September 30, 2005

AL MVP: Ortiz v. Rodriguez

I wish I had hours to research and present information about this, but I don't. (Though if I find some neat stat comparisions, such as what follows, I'll post them.)

I have no problem with a DH winning the MVP (pitchers have won it and I'll bet no one pointed at their fielding as the deciding factor); as Lou Pinella said, DH is a valid position in the AL. End of discussion.

There is a perception that Slappy gets his biggest hits when the game is a blowout, not when it's close. I have read this from both Red Sox fans and Yankees fans.

Eric Van worked up some stats in mid-September and posted them at SoSH. What follows are his charts and comments:


Batting by Game Run Margin, through Sept. 14

          ---------  David Ortiz ---------
1 – 2* 261 .318 .418 .701 1.119
3 to 5 232 .318 .422 .552 .974
6 or more 153 .231 .320 .515 .835
------- Alex Rodriguez ---------
1 – 2* 248 .255 .347 .463 .810
3 to 5 237 .323 .447 .599 1.046
6 or more 148 .420 .486 .809 1.295
*includes all extra inning games
A further breakdown:

         -Ortiz-    --ARod-
2 run W 1195 (33) 828 (36)
1 run W 1151 (87) 880 (81)
Ex In W 1286 (23) 1029 (21)
Ex In L 495 (11) 121 (17)
1 run L 1481 (50) 985 (51)
2 run L 1026 (47) 611 (42)
This gets more ridiculous the more you look at it.
            -Ortiz-    --ARod-
6+ run W 870 (86) 1790 (93)
6+ run L 779 (67) 523 (55)
Rodriguez has hit .544/.613/1.177 in games that the Yankees have won by 6 runs or more, while going 1-16 with a SF and no BB or XBH in the Yankees' 4 extra-inning losses.

In only 2 of the Yankees' 18 victories by 6 or more runs did Rodriguez's R + RBI total even approach the margin of victory. He had 5 R and 6 RBI (5-6, 2 2B, 2 HR) in a 19-8 victory over TB 4/18, and 3 R and 10 RBI (4-5, 3 HR) in a 12-4 victory over LAA 4/26. So some of the offense in those games (but by no means all of it) was meaningful.

Papi did this once in 17 such games, 3 R and 4 RBI (3-4, 2 HR) in a 9-2 win at Cle 6/21.


Elizabeth said...

check out ortiz in the city of champs best of boston sports video. it's freaking amazing. the music and his excited for tonight's game.

Anonymous said...

I know this has nothing to do with the post, but a friend of mine just told me that Chewbacca is throwing out the first pitch tonight as a tie-in with something at the Museum of Science.


stefan said...

Further relevant stats:

"Rodriguez has 19 home runs that tied the score or put his club ahead, and Ortiz has 18 (19, counting last night's), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ortiz has the edge with runners in scoring position, but A-Rod's production is more than respectable.

The biggest difference, however, comes in the situations Stats Inc. characterizes as "close and late," those in which a team has a one-run lead, is tied or has the tying run on base, at bat or on deck - in the seventh inning or later. It's Ortiz in a landslide: 10 homers, 31 RBIs, .435 on-base and a ridiculous .803 slugging percentage, versus A-Rod's four homers, 12 RBIs, .427 on-base and .534 slugging percentage."

VarmintCong said...

...and the Yankee trolls have invaded.

Welcome.... and here's to hoping that Purple Lips shows off his glove slapping abilities again this weekend.

allan said...


Writing in CAPS doesn't make your argument any more valid. ...

And because I've seen your exact post at other Red Sox blogs today, I'm deleting it.

Discussion good -- Spam bad.

Anonymous said...

I see that you're p[osting your lovely comments on every Sox site, James. How nice. In my opinion, post on Yanks Fan vs Sox Fan anytime, that's waht we use that site for. This site, however, is called Joy of SOX, and since many Yankee fans claim to not care about the Red Sox (I have no idea if you are one of them, however), please take it somewhere else. We've already established that Ortiz doesn't play defense. And also, I highly doubt that most fans can hit like Ortiz can. There is a difference, you know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for deleting his post. It was really bothering me. Obviously.

Shawn Monks said...

nzCheck this out... It's a petition asking Cleveland to "Step Aside".

allan said...

Yankee fans can post here.

Morons with broken CAPS-lock keys cannot.


Ask Jeff Suppan if Ortiz can play first base.

Anonymous said...

I was actually only joking around. I am a little tense awaiting for the first pitch.I was just trying to stir up the pot. I see that this was taken very poorly on the sites I posted. I apologize and will not post on this site again. My apologies James

allan said...

if you have something real to add to the discussion, feel free to post.

or start your own blog and rant like a maniac.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those are some pretty damn staggering numbers.

Sometimes when we see something happen in baseball a couple of times, we fans start writing it off as a fact when the numbers actually indicate otherwise. For instance, I've heard a lot of other Sox fans complain that our pitchers give up hits on 0-2 counts more often than anyone else this year, and I think someone on SoSH pointed out stats to the contrary. Likewise, I'd heard so many people declare A-Rod "unclutch" that I'd taken the comments with a grain of salt. Sure, it seemed to me that he padded his numbers mostly in blowout games, but where were the facts to prove it?

It's very cool to finally see some numbers to back up the popular conception. But even I wouldn't have guessed the differentials to be that significant. Wow.


Anonymous said...

the website is pretty cool too. couldn't beleive all the sports clips they had in this one video. wish every boston sports fan knew about this.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that the MVP was never meant to be about stats, though the stat analysis here is very good, and a case can be made for Papi despite him not playing defense and with A Rod having a golden glove, contributing at both ends.

MVP has always been about the player who was most valuable to his team and whom without they would not have accomplished what they accomplished.

By that standard it is no contest.

The winner is, hands down, Big Papi!

allan said...

Let's not forget that the MVP was never meant to be about stats

I disagree. "Stats" are the record of what the player did on the field. They are of utmost importance in determining an MVP.

MVP has always been about the player who was most valuable to his team and whom without they would not have accomplished what they accomplished.

Everyone has his or her definition -- because there is no concrete definition -- but that's not mine.

I would look at all AL players after 162 (or 163 (or maybe even 164 this year!)) games have been played and ask myself if I was building a team and could have any player's 2005 production, which player would I take?

That guy would be the Most Valuable Player with which to start a team.

As it stands, the MVP award, as well as the Cy Young, is often a joke, handed to a player who doesn't really deserve it (Ichiro, Tejada, Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, Mo Vaughn).

You can make very valid arguments for both Slappy and Ortiz, but I'm biased and I really want Flo to win it.

If it will come down to this series for a lot of voters, Papi got the edge in Game 1.

Anonymous said...

"In the game of baseball it is tradition to annually recognize the one player in the league who has contributed the most to the success of the player's team."

-Just a quick google . . .

I guess I meant that the traditional means of determining the MVP was not based on stats but on contribution to the team's success.

Although stats are important, I disagree that they are of the utmost importance.

Usually MVP is chosen from a contending team, but not always.

redsock said:

". . . if I was building a team and could have any player's 2005 production, which player would I take?

That guy would be the Most Valuable Player with which to start a team."

I've never heard of such criteria for choosing an annual MLB MVP.

That would work for a fantasy league though.

Aren't there written guidelines for choosing what an MVP should be?

You are right, redsock, it often has turned out to be a skewered and wrong headed choice.

At least in our opinion, right?

You said "Flo" gets your vote, you meant 'Mo" right?

Anonymous said...

Arod's most clutch homer of the year ironically came off of Curt Schilling when he was used for short relief. Arod belted a titanic shot that night that won the game and sunk Schillings triumphant return.

The argument against Big Papi winning the MVP is based on the fact that Arod is playing 100% of the game (fielding, stealing bases, making quick and important decisions in the field). Where as Big Papi does not play the field and that's a HUGE part of baseball. Their numbers are close......but....Arods numbers in the field blow away Big Papi's because Papi never plays in the field. He has zero value to his team in the field so he warms the bench playing crossword puzzles and listening to his Ipod while his team is in the field making diving catches, double plays and whatnot. He's essentially half a baseball player. A modern invention called the DH. Just compare what Arod has done in the field playing 3rd base this year with what David Ortiz has done in the field this year. This MVP thing is all hype. Arod is a complete package. He plays the whole game. Big Papi doesn't.

Edward Lee said...

Offense consists of hitting and baserunning, and I think we can all agree that hitting is the much more significant part of offense.

Defense consists of pitching and fielding, and I think we can all agree that pitching is the much more significant part of defense.

So I'd say that hitting is much more than 50% of the game of a position player.

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah. The assertion that Papi is a better hitter than AROD is arguable at best. Can you really say with certainty that Papi's stats are better than AROD's(.321 48 130), without pointing to some obscure stats that will marginally tip the scales for Papi? The same case, using different obscure stats, can be made for AROD, as we can all plainly see from the past posts.

If fielding doesn't count, why don't the Red Sox play Ortiz in the field? According to the "defense doesn't count" theory, his performance would not affect his value to the team. Further imagine a player who hit the ball better than Papi, say Bonds, and then imagine this player setting the record for errors in a season in the field and never recording a put out. Do you still think this person deserves the MVP? No, because he sucks in the field. Papi is that bad in the field. They won't even play him.

By virtue of the fact that they won't play him, Papi limits the Red Sox offensive options. The fact that AROD does play the field allows the yankees to have Giambi DH. Expanding the options for your ball club is true value creation cannot be ignored. Sounds absurd when you think of it that way, now doesn't it.

Lastly, of course Papi is a good hitter, all he does is take BP. Imagine AROD's line if all he did was take swings? He would be an absolute monster.

allan said...

it is not a stat's fault if it is "obscure". all that matters is how much it tells us.

"counting" stats are deceptive. for example, a player who plays more games in one park (Coors Field) will hit better than one in another (Dodger Stadium).

levelling the field is one key goal to player avaluation. do you agree?

BP? do you realize how silly you sound? and if a-rod would be a monster if he DH'd, then why wouldn't a manager DH him? seems like an obvious move. the added offense would be a huge boost over whatever the other third baseman might give up.

i'll be posting stuff in a little while about both hitters.

one of them will win it -- either one would be a great choice.

Anonymous said...

ahh, the obvious answer to your obvious question is that although he would be a monster hitter, more so than he is today, is that he is that much more valuable in the field while simultaneously leaving the DH spot open for other great hitters who might not be healthy enough to play the field (i.e. Sheffield, Giambi). c'mon, think through your answer before posting.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting to see that you would call those stats obscure. Actually it's quite funny. I'll agree with you that if you only present the stats that favor your arguement, then of course the numbers will never show a whole picture, but these stats are far from obscure. Let's start with the meaning of "Clutch Player". A clutch player is one who's individual actions result in a victory for thier team. When you look at the stats, which were posted, Papi has quite a lead on Arod. If you want to look at all the numbers for the entire season, then that's fine. You'll find that Arod and Papi have fairly similar numbers. As far as fielding,Arod was great this year, except in the clutch. Arod is an awesome ball player, and I would trade damn near anyone to have him, but he just isn't a clutch player. MVP isn't about stats, It's about contribution. It's about value. When you look at it, game for game, hit for hit, Papi's hits have carried more weight. Plain and simple. I really hope we meet again in the ALCS, that way it can be decided on the field where it should be.

Anonymous said...

Why does Manny get overlooked in this discussion? Because he doesn't run out the occasional ground out? Because he's a weirdo?
His stats are right there with Ortiz, he carried September for the Sox. And for those of you who believe that "clutch" hitting is such a big deal (is the fifth run in a 5-4 victory more important than the first?) Check out this year's clutch statistic leaders... some Bill James formula I think. Manny, Texiera, Sheffield are the best clutch hitters by far. Papi and Arod (still the MVP I think) are back somewhere near 60th place.

Anonymous said...

i completey agree that the MVP is all about value. Clutch hitting is a part of that value but does not account for the entirety of a player's valuation. Furthermore, being "clutch" is not black or white. How can you say that AROD is definitively "not clutch", while Papi "is clutch". Do you have some sort of clutchness threshhold that you are using? Is anyone else in the league more "clutch" than Papi according to those threshholds? If so, would you argue that they should get the MVP? I venture to guess, no.

Lastly, like I said, you have to add all of the balls that Tino fielded that Giambi couldn't, all of the hits that he and Sheffield got, clutch or not, while they were in the DH spot, to AROD's value relative to Papi's. Sheffield and Giambi both had huge hits at the end of the season, as did AROD. All of their hits were made possible by the fact that AROD was in the field and not occupying the DH spot. If he was the DH, none of that could have happened.

Anonymous said...

The stats that were posted about Ortiz being clutch in close games is in error. Anyone can sit down and manipulate stats if they have hours to do it. If I had the time I could figure out 10 stats that Ortiz is more dominant than A-Rod in, and 10 that A-Rod is more dominant than Ortiz in. Just because of one simple stat that shows that Ortiz is a better "clutch" hitter, does not justify him being the MVP. Even though Ortiz may be more of a clutch hitter in close games, the statistics also show that in blowouts, Ortiz doesn't do much of anything at the plate. Not only that, but he simply will not be the MVP because he doesn't play exactly 1/2 of each game. How can someone be MVP, if they only bat? Yes you can argue that a DH is important in the AL, but if someone is a DH, they they better hit over .300 Period! A DH is simply a professional hitter. Usually its the guy who is washed up and lost his legs or back, but still swings the bat well. This is indeed the situation with Ortiz. He can't run, field, or do much of anything except bat. Yes he is a powerhouse clutch hitter at the plate, but should not even be considered to win MVP. The guy can't even play in the field for his team!?! How can he even be eligible for MVP? A-Rod will win the MVP hands down! I find it funny that Red Sox fans even put up an arguement over the subject! Hey, wishful thinking I guess!

Anonymous said...

Guy above me = yankee troll.