Baseball MVP -- it won't be who you think...

Brian Perry

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Yes, I'm partial to the Cubs, but I think it can be objectively argued that Sosa had a better year than Bonds.
In Bond's favor:
Home run record
Slugging percentage record
Walks record
Higher on-base percentage than Sosa
In Sosa's favor:
More total bases than Bonds
More RBI than Bonds
More runs than Bonds
Remember, the homerun record is no guarantee of MVP -- McGwire lost to Sosa in '98 mainly due to the Cubs making the playoffs. Neither the Giants nor the Cubs made the playoffs this year, so that's a push. In relation to his team, Sosa was definitely more valuable. (He had 94 more RBI than the next highest teammate.) And finally, while I know it shouldn't matter, Sosa has a better relationship with the media, who will determine the winner.
Let the debate begin!
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[Edited last by Brian Perry on October 08, 2001 at 10:47 AM]
 

MikeM

Screenwriter
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Nov 23, 1999
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I hate Bonds, but if I had a vote for MVP, he'd get it.
Now the American League is an interesting one as well....
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Mitty

Supporting Actor
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Jan 13, 1999
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886
Check out this article on mlb.com.
It's pretty interesting. Bonds may indeed not get it, as he has so many enemies among the pettiest of the petty, the sportswriters (that's not the focus of the article though). They're like gossip columnists with excess testosterone.
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NathanP

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Aug 13, 2001
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Albert Pujols...
MVP and Rookie o' the year...
When Big Mac hit his 70 he didn't get mvp, the reason being is that the Cardinals did not go into the playoffs..
I believe Barry will not get it because his team isn't in the playoffs..
Nathan
 

Carlo Medina

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I too do not believe that HRs are an indication of MVP. Nor do I think your team has to make the playoffs (in which case it should probably be Luis Gonzales).
But the fact that Bonds:
1. Broke the HR record.
2. Broke the BB record.
3. Kept the Giants in contention until 3 days ago.
4. Had an OBP over .500, first since Ted Williams like 60 years ago
5. Broke Slugging % record.
This resume should be insurmountable. He wasn't hacking at every pitch like McGwire (who, along with Sosa, strikes out over 150 times a year if they are healthy). Bonds had to wait for his pitches, and even when he got them, he still had to put the wood on the ball and drive it out.
Here's an amazing stat from ESPN: Bonds homered every 12th times he swung the bat. Not "at bats" but "swings" - that's truly amazing.
By the way, I'm a Dodger fan. I hate the Giants and Barry. But if he doesn't get the MVP, then the award will be like an Oscar in my eyes: not worth the metal it's made from.
--- Edit ---
Forgot to mention: he's an above-average outfielder and has good speed on the basepaths and batted .328
And Sosa only has more total bases because he played in 7 more games than Bonds. Bonds' slugging is 126 points higher than Sosa's and they have the same batting average.
[Edited last by Carlo Medina on October 08, 2001 at 11:09 AM]
 

MikeM

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Mitty, thanks for the link. With classic Bonds quotes like "He's nothing without me," (when asked about Jeff Kent), how can you not love the guy?

Well, in the A.L. I would have to give my vote to Jason Giambi. Without that one guy, the A's are toast. Ichiro is amazing, but without him, they have a balanced enough team to still make it to the playoffs.
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Mitty

Supporting Actor
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Giambi has a good shot, so does Ichiro, and although he's handicapped by being on an awful team, A-Rod has an outside shot as well. So does Bret Boone. I gotta go, ultimately, with Giambi, since they'll give Ichiro the Rookie and call it that.
The AL is pretty wide open, although the individual stats aren't quite as noteworthy as in the NL. The NL Cy Young race is pretty awesome too. Who do you pick? Obviously, it's going to be either Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling. I'd love to see Schilling win one. The AL Cy Young is sort of like the AL MVP race, there's no one who really asserts themselves like in the NL (where too many people are "obvious" choices).
It'll be interesting to see.
 

Allen Hirsch

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Jan 29, 1999
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Brian,
there is NO way "objectively" that Sosa had a "better year" than Bonds. Let's compare (courtesy of Rob Neyer at ESPNet):
The Giants have scored 4.84 runs per game this season.
The Cubs have scored 4.71 runs per game this season.
The Giants rank sixth in the National League in runs.
The Cubs rank seventh in the National League in runs.
Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa both bat third in their lineups.
Giants No. 1 and No. 2 hitters have combined for a .340 on-base percentage.
Cubs No. 1 and No. 2 hitters have combined for a .345 OBP.
Giants No. 4 and No. 5 hitters have combined for a .460 slugging percentage.
Cubs No. 4 and No. 5 hitters have combined for a .474 slugging percentage.
So let's see here ... Overall, the Cubs have actually scored virtually as many runs as the Giants have. And more to the heart of the matter, the hitters around Sosa have been slightly more productive than the hitters around Bonds, at least as it relates to Sosa's and Bonds' RBI and runs scored. So this idea that Sosa has piled up big numbers despite being handicapped by his teammates ... well, it simply doesn't stand up to the sort of analysis that anybody with a high-school degree and Internet access could perform in less than an hour. It's just too bad that a lot of people can't be bothered. (End of Neyer's analysis.)
Let me add: Barry stole 13 SBs (and led his club), Sammy stole ZERO. Barry is one of the 3 best defensive LFs in baseball (and maybe the best), despite a weak arm. Sammy is a marginal to average (at best) RF - granted, RF is a much more demanding position than LF, because of the requirement for a stronger arm - but on those added qualitatives, Sammy fares poorly vs. Barry, too.
Sammy's a great player, and a better baseball personality in most respects than Barry, but if Barry doesn't win MVP, it will be one of the all-time injustices, since Barry broke a 78-year-old walk record held by the Babe, a 75+ year-old SLG record held by the Babe, AND Mac's HR record, while achieveing the first .500+ OBP IN the NL since Rogers Hornsby in 1924. I'm sorry - he's just had one of the 2 or 3 best seasons EVER in the history of MLB by an offensive player - if that isn't an MVP, then they should just change it to "Most Popular Player" or something, in order to legitimately deny him what he's due.
[Edited last by Allen Hirsch on October 08, 2001 at 02:37 PM]
 

bill lopez

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407
The MVP award should go to the player who had the best year, that way we won't have this well his team didn't make the playoffs crap. You think if Bonds was on the Cardenals instead of Pujols they don't make the playoffs?
In 1987 Andre Dawson won MVP. He shouldn't have Darral Strawberry & Walker from the Expos had better numbers. And if you went by who led team to playoffs that year it should been Ozzie Smith. But because Dawson was the story because he was playing for free that year and good with the media he won.
Bonds & Sosa who should win? Look into doubles, triples, stolen bases errors etc. etc. whoever outslugs in numbers should win.
 

Brian Perry

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Allen,
Sosa's and Bond's RBI and runs as a percentage of team totals are:
RBI: Sosa 21.4%, Bonds 17.6%
Runs: Sosa 18.8%, Bonds 16.1%
I think it's too selective to analyze only the two batters in front of and behind Sosa and Bonds.
Stolen bases are extremely overrated, and Bonds' 13 out of 16 success rate is only about two bases above the accepted risk/reward ratio. In other words, his performance is equivalent to having two steals and none caught.
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[Edited last by Brian Perry on October 08, 2001 at 01:28 PM]
 

Yoshi Sugawara

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Nov 13, 2000
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NL: Barry Bonds (more of a sentimental thing)
AL: Ichiro Suzuki (of course, I'm blatantly biased)
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Mitty

Supporting Actor
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Jan 13, 1999
Messages
886
Stolen bases are extremely overrated...
Are you serious? Tell that to the teams that Rickey Henderson terrorized in the 80s. I remember him single handedly winning games for the A's, by frazzling the nerves of opposing pitchers. Or the opponents of those great 80s Cardinals teams.
Now, 13 SB is not a big number, but ZERO is one that has to count against a player's overall worth, all other things being equal. Which one do you want on the bases in the late innings in a close game? A stolen base also eliminates the possibility of a double play in some circumstances. It's certainly not an overrated stat as an indication of speed.
 

Brian Perry

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Mitty,
Stolen bases are great as long as you don't get caught too often. Bill James once calculated that if you are less than 70% successful, you are actually hurting your team.
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Rob Willey

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Rob
Both MVP's stay in the Bay Area. It'll be Bonds and Giambi.
Rob
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AdrianJ

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Apr 1, 2001
Messages
532
I'd be rather surprised if Barry Bonds doesn't win the MVP award this year. As for past comparisons to McGwire, I think Sosa's numbers were closer to McGwire that year than they are to Bond's this year. After all, a good case could have been made for Bond's to win the MVP last year when it went to Jeff Kent. Honestly, does anyone think Kent could have put up those numbers without Bonds in the lineup??
As for the AL, I think there is also a good case for Roger Clemens for MVP, but they rarely ever give it to pitchers.
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John Thomas

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The classical description of who should awarded the MVP is who has made the most positive impact for their team in the year. In the AL, that's a hard call. There's Ichiro Suzuki (he DOES have a last name), Bret Boone, Jason Giambi, Roberto Alomar and a a few others; now, before we get to the NL, let me preface it with the fact that it really should (and usually does) go to someone who has helped their team get to the playoffs. Now, the NL has Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols, and Luis Gonzalez. Being that Pujols is a lock for the NL Rookie, he won't get both. So, if I were voiting today, I'd vote for Boone in the AL (though it's very close) and Gonzalez in the NL>
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bill lopez

Second Unit
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Jul 17, 1999
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407
In Al it's not a hard call if you go by who put up the best numbers. If you want to go by so & so's team made the playoffs well then your going to arguments. It should only be a hard call if you have more than one player with the exact numbers, and that's never happened in baseball.
This MVP voting seems to only be here only to justify the media's voice. Remember the year Albert Bell had the best year & his team went to the World Series but who gets the award that year Mo "money" Vaughn does. Why, because Albert wouldn't kiss the media's butt.
 

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