I'm Not Crazy

I can understand why it might be somewhat easy to dismiss my soapbox routine when it comes to why Jose Bautista, and not Adrian Gonzalez, is the obvious choice for first half American League MVP Champion of the World. I live in Toronto, where I support the Blue Jays, the team of players for whom Mr. Bautista obliterates opposing pitching.

While I’m fairly confident that my case is airtight, as it depends on the actual measured performance of Bautista in comparison to the actual measured performance of Gonzalez, I’m not so self assured as to think that I’m 100% correct in my analysis of the best player on my favourite team. After all, people are capable of bending the appearance of numbers to fit any argument.

And to be perfectly honest with you, before comparing Jose Bautista’s WAR, wOBA, wRC+, TAv, VORP, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS with runners on base, OPS with runners in scoring position, etc. to Adrian Gonzalez’s, I was already firmly of the belief that Bautista was having a superior season. I’m certainly not above bias.

It just seems like such an enormous gap in performance to me, that when I hear Joe Buck and Tim McCarver wax on about Adrian Gonzalez being the undisputed MVP of the first half, I actually wondered if my blindness to the other side of the argument was rooted in some sort of raging homerism.

That’s why it was so refreshing to come across this recent post on Over The Monster from voice of reason and former Getting Blanked podcast guest Patrick Sullivan. My favourite quote from which:

The gulf here goes way beyond the painfully idiotic “MVP’s can only come from playoff teams” debate, too. Gonzalez is having anĀ MVP-caliber season, sure, but to suggest he’s the MVP is to ignore the player who is currently far and away baseball’s best.

Comments (12)

  1. If you go down some of the comments, one of the most succinct arguments:

    One poster:
    “The Jays without Joey Bats would be …….
    The Orioles”

    Second poster:
    That makes him pretty @#$%ing valuable, I’d say.

    Done and Done.

  2. If RBI / AVG / 1B defense and Team placement/record are the most imprtant measures does this mean we have to back in time and give the 2003 award to Delgado?

  3. HULK love baseball.

    But sometimes baseball makes HULK want to smash things.

  4. This would be easier to support if it wasn’t for the average Blue Jays fan thinking that Aaron Hill, say, is better than Robinson Cano.

  5. A GON is having a hell of a season in Boston, but there is no comparing the two players if you have any concept of stats beyond batting average and RBIs. The fact that it is a player on the Red Sox vs a Blue Jay is the critical issue. Those who want to remain willfully ignorant will continue to – which all but guarantees that the writers will overlook Joey Bats, and his statistical domination of the majors this season.

  6. @Rose Coloured: Who the hell would make that argument?

  7. @Matt_CC Sadly, it has been made. Embarrassing. I suggested they had probably never seen Cano play outside of when he’s playing the Jays.

    @Mats, I really don’t believe that JB19 will get MVP unless he continues to do what he did first half, which seems crazy to expect. Right or wrong, team performance weighs heavily on the voting, and I only recall ARod winning on a 4th place team with numbers head and shoulders above…that’s what it will take, and even then, it might not be enough as he lacks that kind of profile.

  8. Has anyone seen the John Schlegel article “First-half impressions: The best so far” on mlb.com?

    It has AGon ahead of Bautista for MVP.

  9. Can you imagine if the AL MVP continues to be a two-horse race down the home stretch? I just hope the voters can look through all the peripheral statistics and see who the better player is.

    They made the right choice with the Cy Young these past few years, let’s just hope the same applies for the AL MVP, too.

  10. @ Rose Coloured

    So one person suggested to you that Hill is better than Cano and you made the leap to suggest that “the average Blue Jays fan” thinks the same thing?

    Talk about small sample sizes.

  11. Swing and a miss Garoldo, at no point did I say “one”.

  12. The whole thing irritates me because there would be no discussion of this nature if Gonzalez put up Bautista’s numbers in Boston and Bautista put up Gonzalez’s numbers in Toronto.

    The only reason Gonzalez is mentioned is because he plays for the Red Sox. If Bautista played for the Yankees or the Red Sox or say, the Phillies, there would be no more discussion.

    And no one not an idiot thinks Hill is better than Cano.

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