I will never trust the BBWA and their MVP and other award voting. If Ted Williams loses to Joe Gordon (1942) then you know it is a sham. Of course, this season it has been a given that A-Rod is going to win the award since his tremendous first month. But just how do you determine MVP? I mean, it is supposed to be MOST VALUABLE. How the heck do you measure a players value?
Usually, I would say VORP - Value Over Replacement Player (VORP is defined by Baseball Prospectus as: The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense.
Of course, selecting the top two players by VORP would simply hand the award to A-Rod and Hanley Ramierez (HANLEY???). Obviously, this is not the ideal choice to select an MVP. The MVP has to be the most indispensible player on his team. To try to figure this out, I simply did a VORP differential check. That is, what is the difference between the best player and second best on the team. The larger the difference, the more valuable the player, right?
Well, in the American League, that player was David Ortiz (39.7 VORP DIFF). Uh-oh, too simple. So I decided to see what the leading cast the candidate worked with (composite VORP of the other four players on the team). Well, did that make any difference? Umm, it told me that good teams have four other good players beside their top player. This really juist illuminates that A-Rod and Magglio Ordonez had a great supporting cast, while the Sox supporting cast was very good (and the White Sox and Royals are really, really bad). Check out the chart I put together showing the stats for AL MVP with their VORP RANK (AL & NL) as well as their VORP differential to the next best player on the team, as well as the combined VORP of players 2 through 5 by their offensive VORP ranking.
VORP RANK NAME TEAM VORP DIFF LEADING CAST
17 Vladimir Guerrero ANA 26.2 116.2
28 Brian Roberts BAL 10.2 100.4
4 David Ortiz BOS 39.7 148.1
31 Jim Thome CHA 22 55.4
20 Victor Martinez CLE 1.2 138.6
3 Magglio Ordonez DET 20.5 191.7
134 Mark Grudzielanek KCA 6.1 43.3
45 Torii Hunter MIN 9 92.1
1 Alex Rodriguez NYA 23.2 199.6
65 Jack Cust OAK 1.1 85.4
16 Ichiro Suzuki SEA 32.2 112.3
13 Carlos Pena TBA 21.6 125.4
50 Michael Young TEX 10.3 99.2
47 Alex Rios TOR 7.4 108.6
I said it before, and now I have manipulated the statistics to show what I want them to show: DAVID ORTIZ, MVP!!!
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