Blog Entry

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

Posted on: August 25, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: August 25, 2011 10:06 am
 


By Matt Snyder


It's that time of the baseball season. You know, we're nearing September, so in addition to watching the pennant races, it's the time when people start to pretty heavily argue about the MVP of each league. In addition to arguing which players have the best numbers, two fundamental criteria spark discussion as well.

1. Are pitchers eligible? They are. But many believe they shouldn't be (see Evan Brunell's post on this).

2. Are players on teams not in contention eligible? They are. But many believe they shouldn't be.

On No. 2, enter Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays.

He leads the majors in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He's walked 21 more times than he's struck out. He has a cannon in right field, but can also play third if his team needs it. He's so scary to opposing ballclubs that he leads the AL with 18 intentional walks. And if you like this sort of thing, Bautista is dominating WAR (wins above replacement player), WPA (win probability added) and all other advanced value stats.

Basically, he's the most valuable player in baseball unless you discount him based upon his team.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous believes it shouldn't even be close.

“On and off the field you can’t find anybody more complete than him,” Anthopolous said (Slam Sports). “His work ethic, community work, character in the clubhouse, helping out teammates, they’re all first-rate. And his performance on the field has been as good as it gets ... defensively, offensively, changing positions in the middle of the season. I mean, check off all the boxes.”

It's going to be interesting to see how the votes fall, assuming things remain similar through the next five weeks of play. One thing that always makes me cringe is when people say something like "he plays for a losing team" or "how valuable can he be? They could finish fourth without him."

Look at the standings. The Blue Jays are three games over .500 and simply stuck in the wrong division. They'd only be four games out in the AL Central -- actually closer, though, because the schedule in the AL Central is worlds easier than the AL East. The Jays are most certainly not a "losing team."

And if you took Bautista off the Jays, they'd be far worse. It would be a much bigger hit to the team than if, say, the Red Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury.

Hustle is bush league now? Evidently the Tigers were yelling at Rays' infielder Sean Rodriguez for ... hustling? Tuesday, Tigers starter -- and reportedly "possibly some others" -- took exception with Rodriguez for running hard on an infield pop out. Rays manager Joe Maddon took exception to that. "For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,'' Maddon said (TampaBay.com).

Canseco's life: I'd rather forget about Jose Canseco, but many aren't of that mindset -- witness his 400,000-plus Twitter followers. So if you want to read a lengthly feature on Canseco's "surreal" life, click on through to TheStar.com. It's well written and covers tons of material.

LoMo still in the dark: It was a bit odd when Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison was demoted to the minors a few weeks ago. His batting average is a bit low, but his OPS is above average (115 OPS-plus) and he has 18 home runs and 61 RBI. Many believed he was being punished for being such an outspoken person Twitter and in other circles, though it hasn't been explicitly said. But he's back now and not worried about why. "I haven't talked to anybody. I don't really care. I'm just looking to move forward," he said (Sun-Sentinel.com).

'Cry-babies:' The Mets don't win more games because they are "cry-babies," according to former big-leaguer and current Phillies broadcaster Gary Matthews. "Tell them Sarge said it - the Mets are crybabies," Matthews said (NYDailyNews.com). "That's why they lose."

Bell has more on mind than possible trades: Padres closer Heath Bell has heard his name in trade talk for quite a while now, but that's not the foremost thing on his mind. Specifically, his Dad has been battled cancer for a few years and just underwent open-heart surgery Wednesday. “It’s kinda helped me get through all the trade and waiver stuff,” said Bell (signonSanDiego.com). “Everybody’s talking about that and I’m thinking, “Man, I’m just glad my dad’s doing well.’ ”

No relief yet: White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy has been pretty good in short doses this season, but he doesn't believe that means he's in need of a switch to the bullpen, as he's still technically recovering from a rare surgical procedure. "I've had people tell me, 'Oh, you look good in short stints, Have you thought about going to the bullpen?'" Peavy said (ChicagoTribune.com). "To me, that's not a thought process of mind, simply because I haven't got to where the doctors told me you're as good as you're going to get. They told me from a year to 18 months, you are where you are."

It's opposite day: Did you ever think you'd hear a player talking about feeling less pressure playing for the Yankees than the A's? Yeah, me neither. But Eric Chavez has extenuating circumstances. He went from being one of the best third basemen in baseball to never being able to stay healthy on a consistent basis, thereby creating pressure for himself when he did get on the field. He was also being paid a pretty penny. Now, as a Yankee, he's feeling fine.

“All of that [pressure] is completely gone,” he said (NJ.com). “It was so refreshing going into spring training. I don’t want to say I had to change myself as a ballplayer, but I am, I’m different now. And I’m okay with that because I don’t have that big contract on my shoulders. There’s tons of hitters in here that will produce and you just have to be part of the team.”

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:24 am
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 6:40 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:49 am
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

 Agreed, well put. 5*



Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2011 10:35 am
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

Bautista is absolutely the MVP this year. You cannot penalize a guy for playing in the toughest division in baseball on an average team. If the Blue Jays were an AL Central team this article would be about Jose Bautista is going to win the MVP in a landslide. In baseball no single player can take a bad team to the playoffs, especially in the AL East (at most a truly great player can add 10 wins per year to a team). Bautista has been the best player in baseball this year and to give someone else the MVP would imply that they are better than Bautista which is simply not true. Give Bautista the MVP and Verlander the Cy Young and no one should have any reason to feel snubbed.



Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:49 am
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

Yeah, give a MVP to player most valuable to his team. Where are Jays with Bautista ? Third place AL East. Where would be Jays without Bautista ? 3rd place in the AL East, perhaps trailing the Rays, but that's not sure. Look at the impact of the other candidates. Where would be Tigers without Verlander this year ? Perhaps 4th, trailing Indians, Sox, Twins. If he is not the MVP this year, this award is a joke.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2011 12:48 am
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

 Pitchers essentially have an MVP award, the CY Young IMO, that's why it's so hard for a pitcher to win. Not to mention they pitch every 5th day, not exactly a steady contribution, even for a lights out guy like Verlander. 

 AGon does have to play in the AL east, true, but he doesn't have to go up against the Red Sox pitching staff on a regular basis like Bautista does, and that's a huge advantage IMO. Not only that, AGon is surrounded by a lot more protection in the line-up than Bautista is and usually has a lot more runners in scoring position than Bautista does. I think those two are the front-runners, but I lean toward Bautista so far (granted I'm a homer Jays fan) but any fan of baseball has to be impressed with the season Joey Bats is having in T.O. Let's see how the last part of the season turns out though, there is still a bunch of baseball left to be played. 



Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

"Let's not forget that he's putting up eye-popping numbers while playing in the AL east..."


Those big teams have candidates too. Take Agon out of Boston's lineup and they don't dig out of that hole they were in. Granderson carried the Yankees for a long ass time etc...

But most of all Detroit would be 10 or more games out w/o Verlander so ppl need to get over the whole "I cant vote for a pitcher for MVP" shit 


Snailboat
Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: August 25, 2011 6:07 pm
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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Pepper: MVP arguments heat up

 Let's not forget that he's putting up eye-popping numbers while playing in the AL east... He's playing the big teams regularly. I'd say players who play on the Yanks, Red Sox have it easier because they don't have to face their own high-priced, high-powered pitching staffs, not the other way around. Also, it takes the pressure off you to contribute a bit when your roster is stacked with elite players IMO. Bautista doesn't have nearly that much support, and he still puts up big numbers despite being the opponents main focus game in and game out. 


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