FanDuel - WFBC

September 24, 2005

Is it time?: Since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973, there has never been a full-time DH chosen as the American League's Most Valuable Player.

posted by justgary to baseball at 10:36 AM - 74 comments

Nope. Not yet.

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on September 24

I agree that most MVP awards each year a strongly based on offensive stats, but would it be fair to give it to a guy who gets all the benefit of the offense and none of the risk of the defense. Most injuries occur while in playing the field (collisions, dives, getting struck by line-drives). Also most energy exerted by a player is done in the field. Therefore, while the rest of the players on the field are risking injury and running themselves ragged in the field, Ortiz is relaxing on the bench working at maximum 5 times a game. I think if there is a comparable player who plays defense, that fact has to control.

posted by mcstan13 at 11:41 AM on September 24

If there were a "Best Offensive Player" I wouldn't have a problem giving it to him. How can he truely be the most valuable player if he doesn't help his team win on the defensive side? There are guys who have comparable or better Triple Crown category numbers AND provide Gold Glove quality (or damn close) defense. Everyone else in the running has to deal with the stress and fatigue of playing their position everyday in addition to concentrating on their offensive performance.

posted by crank at 11:51 AM on September 24

but would it be fair to give it to a guy who gets all the benefit of the offense and none of the risk of the defense But isn't that reading more into the award than is actually there? Most valuable player, that's the award. Not most durable. We can talk about injuries, not playing in the field, but in the end, if ortiz is the most valuable player to his team, why can't he win? Or if he can't, should we change the name of the award? MCP...most complete player.

posted by justgary at 11:59 AM on September 24

I often wonder why the Red Sos dont play Ortiz at first base. He wouldnt do any worse then who they have there now. I have seen him play 1b- he aint terrible he just aint that good. Right now, I think the MVP should be Travis Hafner. Especially if they make the playoffs. He certainly makes them go. I feel that we have a case here where the DH is indeed very valuable to his team.. You take away Ortiz from the Sox, they would struggle. He not only hits, but he is a leader in the clubhouse and keeps Manny in line. Yes we never had a true DH as MVP, but Jaun Gone was a lousy fielder and indeed had a number of games at DH. Right my Voting for MVP would be 1. Hafner 2. Ortiz 3. A-rod

posted by daddisamm at 01:04 PM on September 24

Most VALUABLE player. I take that to mean valuable at the plate and valuable in the field. Ortiz is half valuable. A-Rod by a wide margin.

posted by drevl at 01:10 PM on September 24

Most VALUABLE player. I take that to mean valuable at the plate and valuable in the field. Again, we're reading into the award. It doesn't make a distinction. MVP, period. Besides, if pitchers can win the award, your definition doesn't work. And while there is certainly validity in picking arod over ortiz, to say that arod has been more valuable to the yankees "by a wide margin" is crazy talk.

posted by justgary at 01:19 PM on September 24

Eh, I don't know about this one.... Sure, Ortiz isn't on the field, but then guys like Thome or Giambi thrown into 1B doesn't exactly make them fielders, and Giambi's won a MVP award before. Maybe if Ortiz's numbers were a bit larger in comparison to the competition. You know, Barry Bonds-esque. (And how trite of the article to point out Ortiz leads in HR, RBI....and HR/AB and RBI/AB ratio, as if the two don't go hand in hand).

posted by charlatan at 01:29 PM on September 24

Lets try this one more time. Basically, there are 5 skills that allow a player (non-pitcher) to add value to a team (ie: help them win games). Batting average, power, speed (steal bases, break up double plays etc), catch the ball, and throw the ball. A-Rod helps his team 5 ways. Ortiz helps his team 2 ways. I'd love to have Ortiz on my team, but would have to be nuts to take him over a player that is equal or better at bat - plus owns a few gold gloves.

posted by drevl at 01:47 PM on September 24

That's a fallacy, drevl. There is a sixth way. Leadership. Ortiz is the clubhouse leader of the Sox this year in a way that Rodriguez has never been called upon to be as a Yankee. There's no Jeter on the Red Sox, and they call him Papi for all kinds of reasons.

posted by chicobangs at 01:54 PM on September 24

OK bangman. So Ortiz has 3 of 6 skills and A-Rod has 5 of 6 skills. As they say in tennis - ADVANTAGE A-ROD. Ortiz is like the fullback that gets you 4th and 1. A-Rod's the guy who got the 9 yards in the first place.

posted by drevl at 02:04 PM on September 24

Then there's the 7th. Intangibles. For Yankee fans to justify Jeter.

posted by charlatan at 02:08 PM on September 24

And while there is certainly validity in picking arod over ortiz, to say that arod has been more valuable to the yankees "by a wide margin" is crazy talk. Amen. A-Rod's not even the MVP of his own team. The Yankees would be much more damaged by the absence of Riveira than Rodriguez.

posted by Ufez Jones at 02:11 PM on September 24

A lot of Boston fans have expended a lot of 1's and 0's about how 'intangibles' and 'clutch' don't exist (look at any thread focusing on Jeter), but now all of a sudden, among Ortiz's main qualifications for MVP are that he has 'intangibles' and is 'clutch.'

posted by crank at 02:25 PM on September 24

Sox team BA 282, NY team BA 276. How would losing Ortiz be so much worse than losing A-Rod? Sox 863 runs scored, NY 832 runs scored. How would losing Ortiz be much worse than losing A-Rod? Sox slugging percentage 455. NY is 450. How is losing Ortiz so much worse than losing A-Rod?

posted by drevl at 02:34 PM on September 24

Hey Charlatan. 314 BA, 167 HR's, 1151 Runs and 215 SB's in 9 seasons. Also division champs all 9 years (working on 10). Not bad career stats for a shortstop. That's not good enough to justify Jeter?

posted by drevl at 02:42 PM on September 24

drevl, this isn't some roto league award we're talking about here. Ortiz's tally on the five-tool checklist has nothing to do with whether he'll win the award. If you need some extra help, feel free to use the Yankee mystique or the pinstripes themselves. Ortiz can't win if you throw those in too.

posted by YukonGold at 03:09 PM on September 24

Thanks Yukon. Now I get it. Here I thought producing at the plate and on the field were important. I didn't realize the only important thing in being a viable MVP candidate is being Manny's babysitter.

posted by drevl at 03:26 PM on September 24

I would go with A-Rod. The offensive stats between the two are very close to being the same so the tipper would have to be that A-Rod got the offensive stats and will probably win a gold glove at his (relatively) new position. Personally, it really would have to be a year with no other viable candidates for me to feel comfortable with a DH getting MVP.

posted by pivo at 03:42 PM on September 24

Do you honestly think fielding contributions are on a par with hitting accomplishments? The win shares method suggests fielding is a much smaller piece of the puzzle. now all of a sudden, among Ortiz's main qualifications for MVP are that he has 'intangibles' and is 'clutch.' Great catch, if chico were a Sox fan and not joking around. I often wonder why the Red Sos dont play Ortiz at first base. He wouldnt do any worse then who they have there now. He's considerably worse than John Olerud. Kevin Millar offers more in the field as well.

posted by yerfatma at 03:44 PM on September 24

I don't agree with the assertion that a DH should not win the MVP. A DH is asked to do a specific job just like any other player, do it well enough relative to all the other players and you should win the award. Forget about starting pitchers, hasn't at least one relief pitcher won? Starters throw more pitches in two or three starts than a closer does in a season; at least the DH will bat 500+ times.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:07 PM on September 24

Why David Ortiz shouldn't be MVP From the hardball times...

posted by loquax at 05:27 PM on September 24

It is time but, you are all talking about the wrong D.H.. Travis Hafner's name should be thrown into the mix.Had he not been on the d.l. due to a baseballin the cheeck, his numbers would be as good if not better then Ortiz's. And he has "put his team on his back and carried them" right back into a race with the White Sox. Who were 15 games up on the Indians.

posted by slatc13 at 05:49 PM on September 24

Sorry daddisamm and slatc13, but the award is not "player who would have been most valuable had he been around all season." Hafner does not belong in the conversation and Jayson Stark should be ashamed of himself for starting that meme.

posted by holden at 05:56 PM on September 24

justgary, I think you are reading too much into Ortiz's stats. Just because you put up big numbers at the plate does not mean that you are the most valuable player. (what about Ramirez). I agree with the other people that to be truly the most valuable player you have to get it done in the field as well as at the plate. If there are other players who have comparable numbers at the plate and play everyday in the field, they have to get first look.

posted by mcstan13 at 07:04 PM on September 24

A ROD for MVP!!!! But seriously, ive watched every game this year, and have repeatly seen A Rod come through, and without him, the Yanks wouldnt be in the playoff picture. The Yanks have other sluggers (Matsui, Shef, Giambi, not to mention Jeter) but it would be hard to picture the Yanks without A Rods presence in the lineup. Plus he plays an excellent, consistent 3rd base- he deserves the MVP award.

posted by redsoxrgay at 07:24 PM on September 24

"Leadership. Ortiz is the clubhouse leader of the Sox this year in a way that Rodriguez has never been called upon to be as a Yankee.There's no Jeter on the Red Sox, and they call him Papi for all kinds of reasons" Isnt Varitek the team captain? I could have sworn that "BIG Papi" wasnt the captin. Heck- he hasnt even been with the Sox that long. Varitek plays every game, and is crucial to their pitching staff. Not to mention- Variteks hitting stats arent bad either. Anyway, Jeter has been the leader of the Yanks for a long time. You cant just expect the new guy to take over. It takes time. Besides, Jeter always comes up big in the playoffs. Anyway, Ortiz isnt the leader of the sox, hes just a fat DH who hits a shitload of HRs.

posted by redsoxrgay at 07:33 PM on September 24

I'm not saying ortiz should be the mvp. I agree that maybe arod gets the nod since their stats are so close, and also plays a good third base. I'm asking if being a dh puts him out of the running. Basically, there are 5 skills that allow a player (non-pitcher) to add value to a team (ie: help them win games). It's conceivable that you could only lead one of those categories and be the most valuable player. It seems you're headed in the direction of the most complete player. But seriously, ive watched every game this year, and have repeatly seen A Rod come through, and without him, the Yanks wouldnt be in the playoff picture. The Yanks have other sluggers (Matsui, Shef, Giambi, not to mention Jeter) but it would be hard to picture the Yanks without A Rods presence in the lineup. But seriously, ive watched every game this year, and have repeatly seen Ortiz come through, and without him, the sox wouldnt be in the playoff picture. The sox have other sluggers (manny, trot, not to mention Varitek) but it would be hard to picture the sox without ortiz presence in the lineup.

posted by justgary at 07:46 PM on September 24

Here we go again. Question - who's more valuable to his team? As of this minute, the Sox and Yanks are dead even (tied for first). Ortiz and A-Rod have nearly identical stats (Ortiz more RBI's, A-Rod 15 points in batting average). Take both players away and both teams lose identical offense. The difference is the Sox lose nothing on defense but the Yanks lose a multi gold glove infielder. Had this condition existed all year, you can bet your bottom dollar the Sox would have the division wrapped up by now. Conclusion - A-Rod is MUCH more important (valuable) to the Yanks than Ortiz is to the Sox.

posted by drevl at 09:07 PM on September 24

Just one last note, then I'm outta here. ARod's roll will be slightly less important next year after the Yankees sign free agent Johnny Damon. With a natural leadoff man, Jeter can go bact to hitting second. Bernie has had a great career, but it's time for a younger, faster outfielder to roam that massive outfield.

posted by drevl at 09:20 PM on September 24

Hafner does too belong in the discussion. Last year,Vlad G of the Angels basically won the MVP in the last three weeks of the Season.

posted by daddisamm at 10:04 PM on September 24

By the end of the season, Hafner will have around 500 offical at bats. I think that shows that he has been around enough this season to win the MVP. I think its Hafner's award hands down.

posted by daddisamm at 10:08 PM on September 24

gary, my answer to your question would be no, being a DH shouldn't put anyone out of the running. that said, i personally think in order for a DH to get the nod over a position player, his offensive numbers need to be startlingly better than others being considered. but if the numbers are close, i think you have to take defensive contributions into consideration. now, i'm not using this as an argument for A-Rod for MVP. i don't watch every team play so i really don't know who deserves it. as far as i'm concerned, Mariano is the MVP of the Yankees, but relievers rarely get considered for Cy Young, let alone MVP. it's a tough call this year and may come down to who makes the playoffs and who doesn't.

posted by goddam at 10:08 PM on September 24

Here are stats for the three players: A: .421 OBP, .609 SLG, 46 HR, 154 GP, 33 WS, 91.5 VORP B: .393 OBP, .608 SLG, 46 HR, 151 GP, 29 WS, 77.9 VORP C: .414 OBP, .604 SLG, 32 HR, 130 GP, 25 WS, 72.0 VORP Just looking at those, I think it's pretty clear that Hafner (C), impressive as his stats are, is a notch below Rodriguez (A) and Ortiz (B), primarily on account of his having played about twenty games fewer than the other two. For those who don't put a lot of stock in statistics like Win Shares (WS) and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), consider that Hafner trails A-Rod and Ortiz in the main team-dependent counting stats categories (runs, RBI -- A-Rod = 116 R, 124 RBI; Ortiz = 114 R, 140 RBI; Hafner = 90 R, 106 RBI) that the sportswriters who vote for MVP love to harp on in assessing a player's value. And I don't think a strong September in of itself overcomes the relative lack of value/production compared to the other two over the course of the whole year. Also, as far a strong September is concerned, Ortiz (.415 OBP, .737 SLG, 10 HR through Friday) is having almost as good a September as Hafner (.433 OBP, .754 SLG, 10 HR through Friday), and in just as tight a playoff race. Finally, the Indians' winning percentage without Hafner in the line-up (.640, 16-9) is better than their winning percentage with him in the line-up (.585, 76-54). To be honest, I actually don't think that means anything (too small a sample size, too many variables go into winning pct., etc.), but you know that if the numbers were reversed, those on the Hafner bandwagon would trot them out as key evidence for his MVP-worthiness. (As when the Shannon Stewart for MVP bandwagon was revved up a few years ago in a year in which he was a more or less league average OF but was perceived to be the catalyst for a great Twins run.) daddisamm -- I know you have a soft spot for Hafner because he's from North Dakota, but I really think he's just not in the league of Ortiz and Rodriguez this year.

posted by holden at 11:21 PM on September 24

Varitek plays every game, and is crucial to their pitching staff. And by "every game" you mean "4 out of every 5", right? Watching every game, you must be aware Doug Mirabelli catches Wakefield. And you must be aware NO CATCHER PLAYS EVERY GAME. Brilliance!

posted by yerfatma at 11:29 PM on September 24

Also, as far a strong September is concerned, Ortiz (.415 OBP, .737 SLG, 10 HR through Friday) is having almost as good a September as Hafner (.433 OBP, .754 SLG, 10 HR through Friday), and in just as tight a playoff race. One big difference between the these two is Hafner is helping his team Clinch a playoff spot, Division or wild card is yet to be seen. Ortiz and the Sox have let a 3.5 game lead on first place slip away, hoping to maybe get the east. Or at least force a one game playoff.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:04 AM on September 25

Holy crap! I had to double-check holden's post to make sure I didn't write it, since it was pretty much exactly how I would have argued his point. The time will come when a DH will grab the MVP award, but it'll have to be when he puts up an insane statistical result with the bat that puts him well above his (fielding) peers.

posted by grum@work at 12:23 AM on September 25

as far as i'm concerned, Mariano is the MVP of the Yankees Validation! And from the Yankee season ticket holder herself! Holy crap! I had to double-check holden's post to make sure I didn't write it, since it was pretty much exactly how I would have argued his point. A true testament to the quality of holden's post.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:43 AM on September 25

my answer to your question would be no, being a DH shouldn't put anyone out of the running. that said, i personally think in order for a DH to get the nod over a position player, his offensive numbers need to be startlingly better than others being considered. but if the numbers are close, i think you have to take defensive contributions into consideration. That's my thinking also. With stats being close, it's hard to argue against the player that not only plays in the field, but has a gold glove. I'm not sure that conclusion is any different if Ortiz plays first. The only point I would argue, and with grum also, is that I don't feel a dh has to put up insane numbers above his peers to win. In my view all it would take would be for Ortiz to have 'better' numbers than Arod (which he doesn't) and the yankees coming in a distant second (which they're not) and Ortiz gets the most votes. One big difference between the these two is Hafner is helping his team Clinch a playoff spot, Division or wild card is yet to be seen. Ortiz and the Sox have let a 3.5 game lead on first place slip away, hoping to maybe get the east. Or at least force a one game playoff. I'm not sure if you were watching the sox, but for a long stretch Ortiz carried the team. If not for Ortiz, I doubt the yankees would be in sight. I don't see Hafner in the picture. Conclusion - A-Rod is MUCH more important (valuable) to the Yanks than Ortiz is to the Sox. Seriously, I have no idea how you reached that conclusion. Nothing you've come up with supports it. Maybe in bizarro world. hes just a fat DH who hits a shitload of HRs. posted by redsoxrgay Such thoughtful commentary, but you left out 'gay'.

posted by justgary at 12:52 AM on September 25

I can't believe some people actually argued the DH shouldn't be eligible, or that somehow defensive prowess is a serious consideration outside of pitchers and catchers, and maybe shortstops. I always find it amusing that people argue "DH's shouldn't be MVPs, they should win a 'Best Offensive Player' award", or that pitcher's already have an MVP called the "Cy Young" (a patently false assertion- the Cy Young is for the best pitcher, no matter how badly their team may have done). If that were logical, then we should say "People who field should not be given the MVP- they already have a 'Best Defensive Player' award called the Gold Glove". We could argue ourselves right out of anyone actually being eligible for the award! Lacking any really good measurements of how much defensive ability above the norm can aid a team, much less how to measure said prowess (consider how many people who thought Jeter was a "good shortstop" when he was sucking eggs all over the left side of the infield)... just how important is defense, anyway? 3b is not so irreplaceable a position to merit much consideration for A-Rod. The reality of a good hitter is that they are given a position on the field as often as not because their bat is too hard to replace, and any shortcomings in their defense are made up for at the plate. Rare is the MVP candidate who is voted the award due to defensive prowess; as such, it makes little sense to be too concerned about DH vs. non-DH given how offensive-minded the voting is for the MVP anyway. Vlad Guerrero won last year for the simple reason that he had a monster September at the plate when everyone was watching. The MVP is a poorly defined award, presumably meant to be open ended. Despite this, even recently ('99) a pitcher missed out because a single voter felt, contrary to the explicit instructions of the MVP rules, that a pitcher- Pedro Martinez- was ineligible. The MVP award does not in any way suggest that only certain positions are eligible, or that a certain number of appearances is required (had Bonds slugged the Giants into the playoffs, which doesn't appear to be the case, he could technically have won the award on less than a months' work), nor does it specify that only a player from a contending or playoff-bound team should win... It further does not declare that a DH should not win, nor does it suggest anything to the effect of "DH's should be twice as good as position players to merit voting; pitchers should be 5 times better than a position player to merit a vote." Nor, it should be pointed out, does the MVP explicitly say that the teammates or payroll should be taken into consideration. Despite the lack of any kind of instructions or limitations, most voters do take these things into consideration, rightly or wrongly. While we're debating Ortiz' lack of fielding, we may as well ask how valuable a player can be when the Yankees' payroll dwarves the Red Sox' payroll by around $80m and other teams by considerably more. My own take? The voting doesn't occur until the day of rest between the end of the season and the start of the divisional series. If Ortiz and the Sox are in the playoffs and the Yankees are not, it would make little sense to award A-Rod the MVP a second year in a row to a player whose gold-laden team did not even make the playoffs. Under those circumstances, Ortiz would make a worthy pick, even though A-Rod is apparently having a better offensive year at this point.

posted by hincandenza at 06:29 AM on September 25

Here's a situation to consider. Two teams are dead even (tied for first) with a week left to play. Team number one loses a 300 hitter with 45 homers. Team number two loses a 300 hitter with 45 homers. Both teams have the same problem. Finding a replacement player to fill the gap. Now consider this. Team number one can fall back on any hitter from the bench, ie: infielder, outfielder, catcher, back-up DH. Team number two has to find a replacement who can play the hot corner with at least some level of efficiency. If I was a betting man, I'd place my money on the team that only needed to replace the bat, not the bat and glove.

posted by drevl at 07:40 AM on September 25

Varitek plays every game, and is crucial to their pitching staff. "And by "every game" you mean "4 out of every 5", right? Watching every game, you must be aware Doug Mirabelli catches Wakefield. And you must be aware NO CATCHER PLAYS EVERY GAME. Brilliance!" First of all, I wasnt saying Varitek should be the MVP, I was stressing how Ortiz wasnt. I was also stressing how Ortiz wasnt the leader of the Sox- Varitek is the team captain- not Ortiz. Varitek is on the field much longer than Ortiz, and IS crucial to the Sox crappy pitching staff. He calls the shots, and makes average pitchers like Arroyo look good. He provides leadership, (more than Ortiz), a good bat, and a good Defense. And by the way, he does play every game- when Mirabelli catches Wakefield, Varitek pinch hits in important games. -Maribelli cant hit to save his life. Anyway- Vartiek is just almost as good as Ortiz if you consider every stat. Its the same case with Jeter, not overwhelming offensively, but a good leader who wins games. A ROD is still better than Ortiz- 1st ballot hall of famer if he retired tommorow. If Ortiz retired tommorow, he would be LUCKY to ever make the Hall. Enough said. Respectfully, Kendall

posted by redsoxrgay at 10:06 AM on September 25

Someone mentioned above Damon coming to the Yankees next year for his defense? With his arm? The cutoff man would have to go out to the 325 foot mark to grab his throws on two bounces (he's a good hitter, though). As for the topic at hand, A-Rod's the choice due to the fact the offensive numbers aren't all that different, and A-Rod has won games with his glove at one of the toughest positions on the field. Ortiz is a hitting machine, but while other players are busting their asses on the field all the time, Big Papi gets to sit around, go into the clubhouse and hang out, rest his legs, etc. which has a huge impact on his ability to keep hitting from April through October. If he had to be out in the field every game, through the summer heat, day in, day out, I doubt the big man's numbers would be as inflated. His size would have to mean some serious fatigue. A-Rod has learned to play third base as well as anyone in the game after less than two seasons.

posted by dyams at 10:30 AM on September 25

He provides leadership, (more than Ortiz) How do you know this? I think it's probably true, but it's not demonstrably true, so it brings nothing to your argument. A-Rod is supposedly a negative influence in the clubhouse, so I'm not sure where you're going with this. he does play every game- when Mirabelli catches Wakefield, Varitek pinch hits in important games. -Maribelli cant hit to save his life. No. Wrong on both counts. Mirabelli has an OPS of 726, slightly higher than John Flarety's (420) and only 60-some points behind Jorge Posada. Varitek "pinch hits in important games". Sure, but only in close games against tough right-handers. So not every game. And it's not like he DHs, since that would risk the DH slot in games before September (though Francona has DH'd Mirabelli (!) against certain pitchers). Anyway- Vartiek is just almost as good as Ortiz if you consider every stat. If we include a few made-up, non-measurable ones. Which stats are we talking about? If Ortiz retired tommorow, he would be LUCKY to ever make the Hall. Ortiz has played 884 games in what amounts to a five-and-a-half year career. Please name all the other players in the Hall off a six year career.

posted by yerfatma at 11:23 AM on September 25

daddisamm -- I know you have a soft spot for Hafner because he's from North Dakota, but I really think he's just not in the league of Ortiz and Rodriguez this year. posted by holden at 11:21 PM CST on September 24 Maybe-we'll see which team goes farther!

posted by daddisamm at 11:38 AM on September 25

Thanks for the heads-up on Damons arm. Didn't realize it was so weak. Bernie never had much of an arm either.

posted by drevl at 12:33 PM on September 25

Thanks for the heads-up on Damons arm. Didn't realize it was so weak. Bernie never had much of an arm either. Thanks for the heads-up on Bernie's arm. Do you think the Yankees are actively searching for another weak arm in center??

posted by dyams at 12:37 PM on September 25

I don't think by any measure that a DH can't win the MVP - hell, if pitcchers can win it, so be it. But I agree with many others that would suggest that such a DH would have to be head and shoulders ahead of the pack. So, I have no problem giving this to ARod - he's been as good as one can and has the added advantage of the glove to put him over the top. I don't see how one could put Hafner ahead of Ortiz - expecially considering both are DHs.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:48 PM on September 25

The time will come when a DH will grab the MVP award, but it'll have to be when he puts up an insane statistical result with the bat that puts him well above his (fielding) peers. Bonds in the AL?

posted by qbert72 at 03:29 PM on September 25

Bonds in the AL? Ding ding! We have a winner. If Bonds played with an AL team as a DH between 2001-2003, he'd have probably won the MVP (barring crazy writer denial). The only other way a DH could win is if he is on a surprise division-winning/wild-card team and no one on his team is putting up anything fantastic. The closest example I can find is what Jason Bay is doing over in Pittsburgh. If he was the DH and Pittsburgh was a playoff team (and monkeys could fly), then I'd have no problem picking him as the MVP. Interesting side note: I'd have no problem if Brian Giles won the NL MVP. That's just nuts how well he's doing compared to the rest of his teammates, and they are going to make the playoffs.

posted by grum@work at 06:40 PM on September 25

If he had to be out in the field every game, through the summer heat, day in, day out, I doubt the big man's numbers would be as inflated. True, but it should also be noted that hitting as a dh is not something favored by most players. It's harder to get loose, stay loose, and get into the flow of the game. (This has nothing to do with the mvp debate.) And by the way, he does play every game- when Mirabelli catches Wakefield, Varitek pinch hits Jesus rsrg, pretty much what yerfatma already said. So we hold it against ortiz because he only hits 4-5 times a game, but varitek pinch hitting in "important" games is considered "playing" every game. Failure in logic. Anyway- Vartiek is just almost as good as Ortiz if you consider every stat. Here's where you back it up with said stats. I guess that means varitek is also right up there with arod, huh? If Ortiz retired tommorow, he would be LUCKY to ever make the Hall. Besides what yerfatma said, what does this have to do with anything? What does it have to do with this year's mvp? We have a winner. If Bonds played with an AL team as a DH between 2001-2003, he'd have probably won the MVP (barring crazy writer denial). Are you talking about deserving the mvp or actually getting the mvp grum? Bring ortiz's average up, keep his rbi, and give him a few more homeruns than arod. Let him get the sox in the playoffs with a monster final 3 game series, and I'd bet money he'd get the votes. I don't think it would take blowing arod's numbers out of the water.

posted by justgary at 07:29 PM on September 25

There's something you all aren't remembering, here: David Ortiz did, in fact, get votes last year for MVP: he placed 4th behind Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, and his own teammate Manny Ramirez. He then had a superhuman October to remember with stunningly huge clutch hit after clutch hit in the Angels and Yankees series. The voters will remember that as well- certainly we Boston fans can recall it clearly! So obviously, the voters are willing to cast him some votes even as a DH, and I think he'll still have people saying "Man, that Ortiz is Mr. Clutch!" because of his September this year and of course his fall last year. Given that he's been even better this year, I think the voters are perfectly willing to crown him MVP especially if he finishes strong (reaching 50 HR will certainly help). it really will come down to which of the two- ARod or Ortiz- ends up in the playoffs. It's looking like the Yanks and Sox are going to collide in that final series, with the playoffs on the line (the loser going home without even the wild card as a consolation prize). If Ortiz has a monster series and the Sox make the playoffs, he's your MVP. If A-Rod has a monster series and the Yankees make the playoffs, he's your MVP. If both do well and both teams make the playoffs due to an Indians collapse, then it'll come down to whoever finished the strongest since that's what will stick in voters' minds. Ortiz could win the MVP with a well-timed hit or homerun in the 8th or 9th during that series at Fenway.

posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on September 25

I missed your first long post Hal. Excellent stuff. And I agree with your second. I don't think it would take a whole lot for ortiz to win mvp. The right circumstances and he's got a good shot.

posted by justgary at 10:17 PM on September 25

Bring ortiz's average up, keep his rbi, and give him a few more homeruns than arod. Let him get the sox in the playoffs with a monster final 3 game series, and I'd bet money he'd get the votes. I don't think it would take blowing arod's numbers out of the water. I agree that he'd GET the MVP if those things actually happened. I don't agree that he'd DESERVE the MVP. There is a difference between who I think SHOULD win, and who I think WILL win. If Boston wins the division, then I think Ortiz will get the MVP. If NY wins the division, then I think ARod will get the MVP. If Boston wins and NY gets the wildcard, then ARod will win (in a VERY close vote). Same with vice-versa. Basically, if NY makes the playoffs, then I think ARod is going to win the MVP (unless Ortiz does something outrageous, like hit the game-winning HR in each of the last 3 games of the season).

posted by grum@work at 11:27 PM on September 25

I agree that he'd GET the MVP if those things actually happened. I don't agree that he'd DESERVE the MVP. Thanks grum, makes sense now.

posted by justgary at 12:04 AM on September 26

I'm a Yankee fan and I'm not sure I'd vote for ARod over Ortiz. At least not without considerable thought. As stupid as it sounds, it really will come down to this week and who carries his team to the title. I don't have a problem with a DH winning the award, since he helps his team win in so many ways with the bat. he changes games, especially in late inning situations against good teams and good pitchers. Pitchers still pitch to ARod, knowing that they can strike him out a fair amount of the time. Additionally, the Yankees have had other guys carry the team on their back for stretches this year as well (Sheff did for a little while, Matsui did early on, Giambi did for a month, etc - not to mention what Rivera has done, but I do think that his and all closers' accomplishments are overrated). That said, he's got a better average and OBP, is even in HRs while batting right handed in Yankee Stadium, and is only slightly behind in RBIs despite spending a good deal of the year with a big hole in front of him in the 2 spot (Torre only recently wised up and put someone with a high OBP there - ARod himself. This current lineup is the best they've run out all year, though I'd swap ARod and Giambi for sure if it was me. And to whoever said Jeter was a natural #2 - he's one of the best leadoff guys there is, and with all that pop in the lineup a slugger with a high OBP makes more sense there anyway). He made a lot of errors early but since May has played gold glove level defense. And from many accounts he has stepped up to be a pretty good leader on that team this year too. And something Lupica, who is usually an ass, said this morning made sense too: If you're the MVP, shouldn't you be in the lineup in a key September series against your rival and their "ace," rather than benched against Johnson and called on later to pinch hit? So yeah. It's one hell of a tough vote. I definitely think Hafner should be considered as well. [and while we're on the subjects of Yankees and awards... why is everyone talking about Giambi for the never-before-discussed Comeback Player award? Hell, he's not even the comeback player of his own team. Look at Aaron Small... he's 9-0 for crying out loud, and he hadn't started since the mid 90s!]

posted by Bernreuther at 12:50 AM on September 26

I still go back to the idea of ALL the tools making up the most valuable player to a particular team. Even though hitting is what most people want to pay attention to, this award isn't called MPH (Most Productive Hitter).

posted by dyams at 08:38 AM on September 26

No, and it's not called Most Productive Player Who Fields either. The question before us is, "Can someone's contributions in one facet of the game put them ahead of more rounded players in the MVP race?" A poorly-phrased question, but there it is. Even though Ortiz is one of the more well-rounded players around.

posted by yerfatma at 09:14 AM on September 26

You have to admit, though, that fielding is often overlooked (overshadowed) by hitting. Yes, we do like watching the great plays on "Diamond Gems" each night, but it's such a boost to a team's confidence day in, day out, when you have someone so rock-solid at third base making the tremendous plays, but also making the seemingly-routine plays look routine. I almost compare it to the snap and hold on field goals and extra points in football. Nobody even notices this part of the game unless someone screws it up and costs a team points. I see fielding being that way. Some of these guys (such as A-Rod) are so good, people expect he'll make every single play, no matter what the particulars, and when he DOESN'T make a play, it makes news.

posted by dyams at 09:41 AM on September 26

It is clear to me that if Ortiz doesn't win it - he'll at least be runner up, so there appears to be nothing stopping a DH from winning the MVP. And frankly, nothing should - if pitchers who pitch 70 innings can win it - or starters can win it, then sure as hell DHs can win it. I just think ARod has actually had the better season for a team with the same problems, strengths and record. I certainly have no problem if Ortiz wins it - but his year has not been as good as Arod's. Of course, that could all change in the last nine games.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:06 AM on September 26

HIt is clear to me that if Ortiz doesn't win it - he'll at least be runner up, so there appears to be nothing stopping a DH from winning the MVP. And frankly, nothing should - if pitchers who pitch 70 innings can win it - or starters can win it, then sure as hell DHs can win it. I just think ARod has actually had the better season for a team with the same problems, strengths and record. I certainly have no problem if Ortiz wins it - but his year has not been as good as Arod's. Of course, that could all change in the last nine games. Hey Smoke- well said AND, I NEVER, EVER said that Varitek was ahead of Ortiz for MVP. I simply said that he was more valuable to the Sox than Ortiz. Ortiz provides the Sox with Offensive leadership- not TEAM leadership. These are two different things. When I played on different teams, our best stat player wasnt always our leader, we had older guys who had been around the block a few times, who were more respected, and taught the stats leaders most of what they knew. This is what team leadership is, not what YOU think it is. Anyway, I would be ignorant to think Varitek was MVP, but on the same token some of his stats are underrated. "If we include a few made-up, non-measurable ones. Which stats are we talking about?" Variteks ability to call the right pitches, his good hitting ability for a catcher, his ability to FIELD, throw out guys behind the plate, blocking the plate, and other qualitys off the field that cannot be measured. Such as his leadership ability. (Which by the way, is why hes the team captain asshole.) A Rod is in the same situation, but this is only his 2nd season with the Yankees. Hes not going to jump in the clubhouse and Say- im the best- I make more money than the whole D Rays team combined. Get the hell out my way bitches! That is stupid, and why the leadership is equal between them. You also seem to forget A Rods speed to steal bases, advance on fly balls, and score more easily in situations. Ortiz has repeatly made bad decisions on the bases along with Ramirez. A Rod is a smarter player, who IS more valuable than Ortiz. And dont think you know more about Baseball than me buddy- ill take your ass on any day. Thanks-

posted by redsoxrgay at 08:03 PM on September 26

ill take your ass on any day. Goddam, can we put that on a mug? ;)

posted by justgary at 08:40 PM on September 26

team captain asshole Isn't that Sheffield's position?

posted by qbert72 at 08:47 PM on September 26

No, I was talking about Varitek being captain of the Red Sox. Sheffield isnt the captain of the Yankees anyway, if you read my post you would have known that. Jeter is a captain, and Varitek is the captain.

posted by redsoxrgay at 08:58 PM on September 26

AND, I NEVER, EVER said that Varitek was ahead of Ortiz for MVP. I simply said that he was more valuable to the Sox than Ortiz. Snore. You never said he was perceived as more valuable, just that he should be. That certainly clears things up. And let's drop the idea you're the only person in here who ever played sports. Which by the way, is why [Varitek is] the team captain asshole. Which is, by the way, why commas are important. Unless you've heard those infidelity rumors as well, and actually meant Varitek was the Red Sox' captain asshole. Where do they sew on the C? Ortiz has repeatly made bad decisions on the bases along with Ramirez. A Rod is a smarter player, who IS more valuable than Ortiz. Save the guilt by association trick for people who might fall for it. Manny Ramirez makes the occasional base running gaffe. I guess. Mainly he just doesn't run out grounders. I watch about 75% of the Sox games in a given season, so I've seen about 300-320 games Ortiz has played over the past 3 years. I don't think of him as a bad baserunner. I can't even think of one incident, mainly because he's too slow to risk taking an extra base. I'm sure you can provide us with some examples of his bad baserunning, given your inside knowledge of the game. And then you'll show us how A-Rod is a "smarter" player, right after you define what that means. Are we going with Bill James' concept from Joe Morgan's entry in James' Abstract, or have you conjured up your own numbers? And dont think you know more about Baseball than me buddy- ill take your ass on any day. Whenever you're ready to start demonstrating this, do let us know.

posted by yerfatma at 08:58 PM on September 26

Goddam, can we put that on a mug? ;) for you gary, anything. (come this friday though, all bets are off ;-)

posted by goddam at 10:47 PM on September 26

Omg, that is awesome. 11 nothing with randy on the hill. I don't think you got much to worry about for the time being ;) And now the sox have to play a double header. Isn't it harder to win a double header than games on consecutive nights? Aren't most double headers split? Damn yankees... (I would say most double headers ARE split, but grum would probably pull out some stats that proved me wrong)

posted by justgary at 11:06 PM on September 26

so much for the johnson-schilling showdown on saturday. yeah, i've always heard that double headers are usually split, but i think this week all those "usuallies" can be thrown out the window. (and hopefully embree's 3-run 9th will keep him locked in the pen for the rest of the week. free colter bean dammit!)

posted by goddam at 11:23 PM on September 26

No, he'll come around. Seriously, he's solid at crunch time. Hee. Johnson's been unhittable lately.

posted by justgary at 11:33 PM on September 26

Something did snap inside and wake hime up. He has beem on fire lately jg.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:57 PM on September 26

Something did snap inside and wake hime up. He has beem on fire lately jg. I'm hoping someone reminds him how old he is, how much his back hurts, etc. Grasping at straws.

posted by justgary at 12:00 AM on September 27

I'm kind of hoping that'll happen when and if Cleveland has to play them!

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:06 AM on September 27

Isn't it harder to win a double header than games on consecutive nights? Well Gary, if you remember Jimy Williams' mantra, no one ever swept a double header without winning the first one.

posted by yerfatma at 06:19 AM on September 27

Game tying and game winning hits in a must win game. You gotta give him some credit.

posted by yerfatma at 06:48 AM on September 30

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