Dishing out the 2013 MVP and Cy Young winners
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There’s still a few days left to play in the season and with the National League playoff teams decided weeks ago and the American League wild card race still up in the air, we have to wait and see which AL teams want it the most – don’t not want it the least.
Wow, a triple-negative. I must be pretty rusty at this writing thing. Don’t worry. It’ll come back to me – like riding a bike, except without hurting my butt as much.
Just as I’ve done the last couple years, I’m not going to wait until the end of the season to decide who should win this league’s major awards because, with this little time left, there’s not really anything that can happen that would change how I feel. And if something does happen, like some player going crazy and hitting a dozen home runs or a pitcher throwing back to back perfect games, then you can contact me directly for a full refund.
As unpredictable as baseball can be, you are going to have to change your adult diapers when you see how accurate I was at the beginning of the season – eight out of 10 playoff teams, four out of six division winners (including the Red Sox and Dodgers) and three of four my picks are in contention for the AL and NL MVP and Cy Young Awards.
These awards are what bring you and I together today. It is almost certain that you’ll disagree with my choices for these awards because the very nature of the awards themselves is rather subjective.
As a great philosopher once said, “What might be right for you may not be right for some. It takes Diff’rent Strokes to move the world.”
And just what am I talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? The Cy Young and MVP Awards are voted on by human people who have their own opinions about exactly how to determine the top players of the year.
Some voters have embraced the new statistical measurements that almost every team uses to accurately judge and predict player performance and some voters have chosen to stick with their tried and true statistics that they’ve been using since they began following the game and they won’t let anything like “mathematics” take away from their absolute certainty in their own righteousness.
It’s a really healthy mental attitude to have. I get it. It’s simpler. And it’s nice to have something old-fashioned you can cling to in a world that seems to be advancing technologically every day.
The “counting stats” in baseball – statistics that are “counted” (accumulated) over a season like runs, hits, home runs and would not include statistics like batting average – have been used for decades by writers and fans to determine the awards process because they can be a quick look guide to compare players’ production and part of earning an award is being out there for enough games that you created more value than the guy you’re being compared to.
The counting stats do have some value, but there are other more advanced statistics that tell us better how well a player has performed in all aspects of the game. If he scores 100 runs, that’s great. But in most cases someone else was responsible for making him score, so we can’t really give players all the credit for scoring a run. However, we can give him all the credit for getting on base in the first place.
When it comes to the season awards, there’s only two that anyone cares about: the AL and the NL Most Valuable Player Award and the AL and the NL Cy Young Award for the best pitcher. The other awards, like for Rookie, Manager, Comeback Player and the always controversial Mustache of the Year, are interesting but we’ll leave those for another column.
Every year, as with any arbitrarily assigned award system, who should win and who will win hardly ever match up. Many talented actors and actresses have never won awards for their performances and yet, Drew Barrymore won a Golden Globe Award. Yes, for acting!
How does something like this happen? Sometimes people have other agendas or they are voting based on sympathy or popularity. And sometimes people just have poop for brains. There are no rules about voting for these arbitrary awards other than who qualifies for them. And there’s no penalty for stupid voting.
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