Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wednesday A.M. Quickie:
MVPs Rule LDS

I think we can have a legitimate argument over whether Frank Thomas is the AL MVP; a lot more people will say it's Derek Jeter. That's fair enough.

Both players provided examples of why they are their TEAM MVPs in Game 1 of the LDS:

Big Hurt had 2 HR, leading the A's past Johan Santana and the Twins in Minnesota.

DJ became the 6th player ever to bat 5-for-5, including a HR and 2 doubles, in a 8-4 Yankees win over the Tigers in New York.

But it's no fun to say "they're both winners!" I'm still going to claim that Thomas is more valuable, with Game 1 as a great example:

The A's simply don't score a lot of runs. They needed every ounce of Thomas' power; he accounted for 66 percent of the A's offense.

As eye-popping as Jeter was last night, the Yankees didn't necessarily need him to win. Certainly not AS MUCH AS THE A'S NEEDED THOMAS.

The plotline out of New York is that the Captain provided the ultimate example of big October hits in a big October game, in contrast to A-Rod (1-4, 0 RBI, 0 R).

But I'm quite sure all you'll be hearing this morning is "Jeter, Jeter, Jeter." Not undeserved, but let's not forget Jeter is in his prime, while Frank Thomas is supposed to be years past his.

More MVP-worthiness: Albert Pujols had a 2-run HR to lead the Cards past the Padres in San Diego. What a big day for MVP-level players.

Today's LDS Game 1: Dodgers at Mets. Bursts of power seem to be the trend so far in the playoffs; that favors the big-bopping Mets lineup. Who else has HUGE expectations for Carlos Beltran, given his performance the LAST time he was in the NL playoffs?

(They're going to need it: Who the hell is going to start for the Mets in Game 1? Even the ageless, indefatigable El Duque is questionable. Bring back Ron Darling out of the TV booth!)

The Nats like Joe Girardi, as I've been touting here for two weeks. Meanwhile, the Cubs obviously like him, too.

Where is the better fit? Girardi might feel more at home in Chicago, but I think the Nats' ownership and executive structure is so much more stable – and there's a stronger commitment to a youth movement, which obviously is an environment Girardi thrives in.

Another Kenny Rogers temper incident? Detroit po-po are investigating a claim that Rogers mixed it up with an autograph-seeker over the weekend. Eyewitness accounts are mixed.

The point is: If Rogers even lost his temper, isn't that what 2005's "anger-management training" was supposed to remedy? Looks like someone needs a timeout.

Albert Haynesworth apologized to Andre Gurode and – more importantly – won't appeal his unprecedented 5-game suspension. I think it's a two-sided signal of remorse that should begin to repair his rep (though he cemented the first graf of his obituary on Sunday).

NBA defends new ball: The only one who seems to like the new NBA ball is the NBA itself, unsurprisingly. The see-no-evil defense (in the face of uniform criticism from players, stars and scrubs alike) is ludicrous.

We'll know soon enough how the new ball affects play on the court. If scoring or shooting percentages go down significantly, it'll be interesting to see if the NBA does a U-turn.

(I still can't believe that the biggest subplot of the new season is the new model of ball being used. But there we are...)

Eddie "Jackin' It!" Griffin was fined for missing the T'wolves media day. Wouldn't the team have been better served to PAY him to miss it?

"Friday Night Lights" report: I had high expectations and the show STILL exceeded them. It was REALLY good. Visually, it was stunning. The dialogue was very good by TV standards (take that how you will), and I think the show could do really well. But what happens in the spring?

Kornheiser says he's pulling his punches on MNF? That's at least what he's claiming in his Washington Post column today. Here's the thing: He's right, and at least he himself is admitting he isn't doing the schtick that got him the MNF job in the first place.

I appreciate the mea culpa, but it doesn't make things better unless he changes. However, he's got me intrigued enough to tune in next week for reasons other than watching the unbeaten Ravens vs. Denver.

New NHL season opens today: I wish I had something to say about this, but I don't. I'm just not a hockey fan, though I appreciate the dedicated fans who are. If I had a favorite team, it would be the Washington Capitals, who were my hometown team growing up -- I went to more than a few games at the old Cap Centre. It helps that the Caps have the most eye-popping scoring talent in the sport.

T-Minus 5 Days until T.O. Goes to Philly, by far the most anticipated game of the NFL season. Can you feel the love hate?

-- D.S.

84 comments:

Richard said...

You know I don't really know what to make of "Friday Night Lights." The show was a combination of Varsity Blues and FNL all ombined in one show. Every line seemed to alternae between the two movies.

My problems with it are that I'm not sure they can legitimately do a second season and I was expecting something different from the movies.

Jake C said...

Dan, okay, I am now relegated to begging you to renig on your pick of the Mets in the World Series. Seriously, the team is going down one after another. I am about to drive up to the Verrazona Bridge just to jump off and hang myself at this point!

Jeter & Pujols = MVP. Cases can be made for others, but I say Reyes deserves it more in the NL before Thomas in the AL. The combination of speed, decent power, RBIs (for a leadoff man!), and that stellar defense, makes him a great choice...maybe soon.

How about we change the uni's in the NBA back too. Seriously, are they wearing satin? Are they trying to romance someone to bed? What are these things now?!

And, the NHL? REALLY? Playoff baseball and the NFL in full swing? They should just cut the season in half and start in a few months instead.

ChrTh said...

The Packers cut Ahmad Carroll! Our long national nightmare is over! ... although my guess is that he mini-resurrects his career somewhere else, a la Terrell Buckley.

FreKy J said...

When's the last time you've ever seen a player refuse to appeal a suspension of any significant length? 5 games is almost 1/3 of an entire NFL season, and he's throwing in the towel and saying he deserved it. Kudos to him for stepping up and being a man about his mistake, rather than having some PR idiot make a fool of him with an appeal and outlandish claim that the punishment is too severe.

It certainly doesn't excuse what he did, and I still think the punishment should have been longer, but he still seems to be genuinely taking the steps to right the wrong.

LudaKris said...

Jeter Can't be anymore clutch then that.
NBA players need to know that its not the ball, it's your shooting skills that are diminishing. Learn to shoot better instead of dunking all the damn time, 'nuff said.
Whats the Over/Under on HR's for Beltran 1 or 1.5? Ill take the OVER.

Kristopher (Tampa, FL)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Didn't catch Friday Night Lights, but I've heard good things. Too excited for LOST tonight.

Totally off topic but it's been bothering me for a few days now. These ESPN polls are at time ridiculous. I'll let it pass when it asks who should be the #2 team in the country and only the state of West Virginia picks them.

But a few days ago, I think it was Monday, it asked who is going to win more majors next year, Tiger Woods or Roger Federer. I voted Federer of course and I was expecting 70-75% of people agreeing with me. 59% of voters think TIGER will win more than Roger next year. Are these people on crack? Do they not realize that Federer is GUARENTEED 2, maybe 3 majors next year? Do people not think when they vote for these things? God it pisses me off so much! Enough ranting...

Kurt said...

"I think we can have a legitimate argument over whether Frank Thomas is the AL MVP"-Dan Shanoff

Dan, sometimes I really think you are just psychotic and have these mini debates in your head like "Frank Thomas is the AL MVP", that you truly believe is debatable, but no one else agrees with you or thinks you have a legitimate argument. Oh well, I guess the best the rest of us can do is sit back and watch you argue with yourself over completely ludicrous things.

djf182 said...

Last I remembered, MVP voting ended on Sunday, so how the players performed in the playoffs doesn't help him win more votes, just helps them image wise.

ChrTh said...

@kurt,

I agree with Dan, so nyah nyah. My reasoning is simple: the A's without Frank Thomas do NOTHING this season. That's how I define Valuable. Granted, Jeter did a lot to keep the Yankees together when they had all the injuries earlier in the season, but I have a hard time awarding the MVP to a team of all-stars.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

revscott -

I don't know if you've seen any PGA tournaments lately, but...

jhawkjjm said...

Anyone else besides me watch all the games yesterday with the TV muted. Can we please get at least one GOOD announce team. Can't stand Joe Morgan, Berman gets annoying way to fast, and I don't even need to say anything about the Fox team.

TBender said...

I agree, JHawkJim. Pairing Berman with Hershisher was taking the bad with the good.

Dan, Fear the Pujols.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

John...

I have...and Tiger is dominating. But I have also seen tennis tournaments...and Roger is more dominating.

That and Ann Arbor is a dirty whore. (Had to sneak that in there)

Kurt said...

Chrth, that's fine, you dont have to think Jeter's the MVP but there are so many more guys out there who deserve it more than the Big Hurt. I'm one of the biggest Red Sox haters out there but I'd support Ortiz for MVP over Thomas any day. Lets compare Ortiz and Thomas' numbers:

AVG OBP HR RBI
Thomas .270 .381 39 114
Ortiz .287 .413 54 137

Both play DH on teams that wouldn't even contend without them. Ortiz's numbers blow Thomas out of the water. So any MVP list has to include Ortiz over Thomas, both behind Jeter, Mauer, Morneau and maybe Dye. Not to mention, Dan just makes up shit that has nothing to do with MVP voting, like "Jeter is in his prime, Frank is old".

Tim said...

Just a couple of things:

1. Thomas has a good case, but Jeter carried his team through the injuries and came out with a .343 BA and a career high in SB's. I know Thomas is the A's entire offense, but I cant give the REGULAR SEASON MVP (forget yesterday) to anyone but Jeter.

2. A-Rod went only had one hit yesterday, but very easily could have had 3 if he hadnt lined out twice. And he cant get RBI's if no one is on base (Giambi cleared them), AND it's hard to get around when Matsui cant get a hit to move him. I'm by no means an A-rod fan, but I think the amount of crap that people give him is a little unwarrented. He just had quite possible the worst 35 HR 120 RBI season in MLB history.

3. Very glad to see that TK is going to spice things up a little, but I wouldnt give it too long before people are complaining about how edgy he has become. Cant please everyone, TK.

Dan Mega said...

Kurt wrote:

Dan, sometimes I really think you are just psychotic and have these mini debates in your head like "Frank Thomas is the AL MVP", that you truly believe is debatable, but no one else agrees with you or thinks you have a legitimate argument. Oh well, I guess the best the rest of us can do is sit back and watch you argue with yourself over completely ludicrous things.

So when did you start speaking for everyone outside of New York? Just because Jeter goes 5-5 IN A STACKED LINEUP doesn't make him MVP. It was also only 1 game. Jeter has had a terrific season, but the Yanks would still be in the playoffs without him.

The Oakland A's would not be in the playoffs without the Big Hurt

End of discussion, Thomas should be the MVP.

Maher said...

There's also the fact that Jeter plays defense. The only thing defensive in Frank Thomas's life now is how he feels about his ginormous nose.

Jon said...

There is no argument for Jeter vs. Thomas. Jeter wins hands down. The only thing that Thomas kills Jeter in is HRs. It's a silly debate. Swisher is probably more of an MVP for the A's.

Dan Mega said...

Kurt wrote:

Both play DH on teams that wouldn't even contend without them. Ortiz's numbers blow Thomas out of the water. So any MVP list has to include Ortiz over Thomas, both behind Jeter, Mauer, Morneau and maybe Dye. Not to mention, Dan just makes up shit that has nothing to do with MVP voting, like "Jeter is in his prime, Frank is old".

Ortiz bats next to Manny Ramirez. Anyone who knows anything about baseball outside of what ESPN feeds them realizes that if a player is surrounded by good hitters, they will see better pitches, thus making their stats go up.

BlackCapricorn said...

Dan-

No love for the frozen water league??? Man we have to get more regualr sports commentators on the bandwagon here- it is a great sport and if there is one game to watch this half of the season its the good ol Sabres vs. the terrible Canes. Oh yea, that Sid the Kid vs. AO matchup a little later in the season will be good as well.

ChrTh said...

@kurt,

MVP shouldn't be about numbers. I've already argued that Manny is more deserving of the MVP than Ortiz simply because Manny, besides posting his own numbers, makes Ortiz a much better player. Also, there's a crucial difference between Ortiz and Thomas: the former's team didn't make the playoffs. Didn't even finish 2nd in their division. Remove Ortiz from the Red Sox, and they probably still finish 3rd (Orioles and D-Rays are too lousy to think they'd finish 4th). So how valuable can Ortiz really be?

That said, if Jeter wins the MVP, I have no problem with it. I just think Jeter has a much better supporting cast (including last year's MVP) than Thomas did, so Thomas did more with less.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Where are the NBA players complaining about the ball? I remember when it first came out that Paul Pierce basically rubbed one out to how great it was.

Also, Tony Kornheiser has SUCKED on MNF. When Joe Theisman is making you his bitch, it's time to hang up the mic. Seriously...Joe Theisman. That's reason enough to go all T.O. on a pill bottle.

Maher said...

@jake c

don't you mean verrazano? :)

as much as I love Tiger, I have to agree that Roger will win more Majors next year. Tiger has competition. Men's tennis does not.

The only thing that lets TW win more than RF is the injury bug. But that could easily bite Eldrick as well.

Tim said...

TK hasnt been that bad on MNF, it's the pairing of TK and Theismann. JT has no sense of humor and takes everything that Tony says seriously. Then he tries to argue with Tony and Tony cant argue back because it would make Joe seem like a complete jackass.

Maher said...

@dan mega

Jeter may have the better lineup, but he also played in the field all season. It is the A-Rod v. Ortiz debate from last year.

If Big Frank put up Ryan Howard numbers this season, I'd say sure. But when you're not the stats leader at DH, how do you deserve to win the MVP? Swisher, Harden and Zito are more important to that team RIGHT NOW than the Big Hurt.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Make him look like a jackass? Theisman is a jackass. Tony rolls over and dies for him.

I mean, it's one thing to not argue with someone, but Theisman gives it to him so hard that he owes Tony a dinner at least. For someone who is as good as Tony is, this situation is unacceptable. It just continues to make MNF terrible.

mbpollack said...

"...but let's not forget Jeter is in his prime, while Frank Thomas is supposed to be years past his."

Should this even be a consideration in the MVP debate? It makes Frank Thomas a better story, but whether you think the MVP should be based on numbers of team value (or a combination of both) I hope that we can all agree that the MVP shouldn't be "the guy who most exceeded everyone's expectations."

I don't think Big Hurt stands a shot in the eyes of the people who actually vote on this thing anyway. If David Ortiz couldn't garner enough votes last year because of his role as DH, why should things change now?

Worldwide Reader said...

Just yesterday I was saying that NO CHANCE either Thomas or Jeter were MVP - and then they both went and had huge games. Still doesn't change my mind, as the MVP is awarded to the best player during the regular season. However, kudos to both players, and Pujols, for having such great games to start the playoffs. The Twins/A's game was fantastic - and with Zito/Santana pitching it felt like it lasted an hour and a half.

The Oakland A's would not be in the playoffs without the Big Hurt

End of discussion, Thomas should be the MVP.


I always find this as shaky logic for choosing your MVP. I agree that, most likely, the A's would not make the playoffs without Frank Thomas, AND that, without Jeter, the Yanks most likely still would have made the playoffs ... but where does that leave you in re: Johan Santana?

There is a 0% chance the Twins are still playing without Johan. And please don't give me the tired "pitchers can't win the MVP" crap that Jason Stark likes to spew.

Tim said...

How can Tony argue with him. He was hired to crack jokes and lighten the mood a little, so creating tension cant work (I'm not saying that what they have now IS working). Hopefully his goal of becoming more edgy isnt just something he says he will do.

Worldwide Reader said...

Anyone who knows anything about baseball outside of what ESPN feeds them realizes that if a player is surrounded by good hitters, they will see better pitches, thus making their stats go up.

While Thomas played 14 less games than Ortiz, he also had 38 less walks. That tells me that the Big Hurt was seeing just as many good pitches, if not more, than Ortiz. And it's not like Big Hurt swings at bad pitches and that's why he didn't have as many walks ...

Big Papi was the run-away MVP this year before he got hurt, and then the Sox went down, so he won't win it. And as many people have already said, if Ortiz didn't win the MVP last year (although I agree ARod was worthy), then there's no chance in hell Thomas should win it this year.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Ah, her reputation precedes her.


Anyway, you're probably quite right about all that being crazy.

But, Tiger and his streak and his majors are just so visible. I watch a LOT of SportsCenter, and now that you mention it, I guess I remember tennis tournaments being dismissed as battles for second place. But whatever - I can't recall seeing "Federer" on PTI's scrolling list every day this month. I don't necessarily know what Roger Federer looks like, but the 45 seconds of footage of Tiger hugging people for almost too long after that tournament after his dad died, that's burned into my brain. Because I saw no less than 40 minutes of coverage of it the next day.

SO I think you should blame The Media (!) for all this, not the people polled. For my part, what I know is that Tiger has won 6 72-Hole tournaments in a row, and from the scores I saw this last weekend, the field probably couldn't have beaten him in a scramble. So if somebody asked me that question in a little poll box, I'd think, "Man, Tiger isn't gonna lose again until, like, 2009." One vote for Tiger.

Maybe I just don't like tennis as much, and tune it out on SportsCenter; but I feel like it's just easier to ignore.

And then, the poll is silly this way, too - it's asking thousands of potentially uninformed people to answer a question, as though they are equipped for that task. Why not ask, "Who do you think will win more - Tiger (2 this year), or Roger (3 this year [or shwhatever])?"
Cuz otherwise, everybody who doesn't pay attention to tennis checks the poll results, and they say, 'Oh, a majority of people think Tiger will win more majors,' and they actually get negative information from the experience.


So, essentially: you're right; but blame ESPN.

Brave Sir Robin said...

If Tony when completely nuts on Theisman, you don't think that would be the best MNF moment of the year? I would download the audio clip of that and listen to it everyday.

Creating tension couldn't possibly make things worse, and having TK pull an LT on Theisman's ego and sense of self worth would probably improve things significantly.

Best case scenario: Tony embarasses him to the point where he's afraid to open his mouth/resigns midbroadcast.

Kurt said...

Poor, poor Mets. As reported by Buster Olney on ESPN:

First Pedro Martinez, now Orlando Hernandez.

The Mets lost a second starting pitcher as the postseason starts as El Duque was left off the roster with a torn calf muscle. John Maine will get the start for New York in Game 1 Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers. Oliver Perez will take Hernandez's spot in the Mets' postseason rotation.

Hernandez felt discomfort in his right leg while he was jogging in the outfield Tuesday and was pulled off the field and went for an MRI exam, which diagnosed the tear.

jhawkjjm said...

Saying that Thomas is the MVP because the A's wouldn't be in the playoffs without him is only semi-valid. I could turn around and say that Jason Veritek is the MVP because when he got hurt the whole pitching staff went to crap. That's the definition of Most Valuable in my book. But that's a ludicrious argument to make.


And to follow up my first post about horrible announcers, I'm not even going to comment on Theisman on MNF, that just goes without saying. I'm waiting for TK to turn around and use the "Are you retarded?" line.
And I don't buy the Jeter kept the yankees in it with all their injuries. Their injuries were to corner outfields, probably the easiest position to find a replacement for that will still generate decent, not great, numbers. Losing a starting catcher is probably the biggest injury loss you can have, followed closely by losing starting pitching (as Cub fans can relate).

Tim said...

There ya go! Then maybe they could replace Joe with someone from the makeshift MNF crew that was actually good.

Toby said...

So lets get this straight. Papi didn't win the MVP last year as a DH. Then this year you want to give it to Thomas, who had a lesser year?

You could simplify your arguement, by saying "I hate the Yankees therefore I refuse to acknowledge Jeter as MVP". No matter what spin you try to put on this, you can't justify Thomas for MVP.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Tim,
Let's not get carried away, few broadcast teams ever really approach mediocre, let alone good. Though, that fake MNF crew WAS really good on the first game of the season. However, I have a feeling they just did that to mess with us and get our hopes up.

Kurt said...

"Ortiz bats next to Manny Ramirez. Anyone who knows anything about baseball outside of what ESPN feeds them realizes that if a player is surrounded by good hitters, they will see better pitches, thus making their stats go up." - dan mega

Thanks Frog for posting the walk totals and keeping Dan Mega honest. I guess it's much easier just to make up your own logic without having the stats to back it up.

Chrth, you are missing the point. Who cares what place the Red Sox would of came in with Ortiz. Third place going 86-76 like the Red Sox did is a lot different than third place going 71-91 just ahead of the Orioles.

Tim said...

I have a feeling that the fake MNF crew was good because to them it wasnt a job, but just something fun to do and they would probably never have to do it again. They sounded like they were having a good time. Tony sounds like he is holding back comments so he doesnt offend anyone, which apparently he is. Turico isnt a bad play-by-play guy, but whoever said that Theisman had a big ego was understating it just a little (note sarcasm). That whole bit about the Super bowl rings this last week was pathetic and laughable.

rockchalk said...

Just a quick comment before a meeting so if this is a repeat I apologize, but Jeter is the 6th to get 5 hits in a playoff game, but only the second to go 5 for 5. Just a quick correction.

Dan Mega said...

Frog, you bring up a great point about Johan Santana, I may have to think about that.

Of those 38+ walks that Ortiz had over Thomas, how many were with RISP or were intentional?

Tim said...

While I have nothing else to do, let me jump into the MVP debate.

I was all for Ortiz last year, but mainly because I am a Yankee-hater. Even without an anti-DH view on this topic, I have to go with Jeter. The only reason the A's are where they are is because they understand small ball and their pitching is good enough to carry them. Thomas has been good, but is nowhere near MVP numbers. You cant really argue that Thomas has been better than Ortiz this year because, regardless of lineup, Ortiz was more successful in the situation he was given. He hit without Manny for the last month and was still able to produce, so you cant say he is only good because of Manny.

That said, Jeter has to be the MVP. He had almost 100 RBI's and only had Damon ahead of him. I understand that lineup is rediculous, but all of the best hitters hit behind him so the RBI's are pretty impressive. Jeter was consistently outstanding all year long. He did everything he could possibly do to help his team win, including stealing bases and coming up with clutch hits.

So not to take anything away from Thomas (he had a great year), but next to Jeter, he doesnt really even compare.

the scoop said...

i'm glad kornheiser has realized he hasn't been himself. that's the only way to improve.

Anonymous said...

1. Opening night for hockey is really, very good. And it won't be this exciting for a long time in the season (Watch the Buffalo game, but don't look directly at the new Buffalo jerseys).

2. Frank would be a great argument as MVP, except there are about 8 hitters in MLB who could have done the same thing (11 players had more HRs). No one can replace Jeter, and replaceability is the essence of value. He's balanced offensively, he plays good defense, and his leadership can't be understated in the continuing wake of their collapse against Boston.

And I agree with the people who think Ortiz before Frank.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I hate the Yankees, like any decent person. A-Rod was a BS choice last year (see Bill Simmons' article on the topic).

However, I think Jeter is the MVP. He has the numbers to justify it finally. Also, I think it's his time. When we look back at the nineties, we're going to see all those damn Yankees championships (blacking out, trying to keep writing)...

...and who are we going to think of? Jeter. More than anyone else on those teams, he defined that era of championships. While he may not be an all-time great, I do think he's a defining player for the time he's been in the league. And I think that counts for something when looking at the MVP. I'm not saying it's the best argument, but to me, it seems like a tie breaker. Jeter's numbers are very good, and his team made the playoffs. Plus, he plays defense (mediocre, however). I think it's time the award goes to him. I mean, it's definitely not a bad choice, unlike in other leagues... cough NASH! cough

Brave Sir Robin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geoff-Detroit said...

About the Kenny Rogers thing. One report said Rogers was driving his car out of a parking structure and a fan started beating on his car asking for an autograph. Yeah, if someone was beating on my car I would get it and grab him by the collar at the very least.

Other reports said they argued but nothing physical happened... so yeah.

Jake C said...

chris maher - that's what I get for typing too fast and not proofing...thanks - at least someone got what I was getting at :)

If Ortiz didn't get it last year, it will be slime to no chance that a DH ever will. MVP simply means the most valuable player to a team - never once does it say anything about making the playoffs. Again, this is why win-shares is such an interesting stat.

Fact is, just because Jeter has a better lineup around him, doesn't mean he still doesn't have to produce (look at ARod from last year to this). That's why I think Reyes is overlooked in the NL. Beltran's, Wright's and Delgado's numbers wouldn't be as good without Reyes' on base presence and top of the lineup ability. In addition, the infield defense wouldn't be the same without him.

That said, Ortiz changes the entire Sox lineup, but he still has no bearing on the defense. That's what makes the DH such a longshot to win. Granted, without Thomas, the A's wouldn't have won as many games, but how many games would the Yanks win without Jeter all year (especially during the injury filled stretch)? In any case - Ortiz > Thomas, therefore, Thomas doesn't deserve it.

ndyanksfan05 said...

I am surprised no one has mentioned Jeter hit wel over 350 with runners in scoring position. Also he had almost 100 RBI's hitting from the two spot, can steal, places a solid short-stop and made up for the faact that the Yankees were injury plagued all year (losing 220 RBI's from Matsui and Sheffield). Anyone who saw what happened with the Red Sox after losing Varitek knows that without Jeter that team would have fallen apart.

Thomas had a great year for a guy who has been hurt and is nearing the end of his career but he hit .270 with 117 RBI's without playing any defense. Not exactly MVP numbers.

ChrTh said...


Chrth, you are missing the point. Who cares what place the Red Sox would of came in with Ortiz. Third place going 86-76 like the Red Sox did is a lot different than third place going 71-91 just ahead of the Orioles.


Yeah, they'll pick lower in the amateur draft. Ortiz deserves mad props for that--what was I thinking?

Ortiz doesn't deserve the MVP on the Red Sox because without Manny he wouldn't be in this discussion. Period.

And folks, remember: I root for the Red Sox. I'm not saying all this because I'm a basher. I'm saying this because I consider the MVP to be the player that had the biggest individual impact on a team's success during the regular season. I don't care about raw stat comparisons.

rafael said...

The only thing of worth so far is that someone typed "A-Rod went only had one hit yesterday, but very easily could have had 3 if he hadnt lined out twice." and noone immediately made fun of it.

Ya know...Adam Dunn could have hit 100 homeruns and batted .600 if he didn't strike out so much.

Ryan Howard would have been the homerun record holder if he had hit 74 homeruns.

etc. etc.

ndyanksfan05 said...

rafeal - you miss the point. When you strike out you dont hit a line drive right at the second basemen and right fielder. All they were saying was he hit the ball hard three times. You're comparing apples to oranges just because you obviously hate a-rod. It's a legitimate argument to make when someone crushes two balls that are unfortunately hit directly at people.

jhawkjjm said...

Best thing about ADud's hit, and Simmons nailed it in his blog, it came on the back end of the Yanks putting up 5 runs!

As ndyanksfan said:
"Anyone who saw what happened with the Red Sox after losing Varitek knows that without Jeter that team would have fallen apart."

I disagree, shortstop isn't a very hard position to replace, especially when you got one playing 3rd base. The Yankees didn't miss a step two or three years ago when Jeter was out for awhile with that shoulder injury in the first game. Losing Posada is the only equivalent to losing Veritek. Catcher is the hardest position to replace and not miss a beat.

Also, the arguement that Jeter had nearly 100 rbi's out of the two-spot means absolutely nothing. The only time it means anything is the first at bat of the game. Other than that he's got plenty of hitters in front of him to drive in. Just like Damon puts up big rbi numbers as a leadoff, its cause the people at the bottom of the lineup getting on. Position in the batting order doesn't mean much in terms of driving in runs, its about coming up with people on base in front of you, whether they are hitting first or 8th.

But considering there really is no clear choice for MVP this year for AL MVP, I say give it to Jeter, even if it is like when Eric Crouch was given the Heisman trophey... ie more of a lifetime acheivement award and a joke.

Worldwide Reader said...

However, I think Jeter is the MVP. He has the numbers to justify it finally. Also, I think it's his time. When we look back at the nineties, we're going to see all those damn Yankees championships

Good god, Robin - this is NOT a Lifetime Achievment Award. This is not about it being somebody's "time." This is about - who was most valuable. If people want to give it to Jeter because they think he was the most valuable player in the AL, on a Yankees team that won 97 games, in a lineup in which Giambi, Damon, Posada, and last year's MVP, ARod, all played more than 120 games - then fine. That's your opinion. We agree to disagree.

Johan Santana is my MVP. Then Ortiz. Then Jermaine Dye. I'd lump Jeter together with Frank Thomas & even Travis Haffner.

Worldwide Reader said...

I consider the MVP to be the player that had the biggest individual impact on a team's success during the regular season.

Chrth - any thoughts on Santana?

Mega, I'm sure the stats are out there re: the walk totals, but I'm too lazy to look for them.

Mark said...

I think my father-in-law put it best about Kenny Rogers:

"I know he might be a total jerk, but I mean, how many times do you have to bug a guy and have him go off on you, until you learn to just STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM?!"

Look, I'm not condoning the guy's actions, but I'm not asking him for an autograph unless he offers one...

Gary said...

ndyanksfan, when you said that it is a legit argument to say that hitting it hard at someone is basically a hit is way off base, how many times during a season do you hit a slow dribbler that stops dead between the short stop and third baseman, or hit a grounder through the hole vacated because of a hit and run...in other words, these things even out over the course of a long season. You get robbed a fair amount of times and you get a cheap hit a fair amount of times.

Yes, in the playoffs, you don't have much of a chance for these things to even out because of the brevity of the playoff season, but you get the idea.

Also, Jeter will more than likely win the MVP, do I agree, I guess. Did he have an MVP season, no, is he the best candidate, probably. Would he have won MVP with the same exact numbers if Sheff and Matsui didn't get injured, no way in hell, but that's not the point, he is going to win because they got hurt, I don't know if that makes you the most valueable, but that's how it's going to shake out this year. If I had a vote, I think I'd give it to Morneau, he's the first guy in forever to hit 30 HRs for Minnesota, and he carried that team during their unbelievable stretch.

Tim said...

Gary and Rafael, I think you guys misunderstood what I was saying. I said that A-Rod could have had 3 hits very easily, but I wasn't saying that he those were better than just normal outs are anything else. All I was saying is that Baseball is a lot of luck and A-Rod just doesnt seem to have any.

Tim said...

Wow forgot to proofread that last one. I hope it made sense to everyone else.

Also, I agree that the Morneau pick is a good one, but as far as what he did, I cant put him above Jeter. Neither one single-handedly carried his team down the stretch. Morneau was hitting between Mauer and Cuddyer and those guys were awesome as well.

Another note on that: There is no way Morneau wins it because he and Mauer will split votes. As much as either one of them deserves it, neither will get it.

Maher said...

pitchers shouldn't win the MVP, they have their own award last time I checked. Yes, I know in the 80s it happened a few times, but that was the 80s...did you see how people dressed back then?

How about Thomas for comeback player of the year?

The Sportsvixen said...

Good to hear about Friday Night Lights, I dvr-ed it last night, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet.

I say let's give the MVP to Jeter, and let Thomas or Morneau's team make it to the WS.

And yes Kornheiser needs to stop censoring himself, especially with Joe going on about his ring. That was deplorable.

Tim said...

Thomas is without a doubt the Comback Player of the Year (CPY). Thome is the only other one in discussion, but Thomas meets every thing required to win the CPY: He has to suck or be hurt for a while, then comeback and lead a team to the playoffs or to a respectable position. Thome had a great year, but Dye was also on the team and the White Sox actually got worse this year after they acquired him. That doesnt sound like a CPY to me.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

jhawkgguy -

... I might be wrong, but it seems to me that you have entirely missed the whole entirety of baseball lineup theory. If you had said "The Yankees lineup is so loaded that even the 7-8-9 hitters get on base all the time," then I wouldn't think this.

I feel like a jackass explaining this, but it's not like 'tim' is unaware that baserunners from the bottom of the order stay on base when you go back to the top of the order. The idea is that those guys are less likely to get on base (more likely to get an out), which is why they're batting 8th or 9th.

Since my Tigers have very recently been manhandled by New York's entire lineup, this argument isn't convincing to me, because yes, even their 7-8-9 guys seem to do just fine.


But on some teams, it's a leadoff guy's job to get on base and score runs, more than it's his job to bat them in.

F'rinstance: I'm batting, I think, 4-for-5 on the young year in IM Softball. No RBIs, though, because the spazzy guy who overruns second base and gets tagged out bats before me. It would be much easier for me to get RBIs if, instead, the best hitter on our team hit right before me.

ndyanksfan05 said...

gary - that is not what i said at all. I said arguing that arod very well could have had three hits after hitting the ball hard three times is the same as dunn hitting home runs for every time he struck out is idiotic. He still went 1-4, they weren't hits, the defense made the plays, but he hit the ball hard. That was my point. rafeal's "could have..." argument makes no sense in light of what was said.

mattie said...

I don't get the argument that pitchers shouldn't win MVP because there's a Cy Young Award. The best pitcher in the league can't be his team's most valuable player? Why not? Because he might get two awards? So what?

Until they change the name to the Most Valuable Non-Pitcher/Non-DH Player, I don't see why there should be a problem with Ortiz or Santana (or Pedro back on the Red Sox) or whoever taking the MVP.

As for this year, I think Jeter will definitely get it, and I dont' have a problem with him winning, even though arguments can be made for others.

nyc-steelers fan said...

Because obviously noone on this board gives a crap about who wins AL MVP, I'll focus on Shanoff's slurping of Kornheiser (again). Joe Theisman has sucked for a long time, basically since his second season on ESPN night crew, when he and Maguire decided they would go about trying to one up each other constantly. They didn't focus on the game most of the time, but on heckling each other. But Somehow, some way, Kornheiser has made me miss Paul Maguire. He and Theisman have not just ZERO chemistry, but negative chemistry (don't know if that has any real meaning, but you get my drift). When they aren't disliking each other, they are ignoring each other. Now, Kornheiser might be better with a different guy, but I haven't seen that he really brings anything to the table (and I'm not the first person to say it, but I don't care about his freaking fantasy league, just like I don't care about anyone else's). He doesn't know the game like an analyst should; telling me about defense alignments a little, or about the QB missing a read, or a bit of outrage about a missed call, or a bad decision by the coach; these things educate and enhance the game. Theisman is smart enough to do it, but he's usually talking about how great every QB in the league is (amazing how they are all above average), and when he does explain the game, it always sounds like he's being condescending (hence, why noone likes him). Kornheiser doesn't know a damn thing about the game that you and I don't know; so why am I listening to him? He really hasn't been any better than Dennis Miller.

ESPN should go back to a two person booth, one without Tony or Joe; or at least bring in three guys with chemistry (Berman and Jackson don't have that primetime thing going on anymore, right?).

Maher said...

the worst part about MNF is Tirico, with THEES-man as a close 2nd.

What's wrong with Brad Nessler that he can't do MNF?

The booth now is the most politically correct group I've ever seen in my life, especially with 2 female sideline reporters for god knows what reason...

ndyanksfan05 said...

I think Tirico is the only one offering any sort of valuable commentary at all. The other two are basically white noise - and does Tony have to bring up fantasy football every week? The joke stopped working in week two.

SMACKDADDYG said...

Is it possible that the MVP award is meaningless and should just be renamed the MPP (Most Popular Player) award. It can be argued that Jeter will win because well, he's Jeter. Did he have a career year, yes, is he deserving, yes, was he even the most valuable player on his team, maybe. The maybe here is the issue. The same argument can be made for the three-headed Morneau-Mauer-Santana monster that resides in Minny, and of course everyone is quick to point out that Papi has Manny hitting right behind him. So the question becomes is an MVP defined by the talent around him, or is he the definitive talent. One could actually argue that players who make their teams better because of their presence are true MVP's ala the Cubs Ernie Banks or this years tour de force Frank Thomas (Obviously not lumping those two together, Banks is obviously a HOF'er and a legend, just trying to make my point), there is no second offensive force available in the lineup. Could you try and make an argument for N. Swisher? Sure, you could but you'd be wrong. Thomas has defined this A's team and while more attention will be payed to Jeter and his stats this year, partly because of his popularity, partly because of his visiblity in the media. He will win the award. Unfortunately Thomas may have to settle for a series MVP award, and perhaps a championship ring.

ndyanksfan05 said...

While there may be a media bias towards Jeter, it is not exactly unfounded and they media can turn on a player just as quickly as praise him. The big lights of NYC is a double-edged sword and there is a fine line between being heralded as a hero and being thrown to the wolves (see A-Rod). Both Jeter and Thomas have a legitimate argument for MVP and if either wins there will always be debate for the other. To say the MVP award is a shame because of this debate has no legitmacy. There will always be several players in a league of hundreds that seem to deserve the award of most valuable, it comes with the territory of a hugely diverse league.

Mat Precourt said...

"Jeter is in his prime, while Frank Thomas is supposed to be years past his." Has no bearing whatsoever on an MVP race. If you need that as a supplemental arugment, it's obvious he's not the MVP.

Take each player off each team.

A's - Same thing as the year before. Surprise contender.

Yankees - Fall apart in April/May/June.

Thomas - Put up good numbers, but not huge. Dye's were better, plus he played defense.

Jeter - Gold Glove year at SS, 2nd in the AL in batting at .343, over 100 runs, 97 RBI, 34 SB, and 14 HR's for fun. He contributes in every single facet of the game and does so WELL ABOVE average. Maybe the most convincing argument; when he comes up in a clutch situation or when an oppurtunity comes up to make a great defensive play he makes it. We are only surprised when he DOESN'T make a great play, or start a late inning rally. (precourt.blogspot.com)

Worldwide Reader said...

There's a problem in the MNF booth, alright - and its name is Joe Theismann. SteelersFan is right - him and Kornheiser do not have any chemisty. They actually seem to genuinely dislike each other, with Kornheiser just giving up already, like he just doesn't care.

Tirico is solid - I don't have a problem with him. However, I think the ultimate 3 man team would be Nessler, Kornheiser, and Jaws. Or even Colinsworth.

One guy to call the play-by-play - and actually announce the action on the field, for every play! This is my biggest problem with Al Michaels.

One guy to make the witty/snide comments - Kornheiser. Also, I think he knows enough about football to get by. Though we do still need an expert ...

... and that would be Jaws.

Worldwide Reader said...

I don't get the argument that pitchers shouldn't win MVP because there's a Cy Young Award. The best pitcher in the league can't be his team's most valuable player? Why not? Because he might get two awards? So what?

Mattie - could not have said it any better. It's the Most Valuable Player. Everyone is eligible. Do not start making up built-in excuses for why a pitcher or DH should not win it.

SMACKDADDYG said...

NDYANKSFAN05 - While I agree with your assessment that the the league is diverse and that not all players shine in the bright lights of Big Apple, those who have the ability to stay in the light have a greater chance of ultimate survival.Those players that have the most exposure tend be those that achieve the greatest reward, whether or not they are the most deserving. My point is this, the Yankees for all that they do well, have a team of offensive superstars, and therefore each player is allowed an exponential chance of increasing their offensive productivity from year to year. This may simply be a game of chance with each player getting his turn (A-Rod won it last year), and it is quite possible that the Yanks could sweep this award for the next decade. Thomas carried the A's from his early season heroics to helping his team down the stretch, a full year of productivity, and winning.

While DJ's stats are impressive the argument could be made that the Yankees struggled despite his performance, and perhaps the MVP's of this team are the overpriced Bobby Abreu and his trade Partner Corey Lidle. For it can be argued that before the trade deadline the Yanks were on a crash course to second place, yes the wheels completely fell of the red sox bandwagon, but Abreu/Lidle righted the Yankees sinking ship. while the "Big Hurt" helped the A's sail smoothly from start to finish.

Dan Shanoff said...

OK, OK...I'm sorry I cited "expectations" as MVP criteria on behalf of Frank Thomas.

It's totally irrelevant (although extremely interesting).

I still think he is in the argument.

-- Dan

Theo said...

On the Friday Night Lights pilot — very similar to the movie, down to the star-player-gets-hurt-in-first-game plot device. Sometimes looks like it's trying a little too hard. But entertaining? Oh hell yes. And the scene directly after the game where BOTH teams gather at midfield in prayer blew me away. Totally wasn't expecting it. The coach is extremely likable. Plus they brought back the beautiful tunes by Explosions In The Sky to add to the experience.

I'm excited to see where this goes.

ndyanksfan05 said...

It also shouldn't be held against Jeter that he plays on a team of all-stars. Just because others around him are solid all of them slumped from time to time during the year - except Jeter who was the only consistently solid starter on the team. Its not his fault he is put on a team of great players, he capitalized on the opporuntity in every facit of the game - rbi's, avg, runs scored, defense, hitting in the clutch and baserunning. Thomas was a great home run hitter for the season and didn't even break the top ten in that. Giambi put up similar numbers.

rafael said...

Tim -- I wasn't all that serious about it. Just the way you wrote it...'he'd have 3 hits if 2 weren't caught'...just struck me as funny.
It wasn't a dig at A-Rod specifically.
People don't like A-Rod because of the color of his eyes. Check out Chris Leak's eyes..same thing. Ya'll are crazy.

Now I have to go back to work.

ChrTh said...

@the frog:

Why I don't consider Johan Santana a strong MVP candidate.

7 W, 6 L, 3.38 ERA.

I'm sorry, Santana obviously benefits from playing in Minnesota. Too obviously. For a pitcher to be MVP, they have to be dominating across the board, any venue, any situation. The evidence isn't there that Santana did that this season. One could argue his run support was worse on the road--and it probably was--but Santana also gave up more runs outside of his friendly confines. Cy Young? Definitely in the discussion. MVP? Not in my book.

SMACKDADDYG said...

NY05 - Again, I am not bashing Jeter, he had a great year, and appears to be carrying that into the playoffs.

The question is how do you define "valuable"? Is it a shortstop who has a great year on perhaps the most offensively potent team in the league (again, not holding this against him, just asking the question). Or is value better defined by looking at someone who has carried an offensively challenged team to a division title, and perhaps more.

I am not questioning Jeters accomplishments, or how is manager/owner/gm have put him in position to succeed. I am simply asking for the definition of value. The Yanks may have very well won there division without Jeters' services, but where would the A's be, is it possible that without Thomas they are home watching the playoffs instead of playing in them?

ndyanksfan05 said...

Well we will have to agree to disagree on this because I think that the Yankees wouldn't be where they are without Jeter carrying them through May/June/July and putting the nail in the coffin for two of the Boston games in the five game sweep. I don't have time to dig up the exact numbers but according to the index rating how many games a player is worth versus a replacement Jeter ranked second behind Mauer or Morneau (i am almost positive). That statistic can be interpretted however you want but it sheds a little light (although I will admit not substantial) on the impact he has on his team.

Jake C said...

JOSE REYES FOR MVP!!!

SMACKDADDYG said...

NY05 - Fair enough we can agree to disagree, but one could also argue that the players who put the nails in the 06 Red Sox coffin were the aformentioned Bobby Abreu (absolutely wore out Sox pitching, very impressive), and their former center fielder, Benedict Arnold err....Jonny Damon (absolutely crushed the ball in that season defining series)Sox had no answer for either of those two.

Brian said...

I really wanted to like Kornheiser on MNF. I haven't liked one second of it, though. He reminds me a lot of Dennis Miller, only less funny. A lot of it probably is Theisman. He has a way of bringing out the worst in people (see Paul Mcguire). Hopefully they'll find good two-man booth for next year that won't include Tony.