There’s probably not an easier vote this year, in my opinion, than AL MVP. With respectful disagreement to Buster Olney, who argues that A-Rod versus Big Papi is "a dead heat", and to Jayson Stark, who gives some well-deserved kudos to Travis Hafner, A-Rod is the guy.

Heck, even Tiger Woods knows it!

A-Rod has edges on Hafner and Ortiz in batting average and OBP, and he’s right in the ballpark in slugging. He trails Ortiz in RBIs, and actually he’s had more at-bats with runners in scoring position, but overall you’d pretty much have to call the two guys similar in offensive value. Hafner loses points for the number of games he lost. I know it’s not his fault, and his recovery is remarkable. But "number of games played" is one of the criteria on the ballot.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that A-Rod is a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman.

I’m not the guy’s biggest fan, and I’m certainly not a Yankee fan, but to me, Rodriguez is just about a no-brainer.



I agree with your choice, however, I think it’s closer than you do between A-Rod and Ortiz. 140 RBI with nearly a dozen games to go is awesome.
I know that somewhere along the way you taught me where to find such factors as BA w/runners in scoring position and opportunities to hit with men on base – major factors in evaluating and comparing RBI numbers – but I guess I didn’t “learn too good”.

Regardless, I think the Big Guy’s 140 RBI serve as big ammo for his cause. I do, however, think A-Rod is the compleat ballplayer and the more valuable.

It is worth noting that Ortiz has made steady gains each year for the last five years in ALL offensive categories. While dramatic increases in games and AB have influenced his HR and RBI totals, his BA, SLG, and OBP have risen dramatically each year since 2001. Since he and A-Rod are the same age, perhaps Papy is just a late bloomer.

I’ll never forget how A-Rod tried to cheat running to first base in the ALCS last year, knocking the ball out of the first basemen’s glove. He probably really needs Tiger Woods to boost his image, because as far as I’m concerned he’s a dishonest person. That has no affect on his MVP candidacy, but I just don’t like the guy and I don’t want to see him or the Yankees win.

You make the case the same way I would, BUT I don’t think the voters will all work it out that way.

I think it comes down to the final weekend of the season, a weekend of games everyone will watch, and who performs most magically. Papi hits a walk-off or A-Rod has 8 RBI in 3 games to lead his team to the division title, personal performance over the final 3 games of the season will decide the vote.

Well. It’s my opinion that a DH is less deserving of the MVP no matter what kind of offensive numbers he puts up.It’s one thing to be a great major league hitter,like Papi, but I think you gotta play the field to be the MVP.Otherwise,how can you justify giving it to a guy like David Ortiz,when there’s a guy like A-Rod being a great ML hitter AND playing Gold Glove caliber D. Plus I think Manny could take away enough of Papi’s votes, like Rolen and Edmonds did for Pujols last year,that A-Rod will still win it. And while I’m on the subject of David Ortiz,I just wanna say I think he would be the David Ortiz from his days with the Twins if he weren’t playing in Boston where that short porch is in right field.I watch Sports Center,and I’ve seen a lot of his home runs. And many of his recent game winners at Fenway looked like monster blasts on TV,but if you pay attention to where it lands,you’d notice it’s a loud out in most ballparks.In my opinion,Papi is overrated.Sure he’s clutch right now, but put him in a park like Jacobs Field or Comerica in Detroit and I promise you he’d stink up the field.I bet all of his offensive numbers would drop dramatically.

I agree that A-Rod is top candidate, but jacobhaas brought up a great point. If the addage is true that your reputation precedes you, I have to give it to Ortiz, dispite the fact that they beat my Birds last year and I would hate to do it. Furthermore, it seems that you argued for Pujols in the same way that you argued against Ortiz.
Let’s go even one step further. You’re putting a Yankee on the top spot? How un-American are you!? (joke)

Interestingly on the image question, A-Rod was once a model baseball citizen. The pressures of New York exposed cracks in the facade. Perhaps magnified them. A-Rod a “dirty” player. Ty Cobb–now THAT was a dirty player…

I agree that it is A-Rod for MVP as he has the superior rate stats, leads in VORP (98.0-79.1), and more important for me, MLV, 72.1-52.8 (and Arod Crushes him ini MLVr, it’s rate stat). I’d wager by the end of the year Hafner will be the second most valuable player in the league also.

One note I disagree with, A-Rod is not a Gold Glove caliber defender, he’s below average to average at best (at third), being worth -10 Runs on defense compared to the average defender there.

Bless you for bringing BP numbers into the discussion. I’m never sure whether to go there, but once someone does, I’m happy to jump in.

That’s interesting about the defense. I hadn’t checked the metrics this year, just sort of operated on my knowledge of him from past years. I would still argue that even a competent 3B man has a great deal more value than a DH or even a competent 1B if the offensive production is the same.

BTW, Cards fans… trivia question: which Cardinal was once a key player in a trade for Hafner?

It is true that a competent 3B has more value than a DH, solely because the replacement level 3B has weaker numbers than a replacement level DH. The league averages for 3B in the AL is .266/.329/.427, while the league average for DH is .258/.337/.437 . This isn’t that big of a deal, but factor in that Jeter plays in one of the worst HR parks for Righties, and Ortiz plays in Fenway, along with the fact that A-Rod is still outperforming him (also take note that, as a rough estimate, OBP is 1.4 times as valuable as SLG when it comes to creating runs), then there really is no justifiable reason for Ortiz to be the MVP. It’s not so much that he doesn’t play the field, but that the replacement level player will provide more offense from DH than 3B.

Only Cardinal I can think of with the Indians orginization off the top of my head is Coco Crisp. Wait, was it Einar Diaz?

Einar Diaz is correct.

After the 2002 season, the Rangers traded Hafner and Aaron Myette for Diaz and Ryan Drese.

Hafner was coming off a season in which he hit 342/463/559 at Triple-A.

Nice deal for the Clevelands, eh?


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