November 28, 2010 at 10:19 am 2 comments

 Felix HernandezCC Sabathia

Just a few days ago it was announced that Josh Hamilton won the AL MVP award.  I tweeted that the voters got all the winners correct this year but failed in other areas.  The main area of the AL MVP voting they failed was that they had the Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez finish below both Rafael Soriano and CC Sabathia

I then saw that one of my favorite baseball writers, and a guy I follow on Twitter, Jason Churchill, tweeted “I love that King Felix, on a 100-loss team, received a 5th place vote for AL MVP.”  I, wanting to point out how the voters did good by giving him a 5th place vote but failed in giving other pitchers more votes, responded by saying “He still finished behind Soriano and Sabathia…”  I actually thought he might agree with me.  Not so much.  A fun conversation (at least to me) broke out between the two of us on value of a player.  I, loving a little banter and to hear other sides of a debate, was having fun with this, Churchill seemed to be a bit annoyed by me, though.  Here is the rest of our conversation:

Churchill:  “And he should have, at least CC. It’s VALUE to a team winning. His team didn’t win

Me:  “I respectfully disagree. That’s saying King Felix would’ve been less valuable on the Yanks than CC would’ve been on the M’s.”

Churchill:  Not true at all. It’s saying he was less value in 2010 because he wasn’t doing it on a winning team. Read the guidelines.

Me:  What guidelines say has to be a winning team? “actual value of a player to his team that is, strength of offense & defense”

Churchill:  It states “to a team’s success.” When your team didn’t have any… well, you do the math.

Churchill:  and how valuable is a great performance for a terrible team versus similar performances for a very good team?

Me:  Just as valuable. You’re adding variables that don’t go in the equation. It doesn’t take away the value that player brings.

Churchill:  Sorry, you’re just wrong.

Me:  If player-X pitches a shutout for the M’s it’s just as valuable as pitching one for the Yanks. Value is in player not team.

Churchill:  No, it’s not. As wrong as it gets.

Me:  Right… because the award is MostValuablePlayerOnWinningTeam and not MostValuablePlayer.

Churchill:  No, because it’s more valuable to play well on a winning team. Object is to win, and for players to contribute to winning.

Me:  And Felix having more than a half-run better ERA, xFIP, and FIP than CC is less contributal to helping the team win how?

Seeing as how I was “as wrong as it gets”, our conversation ended with my final tweet.  I was then prompted to re-read the HOF guidelines and here they are:

“The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: (1) actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense; (2) number of games played; (3) general character, disposition, loyalty and effort; (4) former winners are eligible; and (5) members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.”

It seems pretty simple to me.  Value of performance, games, and character.  Our argument leaned, not on the value of performance, but whether a player’s value varies depending on the team he plays for.  To me, value is soley in the player and what he can mostly control, not what his team does around him.  You should be able to take any player and his value and place it on another team and it holds the same value.

Felix Hernandez had an fWAR of 6.2 and rWAR of 6.0.  CC Sabathia has an fWAR of 5.1 and a rWAR of 5.4.  Felix Hernandez has the higher value, no matter where he pitched, wheter it was Seattle or New York.

Felix Hernandez, the player, was more valuable than CC Sabathia, the player, no matter which team he played for.  And that’s as right as it gets.


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2010 MLB Predictions 2011 HOF Ballot

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MsMLB_MiLB  |  November 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I was following that conversation the whole time you guys were having it on Twitter. I enjoyed it. I found myself siding with you. Glad to see you back writing blogs again

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 28, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I was honestly surprised to see Churchill’s view be towards the old-school so much.

    Thanks for the kind words, I am glad to be back writing. Newborns take all your time. Haha!


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