Forum Index > d in an era when players were allowed to win it

jcy1993225 35 days ago
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Michael Gray and Rob Lee will join Helen and Fenners on the sofa for this Saturdays Soccer AM. Nike Tanjun Norge . Chris Kamara and Jeff Stelling will also be popping in for the show, while Tubes will be meeting Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer.Ahead of the Manchester derby, Joe Hart will be talking us through his experience of the big game over the years, while Danny Welbeck talks to Fenners about the new England kits. Elsewhere on the show:The Specialist - Allan Russell is back with another striking masterclassFans Of The Week - Blackburn RoversShowboatTyler SwiftEuro 2016Strip Club SpecialTop Bin Dont miss Soccer AM at 10am, Saturday, Sky Sports 1 and Sky 1 or 11am on Sky1 +1 (channel 172) Also See: Soccer Saturday Fantasy Football Air Force 1 Norge . Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Nike Air Force 1 Billig .C. -- Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said after all of these years in the NBA hes still amazed at some of the things LeBron James does. http://www.airforce1norge.com/ . -- If Henry Burris has his way, he will be the starting quarterback to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back to the Grey Cup next year. In 2010, after years of rewarding the pitcher with the most wins, Cy Young voters gave the award to Felix Hernandez. The Mariners ace had gone 13-12, and the vote was celebrated by many as a victory not just for the King but for the voting process in general. The tyranny of wins was dead. The Baseball Writers Association of America, whose members vote on the award, had leapt into the modern ways of evaluating players. Our November tradition of tearing apart the down-ballot selections of baseball writers was, mercifully, over.And then the next six American League Cy Youngs went to the league leader in pitcher wins, including Rick Porcello this week. Just goes to show you ... something.On Thursday, Mike Trout won his second AL MVP award. This is the outcome I had hoped for: The best player won the award that most closely corresponds to the question, Who was the best player? Its the outcome that the BBWAA had avoided in three of the previous four seasons, when Trout was (by Wins Above Replacement, and in all three of the most prominent public models of it) the best player in baseball but the runner-up in MVP voting. The lone year he won -- 2014 -- has been the exception that proves the rule, as Trout led the league in RBIs and played on a division champion. He was the best player in baseball, too, but it didnt feel like he won that one because he was Mike Trout, you fools.In the same way that Felix Hernandezs Cy Young was supposed to mean something, Mike Trout finally winning an MVP award without any of the usual crutches of default MVP voting will seem to mean something. Resist that conclusion. This is not about the voters, and it is not about us. Its about Mike Trout, the greatest player youve ever seen, and his very good year, and a decision made by 30 men and women that is worth celebrating because it might not happen again.Voters have been struggling with what an MVP is since just about the very beginning. The MVP award was launched in a series of fits and starts, under various aegises and rules, just over a century ago. By the mid-1920s, sports-section readers could already count on columnists making a case for some player and struggling with the ambiguity in the name of the award itself. In 1927, Bob Ray of the Los Angeles Times took a shot at defining it through the lens of one candidate:Gehrig is a good guess, all right, but dont entirely overlook Signor Antonio Lazzeri, who also cavorts on the Yankee infield. Lazzeris all-around play has been one of the features of the season and his ability to fill in at any of the infield berths is one reason why the Yankees are so far out in front.The attributes that Ray laid out included: utility (Lazzeri played a bunch of positions after teammates went down); clutchness (Lazzeri has rapped most of his four baggers when they meant the ball game, one of them coming with the bases full); marketable Italianness (Lazzeri packs in the Italian fans wherever the Yankees play); and outstanding defense (fielding has been so phenomenal that eastern critics are pronouncing him Another Lajoie).In 1932, Grantland Rice argued that the underheralded second baseman Charlie Gehringer deserved consideration:One of the most self-effacing stars in baseball, Charlie Gehringer, is the punch in the Tigers attack and hes being nominated as the most valuable player in the junior league. What has Gehringer got that permits him to be mentioned in the same breath with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth of the Yanks, and Joe Cronin of the Senators, who have been rated the key men of the American League?What, indeed. Rice mentions the knack for timely hitting, caring less about winning the batting championship than hoisting the Detroit team into a preferred position, superbly graceful (play) around the keystone sack, playing a demanding infield position and being smart in scouting opponents.In 1928, the Times made the case for Burleigh Grimes, who was an underdog to Jim Bottomley of the front-running Cardinals:There is no question that Burleighs presence on their team has inspired the Pirates. In the spring, when all the pitchers with the exception of Grimes were going bad, the team appeared listless and downhearted. There were games when they were worse than the hopeless Phillies. Now they look like one of the best teams in the league. They never would have threatened to climb out of the second division if Battling Burleigh hadnt been plugging for them.... What a man!From the beginning, there was an admirable effort put into understanding the entirety of the ballplayers contribution, and valuing those things that the ballplayers and ballclubs themselves valued. There was also, arguably, a tendency for writers to talk themselves into some terrible positions, such as Tony Lazzeri for MVP; hitting .373/.474/.765, as Gehrig did in 1927, or .364/.469/.749, as Jimmie Foxx did in 1932, might also help us define value. (Each won the MVP award.) But, presumably, Ray and Rice didnt discount those gaudy slash lines. They just aimed to make the case that a successful ballplayer often does things that didnt, as they say, show up in the box score.What the award was never meant to be was a leaderboard sort. Indeed, it was the very opposite of a leaderboard sort: The first MVP award was designed to replace the batting crown, which had been turned into a farce on the final day of the 1910 season when Nap Lajoie was allowed to bunt his way past Ty Cobb thanks to, shall we say, an anti-Cobb bias among players. As The Bill James Historical Abstract puts it, After this it was realized that it was not advisable to make such an award contingent directly on player statistics, a principle still recognized today. Instead, the Chalmers company decided to base its award -- the automobile-- upon a poll of sportswriters.The ambiguity about who should win the award, a concept so abstract that it would itself inspire a century of debate, is not, then, an accident. Its part of what makes the award fun, part of what makes it memorable, part of why players care about winning it more than they care about leading the league in WAR or any other stat. We have a basic faith in the idea of a group of people coming together with their individual perspectives oon the world and voting their consciences. Air Force 1 Herre Norge. We believe that this is how some large truth emerges that an algorithm or a scientist cant engineer. By one way of considering the voting, there is no such thing as a bad vote that is submitted in good faith.The cost of this faith, of course, is that well hate the results much of the time -- especially now that we have an actual leaderboard that attempts to measure value itself. And concluding that Mike Trout is the most valuable baseball player in the world should be one of the easiest decisions an MVP voter gets to make in his or her life.It is certainly about time that Trout won a second award. There is no credible argument that would suggest Trout isnt the best player in his league, or that he wasnt this year.Over his five-year career, he has led the AL in Wins Above Replacement five times. You go to a different site than I do for your Wins Above Replacement? No problem: He leads the AL in all five years regardless of whether youre looking at Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus. His cumulative WAR, on Baseball-Reference, is nearly two full Mike Trout seasons better than the next best major leaguer in that time period, Robinson Cano. His cumulative WAR in those five years is greater than Manny Machado and Anthony Rizzo combined. Its as great as Jose Altuve, Yoenis Cespedes and Eric Hosmer combined. Its as great as Justin Upton, Chris Davis, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo combined. Only two players in post-integration history -- Willie Mays and Barry Bonds -- have ever produced a better five-year run than Trout has produced in his first five-year run. He is, through age 24, the greatest player in baseball history. Were not talking about a great player, a generational player, another in a line of establishment superstars. Were talking about something that history has never seen, and its happening right now, in front of us, every day -- and the continued runner-up finishes suggested we were missing it.His 2016 season was as good as any of the previous four. He matched a career high for OPS, set new ones for walks and on-base percentage, remembered after two quiet baserunning seasons that hes a top-tier base stealer, and by some advanced metrics had the best defensive season he has had since he was a rookie. His 10.6 WAR on Baseball-Reference is nearly equal to his best ever, and is a mark that only seven other human beings have accomplished since integration.What will Mike Trout accomplish in his career? Very little is off the table. Through age 24, he has the seventh-most home runs ever, with exactly twice as many as Barry Bonds had and 28 more than Hank Aaron did at that age. Hes 13th in hits, with a 400-hit head start on Pete Rose. Hes seventh in runs, 15th in runs batted in, sixth in total bases, fifth in extra-base hits, fourth in times on base. He is building a career that might demolish records and define our memories of an entire generation of baseball.You would like to think well have no fuzz on those memories, but the truth is that these awards go a long way to how we define and remember a career. Big round numbers do, too, but those numbers are affected by so many things that are hard to account for in our heads a half-century later: the run-scoring environment of the era, the ballpark he played in, for instance, but more than that. In 50 years, who even knows which stats well look at, or what well value in a player. Theres a pretty good chance well be measuring modern players in the future using data that dont even exist yet for Trout, and that we cant go back to collect retroactively. What we will have, what will be permanent, are these annual assessments by the BBWAA. And in a just world, Mike Trout, just a couple months past his 25th birthday, would already have five MVP awards. You would care to see that.Two, at least, is better than one. Its a victory worth celebrating.But Im skeptical its a victory any broader than that. Late last month, the players voted on Sporting News MLB Player of the Year. Their winner was Jose Altuve. Mookie Betts finished second, followed by David Ortiz, Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy and finally Mike Trout. Five players on contending teams, who all helped their team win or stay close to a division crown, ahead of Trout, whose team played for nothing. That has been one of Trouts challenges in winning the MVP award, before this year: He hasnt been playing on postseason teams, and some years, for some players, some voters decide thats important. But thats the MVP award. Notice whats missing in the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year Award name? The word value. The voters for this award decided five other major leaguers played better than Mike Trout because they just didnt care enough to get it right.This years MVP voters did care enough to get it right, or, at least, the definition they chose for most valuable player corresponded to my definition. Those voters, though, total 30. There are more than 700 active BBWAA members. In a sample of less than 5 percent of members, by an extremely thin margin, voters chose Mike Trout. Its hardly a radical realignment of values. Scramble the members up, have them vote again, and its quite possible Trout would have finished second or third, again.This is OK! Trouts legacy is bolstered by the hardware, but it is not so fragile as to depend on these votes. Honus Wagners career almost entirely predated the MVP award, and he never won one. Babe Ruth played in an era when players were allowed to win it only once, and so he won it only once. Willie Mays led National League hitters in WAR 10 times but won only two awards. Are any of these careers underrecognized by history? Do you know anybody who doesnt know what Babe Ruth represented? Can you find anybody who lived through Willie Mays career who would tell you that he was underappreciated even then?Trout might deserve 15 of these in his career. He might win two, and he might win a dozen. When he wins one, we toast to the greatest player alive. When he loses one, we still toast to the greatest player alive. ' ' ' 

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