FanDuel - WFBC

August 19, 2006

"We kept looking up and it kept being the fourth inning." : In the longest 9-inning game in major league history, the Yankees take 4 hours and 45 minutes to seal a 14-11 victory over the Red Sox. The game was the nightcap of a double-header that added up to 8 hours and 40 minutes of baseball, 41 runs, 61 hits, and 18 different pitchers.

Wonder how lively they'll be in this afternoon's game?

posted by lil_brown_bat to baseball at 07:04 AM - 71 comments

And what a brutal way to blow a lead in the second game. Ugh. The only thing positive about last night for me was discovering that the YES announcers are actually pretty decent- not overt homers; not over the top like many; and not idiots like, say, Morgan. I would never watch a game just to listen to them (like we pretty much did with Remy in Boston) but in the course of nearly nine hours of baseball I was never tempted to mute them (which puts them in the top 95% of sports broadcasters right there.)

posted by tieguy at 07:47 AM on August 19

I love my Sox to death and I think it would still be easy to argue statistically that they are still very much in it but they don't in my opinion have either they starting pitching or the long and middle relief to hang with the other contenders. When you look at the serious contenders (NYY, BOS, DET, CWS, NYM, ST.L, CIN, AND LAD) does anyone have a clear lead? All have strengths but I think all have pretty significant weaknesses as well.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 07:56 AM on August 19

The Yankees offense, post-Abreu, looks pretty insane- definitely covers up their pitching weakness. Agreed, sadly, on the Sox pitching- just isn't going to be enough this year.

posted by tieguy at 08:09 AM on August 19

(And I might note that most teams would kill to have the Yankees' pitching 'weakness' this year- 4th in the AL in ERA, 3rd in BAA, 4th in OBP allowed, 4th in WHIP. Just goes to show you can stretch $200M a long way.)

posted by tieguy at 08:14 AM on August 19

I would like to see the Red Sox pull out the division title. I stongly feel that only one team from the East will be in the play offs! The Central is much Stronger than the east. The Tigers will make it as long as there pitching holds out.. Despite of what all of the Experts say, The Twins will take the wild card. They have an awsome piching staff, especially a well rested Bull Pen that has one of the best closers going in Nathon. Clutch Hitting? As of game time last night David Ortiz ranked third in the league with the most "2 out" RBI. The two guys ahead of him? Morneau and Cuddyer of the Twins. MVP we could have a nice discussion of MVP voting between Jeter, Ortiz, and Morneau. Justin won't win but he continues his pace, he should! Sorry to ramble, but that was stuff that you wont hear on ESPN.

posted by daddisamm at 08:28 AM on August 19

Wow, daddisam. You dissed your own boy, Mauer. He's an MVP candidate from where I stand. I am glad to hear somebody from the other side compliment the YES guys. I have always felt they call an even game - no heavy rooting, and short on inane ramble just to fill air. I have come down on broadcasters for other teams in this forum, and I didn't want to be the first to plug the YES guys like a homer. But, yeah, they're a pretty good team to have through a season. I'm kinda bummed they broke the AL record for game length, because I was in attendance at the Yanks/Orioles game at Camden that had been the record, and it was kind of a badge of honor. I don't understand why I can't find a news article about the unconditional release of Sidney Ponson.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:15 AM on August 19

The Sox are are on the ropes, one good punch today might put 'em out I'm afraid... But I wouldn't rule out a miraculous finish!

posted by mjkredliner at 10:05 AM on August 19

Wow, daddisam. You dissed your own boy, Mauer. He's an MVP candidate from where I stand. I think Mauer should get extra credit in the MVP above Morneau for being a catcher and thus being more defensively valuable, although Mauer and Morneau will probably split votes. At this point, it looks like Jeter or Ortiz, with the nod going to Jeter if the Red Sox miss the playoffs.

posted by holden at 10:10 AM on August 19

MVP voting: The sad part about the Ortiz push for the MVP is that not only is he not the best candidate on his own team (Ramirez), but he's not even the best candidate in the DH "position" (Hafner). It seems everyone gets caught up in the ESPN play-of-the-night hype and doesn't realize that the other two guys are having better seasons than him.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 AM on August 19

I didnt diss Mauer, In my mind. Come to think of it give it to both guys have a shared award. Most people over look Morneau because they hear more about Mauer from the Media. Only Now is Morneau being mentioned as a possible "vote getter" The MVP should go to a guy from a big market team and.or because he made the playoffs! True Mauer should be in line for the award. My reasoning was that Morneau Is on the leaderboard in the Triplecrown stats and plays a gold glove level first base. (before you laugh at that, watch a few Twins games) I know that Big Pappi is a great player. But ALL he does is hit. He is not a complete player. The MVP of the league should be a complete player. Please dont say that I dissed Bigg Pappi just now because the Twins let him go! I was ok with the releaseback then and I still agree with the release. He hadnt had an Injury free year with the Twins and he was only a DH.

posted by daddisamm at 10:51 AM on August 19

I didnt diss Mauer, In my mind. Come to think of it give it to both guys have a shared award. Most people over look Morneau because they hear more about Mauer from the Media. Only Now is Morneau being mentioned as a possible "vote getter" The MVP should go to a guy from a big market team and.or because he made the playoffs! True Mauer should be in line for the award. My reasoning was that Morneau Is on the leaderboard in the Triplecrown stats and plays a gold glove level first base. (before you laugh at that, watch a few Twins games) I know that Big Pappi is a great player. But ALL he does is hit. He is not a complete player. The MVP of the league should be a complete player. Please dont say that I dissed Bigg Pappi just now because the Twins let him go! I was ok with the releaseback then and I still agree with the release. He hadnt had an Injury free year with the Twins and he was only a DH.

posted by daddisamm at 10:54 AM on August 19

I agree with you Grum. However< Hafner is only a DH, he only s hits. Now he is a heck of a hitter, Morneau gives you the total package.

posted by daddisamm at 10:57 AM on August 19

I hate when Francona brings Timlin in with men on base.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:05 AM on August 19

I guess this thread has been hijacked into an MVP discussion concerning OTRSY (other then Red Sox', Yankee) possibilities. While strong arguments can be made for Morneau these same arguements aren't valid for Mauer. If your looking for a player in the AL that's a better candidate then Big Pappi, Jeter, Hafner or Morneau, it isn't Mauer. The Twins Kool-Aide isn't that tasty that we can overlook the performance put up by Gary Mathews Jr. , no love here for the Rangers but he belongs in this conversation. Back to the issue at hand in this FPP. Why in the heck do these players deserve any sympathy for having a long day?

posted by skydivedad at 11:15 AM on August 19

The game was the nightcap of a double-header that added up to 8 hours and 40 minutes of baseball, 41 runs, 61 hits, and 18 different pitchers. At least for yankee fans got almost 9 hours of victory. 9 hours of losing is rough. But ALL he does is hit. He is not a complete player. The MVP of the league should be a complete player. posted by daddisamm The you should get the league to change the name to "MCP" - most complete player, because I don't think you quite have a grip what the award means. Or just admit that you're making up your own little award. Or take the dh off the ballet and be done with it. It's a joke that the dh is used in the entire AL and can be voted most valuable player yet people insist on making rules beyond 'most valuable'. Either they don't understand baseball, or don't understand the award, or hate the DH.

posted by justgary at 11:19 AM on August 19

Why in the heck do these players deserve any sympathy for having a long day? No one was suggesting rubbing feet, just that it was a remarkable amount of baseball played in one day.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:56 AM on August 19

sdd, how is Gary Mathews, Jr. a better MVP canidate than Joe Mauer?

posted by yerfatma at 11:58 AM on August 19

Other than the fact that they have each have more deserving team mates (Morneau, Young) Jr.'s defense, speed, base running and quite team leadership skills prove the superior ballplayer and over-all team value. Mathews Jr. should win a Gold Glove this year. Mauer isn't the best defensive 1st Basemen in the AL, above average OK maybe, Gold Glove material, hardly. MVP , I'd be surprised if either overcomes the East Coast advantage afforded other deserving candidates.

posted by skydivedad at 12:30 PM on August 19

defense, speed, base running and quite team leadership skills prove the superior ballplayer and over-all team value. So, something that's tough to measure (especially across positions), something of lesser importance, a subset of the thing that's of lesser importance and a complete intangible are the things that make Mathews great. While I agree Mauer isn't the best defensive 1B in baseball, I do think even average defense as a catcher while leading the league in hitting is worth a great deal.

posted by yerfatma at 12:47 PM on August 19

MVP voting: The sad part about the Ortiz push for the MVP is that not only is he not the best candidate on his own team (Ramirez), but he's not even the best candidate in the DH "position" (Hafner). It seems everyone gets caught up in the ESPN play-of-the-night hype and doesn't realize that the other two guys are having better seasons than him. This is true. The best hitters in the AL this year are Hafner, Morneau and Ramirez.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:01 PM on August 19

I'm an idiot and humbly withdraw my arguement.

posted by skydivedad at 01:05 PM on August 19

Thanks to those deities who govern mercy, I am out of town this weekend. I'm in the middle of New Mexico, and I haven't even seen ESPN since Tuesday. Thus, I do not have to suffer through the agony of watching the Red Sox trot out what has to be a sorry excuse for a bullpen game after game. Since Timlin came back from the DL, he rarely has been effective, and has been terrible with men on in any case. Hansen can't seem to find a way to get outs consistently, and how far can you go with DelCarmen and Paplebon? My son and I officially gave up two weeks ago. I'm glad I'm not home having to duck the things he is throwing at the TV. I'll see the damage when I get back. Oh well...

posted by Howard_T at 01:16 PM on August 19

You are100% correct aout Gary Matthews Jr. having a great year, Skydivedad. It is especially nice to see after the years of work and struggle he has put into the game, and I agree he should win a Gold Glove this year. But, the competition for MVP is so great, and, added to the fact that he is not even the most valauble Ranger, that I would bet he will garner nary a vote.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:34 PM on August 19

The MVP race should be a great one. Ortiz missed the cut last year, but he has really stepped up in the clutch. Jeter is having a fantastic season, but I think that people will count against him for his lack of power. (even though his power has picked up recently) As for Mauer, I dont see ihm as the MVP because catchers stats generally get worse as the season progresses, due to the fatigue factor. Additionally, the Twins postseason hopes dont seem very bright, so that could also contribute to Mauers MVP chances.

posted by Kendall at 02:04 PM on August 19

Ahem, right now, the Twins postseason hopes look at least as good as Boston's do, considering that Johnson is no-hitting the Sox through 3 innings...

posted by mjkredliner at 02:15 PM on August 19

...I musta jinxed him...

posted by mjkredliner at 02:21 PM on August 19

...I musta jinxed him... thanks for that.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:36 PM on August 19

Eh. Beckett just walked therapy-bound A-Rod on 4 pitches with the bases loaded. Everyone looks jinxed today.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:40 PM on August 19

I don't think you could jinx Beckett at this point. Unless he wound up throwing strikes and keeping the ball in the park.

posted by yerfatma at 03:33 PM on August 19

...I musta jinxed him... thanks for that. Didn't last. That's about the best pulling-his-ass-back-from-the-brink that I've seen from the Big Useless in...in...well, I don't know when. He had a little help from the Sox bullpen, though. Ouch. And didn't the fans give 'em the business...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:26 PM on August 19

It's a joke that the dh is used in the entire AL and can be voted most valuable player yet people insist on making rules beyond 'most valuable'. Either they don't understand baseball, or don't understand the award, or hate the DH. I know that there is a general unwritten rule of "DHs can't win the MVP," but the fact is that most position players are more valuable than DHs because of the value they give to their respective teams in the field as well as at the plate. It really comes down to how you define "valuable." Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus had a good column on the AL MVP this week (I believe that should be free content; no registration required). It's worth a read. And for what it's worth, when I said above that the race in my mind is between Jeter and Ortiz, that is what I think will happen, not what should happen. As to the Red Sox, after the loss today it's looking bleak (but it has looked bleak before). I think they need to consider moving Papelbon to the rotation for next year.

posted by holden at 07:03 PM on August 19

Papelbon, when caught well, has Rivera-like (HOF-like) potential. No way you move that to the rotation.

posted by tieguy at 07:44 PM on August 19

I think they need to consider moving Papelbon to the rotation for next year. Assuming Craig Hansen gets in the habit of, y'know, throwing strikes once in a while, that's the plan (if either pitching coach has anything to do with Lester, Hansen and Delcarmen's insistence on throwing all manner of nibbling shit, I'll kill 'em). That or a healthy Keith Foulke or the ghost of Lee Smith or whatever. Papelbon as closer was only intended as a temporary fix. Of course, if Papelbon goes back to his crazy numbers trend, that becomes harder and harder to justify. He was a decent starter last year, but it does seem some of his success this year is a result of not needing a third pitch. lbb, didn't Randy Johnson stop being a bust like 6 weeks ago? tieguy, MLB history is littered with guys who had one crazy season as a closer. Tom Henke is on line 1.

posted by yerfatma at 08:17 PM on August 19

And Foulke sure looked like The Real Thing(tm) in 2004, and now look at him. So sure, so give him another year. If he's not still the second coming next year, fine, throw him back in the rotation in 2008. But you don't do that prematurely. (Realistically, whereever Papelbon pitches, the Sox staff is in a world of hurt next year- Schilling isn't getting any younger, Beckett looks like more of a one season wonder than Henke, etc.)

posted by tieguy at 08:26 PM on August 19

If I can say this and only sound a little petty tieguy there are some kids in the LLWS that have HOF potential as well. I really hate to see HOF and anyone with less than 10 years experience in the same sentence. But I do have to strongly agree that you don't take the only reliable guy in the pen out of the pen. Papelbon is the type of top-shelf closer that has been missing from the Sox for a long time. If you could pencil him in for 40 saves a season for even the next ten seasons and I will be first in line to punch that HOF ticket

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 08:27 PM on August 19

also yerfatma Papelbon pitched in 17 games for 34 innings and went 3-1 with the sox last year so if He was a decent starter last year... than it must have been with Pawtucket

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 08:30 PM on August 19

Papelbon, when caught well, has Rivera-like (HOF-like) potential. No way you move that to the rotation. I guess I have a different take for two primary reasons. First, a good starter is generally more valuable to a team than a good closer. Second, except for the elite few, it is very difficult for a reliever to turn in a dominating performance year after year. Except at the very top, the list of best relievers (by advanced metrics -- not just a stat like saves) year after year changes greatly. He could be the next Rivera, but he'll need several more dominating years to be considered a dominant closer and not some guy who had a couple of good years. I just think that the benefit of an above average starting pitcher (assuming Papelbon would be one) over what the Sox have available is greater than the drop off from a dominant closer (as Papelbon has undoubtedly been this year) to an above average closer (assuming they have in house options or could get someone in free agency or by trade).

posted by holden at 08:47 PM on August 19

tieguy, MLB history is littered with guys who had one crazy season as a closer. Tom Henke is on line 1. That ain't fair. Henke was great for for numerous seasons: 1985, 1989 and 1995 were excellent seasons, and the ones in between were solid. He did finish with 311 saves (15th all time), so he wasn't a flash in the pan. I think you meant to say Jeff Zimmerman.

posted by grum@work at 10:31 PM on August 19

also yerfatma Papelbon pitched in 17 games for 34 innings and went 3-1 with the sox last year so if He was a decent starter last year... than it must have been with Pawtucket He started 3 games for the Red Sox in 2005 (1, 2, 3). His combined stats in those three starts were: 18IP, 5R 4ER, 15H, 10BB, 15K. That's a 2.00 ERA, 1.5K/BB, 7.5K/9, 1.38WHIP. I'd call that "decent". Not great but not "average" either.

posted by grum@work at 10:38 PM on August 19

I am sorry I "high jacked the fpp. That wasnt my intent. The people i feel sorry for are the Gm's and the field managers as they try to put some decent ptiching in the game! Yes the Yanks have been pounding the Red Sox pitching, the guys the yanks are putting out there arent much better. Both pitching staffs need help! Even if the Yanks sweep, this race is far from over.

posted by daddisamm at 06:15 AM on August 20

There is somebody else that I do feel sorry for. That would be us fans who have to put up the the over of hype this series has brought!

posted by daddisamm at 06:18 AM on August 20

That would be us fans who have to put up the the over of hype this series has brought! then don't pay attention to it.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:46 AM on August 20

I love the rivalry, today should be a good 'un too, Moose vs Schilling. What's not to like, daddisam? Baseball ain't all about the Twinks!

posted by mjkredliner at 09:17 AM on August 20

I think you meant to say Jeff Zimmerman. posted by grum@work at 10:31 PM CDT on August 19 When I think of one-hit wonder-closers, the name that always leaps out at me is Bobby Thigpen, but that isn't really fair either. The guy DID get 200 saves -- not quite "one-hit." It's funny how we shrink the careers of these guys. Real one-hit wonder: Danny Kolb.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:58 AM on August 20

Yeah, Henke was a poor example. I just always think of him because he threatened to retire if his manager didn't ease up on the innings pitched, and then did.

posted by yerfatma at 10:00 AM on August 20

I love the rivalry Agreed, mjk, and while I support daddisamm's right to feel any way he chooses, any fan of baseball should be able to look past their disdain for the huge payroll's of these two teams, as well as the hype that goes along with their matchups every time they play, and admit it's still exciting, drama-filled baseball. Even with the first three games being high-scoring affairs and one-sided (2 of the 3), you still get the feeling the Red Sox, or Yanks, are never out of a game until the final out is recorded. Some people want to say baseball's too slow, but when these teams light it up like a pinball machine, many have a problem with that, too. After all that's happened in the first three games of the series, tonight you get the fantastic matchup of Schilling and Mussina. It's always exciting, whatever the outcome, and if certain fans can put aside their dislikes for the two franchises involved, they can hopefully sit back and enjoy it.

posted by dyams at 10:47 AM on August 20

I'll recuse myself for a nanosecond on account of being a Yankees homer...and immediately step back in to say that if you're starting to think about the playoffs, this series has to provoke some interest. Yes, there are six weeks to go, and anything can happen...but with the AL Central looking like the strong favorite to take the wildcard, it's an old-fashioned race in the East. So you've got two teams within a game and a half of the lead, with a five-game series to play between them -- they could come out of it at a virtual dead heat, or they could come out of it with one team having enough of a lead to start creating some playoff-race heat in late August. It's possible to over-hype anything, even an exciting situation like that, but we're just not at that point yet. Schilling vs. Moose is gonna be fun tonight. See you at the campfire!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:29 PM on August 20

God, I hate Joe Morgan. Fire Joe Morgan Now.

posted by tieguy at 07:17 PM on August 20

Why in the heck do these players deserve any sympathy for having a long day? They don't deserve sympathy, but it was a pretty harsh situation. I think people underestimate the mental side of baseball. Exhausting to spend that much time playing baseball, not to mention in such an intense series. That said, it's an even field, so not really a big deal. It still comes down to pitching and hitting. Beckett walked 9 and he had plenty of rest. You don't beat a little league with 9 walks. It seems everyone gets caught up in the ESPN play-of-the-night hype and doesn't realize that the other two guys are having better seasons than him. You can't lump everyone who believes ortiz should be an mvp under the espn camp. Watching espn is strictly entertainment for me, and there have been points I would consider ortiz (though not at this point, he's been slumping). As much as I respect the whole stats view, it's not perfect. I played on enough teams to know that the guy with the best stats isn't always the mvp. There's a point where stats take over, where the difference is too great. But when we start picking the mvp based on an obp advantage of a few points we might as well let robots pick the mvp. lbb, didn't Randy Johnson stop being a bust like 6 weeks ago? Johnson was paid 15 million a year to be the ace of the staff. He's no longer a disaster, but he's no ace. He gave up 5 runs in 7 innings yesterday. If Beckett pitched like boston thought he would ny loses and Johnson is again a bust. Yet today I'm reading glowing reviews of johnson. It's all about perspective. Beckett was so bad, and has been such a disappointment so far, it makes johnson look better. I know that there is a general unwritten rule of "DHs can't win the MVP," but the fact is that most position players are more valuable than DHs because of the value they give to their respective teams in the field as well as at the plate. It really comes down to how you define "valuable." posted by holden No it doesn't. If you have trouble defining valuable, you don't need to vote for the award. Being a complete player is one part of being valuable, but it's only one part. Read what daddisamm said: I know that Big Pappi is a great player. But ALL he does is hit. He is not a complete player. The MVP of the league should be a complete player. He's redefining the award. He's saying big pappi can't be mvp because he's not a complete player. It has nothing to do with value. daddisamm said: Please dont say that I dissed Bigg Pappi just now because the Twins let him go! I was ok with the releaseback then and I still agree with the release. He hadnt had an Injury free year with the Twins and he was only a DH. Only a dh? Are you kidding me? Look, this isn't about ortiz at all. It's about the possibility of a dh winning the mvp. We have an award for pitching, hitting, etc, and some people seem to think the mvp is some kind of combination of several awards, a complete player, and it's not. A dh could have very well have won the mvp award years ago. Two mvp candidates, similar stats, one a dh and one a decent right fielder. Give it to the right fielder. I get it. Dh has slightly better stats than a right fielder. Again, I get it. Dh dominates the league and leads team to playoffs, next closest guy plays an adequate right field for a third place team? No way the award shouldn't go to right fielder. It would be criminal, and make the award a joke. Hell, let's say arod was in the running again, and he continues to make errors at third base, leads the league in errors at third base, you could certainly make a case that his playing the field subtracts value, that the team would be better off with him at dh. Daddisamm hasn't backed up his statement, so I'm only guessing his reasoning. I'm guessing that he either underestimates how important an offensive force is in baseball, or hates the dh and wouldn't vote for one on principle. And that's ok. He's welcome to his personal opinion, but if I don't think voters who feel the same should be allowed to vote for mvp because it taints the award (even more than it has in the past).

posted by justgary at 07:34 PM on August 20

Hell, let's say arod was in the running again, and he continues to make errors at third base. you could certainly make a case that his playing the field subtracts value I fully believe A-Rod's problems at the plate are due to his problems in the field, and that his problems hitting make correcting his fielding woes much tougher (does everyone follow that?). You said it at the beginning of your last comment, justgary, that people don't fully understand what a mental game baseball is. When a player has to focus on playing sparkling ball in the field, at a very difficult position, as well as carry the burden as one of the best hitters in baseball, that's pressure. A DH can focus only on hitting, period. I still think Ortiz will be MVP, but players who shine offensively AND defensively will always get more respect and win close-calls in the most valuable argument.

posted by dyams at 09:07 PM on August 20

but players who shine offensively AND defensively will always get more respect and win close-calls in the most valuable argument. Well, of course, I said as much in my comment. When a player has to focus on playing sparkling ball in the field, at a very difficult position, as well as carry the burden as one of the best hitters in baseball, that's pressure. No doubt, and that should show up in the voting. If you're saying, however, being a dh makes hitting easier, I'd disagree. Depends on the player. Many will tell you they enjoy playing the field, allowing them to take their minds off hitting for half inning. Dh strikes out, he gets to think about it for 2 or more innings sitting on the bench. A normal player gets to try and make a difference on the field. Earlier this year when arod was having some throwing problems he took a game at dh. Result? 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.

posted by justgary at 10:02 PM on August 20

Earlier this year when arod was having some throwing problems he took a game at dh. Result? 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts. That's what I said. His fielding problems get in his head and his hitting suffers. Playing one game or so at DH won't make this problem(s) go away; he's not a DH. A-Rod knows he'll be back in the field the next day, most likely. Like the announcers Sunday night were talking about, that Mussina had lost his composure in a few previous starts because of A-Rod's fielding problems. The result? Last night A-Rod's not in the field. But it's not like he's sitting on the bench in between at-bats not thinking about his fielding problems. That's the mental part. A full-time DH doesn't have to worry about a hot shot going off, or over his glove, throwing a ball away on a crucial double play, etc. Start fixating on problems in those areas, your bat will probably go sour, too. Not to mention a large percentage of fans are mainly concerned with hitting. They expect all fielding plays to be made without exception. Those, of course, are the fans who have never picked up a glove in order to truly understand how tough playing in the field can be.

posted by dyams at 06:36 AM on August 21

justgary: No it doesn't. If you have trouble defining valuable, you don't need to vote for the award. Being a complete player is one part of being valuable, but it's only one part. This was in response to my statement that it depends how one defines valuable. Here's the language from the BBWAA, which votes on MVP: There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier. The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: 1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense. 2. Number of games played. 3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort. 4. Former winners are eligible. 5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team. You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, and that includes pitchers and designated hitters. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration. I read that as stating it is difficult to define valuable and leaving the leeway to interpret this in a variety of ways. (Inicidentally, I actually think this supports part of justgary's contention that there's more to it than being just a complete player.) My main point in stating that it depends on how you define valuable, though, was that valuable can be measured as the value to one's team generally, the value above the next-best replacement the team would have at a particular position (or the value over a generic replacement-level player at that position), etc. Also, using statistical measures of "value" that take into account defense give bonus points to players that actually play defense (and even more bonus points to players at up-the-middle positions like C, SS, CF) compared to measures that only track offensive production. Maybe "valuable" is like obscenity in Justice Stewart's famous saying that you know it when you see it, but I think there is some ambiguity there and the voters' voting over the years bears this out.

posted by holden at 07:33 AM on August 21

Also, using statistical measures of "value" that take into account defense give bonus points to players that actually play defense (and even more bonus points to players at up-the-middle positions like C, SS, CF) compared to measures that only track offensive production. Since 1973, the first season of the DH, MVP awards break down like this: Corner OF: AL 11, NL 15 Corner IF: AL 8, NL 11 Middle IF: AL 5, NL 4 Center Field: AL 3, NL 3 Catcher: AL 2, NL 0 Now, here's something. Pitchers have a hard time winning the MVP Award. I would think this is due largely to a similar argument made against DHs. Pitchers are measured ONLY for defense (even when they do hit -- NL -- not many do hit). On top of that, of course, starting pitchers work only every 4-5 days (going back to '73) and relievers, at best, every other day. So, you would think that if the backlash against DH's is that they play half the game, the battle would be even harder for pitchers. Well, since 1973 four pitchers have won the MVP Award. And (here's the kicker)... they were ALL in the American League of DHs (Fingers, Hernandez, Eck and Clemens). Weird, huh? Side note: when Don Baylor won in '79, he had DH'd in 65 of his games. That's just the seventh season of the DH. I think the problem with the biggest problem with DH's isn't that they only play half the game. I think the problem is the prevailing (and not inaccurate) perception that they are DH's because they are downright bad defensively. We've argued on this forum that Manny hasn't DH'd, even when his legs were hurting and he could have used the break, because the Sox REALLY don't want Ortiz in the field. Period. That lack of flexibility counts against your value to the team, and effects the club not only in the case of rotating hurting players, but more evidently in interleague games. Regarding this series: there's still a lot of baseball left, but Derek Jeter might have just won the MVP. If the Yankees win the AL East, most people will look at this series as a transitional point in the season. And when they look at this series, they will see Jeter's 3 for 6 in game one, bases clearing double to take the lead in the 7th inning of game two, and the two-out ninth inning flare last night to tie the game. Giambi may steal some of his votes, but unless he goes on a tear and gets his average up closer to .300, Jeter will be the guy the writers will focus on.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:05 AM on August 21

A full-time DH doesn't have to worry about a hot shot going off, or over his glove, throwing a ball away on a crucial double play, etc. Start fixating on problems in those areas, your bat will probably go sour, too. Not to mention a large percentage of fans are mainly concerned with hitting. They expect all fielding plays to be made without exception. Those, of course, are the fans who have never picked up a glove in order to truly understand how tough playing in the field can be. None of which I disagreed with, so I'm not sure if you understand what I'm saying or not. Good fielding, even average fielding, would be a plus when comparing anyone to a dh. I'm not arguing that point, but simply the difficulty of hitting when a dh vs playing the field. My point was there's a yin/yang thing going on here that you seem to ignore. If you're contributing in the field it can help you deal with offensive slumps. If you're a dh and slumping, that's all you've got. That's a lot of pressure, knowing you're failing at the only way you can contribute. And when you're a dh, normally you're suppose to be a major offensive force. It's just not as cut and dry as you make it to be. Many players have commented on hating the dh role. (I'm also not sure arod is a good example, seeming to be a head case and all.) There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. Well, we're getting into semantics here. To me the key is it doesn't say "There is not clear-cut definition of what Valuable means". That's a big difference to me. I think people generally understand valuable, but have a hard time measuring MOST valuable.

posted by justgary at 10:05 AM on August 21

Well, since 1973 four pitchers have won the MVP Award. And (here's the kicker)... they were ALL in the American League of DHs (Fingers, Hernandez, Eck and Clemens). Weird, huh? In three of those cases, it's a closer that got the award. Closers with miniscule ERAs, high save totals or on winning teams seem to draw a high number of MVP votes. In my mind, it's ridiculous for a closer to win MVP. Let's do a little math: Dennis Eckersley, 1992 MVP: 80IP, 62H, 11BB That adds up to about 153 plate appearances he had influence on (give or take a few based on errors and double plays). Kirby Puckett, 1992 MVP runner-up: 696 plate appearance, 394 putouts, 9 assists, 3 errors That adds up to 1102 plate appearances he had influence on (offence and defence, give or take a few). That means, Puckett had an effect on the game more than 7 times as often as Eckersley over the course of a season. In my books, the difference in influence is so great that Eckersley would have to have been at least 4 times "better" than Puckett to make up for it. I can't believe anyone in their right mind believes that Eckersley was 4-fold "better" than Puckett in 1992.

posted by grum@work at 11:55 AM on August 21

In 1992, Eckersley appeared in 69 games, finishing 65 of them. Of those 69 appearances, he allowed runs (any runs) in 13 of them. Of those 13, the opposing team came out the victor in 2 of them. So, Eckersley can only be held even partially accountable for 2 losses in 69 appearances -- 2.9% of his appearances. Puckett appeared in 160 games in 1992. Of them, the Twins lost in extra innings 7 times. On top of that, the Twins lost 21 one-run games in regulation. That means that in 17.5% of his appearances, if Puckett had just generated one more run or defensively prevented just one run, it might well have been the difference between winning and losing. Clearly, Eck was over six times better than Puckett that year.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:54 PM on August 21

there's still a lot of baseball left, but Derek Jeter might have just won the MVP. And isn't that a shame? He's having a great year, and he might deserve it in the end. But last night where did he rank? Behind Mo who got out of the jam, definitely behind giambi. I'm not even sure why we pitch to giambi. Behind francona definitely. The one game we should win (yankees couldn't hit schilling nor papelbon), and he gives it away. Take giambi out of the game last night, sox win. Jeter, who knows. Papelbon just ate him up and he gets a bloop hit into right. Announcer calls jeter clutch. For a second I thought he was joking. Giambi's a monster.

posted by justgary at 02:13 PM on August 21

That would be us fans who have to put up the the over of hype this series has brought! then don't pay attention to it. posted by jerseygirl at 8:46 AM CDT on August You may be right Jersert Girl buts its hard to ignore the hype when you want to watch the game. You all know that I am Ahuge Twins fan-that doesnt meant I dont like watching a good rivalary. It was a good series to watch no matter what! Good baseball is good baseball no matter how muched it over hyped!

posted by daddisamm at 04:24 PM on August 21

Clearly, Eck was over six times better than Puckett that year. Ah, very well played, BP. Your stat-fu skills are quite sharp. You point out the negative influence each player may have, but ignored the positive influence. Naturally, appearing in FAR more games, Puckett's positive influence easily outstrips Eckersley's. Twins: 92 wins A's: 96 wins Puckett appears in 160/162 games. Assume worst case scenario that he sat out two wins, then he made a contribution to 90 wins. In those 90 wins, there were an approximate total of 3400 plate appearances by the offence. Puckett made about 385 plate appearances. That means he contributed about 11.3% of the offence for those wins (which is silly since he hit much better than the average Twin, but for the ease of calculation, we'll go with it). Eckersley appears in 69/162 games. Assume best case scenario that his team won all the games he made a contribution to, but didn't get a win or a save. That means he made a contribution to about 67 wins. In those 67 wins, there were approximately 2600 batters faced by pitchers. Eckersley pitched about 304 of those plate appearances, or about 11.7% of the 67 wins (which is also silly since he pitched in higher leverage innings than the average A's pitcher (and did quite well), but for ease of calculation, we'll go with it). Puckett: 11.3% of 90 wins = 10.17 "wins" Eckersley: 11.7% of 67 wins = 7.84 "wins" This doesn't take into account Puckett's fielding contribution, which would probably be much larger than Eckersley's since Puckett did win a Gold Glove that year.

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on August 21

Before you bring up Puckett's contribution to Twins losses, it should be pointed out that Eckersley RARELY had a chance to contribute to a loss since his limited appearances were (generally) in games that the A's were leading. Puckett, however, played for pretty much the entire season, whch is the central part of my argument about 80IP-pitchers getting MVP awards over position players (or even starting pitchers).

posted by grum@work at 04:34 PM on August 21

Derek Jeter might have just won the MVP Too close to call, but if the Yanks Win The Pennant, I wouldn't bet against it. Ortiz isn't exactly rolling over. I also think the decision to not re-sign Damon is haunting the Sox, and it appears to me that Johnny is enjoying himself very much, heh heh.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:48 PM on August 21

Note to self: never engage grum@work in stat-fu.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:59 PM on August 21

Jeter: 24 AB, 7 H, 6 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR Ortiz: 20 AB, 6 H, 5 R, 4 RBI, 3BB, 3 K, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR Nothing special about jeter's numbers this series. I also think the decision to not re-sign Damon is haunting the Sox, and it appears to me that Johnny is enjoying himself very much, heh heh. Please. Did you watch the series? Pitching, pitching, pitching, and unless damon can pitch he wouldn't have helped. He had a great series, but when he comes down to his normal damon numbers he'll be what he always was, a good leadoff hitter who's overpaid. Not to mention the problem with the contract is the sox didn't want to be paying 10 mil a year 3 years from now. They didn't not sign damon because they thought he'd break down THIS year. Boston has way bigger problems than losing damon.

posted by justgary at 06:09 PM on August 21

Ah, very well played, BP. Your stat-fu skills are quite sharp. Ah Grum, you hear the crack of the bat in the distance, but you do not hear the rosin bag that is at your feet. (Lips still moving.) Now the student becomes the teacher. (Lips still moving.) I must break you. (Wrong movie.) In 1992, Puckett accumulated 104 runs, 110 RBIs and 19 HRs. Therefore, he was directly responsible for 110+104-19=195 runs scoring (I'm sure that stat has a name, but I don't know it). That is a lot. But, my good sir, your analysis spreads Puckett's offense out evenly over all his plate appearances... when, in fact, he failed to generate any runs (either by scoring or RBI) in 57 games. FIFTY-SEVEN games. He appears to have generated, on average, 1.22 runs per game, but in reality he generated 1.89 runs over 103 games. Oh, but those 57 games. Tsk tsk. If he had generated just his average in a select six of those 57 games, the Twins might have won the pennant (instead, they lost the pennant by six games to... Eckersley's A's). Now consider this. You say that Eckersley RARELY had a chance to contribute to a loss since his limited appearances were (generally) in games that the A's were leading. And I say that Eckersley was routinely put in a position only to fail, since success was already at his doorstep when the bullpen door opened. He was put into a save situation 54 times in 1992 and converted 51 of them. (Of the three he blew, the A's came back and won two of them.) Let's say the average regular closer at that time blew 17% of his saves (that's probably pretty close). If Eck had been average that year, he blows nine saves -- six more than he actually did. Which was exactly the difference between winning the pennant and tying the Twins. M. V. P.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:30 PM on August 21

He was put into a save situation 54 times in 1992 and converted 51 of them. Let's say the average regular closer at that time blew 17% of his saves (that's probably pretty close). /bows respectfully Actually, between 1991 and 1998, there were 9185 games in the 9th inning that were "save situations" (top of the 9th, home team winning by 1, 2, or 3 runs, OR bottom of the 9th, home team trailing by 1, 2, or 3 runs) (stats). The team that had the lead lost a grand total of 868 times, meaning that a "blown save" (or collapse by the starting pitcher) occurred only 9.45% of the time. That means, out of the 54 times Eckersley was put in a save situation (assuming they were of the 9th inning variety, which they were a large percentage of time), if he was league average, his team would only lose about 5 games. Since he "blew" 3 of them, he was really only 2 wins better than average. That is less than the difference bewteen the As and the Twins. /prepares for dim mak Consulting the Win Shares book, it seems that Puckett was credited with 31 win shares in 1992 (1st on the Twins), while Eckersley was credited with 18 win shares (5th on the team).

posted by grum@work at 08:16 PM on August 21

Don't make me get all Hong Kong Phooey on your Bill James... Your numbers only include 9th inning save situations. My buddy Gabe Schechter told me that seven of the top all-time closers have a combined blown save percentage of .175 (600 blown saves divided by 3423 save opportunities). And those are the best -- not the average. Not the Jose Mesas. Not the Armando Benitezszsz. (Pours a round of sake.) Perhaps we can agree that the MVP really should have gone to a guy who played every day AND was on a playoff-bound team. How 'bout DH Dave Winfield?

posted by BullpenPro at 08:54 PM on August 21

You two alcoholic number-crunchers really need to get your martial arts myths straight if you're gonna indulge in this kind of foolishness in a public place.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:17 PM on August 21

I object to being labeled a "number-cruncher."

posted by BullpenPro at 09:43 PM on August 21

I object to anyone getting involved in a martial arts myths battle again.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:46 AM on August 22

I object to being labled alcoholic. As a Jays fan, I'd have had no problem with a Blue Jay being the MVP, but I would have chosen Roberto Alomar over Winfield, since Alomar added the element of speed and Gold Glove defence as well as an above-average bat. BTW, good article by Schechter.

posted by grum@work at 11:25 AM on August 22

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.