Tuesday, November 15, 2005

How do they define MVP?

Later on today the 2005 National League MVP will be named. 18 year old Albert Pujols is the favorite, but you can sure make a case for Andruw Jones and this site's favorite son Derrek Lee. Here are the offensive stats for the the three candidates:

Pujols .330 Avg/41 HR/117 RBi/129 R/38 2b/16 SB/1.039 OPS
Jones .263 Avg/51 HR/128 RBi/95 R/24 2b/5 SB/.922 OPS
Lee .335 Avg/46 HR/107 RBi/120 R/50 2B/15 SB/1.080 OPS

You can make a case for each of these guys. So now the real frustrating part begins. There is no definition of what the qualifications to be an MVP are. Thus, the baseball writers come up with their own individual parameters.

You see there are several unwritten rules for MLB's postseason awards. Here's a few that I've heard over the past few days (contradictions and all):
  • The players team made the playoffs
  • Only "full-time" players (anyone but a DH, David Ortiz)
  • The MVP is an offensive award
  • Pitchers have the Cy Young award so they are not considered for the MVP.
  • The Cy Young award is only for starting pitchers.
  • Players on teams that finish in the second division need not apply.

Still you can come up with exceptions to all of these "rules". Several in Cubs history. Andre Dawson in 1987, Bruce Sutter in 1979, and of course MR. Cub Ernie Banks in 1958 and 1959. Still in 1998, a Cub player benefited from the unwritten rules when Sammy Sosa beat out Mark McGwire for the MVP, because his team made the playoffs.

Which way is it? When do these rules apply? Reportedly, several writers change their own rules on nearly an annual basis. It seems to me that the clear cut way for baseball to solve this problem would be to list the parameters for the MVP and all other postseason awards. The problem that this creates is we would have a clear cut winner and there wouldn't be anything to talk about baseball-wise in the middle of November.

Just like the HOF voting, baseball postseason award voting is in real muddy waters. That's the way they want it.

For the record, if I had a vote I'd have voted: 1. Pujols, 2. Lee, 3. Jones. But, I'm not sure what I was voting on.

A Few Cold One's can't hurt! Here's another excuse to binge drink this weekend or tonite!

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