Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Derek Jeter MVP?

My ass. It's just New York Yankee bias. The guy's 15th in OPS, 29th in slugging, 4th in OBP, 22nd in RBI, way down in HR, 3rd in H, and 2nd in R. He's nothing resembling the player who made the most difference for his team. And he was in the middle of one of the best lineups in the game, which gave him ridiculous protection. So the argument ends up coming down to a bunch of inconsequential intangibles like speed (yeah, stolen bases are real important in 2006), leadership (oh yeah, he really helped out A-Rod) and the like. That and the fact there's the perception that Jeter's an all time great, and thus he deserves an MVP as some sort of a lifetime achievement award. It's a total joke. His MVP (assuming he wins it) will be right up there with Julia Roberts' Oscar. Give me David Ortiz every day of the week and 54 times on Sunday.


Anonymous Dave S. said...

I totally disagree with you about this, though admittedly I am a Yankee fan. How can you justify giving the award to Ortiz, when his team finished in third place and wasn't even in contention for the wild card for the last 6 weeks or so of the season? Justin Morneau and Frank Thomas both had monster years for playoff teams with otherwise anemic offenses, but Jeter really did have a great season. You're forgetting about all the injuries the Yankees sustained this year. I realize they have a $200 million payroll, but it's tough to win games with 2/3 of your outfield out for 4 months, multiple relievers having injury (and quality) problems, and your ace starter sporting a 5.00 ERA for the season. Jeter carried the team on his back and was consistently great for the entire year. Yeah, he doesn't hit homers, but he gets on base, scores a ton of runs, gets clutch hits, and he is a fantastic shortstop. Also, it's not fair at all to blame him for A-Rod's problems; if anything, A-Rod's difficulties in NY only show how great Jeter really is at dealing with the pressure of playing here.

You're right that if he wins, it will serve as a career achievement award of sorts, and that is fine by me. It will look nice on his Hall of Fame plaque one day.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

Also, about this New York Yankee bias...

Aside from A-Rod's undeserved MVP last year (I agreed at the time that Ortiz deserved it, and I think that even moreso now, in retrospect), and a Clemens Cy Young about 5 years ago, the Yankees NEVER win postseason awards. Yankees players consistently get screwed over from even being considered for the MVP and Cy Young awards. Yes, there is a gigantic bias in the media in terms of reporting on the Yankees, but that almost never translates into postseason awards for the team's players.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Sonny said...

People want to give Papi the MVP to make up for last years mistake and Todd you sound like one of them. Jeter's only case is in the RISP where he's 3rd in the league which is WAY ahead of both Papi and Morneau. Morneau is the MVP, he had like 14 more HR's then Jeter, around 40 more RBI's and his team had 1 less win. Do you think the fact that Morneau is Canadian has anything to do with the fact no one is even making a case for him. Its just Papi vs Jeter aka Boston vs NY.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

I agree with Sonny. A-Rod won the award in 2003, becuase they wanted to make it up to him for 2002 (when Tejada won it). It should've been Delgado's award that year. Although there are people who probably want to make it up to Ortiz this year, I don't see him winning it. Jeter is the more likely possibility, not that he deserves it. The MVP should go to a guy like Morneau or Dye.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Let's get this out of the way first, if Justin Morneau is an MVP candidate, I'm an airplane. Here's the AL VORP leaders for 2006 / my etsimation of their fielding runs above replacement:

Jeter - 80.5 / 19
Hafner - 79.7 / 0
Ortiz - 76.8 / .5
Sizemore - 69.1 / 28
Mauer - 66.8 / 23

Cleaning a couple of things up: Morneau is thirteenth, just ahead of A-Rod in VORP. I won't give you the whole rationale unless anyone requests it, but the DHs' VORP numbers should be lowered by about 5%. I arrived with the defensive values by taking input from three reputable objective systems. Playing catcher restricts Mauer to playing fewer games than anyone else, I'm torn over whether that should that be considered in his favor.

Any of Jeter, Sizemore, Mauer or even Johan Santana, who was the dominant pitcher in the AL this year, would be a valid choice.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Well, Morneau has won it, which kind of ends the debate. I still feel the need to chime in on Jeter.

I need to start of by letting it be known I think he's a hall of famer. He's an incredible, pure hitter, one of the very few players who can genuinely be defined as 'clutch,' (there's probably only a dozen or so in the game), and a major contributer to the Yankees' world championships.

That said, I really feel people misjudge him in a number of ways. He wouldn't produce as many clutch hits if he weren't with the Yankees (put him on the Bay Rays, the opportunities just wouldn't be there). Moreover, he is a bad, bad defensive shortstop. He has a good arm, but his range is horrific. People tend to think he's a good fielder, because he regularly makes spectacular plays, but the plays only look spectacular because he has trouble getting to the ball. Many of the leaping ballet throws he makes would be routine for a Vizquel or an Alex Gonzalez. Yet people see how impressive the plays look and assume Jeter's a good fielder. If he gets to the ball, chances are good he'll make a play, but that's a big if.

As far as crying foul about Yankee injuries,

a.) their lineup never suffered, because with 2/3 of the outfield out, they plugged in Bernie, who had something of a minor career revival, and Melky Cabrera, who would start on many teams.

and b.) the pitching problems are nobody's fault but their own, for putting so much stock in an ancient Randy Johnson, scrubs like Jaret Wright and Shawn Chacon, and mediocre relievers.

As far as value over replacement, I'm not a big fan of it. It largely is based on durability (Hafner's would be even higher if he didn't miss the last month of the season), and position in the lineup. When you're hurt, or hit lower in the order, you have fewer outs to contribute and your VORP will naturally be lower.

Moreover, with stats you can say almost anything you want about a player. If you want to pull in VORP, I'll pull in Marginal Lineup Value, at which point Jeter's worthiness looks that much less impressive.

I continue to stand by the philosophy of 'what player would hurt a team's chances the most were he to be lost' when determining the MVP. The Yankees would have been in trouble without Jeter, the Twins without Mauer or Morneau. But, IMHO, Santana should have been the MVP, because without him, the Twins would have been dead in the water, and probably finished fourth in the Central. Instead, he gave them one bad start in the second half, IIRC, and kept them in the race when the rest of the rotation was up and down and shuffling and scuffling.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

Todd, you still think that there is a pro-Yankees bias in awards voting? Morneau would have been my 2nd choice, and his numbers were ridiculous, but I think Jeter just missed the best chance he'll ever have to win an MVP, and that's a shame.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Mean Dean,
MLV does not adjust for the offensive context of the position, PMLV, which does, is used to calculate VORP. Jeter is a below average shortstop as you pointed out, but a below average defensive shortstop still a bit of defensive value. He's probably not as ghastly as he was five years ago when he couldn't get anything more than one step to his left.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Lots of really good points being brought up by everyone. As far as what I think of for MVP, I hate when the award is just “best player on a playoff team,” because that to me isn’t most valuable. Now on the flip side of that, I’ve never argued for a guy on a last place team, because how valuable can they be if they finish last? But if your team finished 10 games over .500 and missed the playoffs, and you had the best year, that’s who I’m going for. And I don’t necessarily want to defend David Ortiz with a passion. It was more against Jeter, who everyone was seeming to get behind. I guess I misread that (although he was a close second). I’ll let the points for and against Jeter and for and against other candidates stand. I couldn’t do justice to all of them anyway.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Jim Cawkwell said...

Thanks for the link add, Todd. I added you also.

Have a great day,


2:44 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

MLV does not adjust for the offensive context of the position, PMLV, which does, is used to calculate VORP.

That's exactly what my point was. We can make stats say almost anything we want (which is a large reason we see all kinds of differing studies on what is and isn't healthy, for example). Positionally, Jeter contributed a reasonable bit more than other players. But against the league, his MLV or VORPr weren't really all that impressive. Generally better, but not blowing them out of the water like his VORP. His VORP also gets a boost from hitting high in the lineup and staying healthy (which, to be fair, is something people don't consider often enough). It's all a matter of how you want to frame it.

3:36 PM  

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