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Article: Cabrera vs. Trout: The MVP Debate for the Ages

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#21 SweetOne69

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

Why is RBI part of the "triple crown", but not runs scored or stolen bases? This is a center fielder that might be the best defensive player in baseball, and is surely the best base runner. All I am saying is that three statistics do not show the full story. I find it highly ironic that the triple crown is a stat, made up of three other stats, and people that mock stats ate using it to "prove"something as inarguable.


Because the offensive triple crown is all done with the bat. It is the things that the Batter can directly control.

#22 biggentleben

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

[quote name='snepp'][quote name='TK10']Because only the young and hip will vote for Trout thanks to the All Powerful And All Knowing And Entirely Irrefutable Sabermetrics. If Cabrera wins the first triple crown in 45 years and doesn't win the MVP the All Powerful And All Knowing And Entirely Irrefutable Sabermetrics crowd will have officially won. [/QUOTE]
[quote name='TK10']I'm fully aware that a handful of former triple crown winners didn't win the MVP, and to me, it's completely idiotic. La Velle E. Neal and the other voters his age didn't see Ted Williams or Honus Wagner play. Or maybe they did, I bet Bill James and the math nerd brigade has a stat proving La Velle saw Teddy Ballgame in person. I admit, fully, to being an idiot because I'm 34-years-old and am still impressed by 133 RBI. I don't care what Trout's WAR is, someone winning the triple crown after 45 years would be remarkable.[/QUOTE]

I find being an obnoxious jackass to be much preferable over an objective "nerd."


You've convinced me.[/QUOTE]

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#23 Jim Crikket

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

The great thing about the MVP award is that it IS subjective. In that regard, it's like the CY or a HOF vote. The criteria will vary from voter to voter. I am old enough to remember the Robinson and Yaz Triple Crowns and maybe it's nostalgic to continue to apply a certain amount of "romance" for that particular achievement. That said, whether Cabrera does or doesn't achieve the TC would not influence my vote. Supporters of both players can make perfectly legitimate cases (to me, anyway). I don't agree that a Cabrera TC should entitle him to the MVP, but if you want to point to his superior performance in a September pennant stretch, I'll consider that argument. I don't feel Trout should be penalized for not being in the Majors to start the season, but if you want to suggest he maybe hit a rookie wall in September, you may have a point. I also agree that Trout arguably had a greater amount of influence on his team's eventual success.

I'm a huge Trout fan and would love to see him win the MVP. But when I consider the kinds of problems Cabrera has dealt with and his willingness to be a "team guy" and move to 3B even knowing he might look bad there, that counts in his favor with me, too.

These two guys have both had incredible seasons and they both deserve serious consideration for MVP. Where writers (and managers) lose me is when they feel inclined to spout garbage about how one or the other is the obvious choice. Nothing about this choice is obvious, to me.

#24 biggentleben

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:08 PM

Why is RBI part of the "triple crown", but not runs scored or stolen bases? This is a center fielder that might be the best defensive player in baseball, and is surely the best base runner. All I am saying is that three statistics do not show the full story. I find it highly ironic that the triple crown is a stat, made up of three other stats, and people that mock stats ate using it to "prove"something as inarguable.


Because the offensive triple crown is all done with the bat. It is the things that the Batter can directly control.


Not true. There is a measure of luck build into batting average. Runs batted in are dependent on team unless it's a home run. Even then home runs can be influenced by ballpark, whether, schedule, or many other things. So even those things, the batter doesn't control any more than stolen bases or runs.
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#25 Willihammer

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

Trout's struggled some in the last month. Is that a hiccup, or is that a wall of sorts that would have been accentuated by another month of games? Of course we don't know, but we do know that Cabrera has played great all year.


Well we do have 1300 minor league PAs which suggest that Trout's performance in recent days wouldn't drag him out of the conversation were he to play 21 extra games. He is still providing positive offensive and defensive value even while slumping. That said, Gleeman is right - the award is handed out by 28 Souhan-type writers across the country so bfd who gets it.

#26 biggentleben

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:12 PM

I don't feel Trout should be penalized for not being in the Majors to start the season, but if you want to suggest he maybe hit a rookie wall in September, you may have a point. I also agree that Trout arguably had a greater amount of influence on his team's eventual success.


.780 OPS with 3 homers and 4 steals at the leadoff position is hardly a wall. It's just that he set his bar so high in June/July that we see it as such, and that's become a narrative - an incorrect one, but one nonetheless.
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#27 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:36 PM

The great thing about the MVP award is that it IS subjective. In that regard, it's like the CY or a HOF vote. The criteria will vary from voter to voter. I am old enough to remember the Robinson and Yaz Triple Crowns and maybe it's nostalgic to continue to apply a certain amount of "romance" for that particular achievement. That said, whether Cabrera does or doesn't achieve the TC would not influence my vote. Supporters of both players can make perfectly legitimate cases (to me, anyway). I don't agree that a Cabrera TC should entitle him to the MVP, but if you want to point to his superior performance in a September pennant stretch, I'll consider that argument. I don't feel Trout should be penalized for not being in the Majors to start the season, but if you want to suggest he maybe hit a rookie wall in September, you may have a point. I also agree that Trout arguably had a greater amount of influence on his team's eventual success.

I'm a huge Trout fan and would love to see him win the MVP. But when I consider the kinds of problems Cabrera has dealt with and his willingness to be a "team guy" and move to 3B even knowing he might look bad there, that counts in his favor with me, too.

These two guys have both had incredible seasons and they both deserve serious consideration for MVP. Where writers (and managers) lose me is when they feel inclined to spout garbage about how one or the other is the obvious choice. Nothing about this choice is obvious, to me.


I too remember Yaz and F. Robby getting triple crowns and not dreaming I would go my whole working career (I was in college when Yaz did it and now am retired) without it being done again. On that I vote for Miggy. I also think MVP should come from playoff team--not sure either Tiggers or Angles will be there--but both are close enough. The MVP is for the WHOLE DAM season--Trout's Sept. slump should and will cost him votes.

I can see the Trout arguments--starting with Defense--but I still go with Miggy.

#28 TK10

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:59 PM

Jackass idiot here. Just hoping someone could explain to me why quibbling with WAR fans makes one a jackass. It seems to me the WAR crowd loves to denigrate anyone who still thinks RBI and batting average might, just might, indicate a guy is a good player. It's as if there's a cool kids table element to all of this. As if to say if you don't subscribe completely to sabermetrics you aren't a real fan.
Furthermore, isn't it possible that WAR is a bogus stat that, in say 5 years, some other numbers nerd, oops, excuse me, numbers wizard will come along and replace?
Anyway, I hope to see you all at the game tonight. I'll be the guy in 225 keeping score like the decrepit dinosaur I am.

#29 old nurse

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:02 PM

Who makes the club win? A few lower place should go to Willingham. Take out Willingham and insert a Clete Thomas type. The domino effect on this team would be that they would make a run at the record for futility. Trout or Cabrera? Trout has probably contributed more to his team's success than Cabrera. That was the intent of the award.

Although, if they had not signed Willingham, would Joe Benson made the squad out of ST and not had the season he did? A topic for another thread of what if.

Edited by old nurse, 24 September 2012 - 04:06 PM.


#30 Monkeypaws

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

Hitting is the hardest thing to do in baseball - triple crown trumps all-around play for me every day.

And seriously, R.O.T.Y. is a better than average consolation prize for Trout, plus the promise of future contention.

#31 Thrylos

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

Unless the Angels and the Tigers make the postseason, neither should be the MVP. MVP is about value to the team (i.e. helped the team go some place; unlike Cy Young, which is a best pitcher award.) Because the Angels and the Tiggers would have missed the post-season with them or without them. So, it might be between Cano and Beltre, depending on who makes the post-season.

That's my take. Maybe baseball needs a best player award like the Cy Young (Call it the Babe Ruth or the Barry Bonds Award ;) ) and then we can have that discussion...
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#32 biggentleben

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

6 of 10 of the last Triple Crown winners DID NOT win the MVP

In the last 30 years, there have been 13 10.0 WAR+ players (Trout will be the 14th), only 5 won the MVP
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#33 Mike Sixel

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

Why is RBI part of the "triple crown", but not runs scored or stolen bases? This is a center fielder that might be the best defensive player in baseball, and is surely the best base runner. All I am saying is that three statistics do not show the full story. I find it highly ironic that the triple crown is a stat, made up of three other stats, and people that mock stats ate using it to "prove"something as inarguable.


Because the offensive triple crown is all done with the bat. It is the things that the Batter can directly control.


????

RBI is largely dependent on the number of baserunners on when you come up to bat. Heck, you get an RBI for hitting a routine fly to the OF if there is a fast guy on 3rd. Want evidence of that, check out Delmon Young's stats that "good" year he had here....it was about the fact that Mauer and others were on base when he came up to bat.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#34 jm3319

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:01 PM

[QUOTE
Because the offensive triple crown is all done with the bat. It is the things that the Batter can directly control.[/QUOTE]


The person ahead of me beat me to it, but please explain how the batter can control how many people are on base for him. In theory, a leadoff guy could hit like 50 triples in a season, a bunch of doubles and 30 homers, and have very low RBI to show for it.

RBI is just not a good reflection of a hitter. the real triple crown should be batting average (a measure of how well the batter can hit the dang ball, but I'm open to arguments against average)/ OBP/ SLG

avg/OBP/SLG...you win these 3 with a good number of "traditional stats" like homers mixed in and you deserve to win.

My vote goes to Trout. He does more for his team than Cabrera. You can win games with the bat, but you can also win them with the glove and legs, too.

#35 beckmt

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:26 PM

I believe Cabrera deserves the reward. He has performed all year and the Tigers are better for it. Whether he wins the Triple Crown or not, he has had a remarkable season. Trout has been very good and if he performs at this level, he will win in the future.

#36 PseudoSABR

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:00 AM

I think the argument that Cabrera winning the Triple Crown appeals to the BBWA more than Mike Trout's incredulous rookie season grasps at ghosts. Mike Trout's rookie season has all the mythos that baseball writers crave (somewhere Rick Rielly is suddenly interested in baseball). Mike Trout is Mikey Mantle and Willie Mays. The guy has the incredible ease of Mantle and the absurd athleticism of Mays, and he's playing at their prime in his rookie year. Trout's highlight-worthy hops, the Halos' hole when they call him up, his humble personality--only add to his statline. As much as writers like old-stand-bys like RBIs, writers like to dream, and they can dream on Trout until someone slaps them in the face.

There's as much old-school and mystic in Trout as there is Cabrera's potential triple crown. We don't need sabermetrics to tell us that; we have our ****ing eyes.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 25 September 2012 - 03:02 AM.


#37 SweetOne69

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

While it is true that the batter has no control over who or how many runners are on base when he comes up to bat, he does have direct control over driving the runners in when he does come up to bat. FYI, Cabrera only has 6 SF this year, so 127 of his RBIs were the result of a hit.

For Runs Scored you are relying on someone else to assist you in scoring unless you hit a HR (or steal home).

#38 SweetOne69

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:46 AM

One thing that I think is going against Trout is that his offense has really tailed off that last month. He was hitting .345 on August 23rd. His BA has dropped 20pts over the last 28 games. Whereas Cabrera is improving as the season goes on.

#39 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:31 AM

While it is true that the batter has no control over who or how many runners are on base when he comes up to bat, he does have direct control over driving the runners in when he does come up to bat. FYI, Cabrera only has 6 SF this year, so 127 of his RBIs were the result of a hit.

For Runs Scored you are relying on someone else to assist you in scoring unless you hit a HR (or steal home).


Not that it really matters but there are other ways to drive in a run other than getting a hit, such as taking a walk with the bases loaded or hitting into a fielder's choice.

#40 Curt

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

It is a close call either way and both have had amazing seasons. The next week may still make a difference. Trout is a Phenom, to use a bit of Stengelese, and Cabrera is a monster. There is no MVP stat and there isn't really any particular criteria. Just 28 guys all using their own biases to identify and evaluate candidates. Some voters are surely dolts and some may be geniuses. Best player? How do you evaluate that? Most valuable? Can we even define it? If I were voting today it would be Cabrera. But I acknowledge I'm probably closer to dolt than genius. I've also been brainwashed from an early age to look at BA, HR and RBI. No amount of re-programming can reverse that totally.