AL MVP yet another example of the stupidity of some sportswriters

November 22nd, 2006 → 11:01 am @ // 9 Comments

There are a handful of the country’s sportswriters who repeatedly demonstrate they are aren’t worth the paper their ballots for baseball’s year-end awards are printed on. (The repulsive and repulsively dishonest George King* of the New York Post is perhaps the best example of rampaging stupidity: in 1999, he left Pedro** off his ballot completely, handing the MVP to Pudge Rodriguez. King lied through his teeth and claimed he didn’t believe pitchers deserved the award despite putting Rick Helling and David Wells on his ballot the year before.)

The 2006 AL MVP Awards, as Keith Law points out in yet another one of his excellent columns (ESPN Insider only), is another example of the travesties that regularly result when a bunch of folks with very little understanding of the game have the power to decide its most prestigious honors. Law points out — correctly — that Morneau wasn’t even the most valuable Twin; Joe Mauer was. (Another reason to like Mauer: he looks enough like me that more than one person joked that I’d somehow snaked my way onto the cover of SI.) I’ll let Law handle the honors: “The reality of baseball is that a great offensive player at an up-the-middle position is substantially more valuable than a slightly better hitter at a corner position. And when that up-the-middle player is one of the best fielders at his position in baseball, there’s absolutely no comparison. Joe Mauer was more valuable than Justin Morneau this past season. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand the first thing about baseball.”

Indeed. Derek Jeter*** would likewise have been a better choice. Oh well.

* Late-morning addition: Irony of repulsive ironies: King actually has a column in today’s Post discussing the writers who didn’t put Jeter atop their ballots.

** Take another look at that season. That’s good enough to inspire an entire region’s worth of man crushes.

*** Historical footnote: the only other time Jeter received even a single first-place vote was on King’s 1999 ballot. What a fucking moron.


Post Categories: 2006 MVP Awards & Keith Law & Pedro Martinez & Rampaging morons & Sports Reporters

9 Comments → “AL MVP yet another example of the stupidity of some sportswriters”


  1. doane

    11 years ago

    My only problem with your selection from Law’s article is that he’s talking in generalities about baseball. Yes an up the middle player who’s great defensively and offensively is far more valuable than a corner infielder. But take away Morneau from the Twins this past season and they don’t make the playoffs. How can anyone argue the fact that when Morneau heated up, so did the Twins? I wholeheartedly agree that today’s sportwriters who get to vote for these things are biased and agenda-based, besides the fact that most of them write like Elementary school students, but speaking in generalities is not what the MVP vote is about.

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  2. Mr. Furious

    11 years ago

    I didn’t read Law’s column (no membership), but I did read the worthless King’s column. It was at least good for this gem from the even more horrendous MVP voter Cowley:

    “I look at two things unless the numbers are just so freaky,” said Cowley. “One, the player has to play on a contending team, and two, is this the guy who single-handedly carried his team?

    “I look at all the numbers and what I see first hand. Morneau is the heart of that team and had a lot of clutch hits. Take him out of the lineup and that team is in the middle of the pack.

    “Derek Jeter had nice numbers, but you could plug another guy in that lineup and that guy would have close to his numbers.

    That’s fucking insane. I guess, yeah, you could plug Mannny Ramirez in at short and get “close to those numbers.” What an idiot. You could, I suppose (and I do), make the argument that with another halfway decent shortstop having his typical year, the Yankees still win the division, but to pretend that Jeter is merely a product of his environment and Alex Gonzales would hit .343 is absurd.

    Cowley’s already had his vote yanked in the past for being a jackass. Time to make that permanent.

    Doane, you’re right. Without any one of the three (Mauer, Morneau, Santana) the Twins don’t make the playoffs. That’s the problem with picking any of the three of them as the MVP. A team with three legit MVP contenders actually makes it tough to argue the case Cowley tries to make against Jeter.

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  3. PatsFanDK

    11 years ago

    True, but the same thing could be said for Mauer or Santana for that matter. Take them off the Twins, and we wouldn’t have seen them in the playoffs.

    Should players/coaches vote for MVP? Coaches seem to be ignorant as well (Gold Glove)

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  4. tinisoli

    11 years ago

    It is simply an admission of bias for a voter to announce that they leave pitchers off the ballot and/or don’t give first-place votes to players for non-contending teams. Such voters are essentially making up their own awards. Because they are writers and are paid to add color and subjectivity to a game that is increasingly focused on statistics, many writers simply make up their own rules and they then pat themselves on the back for thinking outside the box or whatever. For some voters their vote is more about ego and rebellion than reason or respect for the game.

    The rewards for big-market perennial contenders and their players are already ample enough. Let’s not increase their advantage by telling players that they’d better sign with a good ballclub if they ever want to win an MVP or a Cy Young.

    non sequitur:
    Can we PLEASE do something to kill this “Dice-K” nonsense? I don’t mean the potential deal; I mean this “nickname.” The guy’s name, Daisuke, should be pronounced in such a way that everyone should indeed be saying “dice-kay.” (Americans often assume that the penultimate vowel sound in a Japanese word should be stressed (as we incorrectly do with Toyota, sashimi, etc.), when in fact all the sounds should be stressed equally.) So this stupid “nickname” is essentially a nickname in writing only. It’s the equivalent of writing Man-E Ramirez, Al-X Rodriguez, Ho-Zay Canseco, or Yo-Han Santana.

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  5. maineiac

    11 years ago

    I don’t want to bring up the Ortiz getting the shaft thing, but it seems to me that the MVP has to be the key guy on the team and without him the team isn’t a contender (although somehow A-Rod got the MVP when Texas was in the basement, but that a different bigger gripe).

    Anyhow, with Morneau he has two other legit MVP canidates on Minnesota with him (Mauer and Santana) both of which receive over 100 points each in the balloting.

    For Jeter, there were a total of 7 different Yankees that received votes for the MVP! It would be a very difficult argument for someone to make that he single handedly put the X’s in the win column for the Yankees.

    Ortiz on the other hand, easily meant more to the Red Sox and them winning. Manny being the only other Red Sox in “MVP contention” by garnering a whopping 6 points. Even Frank Thomas has a better claim to the MVP award than Morneau or Jeter.

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  6. HFXBOB

    11 years ago

    This might seem extreme but I think they should seriously consider abolishing the MVP award. Either that or come up with actual rules that voters have to follow. Right now the process is designed to consistently generate confusion and dissatisfaction all the way to outrage. The whole thing comes down to the subjective viewpoints of a bunch of opinionated, biased judges. Some of them think pitchers shouldn’t qualify, some think DH’s shouldn’t qualify, some think guys who play for losing teams shouldn’t qualify. Some don’t like certain players. Some are uninformed. Some are just stupid. Hanging over all of it is this murky concept of ‘most valuable’ instead of ‘best’ player. What a mess. Maybe there should just be awards for most HR, most RBI’s, most wins etc. I know it would offend some people to base all the awards on numbers alone. I understand that, but let’s face it, this ain’t workin’. If I want to watch judges decide things, I’ll watch figure skating. If I want to know who won, I’ll look at a box score.

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  7. dbvader

    11 years ago

    Can we PLEASE do something to kill this “Dice-K” nonsense? I don’t mean the potential deal; I mean this “nickname.”

    In order to avoid this problem, Sox fans should adopt the nickname he already has, Kaibutsu “The Monster.” This adoption will preempt some racist garbage from the Curly Haired Boyfriend.

    (Americans often assume that the penultimate vowel sound in a Japanese word should be stressed (as we incorrectly do with Toyota, sashimi, etc.), when in fact all the sounds should be stressed equally.)

    I have a question about this. In the case of Kaibutsu, Americans have learned not just to not stress the penultimate vowel, but to not pronounce it at all. I read somewhere that the two syllable pronunciation was the Tokyo dialect.

    Reply

  8. dbvader

    11 years ago

    This might seem extreme but I think they should seriously consider abolishing the MVP award.

    These types of awards have been a farce since their creation. St. Louis allowed Nap Lajoie to bunt safely six times in the last game of the season so that Ty Cobb wouldn’t win the batting title and a new car. Check out Ted Williams career. He won the Triple Crown (a bad measure, but he still dominated) and was not the MVP. And there are at least two other seasons in which he deserved the MVP and did not get it.

    Relax, these are awards voted on by an ever changing group of writers (in the Boston market (which includes Worcester and Providence papers) votes are passed among writers and columnists) with varying levels of skill, intelligence, and dedication.

    There are mistakes throughout the history of post-season awards. History is pretty good at pointing out the mistakes and recognizing those players that were snubbed.

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  9. chargeMEup31

    11 years ago

    On dirt dogs this was posted: “Face facts, fans: This is not us ‘running Manny out of town.’ Manny has run himself out of town. He did not return your love. He wants out. He quit on the Red Sox. He quit on you.” — 11.22.06, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

    Dont you think it odd of Shaughnessy to make this arguement when he and other boston media gave up on the Sox long before Manny did. Hell, I cancelled my MLB.tv with two months to go…and i love the sox. Baseball like life is economics. What incentive did he have to risk injury for when not in a pennant race?

    Reply

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