Monday, March 3, 2008

Gearing up for the new season by talking about last season

Junior (note: monicker) of Fire Joe Morgan and Jon Heyman (note: real name) of Sports Illustrated are kind of having an online "battle" over who should have been the NL Most Valuable Player last year, David Wright or Jimmy Rollins. I'm one of the few fans that gets moist over non-traditional statistics that has no problem with Heyman. I've seen him on TV, I've read his columns, I've spoken with him, I wouldn't mind having dinner with him. I don't always agree with him, mind you, but as far as big media sports people go, he's not a bad guy.

As I just said, though, I don't always agree with him, and this is one of those times. From a recent column of his, he asked David Wright directly about the MVP:
Told that some of the stat folks favored him, Wright responded, "It's flattering people think that way. But it's tough to name an MVP from the team that had the type of collapse we had, and from a team that played as poorly as we played down the stretch.

"Jimmy's team won the National League East, and he led his team. I think he deserves it. I agree 100 percent that the MVP shouldn't come from a team that doesn't win its division or make the playoffs. I've said all along that it should go to a guy who helps his team get to the playoffs. Jimmy led his team into the playoffs. And we failed miserably.
So is David Wright saying that it's his fault that the Mets collapsed and failed to win their division?

Hypothetically speaking (obviously), what if someone hit .350 with 99 home runs and 200 RBI but played for a last place team, would they not be the MVP? Of life? To me, the player that is most valuable to their team should be MVP, no matter where the team finishes. Apparently, David Wright was worth more to the Mets than Jimmy Rollins was to the Phillies (looking at everything from win shares to VORP to EqA to simple OPS+), even though the Phillies finished ahead of the Mets. Ergo, Wright was the "Wright-ful" MVP. HAHAHA but seriously he probably should have been the MVP.

If you want to argue that Rollins was more helpful to his team down the stretch, then I can kind of buy that argument, although all games count equally, so you expect production all year. The #1 thing you should not do, besides go to, is ask an athlete what they think, even one as seemingly put together as Wright. These are guys who make $12 million a year and wind up bankrupt. They're not exactly intelligent. In fact, one may go as far as to call these jocks...dumb.

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