Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Importance Of Being Wright


'Valuable'
- Definition: adjective - (1) a. having material value; being worth money b. having great value in terms of money (2) of great merit, use, or service; highly important, esteemed, etc.

'Player' - Definition: noun - (1) One who 'gets jiggy wit it' in a club/dance club/night club setting
(totally j/k j/k!!!!!!, that's Playa!)
(too much?, if it was, I apologize)
(2) (Baseball) Player - One who plays the game of baseball, encompassing more than just one aspect of the game, i.e. hitting, fielding, running, pitching, etc.
*Note - this definition is completely synthetic

Doc got this ball rolling a few days ago, but the issue of the upcoming National League MVP Award continues to grind my gears. I felt that by examining the words that make up the title of the award above, it might help shed some light on just who exactly should be considered as the winner for said award.

No matter how you slice it, if the award is called the "Most Valuable Player" award not the "Guy That Drove In The Most Runs/Hit A Ton Of Bombs" award, Ryan Howard should not be among the front runners. The N.L. is chock full of more deserving and more qualified candidates than him. It's painfully obvious to see.
*Note - I didn't bother to define 'Most'. If any Philly fans are reading this post, again, I apologize

A player's value to his team should be thought of in one simple way: What would happen to the team if the player in question was no longer on it, or replaced with an average player? Think about it. Not just about baseball, but in anything. How do you really know how much you really need something? Only when it's not there anymore, that's how. Doesn't that just make sense?

Well, the good people at Baseball Prospectus thought so, and developed VORP (value over replacement-level player) and ranked every player in baseball. If you have a high VORP, that means your VALUE over that of a league-average scrub is high. So you, the loyal WMHG reader, have a frame of reference, the #1 VORP value in the NL is 88.1. And it belongs to Mr. Albert Pujols.

Oh, and also, BASEBALL PLAYERS DON'T JUST HIT. You know those big floppy brown things on their hands when they stand in that grass/dirt area called the field? Yeah, those are called gloves. They use them to catch the ball. Their hands would sting if they didn't wear them. Some guys are better at that than others, too. Shouldn't that count at all when assessing the value of a player?

Below is the list of players (in no particular order) that will be considered for the MVP award (according to me). Below their name is the number of significant statistical categories that they currently place in the Top 10 in the NL in. Pretty black and white. Let's take a look:

League Leaders - 2008

Player Name - My Fielding Assessment - N.L. VORP Rank/Value

David Wright - Gold Glove - #6/63.2
• Ranks 9th in NL in HR (33)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in RBI (122)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in R (113)
• Ranks 5th in NL in BB (90)
• Ranks 7th in NL in OBP (.387)
• Ranks 8th in NL in SLG (.538)
• Ranks 7th in NL in OPS (.925)

Ryan Howard - Butcher - #30/32.8

• Ranks 1st in NL in HR (46)
• Ranks 1st in NL in RBI (141)
• Ranks 10th in NL in R (101)
• Ranks 9th in NL in SLG (.534)

Chase Utley - Average - #7/60.5
• Ranks 10th in NL in RBI (100)
• Ranks 7th in NL in R (108)
• Ranks 8th in NL in OPS (.911)

Carlos Delgado - Average - #24/39.2
• Ranks 3rd in NL in HR (37)
• Ranks 4th in NL in RBI (110)

Ryan Braun - Above Average - #19/42.1
• Ranks 4th in NL in HR (35)
• Ranks 10th in NL in RBI (100)
• Ranks 5th in NL in SLG (.553)

Prince Fielder - Below Average - #23/39.3
• Ranks 7th in NL in HR (34)
• Ranks 10th in NL in RBI (100)

Alfonso Soriano -Ehh - #31/32.4
• Ranks 6th in NL in SLG (.540)

Aramis Ramirez - Gold Glove - #20/41.6
• Ranks 5th in NL in RBI (109)
• Ranks 9th in NL in OPS (.891)

Jose Reyes - Above Average - #5/64.2
• Ranks 6th in NL in R (109)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in SB (52)

Carlos Beltran - Gold Golve - #9/52.1
• Ranks 5th in NL in RBI (109)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in R (113)
• Ranks 9th in NL in BB (87)

Manny Ramirez - Ha! - #13/45.0
Did not include because I don't know what it means to these awards when a guy gets traded in the middle of a season.
-------------------------------------------------------
*Ryan Ludwick - Above Average - #11/48.5
• Ranks 4th in NL in HR (35)
• Ranks 8th in NL in RBI (106)
• Ranks 10th in NL in R (101)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in SLG (.580)
• Ranks 4th in NL in OPS (.949)

*Albert Pujols - Gold Glove - #1/88.1
•Ranks 2nd in NL in BA (.350)
• Ranks 7th in NL in HR (34)
• Ranks 7th in NL in RBI (108)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in BB (100)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in OBP (.455)
• Ranks 1st in NL in SLG (.631)
• Ranks 1st in NL in OPS (1.086)

*Lance Berkman - Gold Glove Caliber - #4/71.7
• Ranks 4th in NL in BA (.314)
• Ranks 9th in NL in RBI (102)
• Ranks 4th in NL in R (112)
• Ranks 4th in NL in BB (97)
• Ranks 3rd in NL in OBP (.423)
• Ranks 3rd in NL in SLG (.571)
• Ranks 3rd in NL in OPS (.993)

*Hanley Ramirez - Yikes! - #2/76.0
• Ranks 1st in NL in R (120)
• Ranks 5th in NL in BB (90)
• Ranks 6th in NL in SB (33)
• Ranks 6th in NL in OBP (.395)
• Ranks 10th in NL in SLG (.533)
• Ranks 6th in NL in OPS (.928)

*Chipper Jones - Average - #3/72.9
• Ranks 1st in NL in BA (.364)
• Ranks 8th in NL in BB (88)
• Ranks 1st in NL in OBP (.468)
• Ranks 4th in NL in SLG (.568)
• Ranks 2nd in NL in OPS (1.035)

* Note - player will most likely not be considered seriously for award because team is not in playoff contention. What this has to do with a player's 'value', I'll never know. This is a joke. Pujols is the OBVIOUS choice, again. Just like he was the last time Howard stole it from him cause the Phillies made the playoffs and the Cardinals didnt.

So tell me this - after examining all of the above - how does hitting a bunch of dingers and driving in a few more runs then other clearly superior all-around players in the last few weeks of the season (after you've been hitting .230 the whole damn year) make you the most VALUABLE player in the entire league?

Am I a homer? Absolutely. But is my love for the Mets outweighed by my hatred for Philadelphia/Philly Fans/Ryan Howard/Strikeouts? YES. Do I think Wright deserves it? Sure, if we're basing consideration for the award on whether or not your team is in the thick of the playoff race. Based on the above stats, it looks to me like amongst players on 'good' teams, he BLOWS everyone else out of the water. Plus, look at that lovely young lady on his arm. What a knockout!

My heart and my soul, and most importantly my head, however, are sure about one thing: The Rhino better not walk away with the hardware. If that happens I might just have to move to Canada.

Digg!

4 comments:

Doc Holliday said...

As I was saying in my email - I don't think Wright should win over Pujols. Over Howard? Abso-dicklicking-lutely. But over Pujols? Meh. I think Pujols, minus a whole shoulder, has shown that he's the '08 MVP. Hands down.

Doc Holliday said...

And BTW - that girl is his personal assistant. Her job is to sort out the other gay guys at the bars and get them to talk to Mr. Wright. Fact.

Dan said...

so, you stole my comment and gave no reference to it. that's fair.

go get TJT.

AK-47 said...

Well, to be honest, I did plan on mentioning that you touched on this topic in your comment from Doc's post. Guess it slipped my mind.

Ohh, and I by no means feel Wright should win the MVP over Pujols. Not even 1%. But if the criteria for being considered for the award is you have to play for a "winning team" (which so many voters seem to feel), than Wright over Howard should happen 10 times out of 10.