Sunday, August 06, 2006

A new award

Get ready for the NY propaganda machine to gear up in the next two months for the ABP award. The ABP award (anyone but Papi, formerly known as the MVP), as any baseball fan knows (especially us Sox fans) should be the rightful property of mister David Ortiz. Okay, last year, you can have the argument about defense, etc. Fine. It was close last year. And while I (hell, all of us too) thought Ortiz should have been the MVP, I can understand some of the arguments.

But in a bit of poetic justice, Ortiz has found his competition this year coming pretty much from other DHs (Thome, Hafner and Giambi). So today Kernan of the post says Jeter is the MVP. I mean it has to be Jeter since last year the argument was that no offense only player could win the award. Never mind that the Yanks might no worse if Giambi himself played SS, than no range Jeter, but that is another argument. So lets promote Jeter. The player who has carried the Yanks through all their injuries. Never mind that he won't (or will barely) score 100 runs, won't (or will barely) drive in 100 runs, will barely hit 10 HRs. Ladies and gentlemen, this is supposed to be our MVP. Yet anyone who follows the Yankees knows that it is Giambi that gets the big hits. His .250 average aside, we all "know" from last year that a no defense player can't win the award.

It will be fun to listen to the NY media tout his candidacy. Never mind that the MVP is reserved for power hitters and sluggers.

We will hear about Ichiro in 2001. I'm sure they will ignore that the M's won 116 games that year. Or look at that lineup - no Giambi, Damon or A-rod like figures.
We will hear about Barry Larkin. Ignore the gold glove and 50 SB.
We will hear about Terry Pendleton. Ignore that everyone already hated Bonds. And that ATL came out of nowhere to win their first of 3 straight divisions. Followed by 11 more after the 94 season.

So brace yourselves. It should be maddening. And delightful for discussion.....


  1. There are 2 baseball teams in New York. Of the writers about whom any bias may be admitted or discerned, it's often for the Mets. One writer is
    a long time White Sox fan. Many area writers contribute to ESPN and /or MLB
    & it's through those contributions that the widest audience of potential
    BBWAA voters can be reached. There's no geographical bias against Ortiz. Let all the voters make their ballots public if you want to improve the system. For another example, do you think it's ethical for a voter to be in a business relationship, ie writing a memoir, of an eligible player? If you want to fix the system, remove the media and install managers as voters. Ortiz would probably win.

  2. Hey Susan, thanks for the comment. I have checked out your blog before and admire the work. Lets just say if I posted at your site every time I Kennedy and Dibble said something assinine, the internet would probably stop functioning.....

    I certainly understand that there are two NY teams, but I'm sure hos that is even relevant to this. Kernan, who wrote today's piece, covers the Mets as much as the Yanks. And it wasn't even geographical bias I was pointing to, it was the DH vs. no-DH. And since almost all NY writers played up the anti-DH angle in last year's debate, the same folks can't tout the candidacy of Giambi, the true MVP of the Yankees this year.

    It is an entirely different debate about allowing the BBWAA vote on awards (and HOF) - and some newspapers are actually starting to ban their writers from doing so. I don't have a huge problem with it. It is annoying when writers do stupid things (like vote for a pitcher one year and then 5 years later leave a pitcher off the ballot who had arguably one of the greatest seasons in the previous 20 years and then claim he does not feel pitchers can be MVPs). And the closed/open ballot question is not a large concern either - we generally find out who people vote for. After all they are sports writers and their vote can be a story for them. Plus they are all pals and not revealing who one voted for would have some repercussions. Plus, I'm not so sure the managers would do a better job. MLB would surely not like it since it would eliminate much of the coverage and debate.

    Perhpas they could retain the two writers per city, but force those writers to be selected based on some integrity based criteria or a vote of the other members of the BBWAA.

    Nothing is perfect and every system will have its flaws, I was simply pointing out where (I think) we will be heading this fall.

  3. Interesting move by Minaya today, locking up David Wright. Hey, if I'm David Wright, I'm very happy to sign that deal. And once again Minaya has shown his "genius" by spending Wilpon's money.

    It's nice to know that your franchise player(s) are signed and under your control. And having the amounts agreed to up front gives you what they call "cost certainty." But usually (especially!!) in these deals, the player usually gives up some potential $$ for the certainty of a long term deal.

    And while a few of the numbers make sense, the entire contract seems a bit absurd. DW would not be eligible for Arb next year, so he would likely get about $2MM next year (about what they are paying him). Then in 08 and 09 they pay him 5 and 7.5 respectively and finally 10MM in 2010. Those amounts are about what he would expect to get in arbitration, win or lose. I won't dibble over a million or two. And Omar has done DW the favor of buying out his first two years of FA at 14MM and 15MM, respectively.

    So, if contracts go up (a lot) AND Wright continues to perform the way he has, Omar saved the Mets a few million. I'll even say he could have "saved" them up to $10MM. But what if Wright is the next Pat Burrell - a few strong season (and great third one) followed by a fat contract and declining production. This is not the Nomar contract. Hell even Reyes was a decent signing compared to this - not crazy dollars and not crazy years.

    The bottom line is, even if Wright continues to perform the way he has, couldn't Minaya go to him in two years give him essentially the same deal? I just don't see the upside. Except that the media will praise him for locking up a young talent and showing their players that they respect them.

  4. How is it that this entire conversation is going on without ANY mention of Manny Ramirez, who is having a better season than anyone mentioned aside from Hafner? If I had a ballot to cast, and the voting was held now, he'd have my vote in an instant, with Papi getting the #2 spot.

  5. Sure Ramirez is having another great season, but voters will look at 10 more HRs 20 more RBI, 15 more runs, plus all the dramatic hits. Granted, most them don't happen without Manny behind him, but there is no stat for that. You would be welcome to vote for Manny, but (if the season were to end today) you would likely be the only one.