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Award Redo: 1985 N.L. MVP

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In case you didn't know Dwight Gooden is currently behind bars in a seven month prison sentence after another drug relapse. Gooden has described his time in prison as torture and I have to imagine he can't be the happiest of guys right about now. But I'm here to cheer ol' Doc up and take a look back at the year he was on top of the baseball world and see if he should have won the MVP.

 

After phenomenal rookie year (17-9, 2.60 ERA) Gooden followed it up with one of the best years by a pitcher in recent baseball history going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA. He won the Cy Young unanimously and finished 4th in the MVP voting receiving one first place vote. The winner of the MVP was Willie McGee who had the best year on the best team in the National League, receiving 14 of the 24 first place votes. McGee bucked the usual trend of MVP voting of giving the award to power hitters and his 10 homeruns in 1985 were the fewest hit by an MVP winner since Maury Wills in 1962 who hit only six homeruns. He beat out two 30+ homerun seasons by Dave Parker and Pedro Guerrero who received six and three first place votes respectively. Really overall this was a pretty solid ballot produced by the N.L. writes as no one in their Top 10 seemed completely out of place beyond the usual lack of respect for Tim Raines who finished only 12th despite his usual excellence. Only really bizarre voting was a throw away 10th place vote for Mariano Duncan who put up a .244/.293/.340 line as a rookie for the first place Dodgers.

 

Actual Results

1) Willie McGee 2) Dave Parker 3) Pedro Guerrero 4) Dwight Gooden 5) Tom Herr 6) Gary Carter 7) Dale Murphy 8t) Keith Hernandez 8t) John Tudor 10) Jack Clark 11) Vince Coleman 12) Tim Raines 13) Ryne Sandberg 14t) Hubie Brooks 14t) Mike Marshall 16) Orel Hershiser 17) Keith Moreland 18t) Mike Scioscia 18t) Ozzie Smith 20) Jeff Reardon 21t) Jose Cruz 21t) Bill Doran 23t) Mariano Duncan 23t) Tony Gwynn 23t) Fernando Valenzuela 23t) Glenn Wilson

 

#10

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.305/.364/.504, 112 RC, 131 OPS+, .301 EQA, 61.0 VORP, 28 Win Shares

 

#9

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.312/.365/.551, 127 RC, 148 OPS+, .306 EQA, 47.7 VORP, 29 Win Shares

 

#8

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.302/.379/.416, 95 RC, 124 OPS+, .303 EQA, 50.3 VORP, 30 Win Shares

 

#7

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183 ERA+, 3.45 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP, 80.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares

 

#6

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.281/.365/.488, 98 RC, 139 OPS+, .306 EQA, 46.3 VORP, 33 Win Shares

 

#5

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.300/.388/.539, 129 RC, 151 OPS+, .318 EQA, 63.0 VORP, 31 Win Shares

 

#4

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.353/.384/.503, 119 RC, 148 OPS+, .318 EQA, 67.5 VORP, 36 Win Shares

 

#3

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.320/.422/.577, 118 RC, 181 OPS+, .349 EQA, 68.0 VORP, 35 Win Shares

 

#2

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.320/.405/.475, 110 RC, 153 OPS+, .330 EQA, 69.3 VORP, 36 Win Shares

 

#1

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226 ERA+, 3.88 K/BB, 0.97 WHIP, 99.3 VORP, 33 Win Shares

 

There you go Dwight, you are the winner of the only 1985 N.L. MVP given away by some guy on a wrestling message board. Now don't be dropping that new MVP in the shower.

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Come on Al, Ozzie had 25 Win Shares that year. Good but not good enough to bump anyone out of that Top 10 as there was a large number of players that season in the N.L. who had 30+ Win Shares. That Cardinals team was very good defensively all around with Pendleton, McGee, and Van Slyke. Also their pitchers allowed the fewest homeruns in the league so that had a lot to do with their low ERA as well.

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Come on Al, Ozzie had 25 Win Shares that year. Good but not good enough to bump anyone out of that Top 10 as there was a large number of players that season in the N.L. who had 30+ Win Shares. That Cardinals team was very good defensively all around with Pendleton, McGee, and Van Slyke. Also their pitchers allowed the fewest homeruns in the league so that had a lot to do with their low ERA as well.

Win shares is great for evaluating offense but not as accurate when it comes to defense. It's difficult to evaluate great fielders within the system. It's almost entirely a subjective argument, so let me just point out that Ozzie was one of just two NL shortstops with an above average OPS+ (the other was Hubie Brooks).

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