Originally posted by HOOTIE
Can you explain to me how Jones would be the worst MVP ever? Is he the worst simply because his
team didn’t win in the playoffs? Is he the worst because he is the one that carried the Braves to yet another Division title and playoff berth?
Jones deserves the MVP as much as anyone else, but for some reason noone wants to give him any credit.
Originally posted by GiantsFan
He had a nice year, but is way short of Lee/Pujols. And really Cabrera, BGiles, Bay as well.
I said it would be one of worst votes ever, not the worst. Why should Jones have not placed on anyone's card in top 5? Easy.
His .263 BA would have been the worst ever for a MVP
He ranked 53rd in NL in BA
He ranked 42nd in OBA
5th in slugging %
12th in OPS
11th in Runs Created, true measure of offensive performance
25th in RC/27
26th in NL in Win Shares, 15 behind Pujols
11th in NL in VORP (value over replacement player)
.236 BA with runners on
.207 with RISP
Jones did 2 things well, hit hrs, and rbis. But he made alot of outs in process. And this notion that Jones helped his team the most get to playoffs,
is moot, and false. MVP criteria says nothing about wins, standings, playoffs. But even if it did, BGiles and Ensberg were far more valuable to their
playoff team. Houston/SD barely got in. Jones was only 3rd on Braves in Win Shares.
Anyone who has read my debate with HOOTIE knows he and I have disagreed sharply before. We disagree somewhat over the importance of runs scored and
runs batted in, though not as much as he seems to think. We disagree over the extent to which Roberto Clemente is overrated, though he obviously
agrees with me that it's absurd the five history experts other than Bill James who have made a "Top 100 players of all time" list have, on average,
rated Clemente as the 13th greatest player ever... when a fairer rating would have Clemente closer to being the 13th greatest right fielder ever
(actually, more like 7th to 10th).
And we disagree VERY strongly about whether Barry Bonds' last five seasons should be accepted as valid, and thus how highly Bonds should be rated on
the all-time players list. I pretty much agree with James' comment after the 1999 season that Bonds is roughly the 16th best baseball player of all
time, and the 14th best MLB player of all time, but I think anything Bonds did after 1999 is so obviously phony as to be meaningless, so he's still
between 10th and 20th in my book. Hootie has him at #2, behind only Ruth and far ahead of anyone else.
Speaking as a lawyer, I'll just add that Hootie doesn't understand the value of circumstantial evidence. Can you imagine how hard it would be to
prosecute anyone for m*rder if you needed direct proof in every case, and thus an eyewitness who saw the defendant commit the crime?
Hootie is a guy who knows baseball very well, and I'm not always going to disagree with him. In fact, I'm sure I'll agree with him a lot more often
than not. And I agree with him here.
I know a website which gives unbelievably detailed statistical accounts of every MLB player's career, season by season, including noting every season
where the player finished in the top 10 in any of 23 categories. To describe everything you can find at this site would consume ridiculous time and
This year, Jones had a far better fielding percentage than the average major league CF--.995, compared to .987. But as impressive as that sounds, it
doesn't mean much, because all it translates to is the difference between 5 errors and 2 errors.
More meaningfully, Jones' range was about 10% better than the average CF's. Now, frankly, I expect more in that department from Jones, and throughout
his career, he's usually delivered more. In 1999, his range was a staggering 40+% better than the average CF, which translates to a staggering number
of additional outs. But even this year's more modest figure translates to over 30 more outs recorded, and thus quite a few runs stopped.
(1) Nobody who is 42nd in his league in on-base average, arguably the single most important stat a player has, should even be considered for MVP;
(2) Nobody who is 11th in runs created has much of a case, either, unless he is on a truly horrible hitting team;
(3) Jones' stats with men on base were, as Hootie notes, pitiful;
And as for head-to-head categories which I consider important:
(4) Pujols led Jones by a whopping 83 points in on-base average, which arguably should be "case closed" right there;
(5) Pujols led Jones by 34 points in slugging percentage;
(6) Pujols led Jones 360 to 337 in total bases, and if 23 total bases doesn't seem like a big lead, consider that Pujols also drew 33 more bases on
balls, giving him an actual edge of 56 bases;
(7) Jones led Pujols by 10 in home runs, which is a big stat, but it's the only big offensive stat Jones has going for him;
(8) Pujols led Jones by 3 in total extra base hits, which probably would surprise a lot of people who spent all year hearing Ted Turner's shills rave
about Jones' home runs;
(9) Pujols led Jones by 40 in runs created, which, like on-base percentage, is a stat that was given no weight 30 years ago, but is now recognized as
a stat of huge importance;
(10) Pujols led the league in times on base, with 301. Jones got on base 233 times, which was not in the top 10 and probably was not within a mile
of the top 10; and, to tie it all together,
(11) In return for the 153 runs which Albert Pujols created, he made 420 outs. Meanwhile, in return for the 113 runs which Andruw Jones created, he
made 461 outs. No baseball fan needs to be told how significant 41 additional outs are.
Dazzling plays in the field get a lot of publicity, and they always have during the television age. I was born in 1953 and grew up on the San
Francisco Peninsula, worshipping at the Altar of Willie and regularly thanking the powers-that-be for the fact I was witnessing first-hand the career
of the greatest player since Babe Ruth. And often I thought Willie was better than the Babe, because, while not "quite" Babe's equal with a bat,
Willie was so much better in the field.
Well, that's good for kids, but it's all nonsense. An incredibly great hitter can do so much more good for his team than an incredibly great
outfielder can do. It's not close. And while Mays was a great hitter, he wasn't within a mile of Ruth.
Now, when you've got a guy like Ted Williams--who was a terrible outfielder, due to his moodiness and his defensive indifference; and who was a
terrible baserunner, for much the same reason; and who was a terrible clubhouse presence (see, among countless other sources, Bill James' magnum opus
that came out in 2000 or 2001)--then all the assets Mays brings to the table may, and in my opinion do, outweigh the great slugger's assets. But
other than Williams and Hornsby, I don't know of any tremendous hitters who have been such poisonous presences that their greatness was undercut by
what kind of people they were.
Here, in Andruw Jones, we have a center fielder who had a below average year by Mays' standards, other than the home runs, but who is at least Mays'
equal and probably well Mays' superior (let me admit it) in the field. On the other side, we have a slugger who is not Babe Ruth, but he's damn close
to being Ted Williams... minus the 'tude.
By recording 30 more outs than the average center fielder, and by making 3 fewer errors, Jones probably saved his team something like 12 runs. But
hell, let's be wild and say it was 15 or even 18 runs (which is an absurd figure, but let's be real charitable).
Take a gander at all the offensive differences set forth above. Can you honestly say that the 15 or 20 runs Jones may have saved in the field make up
for the many, many more runs--and the significantly fewer outs--Pujols created for his team?
I'm with Hooter on this one. To have given Jones this MVP would have been willful blindness on the sportswriters' part. Not that there would have
been anything startling or unprecedented about that, but....