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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

Entries in this blog

 

Bobby Crosby is worse than Hitler

After the 2003 season Miguel Tejada was a free agent and A's general manager Billy Beane had a major decision. He could either re-sign Tejada and allow Eric Chavez to leave as a free agency the following year or allow Tejada to leave and sign Chavez to a long term extension. He chose to allow Tejada to leave and ink Chavez to a 6-year, $66 million deal. Protests from some A's fans aside this made the most sense. Chavez was to that point the better hitter, the better fielder, and was two years younger than Tejada. The other reason it made sense was the A's had a prospect at shortstop who would be ready to step in as an everyday player the very next season. You know the story by now Tejada has put together three very good years in Baltimore while Chavez has seemingly fizzled out on ever reaching the MVP potential many thought he would fulfill. You also know the other side of the story in that Bobby Crosby has become a bit of a running joke from being a trendy MVP pick going into last year by some ESPN "experts" and now to an injury plauged, potential bust. This is possibly a make or break year for Crosby to show he can stay healthy and show he is capable of living up to the hype. Tonight in the opener he let a ball go right through his legs and then was the primary cause of a four run Mariner 6th inning as he dropped a ball while trying to turn what appeared to be an easy, inning ending double play. The sad thing is that the one thing about Crosby that has been very positive so far in his MLB career has been his defense and he didn't even have that going for him tonight. It's just one game and I really could careless at this point but not a good first impression to the season for a guy some already want to see out of Oakland.   And I leave you with a random list that I wanted to do but didn't think it was worth an entry. Since today was the true Opening Day here were the Opening Day starters for each team in 1997 which I thought would be mildly interesting to look at.   Kevin Ritz John Smiley Terry Mulholland Kevin Brown John Smoltz Shane Reynolds Curt Schilling Ramon Martinez Todd Stottlemyre Jim Bullinger Pete Harnisch Joey Hamilton Jon Lieber Mark Gardner Doug Brocail (!) Brad Radke Dave Cone Jeff Fassero Ben McDonald Ken Hill Jamie Navarro Pat Hentgen Kevin Appier Jimmy Key Charles Nagy Ariel Prieto Tom Gordon Mark Langston

Bored

Bored

 

Bizarro World/NBA Random List

This past week has to be the most bizarre week I can remember in my sports lifetime. The Golden State Warriors upset of the Dallas Mavericks has made the Warriors the most talked about story by the national sports media, well until fat fuck Clemens signed with the Yankees today. Since I've been watching sports for the last 20+ years the only time the Warriors were ever the national conscious was when Latrell Sprewell choked P.J. Carlesimo almost 10 years ago. I have said in the past though that if the Warriors ever made a serious playof run that the Bay Area would go apeshit over it like nothing else and the crowds at The Oracle for those three games proved it. You have split fan bases in baseball and football, the Sharks have a nice hardcore base but hockey simply doesn't interest the moderate sports fan in the Bay Area, and pretty much only alumns get truly excited about Stanford and Cal sports. Hell the Warriors now even have bandwagon celebrity fans. It will be interesting to see if in the next round though as more bandwagon fans gobble up tickets if the crowds will be as insane as they were for the Dallas series. It's just crazy to think that if the Clippers don't lay an egg against the Kings at home on April 15th none of this might have happened.   Now of course the Mavericks became the 3rd #1 conference seed to lose in the first round to a #8 seed and only the 2nd overall #1 to lose in the first round since the NBA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1984, joining the '94 Sonics. What's interesting it was only the 3rd time since '84 that the #1 overall didn't reach the conference the finals, the other being the '90 Lakers who were bounced by the Suns in the West semis that year. The Mavs are now part of trend where six of the last seven teams who had homecourt assured through out the playoffs has failed to make it to the NBA Finals. Before then 13 of the 17 overall #1's made it to the Finals, with 10 winning it all.   Now here is the random list with how each team who had homecourt assured through out the playoffs faired each year since 1984.   1984: Boston Celtics 62-20 -def. Lakers in NBA Finals 4-3   1985: Boston Celtics 63-19 -lost to Lakers in NBA Finals 4-2   1986: Boston Celtics 67-15 -def. Rockets in NBA Finals 4-2   1987: Los Angeles Lakers 65-17 -def. Celtics in NBA Finals 4-2   1988: Los Angeles Lakers 62-20 -def. Pistons in NBA Finals 4-3   1989: Detroit Pistons 63-19 -def. Lakers in NBA Finals 4-0   1990: Los Angeles Lakers 63-19 -lost to Suns in West Semis 4-1   1991: Portland Trail Blazers 63-19 -lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-2   1992: Chicago Bulls 67-15 -def. Blazers in NBA Finals 4-2   1993: Phoenix Suns 62-20 -lost to Bulls in NBA Finals 4-2   1994: Seattle Supersonics 63-19 -lost to Nuggets in First Round 3-2   1995: San Antonio Spurs 62-20 -lost to Rockets in West Finals 4-2   1996: Chicago Bulls 72-10 -def. Sonics in NBA Finals 4-2   1997: Chicago Bulls 69-13 -def. Jazz in NBA Finals 4-2   1998: Utah Jazz 62-20 -lost to Bulls in NBA Finals 4-2   1999: San Antonio Spurs 37-13 -def. Knicks in NBA Finals 4-1   2000: Los Angeles Lakers 67-15 -def. Pacers in NBA Finals 4-2   2001: San Antonio Spurs 58-24 -lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-0   2002: Sacramento Kings 61-21 -lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-3   2003: San Antonio Spurs 60-22 -def. Nets in NBA Finals 4-2   2004: Indiana Pacers 61-21 -lost to Pistons in East Finals 4-2   2005: Phoenix Suns 62-20 -lost to Spurs in West Finals 4-1   2006: Detroit Pistons 64-18 -lost to Heat in East Finals 4-2   2007: Dallas Mavericks 67-15 -lost to Warriors in First Round 4-2

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Bored

 

Best SS Seasons since 1979

Now I know what you're thinking. If A-Fraud had the best third baseman season of the last 30 years, he had to have had the best shortstop season. But thankfully my Judeo-Christian friends we have been saved! But not be Jeter!? This is an outrage! Obviously our Lord and Savior is saving his best for last.   Top 20 Shortstop Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Robin Yount, 1982 - Milwaukee Brewers 38.6 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1982 26 MIL AL 156  635  129  210  46 12  29  114  14  3  54  63  .331  .379  .578  166  367   4  10   2   1  19   2. Alex Rodriguez, 2000 - Seattle Mariners 37.2 3. Alex Rodriguez, 2001 - Texas Rangers 36.8 4. Cal Ripken, 1984 - Baltimore Orioles 36.7 5. Alex Rodriguez, 2002 - Texas Rangers 35.5 6. Derek Jeter, 1999 - New York Yankees 35.3 7. Cal Ripken, 1983 - Baltimore Orioles 35.3 8. Alan Trammell, 1987 - Detroit Tigers 35.1 9. Alex Rodriguez, 1996 - Seattle Mariners 34.0 10. Cal Ripken, 1991 - Baltimore Orioles 33.7 11. Ozzie Smith, 1987 - St. Louis Cardinals 32.9 12. Derek Jeter, 2006 - New York Yankees 32.7 13. Robin Yount, 1983 - Milwaukee Brewers 32.6 14. Rich Aurilia, 2001 - San Francisco Giants 32.6 15. Alex Rodriguez, 2003 - Texas Rangers 32.5 16. Barry Larkin, 1992 - Cincinnati Reds 32.3 17. Miguel Tejada, 2002 - Oakland A's 32.0 18. Nomar Garciaparra, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 31.6 19. Barry Larkin, 1996 - Cincinnati Reds 30.6 20. Barry Larkin, 1995 - Cincinnati Reds 30.4

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Best SP Seasons since 1979

And I'm finally done with the best lists, just two days before they are out of date! It is pretty amazing to think that the best season by a pitcher in the last 30 years was by a guy who peaked at age 20.   Top 20 Starting Pitcher Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Dwight Gooden, 1985 - New York Mets 32.9 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  ERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 1985 20 NYM NL  24   4  35  35  16   8   0  0  276.7  198   51   47  13   69  268   2   6  1065  4  1.53   228 0.965   2. Roger Clemens, 1997 - Toronto Blue Jays 31.9 3. Greg Maddux, 1995 - Atlanta Braves 29.9 4. Pedro Martinez, 2000 - Boston Red Sox 28.9 5. Roger Clemens, 1986 - Boston Red Sox 28.8 6. Randy Johnson, 2002 - Arizona Diamondbacks 28.7 7. Steve Carlton, 1980 - Philadelphia Phillies 28.6 8. Brett Saberhagen, 1989 - Kansas City Royals 28.3 9. Roger Clemens, 1990 - Boston Red Sox 28.1 10. Roger Clemens, 1987 - Boston Red Sox 27.7 11. Greg Maddux, 1992 - Chicago Cubs 27.4 12. Johan Santana, 2004 - Minnesota Twins 27.2 13. John Smoltz, 1996 - Atlanta Braves 27.1 14. John Tudor, 1985 - St. Louis Cardinals 27.1 15. Kevin Appier, 1993 - Kansas City Royals 27.0 16. Pedro Martinez, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 26.9 17. Mike Scott, 1986 - Houston Astros 26.8 18. Pedro Martinez, 1997 - Montreal Expos 26.4 19. Randy Johnson, 1999 - Arizona Diamondbacks 26.2 20. Greg Maddux, 1994 - Atlanta Braves 26.0

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Best RP Seasons since 1979

Now on to relief pitchers and it's not surprising the majority of these season come before the Dennis Eckersley era of closers. In fact you won't find Eck or Mariano Rivera in the Top 20 but the list should give you a better appreciation for Dan Quisenberry. Maybe the most impressive season on the list though is by Eric Gagne's 2003 year as he did it in only 82 1/3 innings. Also reminds you how far he has fallen.   Top 20 Relief Pitcher Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Dan Quisenberry, 1983 - Kansas City Royals 27.8 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB   ERA  *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 1983 30 KCR AL   5   3  69   0   0   0  62 45  139.0  118   35   30   6   11   48   0   0   536   2   1.94   210 0.928   2. Eric Gagne, 2003 - Los Angeles Dodgers 25.0 3. Jim Kern, 1979 - Texas Rangers 24.9 4. Doug Corbett, 1980 - Minnesota Twins 24.0 5. Willie Hernandez, 1984 - Detroit Tigers 24.0 6. Dan Quisenberry, 1984 - Kansas City Royals 23.7 7. Dan Quisenberry, 1985 - Kansas City Royals 23.1 8. Bruce Sutter, 1984 - St. Louis Cardinals 23.0 9. Mike Marshall, 1979 - Minnesota Twins 22.7 10. Bruce Sutter, 1979 - Chicago Cubs 22.4 11. Jeff Montgomery, 1993 - Kansas City Royals 22.3 12. Bob James, 1985 - Chicago White Sox 21.8 13. Dan Quisenberry, 1982 - Kansas City Royals 21.5 14. John Wetteland, 1993 - Montreal Expos 21.4 15. Keith Foulke, 2003 - Oakland A's 21.4 16. Mark Eichhorn, 1986 - Toronto Blue Jays 21.0 17. Jeff Shaw, 1997 - Cincinnati Reds 20.9 18. Sid Monge, 1979 - Cleveland Indians 20.8 19. Greg Minton, 1982 - San Francisco Giants 20.7 20. Bob Stanley, 1983 - Boston Red Sox 20.7

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Best RF Seasons since 1979

Bored Blog Trivia Question: I really fucking hate one of the players on this list. Which one is it? (Hint: He's a rat piece of shit)   Top 20 Right Fielder Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Sammy Sosa, 2001 - Chicago Cubs 42.4 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2001 32 CHC NL 160  577  146  189  34  5  64  160   0  2 116 153  .328  .437  .737  203  425   0  12  37   6   6   2. Jose Canseco, 1988 - Oakland A's 38.9 3. Tony Gwynn, 1997 - San Diego Padres 38.6 4. Bobby Abreu, 2004 - Philadelphia Phillies 37.0 5. Ichiro Suzuki, 2001 - Seattle Mariners 36.0 6. Magglio Ordonez, 2007 - Detroit Tigers 35.6 7. Brian Giles, 2005 - San Diego Padres 35.4 8. Sammy Sosa, 1998 - Chicago Cubs 35.2 9. Tony Gwynn, 1984 - San Diego Padres 35.0 10. Manny Ramirez, 1999 - Cleveland Indians 34.7 11. Gary Sheffield, 2003 - Atlanta Braves 34.5 12. Gary Sheffield, 1996 - Florida Marlins 34.5 13. Shawn Green, 2001 - Los Angeles Dodgers 34.2 14. Ruben Sierra, 1989 - Texas Rangers 34.2 15. J.D. Drew, 2004 - Atlanta Braves 34.0 16. Dave Winfield, 1979 - San Diego Padres 33.0 17. Gary Sheffield, 2005 - New York Yankees 32.7 18. Lance Berkman, 2004 - Houston Astros 32.3 19. Larry Walker, 1997 - Colorado Rockies 32.0 20. Vladimir Guerrero, 2007 - Los Angeles Angels 31.6

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Best LF Seasons since 1979

Say what you want about Barry Bonds, and really please I insist you say nasty things about him, but he was really, really fucking good.   Top 20 Left Fielder Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Barry Bonds, 2001 - San Francisco Giants 53.9 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2001 36 SFG NL 153  476  129  156  32  2  73  137  13  3 177  93  .328  .515  .863  259  411   0   2  35   9   5   2. Barry Bonds, 2004 - San Francisco Giants 53.0 3. Barry Bonds, 2002 - San Francisco Giants 48.9 4. Barry Bonds, 1993 - San Francisco Giants 46.7 5. Albert Pujols, 2003 - St. Louis Cardinals 41.1 6. Barry Bonds, 1992 - Pittsburgh Pirates 40.8 7. Barry Bonds, 2003 - San Francisco Giants 39.2 8. Barry Bonds, 1996 - San Francisco Giants 39.0 9. Rickey Henderson, 1990 - Oakland A's 38.9 10. Kevin Mitchell, 1989 - San Francisco Giants 37.7 11. Albert Belle, 1998 - Chicago White Sox 37.4 12. Barry Bonds, 1990 - Pittsburgh Pirates 36.7 13. Luis Gonzalez, 2001 - Arizona Diamondbacks 36.6 14. Barry Bonds, 1991 - Pittsburgh Pirates 36.5 15. Barry Bonds, 1997 - San Francisco Giants 36.4 16. Barry Bonds, 1995 - San Francisco Giants 36.1 17. Tim Raines, 1985 - Montreal Expos 35.8 18. Pedro Guerrero, 1985 - Los Angeles Dodgers 34.8 19. Rickey Henderson, 1980 - Oakland A's 33.9 20. Tim Raines, 1987 - Montreal Expos 33.8

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Bored

 

Best DH Seasons since 1979

You know I should probably finish this up this week being that the 2008 season ends on Sunday which will make these lists out of date. But hey that also means it'll be time to work on my "famous" Bored Player Rankings which will just serve as a painful reminder of how bad the A's offense was this year.   Top 20 Designated Hitter Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Frank Thomas, 1991 - Chicago White Sox 33.8 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1991 23 CHW AL 158  559  104  178  31  2  32  109   1  2 138 112  .318  .453  .553  180  309   0   2  13   1  20   2. Frank Thomas, 2000 - Chicago White Sox 33.7 3. Edgar Martinez, 1995 - Seattle Mariners 31.7 4. David Ortiz, 2005 - Boston Red Sox 31.6 5. Rafael Palmeiro, 1999 - Texas Rangers 31.1 6. Paul Molitor, 1991 - Milwaukee Brewers 29.6 7. David Ortiz, 2006 - Boston Red Sox 29.4 8. Paul Molitor, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 29.4 9. David Ortiz, 2007 - Boston Red Sox 28.9 10. Paul Molitor, 1987 - Milwaukee Brewers 28.6 11. Paul Molitor, 1992 - Milwaukee Brewers 28.4 12. Edgar Martinez, 2000 - Seattle Mariners 28.2 13. Dave Winfield, 1992 - Toronto Blue Jays 26.7 14. Edgar Martinez, 1997 - Seattle Mariners 26.6 15. Hal McRae, 1982 - Kansas City Royals 26.1 16. Jim Thome, 2006 - Chicago White Sox 26.0 17. Manny Ramirez, 2001 - Boston Red Sox 25.1 18. David Ortiz, 2004 - Boston Red Sox 25.1 19. Travis Hafner, 2006 - Cleveland Indians 25.0 20. Frank Thomas, 1998 - Chicago White Sox 24.7

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Best CF Seasons since 1979

It's 300th Blog Entry Spectacular!     Or just another random list.   Biggest surprise about this list is how little Ken Griffey Jr. shows up on it but he did spend a lot of years in the hitter friendly Kingdome.   Top 20 Center Fielder Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Carlos Beltran, 2006 - New York Mets 38.3 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2006 29 NYM NL 140  510  127  140  38  1  41  116  18  3  95  99  .275  .388  .594  150  303   1   7   6   4   6   2. Rickey Henderson, 1985 - New York Yankees 37.7 3. Jim Edmonds, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 36.0 4. Willie McGee, 1985 - St. Louis Cardinals 35.9 5. Ken Griffey Jr., 1997 - Seattle Mariners 35.7 6. Lenny Dykstra, 1990 - Philadelphia Phillies 35.2 7. Andy Van Slyke, 1992 - Pittsburgh Pirates 34.6 8. Fred Lynn, 1979 - Boston Red Sox 34.0 9. Robin Yount, 1989 - Milwaukee Brewers 33.5 10. Ichiro Suzuki, 2007 - Seattle Mariners 33.4 11. Bernie Williams, 1999 - New York Yankees 33.1 12. Dale Murphy, 1984 - Atlanta Braves 32.5 13. Al Bumbry, 1980 - Baltimore Orioles 32.5 14. Lenny Dykstra, 1993 - Philadelphia Phillies 32.4 15. Dale Murphy, 1982 - Atlanta Braves 31.8 16. Dale Murphy, 1983 - Atlanta Braves 31.6 17. Kirby Puckett, 1988 - Minnesota Twins 31.5 18. Tim Raines, 1984 - Montreal Expos 31.5 19. Kirby Puckett, 1992 - Minnesota Twins 31.3 20. Robin Yount, 1988 - Milwaukee Brewers 31.3

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Bored

 

Best Catcher Seasons since 1979

Enough of the worst, it's time for the best. Now instead of OPS+ for these lists I'll be using Win Shares since it rates a player's all around game rather than just their offense, although the defensive measures are very flawed. Just like the worst lists I'm picking a year to start with and this time around I'm going with 1979. The reason is that I was born on October 1, 1978 which was the last day of the 1978 regular season (among the winning pitchers that day were Luis Tiant, Ferguson Jenkins, and Rollie Fingers...ya I'm really getting old), so essentially these are the best single seasons of my lifetime.   Obviously there's going to be one glaring problem with these lists and that's the 1981, 1994, and 1995 strike shortened seasons will all be very underrepresented. And well...fuck it. I'm not going to worry about it.   Note Win Shares Above Average is used to break ties.   Top 20 Catcher Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Mike Piazza, 1997 - Los Angeles Dodgers 38.6 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1997 28 LAD NL 152  556  104  201  32  1  40  124   5  1  69  77  .362  .431  .638  185  355   0   5  11   3  19   2. Gary Carter, 1985 - New York Mets 33.3 3. Mike Piazza, 1998 - Los Angeles Dodgers/Florida Marlins/New York Mets 33 4. Mike Piazza, 1996 - Los Angeles Dodgers 32.9 5. Gary Carter, 1982 - Montreal Expos 31.3 6. Darrell Porter, 1979 - Kansas City Royals 30.8 7. Victor Martinez, 2007 - Cleveland Indians 30.8 8. Joe Mauer, 2006 - Minnesota Twins 30.8 9. Darren Daulton, 1992 - Philadelphia Phillies 30.8 10. Mike Piazza, 1993 - Los Angeles Dodgers 30.5 11. Gary Carter, 1984 - Montreal Expos 30.2 12. Gary Carter, 1980 - Montreal Expos 30 13. Javy Lopez, 2003 - Atlanta Braves 29.7 14. Darren Daulton, 1993 - Philadelphia Phillies 28.6 15. Jorge Posada, 2000 - New York Yankees 28.6 16. Paul Lo Duca, 2001 - Los Angeles Dodgers 27.9 17. Jorge Posada, 2003 - New York Yankees 27.8 18. Terry Kennedy, 1982 - San Diego Padres 27.8 19. Ivan Rodriguez, 1999 - Texas Rangers 27.6 20. Rick Wilkins, 1993 - Chicago Cubs 27.5

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Bored

 

Best 3B Seasons since 1979

This list is a travesty as we have the least clutchiest player in the history of mankind on top. I'm ashamed, your ashamed, and Jeter is ashamed. Now if I did this list during 2007, the #1 spot would have been a big shock.   Top 20 Third Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Alex Rodriguez, 2007 - New York Yankees 38.7 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2007 31 NYY AL 158  583  143  183  31  0  54  156  24  4  95 120  .314  .422  .645  177  376   0   9  11  21  15   2. Howard Johnson, 1989 - New York Mets 38 3. Scott Rolen, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 37.9 4. Ken Caminiti, 1996 - San Diego Padres 37.8 5. Mike Schmidt, 1980 - Philadelphia Philies 37.4 6. George Brett, 1985 - Kansas City Royals 37.3 7. Adrian Beltre, 2004 - Los Angeles Dodgers 37.1 8. Wade Boggs, 1986 - Boston Red Sox 36.8 9. Mike Schmidt, 1982 - Philadelphia Phillies 36.6 10. Alex Rodriguez, 2005 - New York Yankees 36.6 11. George Brett, 1980 - Kansas City Royals 36 12. Mike Schmidt, 1983 - Philadelphia Phillies 35.1 13. Terry Pendleton, 1992 - Atlanta Braves 35 14. David Wright, 2007 - New York Mets 34.4 15. Wade Boggs, 1983 - Boston Red Sox 33.7 16. Miguel Cabrera, 2006 - Florida Marlins 33.6 17. Mike Schmidt, 1979 - Philadelphia Phillies 33.3 18. George Brett, 1979 - Kansas City Royals 32.8 19. Wade Boggs, 1987 - Boston Red Sox 32.5 20. Gary Sheffield, 1992 - San Diego Padres 32.4

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Bored

 

Best 2B Seasons since 1979

We actually had a tie for the top spot among second basemen between a current Hall of Famer and future Hall of Famer but the current one wins out per Win Shares Above Average as they played in six fewer games.   Top 20 Second Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Ryne Sandberg, 1984 - Chicago Cubs 38.3 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1984 24 CHC NL 156  636  114  200  36 19  19   84  32  7  52 101  .314  .367  .520  140  331   5   4   3   3   7   2. Craig Biggio, 1997 - Houston Astros 38.3 3. Roberto Alomar, 2001 - Cleveland Indians 37.4 4. Jeff Kent, 2000 - San Francisco Giants 36.9 5. Ryne Sandberg, 1991 - Chicago Cubs 36.6 6. Alfonso Soriano, 2000 - New York Yankees 35.5 7. Roberto Alomar, 1999 - Cleveland Indians 34.8 8. Craig Biggio, 1998 - Houston Astros 34.8 9. Roberto Alomar, 1992 - Toronto Blue Jays 34.2 10. Ryne Sandberg, 1990 - Chicago Cubs 33.8 11. Ryne Sandberg, 1992 - Chicago Cubs 33.1 12. Mark Loretta, 2004 - San Diego Padres 33.1 13. Craig Biggio, 1996 - Houston Astros 32.4 14. Bret Boone, 2001 - Seattle Mariners 31.7 15. Craig Biggio, 1992 - Houston Astros 31.7 16. Chuck Knoblauch, 1996 - Minnesota Twins 31.6 17. Robert Alomar, 1996 - Baltimore Orioles 31.2 18. Steve Sax, 1986 - Los Angeles Dodgers 30.8 19. Craig Biggio, 1999 - Houston Astros 30.7 20. Willie Randolph, 1980 - New York Yankees 30.5

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Bored

 

Best 1B Seasons since 1979

If you had to guess the first baseman who had the best single season of the last 30 years you might guess Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Albert Pujols, Jason Giambi, or maybe even Don Mattingly in his prime. And you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...at least according to Win Shares. This player's numbers don't look huge at first glance but they came in a season when in the N.L. the average team only scored 3.94 runs a game, one of only four seasons since '79 that teams average under 4 runs a game in the N.L.   Top 20 First Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Will Clark, 1989 - San Francisco Giants 43.8 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1989 25 SFG NL 159  588  104  196  38  9  23  111   8  3  74 103  .333  .407  .546  175  321   0   8  14   5   6   2. Mark McGwire, 1998 - St. Louis Cardinals 40.9 3. Jeff Bagwell, 1996 - Houston Astros 40.7 4. Albert Pujols, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 39.7 5. Frank Thomas, 1997 - Chicago White Sox 39.1 6. Albert Pujols, 2006 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.6 7. Albert Pujols, 2005 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.3 8. Jason Giambi, 2000 - Oakland A's 38.2 9. Jason Giambi, 2001 - Oakland A's 37.8 10. Derrek Lee, 2005 - Chicago Cubs 37.2 11. Jeff Bagwell, 1999 - Houston Astros 36.9 12. John Olerud, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.7 13. Will Clark, 1988 - San Francisco Giants 36.7 14. Carlos Delgado, 2000 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.4 15. Will Clark, 1991 - San Francisco Giants 34.3 16. Jason Giambi, 2002 - New York Yankees 34 17. Jim Thome, 2002 - Cleveland Indians 33.9 18. Lance Berkman, 2006 - Houston Astros 33.7 19. John Olerud, 1998 - New York Mets 33.5 20. Todd Helton, 2003 - Colorado Rockies 33.5

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Baseball Tonight

I decided to watch Baseball Tonight because apparently I want to punish myself, might as well make an entry out of it. Watching people analyze one week of baseball is always hilarious anyways especially when it’s done by the likes of Harold Reynolds and John Kruk. Who cares about sample sizes? Tigers/Brewers in the World Series!   -Chris Berman is doing the show because it’s the Sunday of the Masters and he must do Baseball Tonight every Masters’ Sunday every year to show off his green jacket. He genuinely thinks people care. The world would stop if we didn’t see him squeeze all that fat in his green jacket.   -Berman can’t believe that the Phillies let Vincente Padilla go and Kruk and Reynolds agree. Gee I know the guy had a 1.50 WHIP last year, what kind of a nut lets go of a pitcher like that? Hey he’s 2-0 so I’m sure he’s on top of Kruk’s Cy Young list.   -Kruk went on a mini-rant about how Jim Leyland gets things done his way and that the Tigers are going to manufacture runs and he's not going to baby pitchers (woo hoo Tommy John surgery for everyone!) "because the more you baby pitchers the more they pitch like babies." Of course the Tigers "manufactured" 17 homeruns this week. Maybe Leyland has all of his players smoking too? OMG nicotine is a performance enhancing drug!   -Berman loves Kevin Millar. He loves him. It hurts him seeing him play such a shitty first base. This man has waaaaaay too many man crushes.   -Now Reynolds criticizes the Blue Jays for leaving Roy Halladay in too long, which Kruk agrees with. What happened to not babying pitchers? Well Halladay already has had shoulder surgery so I suppose Kruk just believes in running a pitcher into the ground and then baby him after he has surgery.   -Berman asks the panel, who is the best lefty in baseball? Steve Phillips says Cliff Lee. Hey I can’t believe this guy isn’t a GM still, can you?   -They are playing Godsmack as bumper music to commercial breaks. Way to keep with the times ESPN. What demographic are they targeting exactly?   -They are doing a countdown of Barry Bonds’ 20 greatest moments and #14 is him being intentionally walked with the bases loaded in a meaningless game. Ya that was exciting.   -Chipper Jones’ injury is shown and I swear Berman gets a hard on every time a player gets hurt because he gets to his patented soft tone voice where the producers cutout the background music because this a very serious situation and Chris Berman is talking. At the end of the Braves/Giants highlights Berman says “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” Comedic genius I tells ya.   -Diamond Cuts, it’s extreme highlights with nu-metal! Seriously who are they targeting? Are there really viewers sitting around through the whole show wanting listen to Godsmack to overly produced baseball highlights? At least it’s not like last year where they would do features on other no longer relevant bands talking about baseball.

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Award Redo: Dave Stieb Edition

After starting to run thin on good subjects to redo MVP's for the next natural progression would be to move on to Cy Youngs. Now Culloden/Vern suggested 1969 & 1983 A.L. Cy Young's to me and then I decided I'd throw the 1982 A.L. Cy Young in there. But as I started doing them I realized that there was a common theme with the '82 and '83 redos and that was the underrated greatness of Dave Stieb. So I've expanded I decied to do four redos in one, examining the period from 1982 to 1985 when Steib was the most consistent and best overall pitcher in the game.   1982   The 1982 A.L. Cy Young is as good a place as any to start when it comes to Cy Young redos as it featured quite possibly the worst pitcher ever to win a Cy Young in the Brewers' Pete Vukovich. In '82 Vukovich benefitted from two things, playing in a pitcher's park and being supported by the far the best offense in the league. He finished the season with an 18-6 record and an unimpressive 3.34 ERA, the highest among all pitcher's who received votes. He was lucky to have such an ERA beyond playing a pitcher's park he had an atrocious K/BB ratio as he only struck out three more batters than he walked (105 to 102). He also posted an awful 1.50 WHIP, which I didn't bother to check but I'd be very surprised if any Cy Young award winner had one worse than that. But there was no 20 game winner in the A.L. and only one pitcher, Rick Sutcliffe, posted an ERA under 3 so with no standout pitcher the writer's made this incredibly bad choice.   Now the writers were fairly split on the voting as four other pitchers received first place votes but Vukovich received 14 total. Stieb received five first place votes but only finished in 4th place as the poor hitting Blue Jays only helped him to a 17-14 record. In fact it's kinda surprising he received that much support as writers usually can't look past the win/loss record. This would be a good time to point out that I give zero consideration to win/loss record as a pitcher's single season win/loss record is much too deceiving.   Actual Results   1) Pete Vukovich 2) Jim Palmer 3) Dan Quisenberry 4) Dave Stieb 5) Rick Sutcliffe 6) Geoff Zahn 7t) Bill Caudill 7t) Bob Stanley 9) Dan Petry   #3 129 ERA+, 1.63 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 53.9 VORP, 20 Win Shares   #2 159 ERA+, 3.83 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 38.6 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #1 138 ERA+, 1.88 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP, 65.0 VORP, 25 Win Shares   Now Stieb's numbers don't blow you away in '82 but in a weak year for candidates he was the best choice. I'm kind of surprised the writers didn't give Palmer a lifetime achievement Cy Young here but he only had 15 wins. Would have at least been a better choice than Vukovich. As you see with Quisenberry, unlike with the MVP I do believe closers can be viable candidates to win a Cy Young in certain years.   1983   This year features another not so glamerous Cy Young pick in the White Sox LaMarr Hoyt. Better known for his cocaine problems now, Hoyt holds the distinction of having the highest ERA ever for a Cy Young winner at 3.66. Now in fairness to Hoyt is peripheral numbers weren't bad, unlike with Vukovich, but he was definently a pitcher who won simply because of his win total as he won 24 games largely due to having the top offense in the league supporting him. Again though it was another year with a lot of strong candidates.   Hoyt's main competition was Dan Quisenberry who received nine first place votes as he had then single season record of 45 saves with a 1.94 ERA. He was though just as dominant as those numbers indicate and did it 139 innings pitched. Steib actually had a better record (17-12) and ERA (3.04) than the previous year but this time around he didn't receive a single vote which I'd attribute to having four 20 game winners instead of zero the previous year.   Actual Results   1) LaMarr Hoyt 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Jack Morris 4) Richard Dotson 5) Ron Guidry 6) Scott McGregor   #3 117 ERA+, 2.80 K/BB, 1.16 WHIP, 61.4 VORP, 20 Win Shares   #2 142 ERA+, 2.01 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 68.9 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #1 210 ERA+, 4.36 K/BB, 0.93 WHIP, 48.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares   Quis was never Mr. Photogenic.   Even though he had a better season than '82, I couldn't pass on the dominance of Quisenberry this time around.   1984   Only going over this one briefly as I already kind of touched on it in the 1984 A.L. MVP Redo and if you remember I already gave the answer away to this one.   Willie Hernandez won the award in a tight vote over Quisenberry. Would have been quite interesting if Herandez won the MVP but didn't win the Cy Young. Bert Blyleven and Mike Boddicker also received solid support. Steib went 16-8 with a 2.83 ERA but garnered only one 3rd place vote.   Actual Results 1) Willie Hernandez 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Bert Blyleven 4) Mike Boddicker 5) Dan Petry 6) Frank Viola 7t) Jack Morris 7t) Dave Stieb   #3 132 ERA+, 2.36 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 60.6 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #2 204 ERA+, 3.11 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP, 52.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #1 145 ERA+, 2.25 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 75.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares   This was Steib's best year and the year he most deserved to win the award yet he receives almost no support. 3rd place was tough as I gave considertion to Quisenberry, Boddicker, and Blyleven.   1985   Out of these four years this one was certainly the least controversial and in fact I don't think it's ever been disputed. Bret Saberhagen, in just in second season, went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA with a near sweep of the first place votes. I wouldn't have even given this one a look if it weren't to see if possible that Steib a 3rd Cy Young redo.   Ron Guidry was only the other pitcher to receive any real support as he won 22 games. Steib had to be the hard luck pitcher of all-time with this season as he won the ERA title with a 2.48 ERA and played on a team that won 99 games with a good offense. Despite that he finsihed with only a 14-13 record so to no surprise he received little support. One interesting vote was Bert Blyleven receiving a first place vote with a 17-16 record which is shocking but kudos to one writer in 1985 thinking outside the box even though it wasn't the right choice.   Actual Results 1) Bret Saberhagen 2) Ron Guidry 3t) Bert Blyleven 3t) Dan Quisenberry 5) Charlie Liebrandt 6) Doyle Alexander 7t) Britt Burns 7t) Donnie Moore 7t) Dave Stieb 10) Mike Moore   #3 135 ERA+, 2.75 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP, 64.9 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #2 171 ERA+, 1.74 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 78.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #1 145 ERA+, 4.16 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 68.2 VORP, 24 Win Shares   It was close but I give Saberhagen the nod here. Hey baseball writers congrats on being right 25% of the time!   So there you have it for a four year period Stieb was the 1st or 2nd best pitcher in the league and it's a crime that he didn't come away with at least one Cy Young. Injuries shortened his career and possible bid for the Hall of Fame although even then due his bad luck his low win total would kept him out. People who try to argue Jack Morris for the Hall always try to proclaim him as the 80's Pitcher of the Decade but that honor belongs to Stieb.

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Award Redo: 2003 A.L. MVP

In a recent entry on Leelee's Blog, she mocked my MVP redo's by bringing up her favoriter player's, Alex Rodriguez, 2003 MVP win. Hey I thought it was funny. But then treble, our resident Toronto Blue Jay fan, made this post: Well obviously I have to settle this heated debate.   Given that it was less than three years ago, many probably remember the MVP debate from that year. A-Rod won the A.L. MVP despite playing on a Ragners team that lost 91 games. Obviously not his fault but as I talked about in the Award Redo: 1987 N.L. MVP entry it is very rare for a player on a last place team to win the MVP and many don't feel a player on a last place team deserves consideration for the MVP. The year before A-Rod lost out to the A's Miguel Tejada with the main reason being that Tejada was on a first place team and A-Rod was on a last place team.   2003 was the ideal year for a player on a last place team to win the award as there was no clear favorite. It is obvious by just looking at the results as ten different players would receive first place votes: A-Rod, Delgado, Jorge Posada, Shannon Stewart, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, Vernon Wells, Tejada, and Jason Giambi. Delgado did play on a winning team but not a first place team in Toronto. In a year when there is no clear favorite also some undeserving players get serious consideration. Most obvious was Shannon Stewart who received a groundswell of support late in the season after helping the Twins win the A.L. Central and was deservedly mocked by the stat geeks. Stewart finished the year with fewer Win Shares than A's closer Keith Foulke and I've already gone over before how hard it is for a closer to match the value of an everyday player. Another player who received way too much support was David Ortiz who only played in 128 games yet received four first place votes. His 15 Win Shares were by far the fewest of any player who received an MVP vote.   The A-Rod vs. Delgado debate of course was discussed on the TSM boards back in 2003 and this will be my second voting on the award. In this thread posters voted on all the MLB awards from 2003. As you'll see I was very anti-last place and anti A-Rod at the time although I've relented on my stance against players on last place teams winning the award since. Here was my ballot I posted on September 28, 2003: I was very much drinking the Miguel Tejda Kool-Aid at the time as in retrospect he really didn't deserve any consideration. So time to redo the real ballot and my ballot, but will I change my first place vote?   Actual Results 1) Alex Rodriguez 2) Carlos Delgado 3) Jorge Posda 4) Shannon Stewart 5) David Ortiz 6) Manny Ramirez 7) Nomar Garciaparra 8) Vernon Wells 9) Carlos Beltran 10) Bret Boone 11) Miguel Tejada 12) Bill Mueller 13) Jason Giambi 14) Garret Anderson 15t) Keith Foulke 15t) Frank Thomas 17) Eric Chavez 18t) Carlos Lee 18t) Magglio Ordonez 20) Alfonso Soriano 21) Derek Jeter 22) Pedro Martinez 23) Ichiro Suzuki 24t) Aubrey Huff 24t) Esteban Loaiza 24t) Jason Varitek 27) Mariano Rivera   #10 .307/.389/.522, 106 RC, 126 OPS+, .310 EQA, 64.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #9 .267/.390/.562, 117 RC, 149 OPS+, .317 EQA, 66.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #8 .290/.338/.525, 117 RC, 128 OPS+, .297 EQA, 69.9 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #7 .317/.359/.550, 133 RC, 131 OPS+, .303 EQA, 71.0 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #6 .281/.405/.518, 99 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #5 .250/.412/.527, 112 RC, 151 OPS+, .326 EQA, 63.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 .294/.366/.535, 121 RC, 138 OPS+, .312 EQA, 75.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #3 .325/.427/.587, 141 RC, 160 OPS+, .339 EQA, 77.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #2 .298/.396/.600, 141 RC, 148 OPS+, .324 EQA, 96.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #1 .302/.426/.593, 140 RC, 160 OPS+, .338 EQA, 83.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   Ya stick it A-Rod, you're not CLUTCH~! And god damn do baseball cards suck now or what?   Anyways this was an incredibly close call and I could have flipped a coin but I gave the nod to Delgado. There's a serious case for Manny as well.

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Bored

 

Award Redo: 2002 A.L. MVP

A's lost two out of three to the Orioles this weekend in Baltimore and as May closes out it is once again looking like this is the year the A's string of winning seasons comes to an end. But it seems that way every year the first couple of months of the season before they go on some insane run for a couple of months that saves their season. Their former shortstop Miguel Tejada had never homered in 25 games against the A's before homering in back-to-back days this weekend and it was five years ago when Tejada played a major role in the A's most remarkable run of all when they won an American League record 20 straight games. It was that streak and some timely hits by Tejada that would be the primary reason he would be awarded the A.L. MVP after the season and it was always a very questionable win in the minds of statheads. I fully supported him winning the award at the time Miggy could have shit on my floor and I wouldn't have minded but enough time has past that it is time for me to take back what he didn't really deserve.   Tejada received 21 of the posssible 28 first place votes beating out Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano by a comfortable margin. A-Rod hit 57 homeruns and had 142 RBI in 2002 and those normally would be plenty for the writers to give him in the MVP the problem being this was of course when he was with the Rangers where wins did not come very often in Texas. Tejada hit 23 fewer homeruns than A-Rod and had a near idential OPS to his teammate Eric Chavez who finished 14th in the voting. But the main facotr in the writers view was that the Rangers won only 72 games, finishing 31 games behind Miggy and the A's, thus A-Rod could not have been truly "valuable" if his team played so poorly. Soriano had his breakout year with the Yankees, coming up with one homerun shy of a 40-40 season but given how loaded the Yankees line up was it was hard in the view of the writers to give the award to a player with so much help around him with teammates Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams both finishing in the Top 10.   So should A-Rod have been the slam dunk winner and how bad of a choice was Tejada?   Actual Results 1) Miguel Teajda 2) Alex Rodriguez 3) Alfonso Soriano 4) Garret Anderson 5) Jason Giambi 6) Torii Hunter 7) Jim Thome 8) Magglio Ordonez 9) Manny Ramirez 10) Bernie Williams 11t) David Eckstein 11t) Nomar Garciaparra 13) Barry Zito 14) Eric Chavez 15t) Eddie Guardado 15t) Troy Percival 17) Ichiro Suzuki 18) Billy Koch 19) Derek Lowe 20t) Pedro Martinez 20t) Mike Sweeney   #10 .310/.352/.528, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .290 EQA, 64.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #9 .320/.381/.597, 132 RC, 152 OPS+, .312 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #8 169 ERA+, 2.33 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 75.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #7 .308/.354/.508, 116 RC, 122 OPS+, .288 EQA, 58.6 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #6 .300/.332/.547, 123 RC, 131 OPS+, .291 EQA, 68.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #5 .333/.415/.493, 125 RC, 143 OPS+, .312 EQA, 66.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #4 .349/.450/.647, 125 RC, 190 OPS+, .353 EQA, 75.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #3 .314/.435/.598, 143 RC, 174 OPS+, .341 EQA, 79.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #2 .304/.445/.677, 145 RC, 191 OPS+, .357 EQA, 85.0 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 .300/.392/.623, 150 RC, 152 OPS+, .317 EQA, 86.8 VORP, 35 Win Shares   Some idiot on this board once said this back in 2003: Oh wait, that was me. Fuck.   Anyways A-Rod, Thome, and Giambi all have great cases. Thome suffered the same fate as A-Rod that year as he was on a bad team otherwise he may have had a shot at the award if he had been on a contender. Alas I deferred to A-Rod's slight edge in both VORP and Win Shares (WARP3 as well) to give him the nod but there was simply no easy pick that season so this was the perfect year for someone like Tejada to win.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1999 N.L. MVP

Even with the baseball season over I'm always looking for an excuse to do a redo and resident Astros fan vivalaultra gave me one while lamenting over the end of Jeff Bagwell's career in Houston: Well god dammit I have to solve this quandry!   Jeff Bagwell finished second in the 1999 N.L. MVP voting but he wasn't even close to winning it. Chipper Jones had the best year of his career hitting .319 with 45 homeruns while helping the Braves to a league best 103 wins and would receive 29 of the 32 first place votes. The tightest competition was for the second place spot as Bagwell finished with only seven points more than the 3rd place Matt Williams. Bagwell had better numbers than Williams almost across the board (including 30 stolen bases which is a ton for a first baseman) except in one category. Guess which one? If you said RBI then you know your baseball writer voting tendencies very well. Williams actually received two first place votes to Bagwell's one I suppose because he was a "gritty veteran" who was the "heart and soul" of the Diamondbacks who shocked the baseball world with a 100 win season in just their 2nd year of exsistence. After those three no other player received any real consideration for the award with Greg Vaughn leading the pack but he was a dubious choice for 4th. Of note in 1999 was also the McGwire/Sosa Homerun Chase II but like most blockbuster sequels it was just more of the same and kind of took away from the memories of the original.   Actual Results 1) Chipper Jones 2) Jeff Bagwell 3) Matt Williams 4) Greg Vaughn 5) Mark McGwire 6) Robin Ventura 7) Mike Piazza 8) Edgardo Alfonzo 9) Sammy Sosa 10) Larry Walker 11) Vladimir Guerrero 12) Craig Biggio 13) Jay Bell 14) Sean Casey 15) Randy Johnson 16) Billy Wagner 17) Carl Everett 18) Luis Gonzalez 19t) Brian Giles 19t) Brain Jordan 21) Mike Hampton 22) Barry Larkin 23) Bobby Abreu 24t) Barry Bonds 24t) Matt Mantei 26t) Jeff Kent 26t) Kevin Millwood 28) Trevor Hoffman   #10 .379/.458/.710, 140 RC, 162 OPS+, .334 EQA, 68.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #9 .294/.386/.457, 111 RC, 118 OPS+, .286 EQA, 48.3 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #8 .335/.446/.549, 134 RC, 149 OPS+, .326 EQA, 64.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #7 .301/.379/.529, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .300 EQA, 53.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #6 150 ERA+, 1.75 K/BB, 1.29 WHIP, 76.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #5 .315/.418/.614, 135 RC, 157 OPS+, .328 EQA, 74.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #4 .278/.424/.697, 154 RC, 178 OPS+, .344 EQA, 81.2 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #3 178 ERA+, 5.20 K/BB, 1.02 WHIP, 99.3 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #2 .304/.454/.591, 149 RC, 169 OPS+, .341 EQA, 84.9 VORP, 37 Win Shares   #1 .319/.441/.633, 159 RC, 175 OPS+, .344 EQA, 104.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   Bobby Abreu a gamer? HA!   So I agreed with the writers here even though Win Shares overwhelming loved Bagwell. I feel real good about the Top 5 but after that I could have gone about 20 different directions with 6 thru 10. Along those five I also could easily put Luis Gonzalez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones (who didn't receive a single vote), and Vladimir Guerrero in the Top 10 as well.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1999 A.L. MVP

Since I'm on the starting pitcher theme I'm going with another year where a starting pitcher was in serious contention for the award. Pedro Martinez went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA in 1999 and finished 2nd in the A.L. MVP voting. He would actually receive more first place votes than any other candidate, eight, but fell 13 voting points behind the winner Ivan Rodriguez. 1999 was the height of the offesive explosion during the late 90's which is now labeld the steroid era. It's not surprising Martinez received so much support as a pitcher putting up those kind of numbers with the game being dominated by offense.   Rodriguez's MVP win has been ridiculed heavily by the stathead crowd. With so many great offensive performances during the year his numbers paled in comparison to many others. Of course his excellent defense earns him bonus points and his numbers in many other years would have been MVP calibar but not in 1999. Given his win and Pedro's strong showing maybe it was a little writer backlash against the "arena baseball" that was being played that year. In all of this though the biggest contributer to Rodriguez's win may have been teammates Roberto Alomar and Manny Ramirez splitting their votes as they finished with the exact same number of first place votes and ended up tied for 3rd overall. If a couple of first place votes had been switch to the other one of them would have won the MVP.   So how bad of a choice was Pudge? Was Pedro Martinez really the MVP? Should have one of the Indians won it?   Actual Results   1) Ivan Rodriguez 2) Pedro Martinez 3t) Roberto Alomar 3t) Manny Ramirez 5) Rafael Palmeiro 6) Derek Jeter 7) Nomar Garciaparra 8) Jason Giambi 9) Shawn Green 10) Ken Griffey Jr 11) Bernie Williams 12) Carlos Delgado 13) Juan Gonzalez 14) Mariano Rivera 15) Alex Rodriguez 16) Omar Vizquel 17) Matt Stairs 18t) John Jaha 18t) B.J. Surhoff   #10 .309/.384/.588, 136 RC, 143 OPS+, .317 EQA, 69.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #9 .315/.422/.553, 134 RC, 148 OPS+, .332 EQA, 75.6 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #8 .285/.384/.576, 132 RC, 138 OPS+, .312 EQA, 75.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #7 245 ERA+, 8.46 K/BB, 0.92 WHIP, 101.0 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #6 .324/.420/.630, 151 RC, 160 OPS+, .336 EQA, 86.1 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #5 .323/.422/.533, 127 RC, 140 OPS+, .324 EQA, 86.4 VORP, 35 Win Shares   #4 .357/.418/.603, 133 RC, 152 OPS+, .335 EQA, 97.0 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #3 .342/.435/.536, 139 RC, 157 OPS+, .330 EQA, 90.6 VORP, 33 Win Shares   #2 .333/.442/.663, 151 RC, 174 OPS+, .352 EQA, 89.3 VORP, 35 Win Shares   #1 .349/.438/.552, 149 RC, 161 OPS+, .337 EQA, 118.0 VORP, 35 Win Shares   Really who else could it have been? The guy is the MVP every year! FACE OF BASEBALL~!   Anyways for the all the hype Jeter gets as a living legend, 1999 was truly the one year where he was out of this world and he's never really come close to it since. It's so far above any other year he's had you could call it a fluke at this point. But it is interesting that in this year he didn't come that close to winning the MVP. As much as I mock the Jeter lovefest by New York media/fans, ESPN, and Fox I do feel that he is some what underrated by non-Yankee fans who are so sick of the hype. Maybe it's possible non-New York writers are the same way. Also when you look at the little support Bernie Williams had there could have also been a bit of a Yankee backlash after their historically dominate 1998 season. Who knows, maybe Jeter's legend didn't truly reach ridiculous levels until his insanely overrated play in the Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS when THAT FAT FUCK JEREMY GIAMBI DIDN'T SLIDE!!!!   Oh and going back to the original subject of the thread, Martinez like every year had to a skip a few starts and that has always hurt his potential MVP credentials. It's really a tribute to his great season that despite only making 29 starts he would crack the Top 10. And yes Rodriguez was a very bad choice as MVP although he came very close to being in the Top 10 and I flip-flopped between him and Green for the 10 spot.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1998 N.L. MVP

With all the MVP talk for the potential "non-steroid" single season homerun record holder Ryan Howard, even though he wouldn't really deserve it, I figured it'd be good to redo for the year of the homerun chase, 1998. Mark McGwire would beat out Sammy Sosa for the homerun record that year but it was Sosa who that took home the MVP in a landslide.   Sosa won the MVP over McGwire for one simple reason, the Cubs won the Wild Card and the Cubs making the playoffs is always a big deal. The Cardinals weren't a bad team but at 83 wins were never in the hunt for a postseason birth thus McGwire was never given much of a chance for the award despite his 70 homeruns. Sosa took 30 of the 32 first place votes and not surprisingly the only two first place votes for McGwire were from the St. Louis writers. Although their homerun totals were close when it came to OBP and SLG, it wasn't much of a contest. McGwire's slugging was 105 points higher (.742 to .637) and his on base was 93 points higher (.470 to .377). Now one who argues the case for a player on a playoff team against a player on a non-playoff team is often that the player on the playoff team had more pressure on him to come up with more hits in key situations. Even though McGwire wasn't in a pennant chase he faced more pressure all year than any player in baseball in 1998, even more than Sosa.   Obviously there was no one else who was given any consideration for MVP. Moises Alou was the consensus 3rd place choice while Greg Vaughn, Craig Biggio, Andres Galarraga, and Trevor Hoffman were the only other players to receive over 100 voting points. Despite having his usual great year Barry Bonds only finished 8th.   Actual Results 1) Sammy Sosa 2) Mark McGwire 3) Moises Alou 4) Greg Vaughn 5) Craig Biggio 6) Andres Galarraga 7) Trevor Hoffman 8) Barry Bonds 9t) Chipper Jones 9t) Jeff Kent 11) Vinny Castilla 12) John Olerud 13) Valdimir Guerrero 14) Mike Piazza 15) Tony Gwynn 16) Kevin Brown 17) Larry Walker 18) Rod Beck 19) Jeromy Burnitz 20) Scott Rolen 21t) Dante Bichette 21t) Tom Glavine 21t) Randy Johnson 24t) Javy Lopez 24t) Mickey Morandini   #10 .324/.371/.589, 135 RC, 152 OPS+, .311 EQA, 59.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #9 .272/.363/.597, 123 RC, 158 OPS+, .317 EQA, 61.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #8 .313/.404/.547, 134 RC, 146 OPS+, .317 EQA, 69.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #7 .312/.399/.582, 135 RC, 157 OPS+, .325 EQA, 69.2 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #6 .328/.390/.570, 127 RC, 152 OPS+, .321 EQA, 73.9 VORP, 33 Win Shares   #5 .308/.377/.647, 157 RC, 160 OPS+, .320 EQA, 68.3 VORP, 35 Win Shares   #4 .354/.447/.551, 138 RC, 163 OPS+, .340 EQA, 70.4 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #3 .325/.403/.503, 125 RC, 139 OPS+, .315 EQA, 80.5 VORP, 35 Win Shares   #2 .303/.438/.609, 146 RC, 177 OPS+, .344 EQA, 83.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 .299/.470/.752, 179 RC, 217 OPS+, .379 EQA, 104.3 VORP, 41 Win Shares   The Moises Alou card makes me giggle.   See if someone had just told Barry back in 1998 that he had a better year than Sammy maybe he wouldn't have taken steroids. But as for the result, McGwire should have won in a landslie as he completely blows away the competition. Too bad now he's apparantly worse than Hitler for deceiving the nation or something.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1996 A.L. MVP

Time for another redo, this time with one of the most controversial votes ever. 1996 was a year dominated by offense. In the A.L. six teams hit over 200 homeruns, the Baltimore Orioles setting a new record with 257 (broken the very next year by Seattle). Teams in the A.L. averaged 5.39 runs per game and even in the "Steroid Era" that mark hasn't been topped since. Eight A.L. players hit 40 homeruns or more including Brady Anderson's shocking breakout year with 50.   In a year with several players having MVP claibar seasons the vote itself really came down to two players, Juan Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez. Gonzalez would beat out A-Rod by just three voting points as he received one more first place vote than A-Rod. This result would be rightfully criticized as A-Rod clearly had the better year but Gonzalez playing on a division winner and being the more established player certainly influenced the voters. But it was the way A-Rod lost the award that would be so interesting and controversial.   First thing was Ivan Rodriugez received a first place vote which was bizarre because he had no where near an MVP season. He'd finish 10th overall, the next highest vote he received was a 5th place vote, and he appeared on less than half of the ballots. Clearly the majority writers did not view Pudge as a legit candidate. It was theorized by some that the writer who voted for I-Rod had meant to vote for A-Rod but accidently switched their names on his ballot. This seemed a bit far fetched and I don't think an answer as to why the writer voted for Pudge was ever cleared up so chalk this up to just a typical idiot baseball writer.   Next was the Seattle Mariners' beat writers as they would both give their first place votes for A-Rod's teammate Ken Griffey Jr. and both voted A-Rod third behind Juan Gonzalez. The other 26 A.L. writers gave A-Rod his ten first place votes and only gave Griffey two first place votes. The Mariners' writers had ironically prevented a Seattle player from winning the MVP.   But the biggest controversy about the vote involved Oakland A's beat writer John Hickey. He voted A-Rod 7th while no other A.L. writer voted him lower than 4th. He tried to justify voting A-Rod that low essentially because people viewed Ken Griffey Jr. as the MVP of the Mariners and he only voted Griffey 5th so he just had to vote A-Rod lower than him. Of course most people are idiots and most people don't do any research or otherwise they would have realized A-Rod had clearly the better year and that Griffey was really only a marginal candidate in a year with so many big offensive seasons.   So just how bad of a choice was Gonzalez? Also should A-Rod have been an absolute slam dunk winner or was there another candidate who you could argue for?   Actual Results 1) Juan Gonzalez 2) Alex Rodriguez 3) Albert Belle 4) Ken Griffey Jr. 5) Mo Vaughn 6) Rafael Palmeiro 7) Mark McGwire 8) Frank Thomas 9) Brady Anderson 10) Ivan Rodriguez 11) Kenny Lofton 12) Mariano Rivera 13) Paul Molitor 14) Andy Pettitte 15) Jim Thome 16) Chuck Knoblauch 17t) Jay Buhner 17t) Bernie Williams 19) John Wetteland 20) Roberto Alomar 21) Terry Steinbach   #10 .289/.381/.546, 131 RC, 133 OPS+, .313 EQA, 54.0 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #9 .326/.420/.583, 153 RC, 148 OPS+, .332 EQA, 76.3 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #8 .297/.396/.637, 140 RC, 157 OPS+, .333 EQA, 85.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #7 .328/.411/.527, 129 RC, 137 OPS+, .320 EQA, 84.2 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #6 .311/.450/.612, 138 RC, 166 OPS+, .348 EQA, 83.3 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #5 .349/.459/.626, 152 RC, 178 OPS+, .364 EQA, 92.3 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 .341/.448/.517, 130 RC, 142 OPS+, .330 EQA, 99.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #3 .312/.467/.730, 142 RC, 203 OPS+, .381 EQA, 91.6 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #2 .311/.410/.623, 153 RC, 157 OPS+, .337 EQA, 80.9 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #1 .358/.414/.631, 157 RC, 160 OPS+, .341 EQA, 111.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares   Aura? Did I already mention how much baseball cards have sucked in the past decade?   So there you have it A-Rod was the true MVP in 1996 and really there's no one you can argue over him. There's plenty of guys who had incredible years and there's a lot of agruments for the rest of the list as even as I was typing it I thought of switching guys around but stuck with what I originally came up with. Probably the most interesting case would be McGwire who's numbers are just sick but he only played 130 games. If he managed to play 150+ there would have been a case for him and he may have even made a run at 61 that year (hit 52). Juan Gonzalez was indeed an awful, awful pick as I didn't give him any consideration for the Top 10.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1995 N.L. MVP

Okay back to the redos. In the last two redos I took away an MVP from a closer, Willie Hernandez and Dennis Eckersley. Since I've established that closers should not receive serious consideration for the MVP award and now to turn the focus to starting pitchers. In the last three redos a starting pitcher cracked the Top 10 but I didn't give any of them serious thought for the #1 spot. In today's game with five man rotations and relaitvely stricter pitch counts a pitcher it is difficult for a starting pitcher to rack up the innings to match the value of an everyday player. You have to go back to 1980 to find the last starting pitcher to throw over 300 innings in a single season, Steve Carlton. Since that year three closers have won the MVP award but only one starting pitcher, Roger Clemens in 1986. It seems very odd that closers now seemingly have a better shot to win an MVP than starting pitchers.   Now this brings me to a year that a starting pitcher received serious consideration for the MVP and deservedly so, 1995. Remember 1995? The strike was still going on by Spring Training and we came very close to seeing replacement/scab players fielding Major League teams in games that counted but it ended right before Opening Day. I can even remember an exhibition game at the Coliseum with scab players right before the strike ended. The start of the season was pushed back to late April and the season shrunk to 144 games.   That year Greg Maddux had probably the best season a starting pitcher has had in my lifetime. He went 19-2 with 1.63 ERA, which was actually slightly higher than his previous year but he had better peripherals. He would win the Cy Young unanimously and finish 3rd in the MVP voting with seven first place votes. 2nd place went to Dante Bichette who benefitted from Coors Field and the Rockies surprise run to the Wild Card in the third year of exsistence. The winner would be Barry Larkin. Larkin's win has been perceived as possibly not deserving since '95 as he followed up that year with an even better season in '96 and I'd count myself as one of the doubters to this point. One interesting result in the '95 voting was the complete lack of support for Barry Bonds who finished 12th overall as the Giants floundered at the bottom of the N.L. West.   So was 1995 finally a year a starting pitcher should have won an MVP? Was Barry Larkin's win undeserving? Did Dante Bichette really have a better year than Barry Bonds?   Actually Results   1) Barry Larkin 2) Dante Bichette 3) Greg Maddux 4) Mike Piazza 5) Eric Karros 6) Reggie Sanders 7) Larry Walker 8) Sammy Sosa 9) Tony Gwynn 10) Craig Biggio 11) Ron Gant 12) Barry Bonds 13) Mark Grace 14) Derek Bell 15) Jeff Bagwell 16t) Andres Galarraga 16t) Charlie Hayes 18t) Vinny Castilla 18t) Chipper Jones 20t) Fred McGriff 20t) Pete Schourek 22t) Jeff Conine 22t) Tom Henke   #10 .340/.364/.620, 131 RC, 130 OPS+, .286 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #9 .326/.395/.516, 113 RC, 143 OPS+, .309 EQA, 56.3 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #8 .368/.404/.484, 105 RC, 138 OPS+, .312 EQA, 56.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #7 .298/.369/.535, 108 RC, 145 OPS+, .309 EQA, 50.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #6 .306/.397/.579, 110 RC, 155 OPS+, .320 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #5 .302/.406/.483, 104 RC, 141 OPS+, .317 EQA, 71.7 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #4 .346/.400/.606, 105 RC, 172 OPS+, .338 EQA, 72.0 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #3 .319/.394/.492, 96 RC, 134 OPS+, .311 EQA, 77.1 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #2 .294/.431/.577, 125 RC, 168 OPS+, .339 EQA, 77.0 VORP, 36 Win Shares   #1 259 ERA+, 7.87 K/BB, 0.81 WHIP, 94.0 VORP, 30 Win Shares   I'm starting to remember why I stopped collecting baseball cards, too damn many of them by the mid-90s.   So there you have it, Greg Maddux should have been the first N.L. pitcher to win the MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968. But in retrospect Barry Larkin was hardly a bad choice and was a deserving candidate as again with most years there always a few good candidates. There is a very good case to be made for Mike Piazza as well. As it turns out beyond Bichette's 2nd place finish and Bonds lack of support the '95 voting wasn't too bad. Okay there was one bizarre result with Charlie Hayes getting four voting points. Even his baseball writer friendly numbers were nothing special (.276 AVG, 11 HR, 85 RBI) and he played on a losing team.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1995 A.L. MVP

Before I got side tracked with my entry on The Baseball Network, I'd put together a redo for the 1995 A.L. MVP. This particular vote was one of the best examples of writer bias and how character plays a part in players winning awards. In an incredibly tight vote Mo Vaughn beat out Albert Belle receiving one more first place vote than Belle. To say this was a joke is an understatement. You don't need EQA, VORP, or Win Shares to tell you that Vaughn was in no way better the Belle in 1995. Let's just look at the standard numbers:              G     AB    R    H    2B  3B   HR   RBI   SB  CS   BB   SO    AVG     OBP    SLG   TB Vaughn    140   550   98   165   28   3   39   126   11   4   68  150   .300    .388   .575  316 Belle     143   546  121   173   52   1   50   126    5   2   73   80   .317    .401   .690  377   Edit: Fuck, it of course previewed perfectly fine and it comes out like this. Oh well.   How could anyone look at those numbers and pick Vaughn over Belle? Maybe the writers were just blown away that a man as fat as Vaughn could steal 11 bases. Seriously how the hell did that happen? A guy with a 50-50 doubles/homeruns season with a near .700 slugging and playing on the best team in the league would seem like a slam dunk for the writers. Belle led the league in Slugging, Runs, Total Bases, Doubles, Homeruns, and RBI (tied with Vaughn). His resume that year screams MVP. But Albert Belle was perceived as a bad guy, which was true, and Mo Vaughn was perceived as a good guy, which was partially true. There is no other logical explination for it. The writers liked Vaughn and hated Belle. To add to the case against Vaughn he was arguably not even the best player on his own team as John Valentin had a huge breakout season for the Sox.   A quick look at the rest of the voting, Edgar Martinez finished 3rd with four first place votes as the Mariners won their first division title ever. Then there was 4th place...Jose Mesa. The man has since become a walking punchline in recent years but at one point he was a very good closer. Again the closer argument doesn't have to be made again but someone actually gave Mesa a first place vote. Somebody actually thought that Jose Mesa was the MVP of the league playing on a team that had Belle, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Carlos Baerga, and Kenny Lofton. It's vote like that that should get your voting privledges revoked. Other name of note was Tim Salmon who finished 7th who may have made a much more serious run at the MVP if it weren't for the Angels last season collapse.   Actual Results 1) Mo Vaughn 2) Albert Belle 3) Edgar Martinez 4) Jose Mesa 5) Jay Buhner 6) Randy Johnson 7) Tim Salmon 8) Frank Thomas 9) John Valentin 10) Gary Gaetti 11) Rafael Palmeiro 12) Manny Ramirez 13) Tim Wakefield 14) Jim Edmonds 15) Paul O'Neill 16) Mark McGwire 17t) Wade Boggs 17t) Chuck Knoblauch 19t) Gary DiSarcina 19t) Cal Ripken 21) Kirby Puckett   #10 .300/.388/.575, 119 RC, 145 OPS+, .319 EQA, 52.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #9 .308/.402/.558, 108 RC, 148 OPS+, .323 EQA, 46.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #8 .333/.424/.487, 109 RC, 138 OPS+, .319 EQA, 72.3 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #7 196 ERA+, 4.52 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 87.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #6 .314/.438/.558, 110 RC, 158 OPS+, .341 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #5 .298/.399/.533, 109 RC, 139 OPS+, .317 EQA, 74.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #4 .330/.429/.594, 136 RC, 164 OPS+, .342 EQA, 70.6 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #3 .308/.454/.606, 137 RC, 178 OPS+, .364 EQA, 76.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #2 .317/.401/.690, 150 RC, 178 OPS+, .351 EQA, 85.6 VORP, 30 Win Sahres   #1 .356/.479/.628, 153 RC, 183 OPS+, .372 EQA, 91.0 VORP, 32 Win Shares   Whaaaaaaaaa?   I fully expected for Belle to come out on top but I completely forgot about Martinez. When I put it all on paper Edgar was the easy choice and he emerged as the Mariners premier hitter with Ken Griffey Jr. missing half the season due to a broken wrist. As you see Vaughn was indeed not even the best player on his own team. I nearly left him off the list as he came down between him and Mark McGwire who had ridiculous rate numbers (200 OPS+, .370 EQA) but missed 40 games due to injury so I gave the nod to Vaughn.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1993 A.L. MVP

Hey it's the one year anniversary of my blog...um, yay? I've been putting off several ideas such as a list of the Top 100 players of my "baseball lifetime" (1986-present) and also the Top 50 Oakland A's of all-time, shrunk from 100 since realizing that the list would be populated with guys who played two years or less with them. So I figured I'd do my biggest staple of my blog over the past year and that was the Award Redos. I originally was going to do the 1991 A.L. MVP but then rememebered, I already did it. But in that entry after I gave Frank Thomas both the 1991 and 1992 awards I wondered if the Big Hurt should have won four straight MVPs? So now to find out if his first real MVP should have been his 3rd overall.   There was zero controversy for the 1993 A.L. MVP as Thomas won it unanimously. Typically when a player wins an MVP unanimously he probably was at the very least a deserving winner and certainly it was no exception here. Although he didn't lead the league in any major category he was in the Top 10 in Average, Runs, OBP, SLG, Homeruns, RBI, Walks, and Total Bases while helping the White Sox to their first division crown in 10 years. Since there was no real race there was no other players considered serious contenders. The defending champion Blue Jays were loaded with stars with Paul Molitor and John Olerud finished 2nd and 3rd in the voting repsectively while Robert Alomar finished 6th. Homerun champ Juan Gonzalez and Ken Griffey Jr., who had his first big homerun year with 45, rounded out the Top 5.   Actual Results 1) Frank Thomas 2) Paul Molitor 3) John Olerud 4) Juan Gonzalez 5) Ken Griffey Jr 6) Roberto Alomar 7) Albert Belle 8) Rafael Palmeiro 9) Jack McDowell 10) Carlos Baerga 11) Jimmy Key 12) Joe Carter 13t) Jimmy Key 13t) Jeff Montgomery 15) Kenny Lofton 16t) Chris Hoiles 16t) Tony Phillips 18) Mo Vaughn 19t) Don Mattingly 19t) Cal Ripken 21) Alex Fernandez 22t) Greg Gagne 22t) Duane Ward 24t) Kevin Appier 24t) Cecil Fielder 24t) Randy Johnson   #10 .289/.432/.474, 101 RC, 147 OPS+, .343 EQA, 56.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #9 .310/.416/.585, 100 RC, 163 OPS+, .340 EQA, 60.4 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #8 178 ERA+, 2.30 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, 82.7 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #7 .332/.402/.509, 131 RC, 142 OPS+, .325 EQA, 69.9 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #6 .326/.408/.492, 118 RC, 140 OPS+, .323 EQA, 75.3 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #5 .295/.371/.554, 123 RC, 150 OPS+, .327 EQA, 59.2 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #4 .310/.368/.632, 120 RC, 169 OPS+, .339 EQA, 67.8 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #3 .309/.408/.617, 146 RC, 172 OPS+, .343 EQA, 86.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #2 .317/.426/.607, 144 RC, 177 OPS+, .356 EQA, 79.0 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #1 .363/.473/.599, 156 RC, 185 OPS+, .372 EQA, 92.2 VORP, 37 Win Shares   THAT'S WHAT YOU GET YOUR TRAITOR!!!   Olerud had flirted with .400 for a little while as he was hitting .402 on August 1st but he tailed off after that and with the Blue Jays being loaded he couldn't garner a first place vote. He was better than Thomas across the board and was the easy pick here for me. If he could kept his chase for .400 a little longer he might have given Thomas a run for the MVP but maybe the writers thought he looked too much like a retarded kid running out to the field with his helmet on.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1992 A.L. MVP

Let's see so far I've taken away MVPs from Andre Dawson, Willie Hernandez, and Willie Stargell. But now I have to do something truly painful...take away an MVP from a former member of the Oakland A's. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it.   In 1992 Dennis Eckersley was the A.L. MVP & Cy Young winner just like Hernandez eight years earlier. Eck was his usual dominante self at that time with a 51 saves, 1.91 ERA, 8.45 K/BB Ratio, and 0.91 WHIP. There was one problem. Eck defined what the closer position has become today and that is one inning and done. In '92 he pitched 80 innings which as it turned out would end up being the most innings he'd ever throw as a closer. But a pitcher throwing 80 innings can't even come close to being truly the most valuable player on his own team let alone entire league. Now I loved Eckersley, he was a great story as a recovering alcoholic, and I fully supported him getting into the Hall of Fame due his unique career line. This is the guy who during a two year span in 1989 and 1990 in 131 innings, he had 128 strikeouts and walked only seven batters...SEVEN! But he was quite possibly one of the worst choices ever for MVP.   Now in 1984 redo I said Hernandez wasn't deserving of serious consideration for MVP but that he may cracked the Top 15 and even though he wasn't the best choice for Cy Young, he wasn't a bad choice either. I can not say the same for Eckersley as it'd be quite a while before I'd reach him on a list of the most valuable in 1992 and there were a handful of pitchers who were much more deserving of winning the Cy Young such as Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, and Kevin Appier. As for value to his own team Eckersley was no where near as valuable as Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson that season. He was very important to the A's winning their 4th division title in five years but you have to play eight innings to get to him and other players have to make bigger impacts for them to come out on top...which you can pretty much say about every closer today.   So today I take away the MVP from an Oakland Athletic...but maybe I'll just turn around and give it to another? Maybe it was one of the three Toronto Blue Jays in the Top 10? Or maybe it was someone who received no first place votes? Ya okay you probably figured it out by now.   Actual 1992 Results   1) Dennis Eckersley 2) Kirby Puckett 3) Joe Carter 4) Mark McGwire 5) Dave Winfield 6) Roberto Alomar 7) Mike Devereaux 8) Frank Thomas 9) Cecil Fielder 10) Paul Molitor 11) Carlos Baerga 12) Edgar Martinez 13) Jack Morris 14t) Brady Anderson 14t) Roger Clemens 16) Juan Gonzalez 17) Ken Griffey Jr. 18) Pat Listach 19) Jack McDowell 20) George Bell 21t) Mike Bordick 21t) Mike Mussina 23) Albert Belle   #10 175 ERA+, 3.35 K/BB, 1.07 WHIP, 64.9 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #9 .315/.394/.467, 107 RC, 138 OPS+, .316 EQA, 58.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #8 .343/.404/.544, 116 RC, 163 OPS+, .344 EQA, 76.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #7 .290/.377/.491, 108 RC, 137 OPS+, .316 EQA, 54.0 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #6 .312/.354/.455, 104 RC, 128 OPS+, .305 EQA, 63.3 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #5 .329/.374/.490, 116 RC, 138 OPS+, .315 EQA, 64.1 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #4 .320/.389/.461, 110 RC, 140 OPS+, .325 EQA, 67.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #3 .268/.385/.585, 105 RC, 175 OPS+, .350 EQA, 64.7 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #2 .310/.405/.427, 98 RC, 129 OPS+, .322 EQA, 67.9 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 .323/.439/.536, 136 RC, 174 OPS+, .361 EQA, 89.3 VORP, 33 Win Shares   Hey take away an MVP from a former A's player and give it to a current A's player, GENIUS!   Thomas did not receive a single first place vote. He and the White Sox were slightly better the year before and he finished 3rd. He only hit 24 homeruns but had 46 doubles so he gets punished for supposed loss of power. Some how Joe Carter received four first place votes despite the great year Alomar had. Okay I know why, the almighty RBI but even he didn't lead the league that year as Cecil Fielder did. George Bell received three voting points with a spectacular line of .255/.294/.418 but Shane Mack didn't receive a single vote.

Bored

Bored

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