Just like last week here is the quick and dirty look at the NL MVP Award over the last ten years.
|Ave of Vote Pts||Sum of 1st Place||Sum of WAR|
NL Central gets a boost since the last decade has been the Age of Pujols. Here are the Top 15 vote getters over that same period.
|Sum of Vote Pts||Sum of 1st Place||Sum of WAR|
And who says the Cardinal lineup was weak last year? Cards have three players in the Top 15!
AL MVP Thoughts
First off I think it was great that a pitcher got the MVP. I think that the argument that pitcher's have their own award should eliminate them from MVP is silly. Pitchers are players too and just because they only go out there every 5th day doesn't mean they can't be every bit as valuable as an everyday player. Just because the Silver Slugger or Hank Aaron awards for the offense positions don't mean as much as the Cy Young shouldn't be held against the pitchers. Anyway my take on the every 5th day argument is this:
Forget the consecutive days argument, what about batter's faced for pitchers versus plate appearances for offensive players. Looking at Verlander and Ellsbury then Verlander faced 969 batters and Ellsbury had 732 plate appearances. Even though Verlander only pitched in 34 games he had more plate time then any of the offensive players. And in those plate appearances Verlander actually had to perform physical labor with every pitch whereas the offensive players might swing at half the pitches they see (?).
OK so maybe the 34 games is still a sticking point but what about some sort of counting method for actual "activity" when in a game. For instance Verlander was physically involved in the throwing of 3955 pitches in his 34 games. Meanwhile Ellsbury saw 2818 pitches. In addition to this he had 388 put outs in the field so there is some more "activity". He was also on base approximately 273 times (H + BB + HBP) and if the average pitches per plate appearance was around 4 (2011 Red Sox saw 25422 pitches in 6430 plate appearances) and then Ellsbury was sort of active on a base for probably another 1000 or so pitches. So an easy guestimate is that Ellsbury was "active" for about 4206 pitches (i.e. either at the plate, making a catch in the field, or getting lead or stealing while on base).
Bottom line Verlander was involved in 3955 pitches and Ellsbury was directly involved in 4206 pitches. And I don't count standing out in the field chewing seeds and watching the pitcher pitch as being an "active" participant! Therefore I think pitchers, while they might only be in 30-35 games they are "actively" more involved in that game then a position player and in the end they are just as "actively" involved when looking at the entire season of work.
Collective Bargaining Agreement
Time will tell on the new agreement. A lot of people who are a whole lot smarter think this will hurt the small market teams. This post was kind of an eye opener for me as the Rox don't appear to spend anything like a small market club. On the amateur draft they were 23rd in spending at $24.5 million (only their small market brethren, the Twins and Marlins spent less) and internationally they were 16th in spending at $1.9 million (the Rays, Reds, D-Backs, Marlins, Orioles, and Nats spent less). So while I thought Rox might be hurt by this new CBA it appears to me at least that they aren't really currently playing the small market theory of trying to win and looking at their minor league rosters one can tell!