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:
Carlos Delgado should have won the MVP that year.
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:
1. Carlos Delgado
2. Manny Ramirez
3. Jorge Posada
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Magglio Ordonez
6. Carlos Beltran
7. Miguel Tejada
8. Bret Boone
9. Vernon Wells
10. Nomar Garciaparra
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?
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
.307/.389/.522, 106 RC, 126 OPS+, .310 EQA, 64.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.267/.390/.562, 117 RC, 149 OPS+, .317 EQA, 66.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares
.290/.338/.525, 117 RC, 128 OPS+, .297 EQA, 69.9 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.317/.359/.550, 133 RC, 131 OPS+, .303 EQA, 71.0 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.281/.405/.518, 99 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.250/.412/.527, 112 RC, 151 OPS+, .326 EQA, 63.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.294/.366/.535, 121 RC, 138 OPS+, .312 EQA, 75.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.325/.427/.587, 141 RC, 160 OPS+, .339 EQA, 77.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.298/.396/.600, 141 RC, 148 OPS+, .324 EQA, 96.3 VORP, 32 Win Shares
.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.