Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 18, 2003
BASEBALL: AL MVP

It should come as no surprise to long-time readers that I'm very happy to see Alex Rodriguez finally win the AL MVP award, for which he's been a serious contender nearly every year since he became an everyday player in 1996, and which he has basically been robbed of on more than one occasion.

To my mind, there were only three serious candidates: Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Carlos Delgado. Nobody else was in their league offensively. Look at the AL rankings, starting with Win Shares (which includes defense) and some of the Baseball Prospectus offensive rankings and VORP, BP's overall (defense-included) ranking, as well as Runs Created and per 27 outs and some of the key counting stats:

PlayerWSEqAEqRRARPVORPRCRC/27AVGSLGOBPOPSHRRRBITB
A-Rod1331124201831122
Delgado2213311152212417
Manny7122432241274148

Bear in mind that the Win Shares and BP stats are park-adjusted, while RC and RC/27 aren't. When you take account of the fact that the numbers race was so close even on the offensive end between A-Rod, a mediocre defensive first baseman on a non-contending team and a poor-fielding left fielder who was benched in the middle of the pennant race, it becomes clear that Rodriguez properly got the benefit of the doubt even before you consider his near-misses in the past.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:00 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

It was kind of nice to see an MVP race where the writers had to do some thinking for a change. So often, they simply coalesce around a given candidate, be he the best or not. But with some of the more visible pundits advocating relatively silly candidates like Shannon Stewart and David Ortiz, it looks like the bulk of the voters retreated to the old-fashioned idea of supporting the best player, instead.

Posted by: Jerry at November 18, 2003 2:05 PM
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