Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NL MVP Thoughts

pujOls Pictures, Images and Photos
Allow me to take a break from my usual pondering of which borderline AAA ballplayer the Tigers will attempt to sign to pitch the 7th inning or hit in front of Brandon Inge. I'd like to address the b.s. Skip Bayless and the 2 Live Stew guys were shoveling on ESPN First Take today. During the 1st and 10 segment of the program, all three guys were saying that Albert Pujols shouldn't have won the NL MVP award. Their choices?

Skip: Ryan Howard
Stew #1: Manny Ramirez
Stew #2: Brad Lidge

Let me begin by quickly dismissing the two Stew choices. (Sorry, I'm not that familiar with these guys.) Manny was wonderful as a Dodger, but he played in 53 games. He was a beast in those 53 games, but 53 games does not make a MVP. The Dodgers had magnificent pitching all year long and that is why they won the NL West...the worst division in baseball. Their .519 winning percentage would've had them finish 5th in the NL Central and 4th in the NL East. So, sorry, Manny. Enjoy your gazillions you will be getting in the offseason.

Stew #2's case for Lidge was that he was 41 for 41 in save opportunities and had 7 saves in the postseason. First off, the postseason doesn't count. As someone paid to offer your professional opinion, you should know this. Write for the Free Press if you don't. As for the 41 saves, that's impressive. As a Tiger fan, believe me, I would kill for a guy like that in the pen. But the save is truly the most overrated stat in baseball. You can give up a run or two and still get a save. That's not that big of a deal unless your first name is "Todd" or "Fernando". Bobby Thigpen had 57 of them one year and he was a bad pitcher.

Back to you, Skip. Most people hate Skip Bayless. He's arrogant and can be annoying, but I usually like the guy. Watching him and Steven A. Smith argue about stuff is entertaining to me because I have no life outside of watching my son break stuff. But saying that Ryan Howard deserves the MVP over Albert Pujols is like saying "Sure, we'll trade you Jurrjens for Renteria...AND we'll throw in another prospect, too!" It may have sounded good coming out of your mouth at the time, but if you actually put some thought into it, you'd realize that you are a moron. And you may have a large dimple in your chin.

Before I turn into stat dork, let me address Skip's main arguement: Howard's team made the playoffs and Pujols' team didn't. SHUT UP ON THIS CRAP! A couple posts ago, I pointed out that Luis Sojo had 4 World Series rings. Did HE win them all? No, he was on good teams in New York! Is it Albert Pujols' fault that that Cardinals' best pitcher was Kyle Lohse? In baseball, one player does not make a winning team. Ask Miguel Cabrera. Hell, four players does not make a team. Ask Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Curtis Granderson, and Armando Galarraga. You need a great complete TEAM to make the playoffs. Ryan Howard was surrounded this year by guys like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Mr. Lidge, and other guys that had great years. Pujols had, um...Ryan Ludwick? I watched him play for the Mud Hens a couple years ago...great move letting him go, DD. But I'm off the point...GIVE ME STATS!

Avg--AP: .357 RH: .251
HR--AP: 37 RH: 48
RBI--AP: 116 RH: 146
OPS: AP: 1.114 RH: .881
2B: AP: 44 RH: 26
BB: AP: 104 RH: 81
K: AP: 54 RH: 199!

And most important...

VORP: AP: 98.7!!! RH: 36.6

Hell, Cabrera's VORP was 42.7.

Ryan Howard, congrats. You had a great year. You hit a lot of homeruns. You had an all-star team batting in front of you and got a lot of RBIs. But you are in no way the NL most valuable player when Albert Pujols is putting up video game numbers like that.

(FUN RELATED STAT: Howard stuck out 199 times last year. Manny Ramirez had only 187 official at bats with the Dodgers.)

And Skip? Stick to picking on Lebron James for shooting too many three pointers. At least you have my support when you do that.

And finally, enjoy your MVP, Mr. Pujols. You deserved it for being the personification of awesome last year. (I still hate you and your friends for 2006, though. Bastard.)

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