Tuesday, 26 February 2008

SI Strikes out again on the NL MVP

This isn't about the Jays, but I figure it needs to be said...

Rollins shouldn't have won the MVP last year. He had a great year, but he was extremely overrated. Jon Heyman apparently thinks I'm a "VORPie" because I disagree with the fact that Rollins was in fact, not the best player in the NL league last year.

If Wright's offensive stats were slightly better than Rollins', and I will accept that they were, especially considering the respective ballparks they play in (VORP accounts for ballparks), shouldn't Rollins get points for playing a superb shortstop compared to Wright's slightly-above average third base? And shouldn't Rollins get credit for showing extraordinary initiative and leadership? For helping his team barrel into the playoffs from seven games back with 17 to go, as opposed to Wright's team, which perpetrated a historic choke?

So he accepts that Wright's stats were better than Rollins' in a tougher park to hit in. As if that isn't proof enough, he calls Wright "slightly-above average third base". If by slightly above average third basemen, he means the best third basemen in the NL in 2007, I agree with him. Nobody except maybe Chipper Jones came close to Wright's accomplishments. A .416 OBP, 30 HR, 34 steals (5 CS), a .546 slugging...you get the point. Wright had a hell of a season.

To call Wright a "slightly above average third basemen" is pretty damn insulting, and shows an incredible amount of ignorance. And if we're going to be fair, Rollins was at best the second best SS in his own division, despite claims to the contrary by Mr. Heyman.

Not only that, he blames Wright for his team's collapse. Wright, was obviously the leading reason why the Mets choked as he hit .352/.432/.602 for a 1.034 OPS in September. God damnit Wright, you should have had a 1.3 OPS and carried the Mets on your back like everyone expected you too! Rollins, of course, capitalized on Wright's inability to hit with this awesome September line of 298/333/542 (875 OPS).

So now that we've established David Wright is responsible for the Mets collapse, what else does Heyman say?

Though the Mets' collapse was no fault of Wright's, for the MVP to come off the all-time choke team, he'd better have a greater advantage in stats than this: Wright outhit Rollins .325 to .296, but both hit 30 home runs and Rollins beat Wright in Runs Created by 13. Wright's big advantage apparently comes down to the fact he got on base more often (his on-base percentage was significantly higher, .416 to .344), usually via a walk (he had 94 walks to Rollins' 49). To the stat guys, walking is more thrilling and much more valuable than actually winning the pennant.

Oh ok, he's smart enough to realize Wright wasn't responsible. My bad on that, it just seemed like it... anyways...

Wright only outhit Rollins by like .029 points of BA. That's not a significant advantage at all. Or how Rollins had a higher Runs Created - could that be, because Rollins had 716 at bats in the season, compared to Wright's 604? Nah, that'd make too much sense.

Seeing as how, you know, they didn't have the same # of AB, RC/27 would be a better stat to use...so I looked it up on ESPN. Wright, was fourth in the NL with 8.61. Where was Rollins? He was 19th with an epic RC/27 total of 6.83. A lineup full of David Wrights would only end up scoring 1394.82 runs in a season, whereas a lineup of Rollins would score 1106.46. That's not a huge deal or anything - it's only a 300 or so run difference, that's nothing. Rollins has intangibles. So give Rollins +500 runs on his intangibles alone.

So I don't know how many plays above average Rollins will make (Answer: not as many as you think, cause he's 11th for qualifying SS for ZR last year), but he clearly isn't going to save enough runs on defense to make up for the epic gap on offense between Wright and Rollins.

It's interesting to point out that with Wright's OBP being 72 points higher than Rollins', had he been put at the top of the lineup his counting stats (such as runs, HR, etc) would be significantly higher than Rollins'.

So yeah. There's no way in hell Rollins should have won. Or the GG for that matter, poor Troy Tulo got robbed.


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