Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ingraham Defends Self Poorly Over Non-JV Vote; I Respond

After the announcement yesterday of Justin Verlander winning the MVP, I wrote about my disgust over one voter, Jim Ingraham from Cleveland, completely leaving JV off of his ballot. I remarked that I anxiously waited for him to write a piece defending himself, which to his credit, he spent little time in getting online.

Was I too hasty? Did Jim say anything worthwhile to defend himself in naming ten other AL players over Verlander as most valuable?

No. He didn’t. Read on.

I was one of the 28 voters for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

If there were any justice, you never would be again.

I had three Detroit Tigers on my ballot. None of the three was Justin Verlander, who won the award, getting 13 of a possible 28 first-place votes.

And that is why you fail.

I was the only voter who didn't include Verlander anywhere on his 10-player ballot.

That’s because you are a clueless penis blister on the overall body that is sports writing.

This was my reasoning:

The short version is I don't believe pitchers should be eligible for the MVP Award.

Okay. So the actual rules state that pitchers are, in fact, eligible for the MVP Award. Thus, they should be included. Several pitchers have even won the award in the past. Just because you, for whatever reason, disagree with this rule does not fucking mean you have the right to change said rule.

My not voting for Verlander had nothing to do with evaluating what Verlander accomplished this season. It was one of the great seasons by any pitcher ever. Nobody has to convince me of Verlander's greatness this season.

No, but what they apparently need to convince you of is that a great player is also valuable. I cannot see how anyone, let alone a sportswriter that actually sees Verlander carve up his team a few times a year, cannot understand this fact. Then again, I’m not a goddamn moron with shit for brains.

I cover the Indians, who are in the same division as the Tigers, so I've seen Verlander's greatness first-hand.

Yeah, he’s awesome, isn’t he? He’s the best pitcher in baseball. This makes him valuable. In fact, I think he was one of the top five (at least) most valuable players in all of baseball in 2011, let alone the American League.


He's the only pitcher I saw this year who I felt had a legitimate chance to pitch a no-hitter every time he took the mound.

Yet it didn’t click in your thimble-sized brain that this makes him pretty valuable? I keep using the word “valuable” because this award that you had the important task in voting for has the word “valuable” in it when describing the player you were voting for.

I know Verlander is a great pitcher. I also know, by the nature of his job, he did not appear at all in 128 of the Tigers' games this year. That's 79 percent of the Tigers' season. I can't think of any other sport in which a player who didn't play in 79 percent of his team's games could be voted the Most Valuable Player in his league.

Let me repeat what I said in my last piece to counter this argument once again.

Verlander faced 969 batters this season. And he dominated them. Now let’s take another dominant MVP candidate in Cabrera. He had 688 plate appearances. So Verlander had nearly 300 more head-to-head matchups than Cabrera, who played in 161 games this year.

And it’s not like Verlander went out there every five days and spent the rest of the time, say, drinking beer and eating chicken. His side sessions and preparing for opposing teams were invaluable in his success this year. Also, Verlander’s dominance allowed Jim Leyland the luxury of using his entire pen in the two days before JV’s starts, knowing they wouldn’t be needed on Justin’s day. And the day after? The pen is rested again.

So just because a guy like Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jose Bautista are out there, standing around, scratching their balls, and maybe affecting the ballgame 4-6 times per game on a daily basis shouldn’t overshadow a guy that affects EVERY play every fifth day.

Obviously, I'm in the minority in this year's MVP voting. I expected to be. I'm sure many wonder why I didn't at least have Verlander somewhere on my ballot — second, third, fourth — if not first. My answer to that is this: If Verlander was going to be on my ballot at all, he was going to be first.

/bangs head against wall repeatedly

So, he was good enough to be first on your ballot based on the rules. But you don’t like the rules. So you left him off. Is that it?

/resumes banging head against wall

But once I decided I didn't think it was fair to compare pitchers with position players for this award, meaning I wasn't going to give Verlander a first-place vote, it would have been hypocritical of me to have him anywhere else on my ballot.

Deciding if it’s fair to compare pitchers and position players was NOT YOUR FUCKING JOB. Your job was to vote for the Most Valuable Player in the American League. The rules say pitchers are eligible. 27 other voters were able to understand this. Anyone that has ever heard of the MVP understands this. My fucking kid understands this and all he cares about is Pokemon and farts.

Let’s try this. Thursday is Thanksgiving. Let’s say I go to my mom’s house and she puts out a spread of salad, some stuffing, yams, some sweet potatoes, kielbasa, a turkey, and serves a pumpkin flavored cheesecake for dessert. Then, she asks me what my favorite part of the meal was. I ask her if dessert counts, since the pumpkin cheesecake was the bomb. She says yes. But then I (for whatever reason) say, no, I don’t think dessert should count. So I’m going with the kielbasa, even though the pumpkin cheesecake gave me a mouth orgasm.

This is wrong because she established the rules and then I just went with my own. It doesn’t make sense. Also, none of this would happen because my mom will probably spend Thanksgiving drunk watching Lifetime movies, calling me a failure, and not cooking at all. I hate my family.

/love ya, mom

He was either going to be first on my ballot or not on it at all.

This is so dumb. Thank goodness most of Cleveland is illiterate and can’t read your horseshit on a daily basis.

Again, I realize I'm in the minority, and I don't begrudge any of my peers who did vote for Verlander. I can understand their argument for voting for him, and I respect the reasoning of those who did. I just don't agree with it. That's the whole purpose of the voting process. Sorting out opinions.

Fuck you. The purpose of voting is to choose the best of the best. To reward the man who did the best job based on the rules of the vote. Your opinion on the rules has nothing to do with it.

The US Constitution says that someone must be at least 35 years old to be President. I don’t agree with this. If a 32 year old is smart and qualified enough to be President, I don’t think those three years should be held against him or her. But you know what? Those are the rules. I could start a campaign to have that rule changed if I had a bunch of free time and really cared enough about it. But I’m not going to mess up the voting process just because I don’t agree with the rules.

In the 34 games (21 percent) of the Tigers' season that Verlander appeared in, he was obviously overpowering, and in most games virtually unbeatable. But in 128 of the Tigers' games (79 percent), he was no factor at all.

Except for the whole saving the bullpen thing that you ignore.

Twenty-one percent of an NFL season is three games. I highly doubt an NFL quarterback could be voted MVP if he only played in three games.

This isn’t football. I know that with the shitty Browns in Cleveland, you’re not exactly sure what football is supposed to look like. But this is a baseball award. They are completely different things. Quit trying to outthink the room.

I also believe there is a grind to the 162-game major-league season that position players have to deal with that starting pitchers don't. Position players must be physically and mentally prepared to perform at a high level in 140 or more games per season.

Ever watch an outfielder during a baseball game? They spend 90% of the game scratching their ass and looking for hot broads in the stands. A couple times, they run after a ball. Not exactly marathon running, you know?

Ever actually play baseball? It’s not exactly the most strenuous sport in the world. Many of these guys work harder trying to find their car keys in the morning than they do in an average 9 inning game. Did John Kruk or Cecil Fielder look like world class athletes to you?

Also, two players you DID include on your ballot were Michael Young and Victor Martinez, guys who spent a lot of time, and in V-Mart’s case, the majority of his time, as designated hitters in 2011. Please don’t try and convince everyone how strenuous it is to actually have to stand up and swing a bat four times within three hours.

And another thing about starters, brought up by Jay in the comments yesterday, is the pressure that the starter faces. If a hitter fails when all eyes are on him, he’s got a few more at bats to redeem himself. The focus is only on him for a minute or two. Meanwhile, the focus of the game is on the pitcher the entire time he’s out there. And if he screws up, he’ll be in the showers before you can say “Brad Penny”. Verlander not only met and stared down that pressure, but he excelled in it this year.

And as I said before, the days in between starts for Verlander weren’t spent playing Call of Duty and beating off to midget porn in the clubhouse. The man worked hard every day and it’s insulting for you to insinuate anything different. Just because Fausto Carmona sleeps through the four days between his starts before getting bombed off the field within 2 innings doesn’t mean every pitcher is like that.

It's a great achievement for the position players at the top of the MVP voting to be able to stay healthy and to perform at the high level they did over the long marathon of a major-league season. Starting pitchers aren't required to do that.

A starting pitcher does more in 7 innings than most position players do in two weeks. Seriously, think about it. During the Tigers/Yankees playoff game I went to this year, for example, Nick Swisher chased after like two balls. The rest of the time, he was talking smack, shaking his ass at chicks, and joking with other fans in the bleachers. Meanwhile, on the mound, CC Sabathia was working his balls off in a losing effort.

That doesn't mean starting pitchers are any less important than position players.

Or less valuable.

But to me, it does mean trying to compare the relative worth of a player who plays in 150 games to one who plays in 34 is very difficult. A pitcher and a position player are two completely different jobs.

So is pitching and being an NFL quarterback. But you like making that comparison for some weird fucking reason.

I've been voting on these awards for 27 years.

By my count, that’s 27 too many.

I take this process very seriously.

No, you take your personal beliefs very seriously. You take them seriously enough that you are willing to ruin the integrity of the MVP voting process by making your own rules. You’re a hypocrite after all.

Verlander is a great pitcher. The best in the majors this year. My ballot is not my way of saying he wasn't.

No, your ballot was your way of making YOU more important than the players you were voting on. And this is a disgrace. It’s a shame that no one in the major media will have the balls to call you out for it.

My ballot is my way of saying it's unfair to both groups to have to compare pitchers and position players for this particular award.

As a columnist, you are in the unique position to state your case for changing the rules of voting for the MVP. So do that. Write some epic essay on the evils of the MVP voting process and petition your fellow voters to make it an official change.

But until that happens, you should do what you have been entrusted with. You should have voted on who the ten most valuable players in the American League were in 2011. You didn’t do so and are a sham of a voter for doing so. Thank goodness EVERY SINGLE ONE of your colleagues were not as careless and classless.

As I’ve said before, I don’t care where you put Justin Verlander in your vote. He was third in my personal meaningless ballot. But to not include him at all because you don’t like the rules of the voting is silly, ridiculous, and the work of someone that should never, NEVER be allowed to be part of such an important process again.



Jay Hathaway said...

Word up.

xsquatchx said...

"a clueless penis blister on the overall body that is sports writing"

i could not agree more

Kurt Mensching said...

it goes like this. Examine top position player salaries. Examine top starting  pitcher salaries. Realize top pitchers can get paid 20 million a year, too. Sounds like baseball front offices find pitchers to be pretty valuable still. 

Garret Craig said...

"That doesn't mean starting pitchers are any less important than position players." By writing this sentence, Ingraham is contradicting himself. See two different definitions of the word "important": "of great significance or value" or "having relevant and crucial value."

Zach said...

You're right on about Verlander actually affecting more than 60% (about 102) of the games he played in.  Let's take it one step further, though.  If you take a look at the number of hits Miguel Cabrera had during the regular season, assume there are four at-bats per game, he only hit about 49 games' worth of at-bats.  His fielding (putouts and assists) accounted for about 51 games' worth of outs.  So, assuming that all of his hitting and fielding never happened in the same games, Miguel Cabrera affected, on his own, about 100 games of the regular season.

Biff Mayhem said...

Make the world a better place. Punch a Cleveland Indians fan in the face.

Marques Thomey said...

Rogo, I would have to say that he is a true Buckeye fan that was caught up in the fact that someone from that "State up north" had the greatest season of anyone in the AL this year.  He hates all things Michigan, whether its Detroit, Kalamazoo or Traverse City.  Just like Woody, whom punched an opposing player in the throat after his quarterback through an interception, he didn't want anything to do with Michigan.  It's a shame that someone from Ohio chose to make a personal statement, instead of voting for the person that had the best season of anyone in that league.  I know you're from the armpit of America, but you have a brain, unlike this guy.  Shame on him, another epic fail.

gobluerick said...

Great post. Ingraham,s a prick.

Kevin C said...

I love Rogo's picture, It makes me feel as though I were talking to Bobby Higginson, thanks Rogo.

Kevin C said...

The writer is from Cleveland, enough said
Nothing to see here people, do not feed the troll.

Ingraham and simonsen sitting in a tree...........k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Uncle Omar said...

On the 4th hole today a friend suggested that if pitchers are eligible for the MVP then there should be a special award for position players in each league--call it the Babe Ruth Award in the AL and the Wille Mays Award in the NL.  Keep the MVP the way it is with all players eligible.  Who knows, maybe more pitchers would win the MVP if the position players had their own award.

Zaref336 said...

Technically there is an award for position players, it's called the Hank Aaron Award, it's more for hitters but like all baseball awards, none of them are given correctly ( i.e. how hitting has a lot to do with the Gold Glove). Verlander had a season that won't be matched again inthe next few decades it was that special

Mouhamad Zareef said...

If you want to answer Jim Ingrhams analogy examine his words like so: "pitchers only take part of 21% of their teams games, would you give the MVP to an NFL player who only appeared in 3 of his teams games?." That's a fair statement but by using his logic then think of this, there are roughly 130 plays in an NFL game (offense, defense, special teams) and a QB directly affects appx 30 of those plays, using that logic then he's only involved in 23% of his teams games but we have no problem naming Brady or Manning MVP...