Found November 17, 2012 on The Rhino and Compass:
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There was an uproar earlier this week among the more statistically inclined, and more traditional thinkers when Miguel Cabrera was awarded the MVP rather than Mike Trout. I have three specific reasons for this, and none, I don’t believe, will really offend too many people. For the first reason, you need to recognize why Trout was receiving the plaudits he was. He was the runaway statistical leader in Wins Above Replacement which takes into account batting, baserunning and fielding (for hitters) and calculates a number, intending to equate that number with the amount of wins a player was worth compared to AAA call up. Trout was a 10, Cabrera was a 7.1. Trout’s large margin (and 2.9 is a pretty large margin: Josh Willingham and Jamey Carroll were separated by 1.5) was due in it’s entirety to his defensive and baserunning largess. I can definitely appreciate Trout’s fielding ability and his base running skills from the eyeball test, but frankly, they still haven’t figured out a way to quantitatively measure fielding yet. Any statistician will tell you that this is the major flaw with calculating WAR or any statistic that seeks to encompass an entire player’s ability. Among the stats that can be quantitatively measured, Miguel Cabrera was the better player this year. He won the triple crown after all, for his prowess at the plate. Trout was obviously a better baserunner, and just as obviously a better fielder but it can’t be definitively decided HOW much better Trout was in the field, or how much, more importantly, that meant to the Angels. The second reason I am OK with Cabrera winning the MVP is purely semantics. It’s the most VALUABLE player, not necessarily the BEST player. And no, this isn’t an argument about the Tigers making the playoffs and not the Angels. IT has to do with what Major League Baseball values. Who gets the most money? Power hitters. Who are the most feared hitters in the line up? Power hitters. Even if we think it’s foolish, that’s where the cash goes, that’s what is valued in the League today. Cabrera is the type of guy pitchers avoid, which makes his entire lineup better. Even late in the season, after Trout had been around a while, I bet more pitchers feared Albert Pujols than they did Trout. For what the majority of baseball values, Cabrera was more valuable. Maybe not better, but more valuable. The last reason I’m OK with Miguel Cabrera winning the MVP is simple: Awards are stupid. I mean, really, does who won the award change anything? No. Let’s just get ready for next year.
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