ERA in 35 innings, and gave the Phils some much-needed bullpen help down the stretch. It’s pretty obvious with this and the Lidge deal, they’re trying to stock their bullpen with good arms so they won’t have to rely on Antonio Alfonseco anymore.

Still, there are some risks in this. Romero is 31 years old, and Romero hasn’t been nearly as effective as he had been in 2007 since 2002. The signing of Romero is logical, and by no means a bad move, though undoubtedly not without its risks. Lidge is also getting older, but seriously – it’s Brad Lidge. He has been proven to be effective and is much less of a question mark for the Phils. Odds are, he’s not going to have another 2006. Also, there’s the question of Tom Gordon – whether he or Romero will become the set-up man, whether they’ll share the role, or whether he will be traded this offseaon. Might he even retire? It will be interesting to see how things turn out.

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In other news: Yet another idiotic article brought to you by the NY Times, this one by Murray Chass, another stickler for hustle and grit and one whose hatred for “stat-mongers” and all things statistical is widely known. You might recall a remark a couple of years back about his hatred of statistical “new-age nonsense,” like VORP. (See bottom of the page, the last section of the article.) Perhaps the reason he’s so suspicious of the Pirates’ new front office is because Neal Huntington is quickly acquiring a reputation as one of the most statistically-based GMs in the game?

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If you’re wondering why I always seem to grab articles from the Times, it’s because that’s just usually the first thing I read in the morning. I see something stupid there, and I have to write about how idiotic it is.

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I stopped reading this article at the first sentence.

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Can someone explain to me the reason Scott Boras always wears those ridiculously ugly turtlenecks?

Red