November 13, 2005

AL: Most Valuable Player

Go brew some coffee, this is a long one!

The American League MVP -- David Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez -- will be announced on Monday. Either player would be a worthy selection, but who do I think should win?

I should say right off that these awards are pretty much worthless since they have so often gone to the wrong player. The members of the BBWAA have next-to-zero credibility.

Second, the actual definition of the award is highly subjective; it seems that everyone had his or her own definition. The letter each voter receives states that they should consider:
1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.
My definition: "If I was putting together a team, what player would I choose first, based on his performance for the season in question?"

Ortiz:
Everybody's been talking to me about the MVP situation. As soon as they bring my name up, they always talk about, 'Oh, he's a DH. I don't think he deserves it because he's a DH.' You win the MVP because you help your ballclub, you win games whenever the team needs it and because you put up some numbers.
Tony Massarotti (Herald) calls it "discrimination ... Since the creation of the position in 1973, the closest any DH has come to copping the MVP was in 1979, when California Angels slugger Don Baylor won the honor. Baylor played 97 games in the outfield and 65 as the DH ..."

I agree with Mazz. Should a DH be considered? Yes. I don't like the DH and wish baseball would get rid of it, but it is a valid position, just like shortstop, catcher, relief pitcher. And players at all of those positions have won MVP awards. ... Reliever Dennis Eckersley won the 1992 AL MVP when he pitched 80 innings. Rollie Fingers pitched only 78 innings when he won the AL MVP in 1981.

Okay, some numbers:

The Hardball Times has the final Win Share totals. The AL's top 5 (with batting and fielding splits):
          TOT   BAT  FLD
A-Rod 37 33.3 3.3
Manny 34 30.9 2.9
Sheffield 33 30.5 2.2
Teixeira 32 29.1 3.3
Ortiz 31 31.4 0.2
Ortiz comes in fifth because he gains only .2 Win Shares from his fielding. However, the idea that he should be automatically removed from MVP consideration because he doesn't play defense is wrong.

There must be a point at which his hitting compensates for his lack of defense. (Though some might say that not playing first benefits the Red Sox, allowing them to put a better-fielding player at the position.) The question is: Where it that point?

Here are some other stats:
        AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS    RC   RC/27
A-Rod .321 .421 .610 1.031 151.1 9.53
Ortiz .300 .397 .604 1.001 139.6 8.51
        EQA  BABIP  ISO  SecA  VORP
A-Rod .350 .347 .288 .474 99.7
Ortiz .336 .303 .303 .476 85.8
Explanation of some stats:
RC (Runs Created): The number of runs a hitter contributes to his team (not adjusted for ballpark).

RC/27: Runs Created per 27 outs; also the amount of runs that nine Ortizes (for example) would score against league-average pitching.

ISO (Isolated Power): (2B + 3B + HR*3) / AB

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls put Into Play.

EQA (Equivalent Average): A measure of total offensive value per out, adjusted for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting and baserunning, but not defense.

SecA (Secondary Average): A ratio of bases gained from other sources than total number of hits (extra base hits, walks and net bases gained through stolen bases). (TB − H + BB + SB − CS) / AB

VORP (Value Over Replacement Player): The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP does not consider the quality of a player's defense.
Rodriguez is the clear winner here. ... And at that point, Yankees blogger Larry Mahnken writes that if Rodriguez is the superior offensive player, then the defense question is moot.

Ortiz drove in 148 runs; Rodriguez brought in 130. But RBI is a highly-misleading stat, because a player's total depends on opportunity. If he hits a ton, but has no one on base, he won't get many RBI. So Baseball Prospectus presents RBI Opportunities (the number of runs a batter has driven in per runner on base. RBIs resulting from a batter driving himself in on home runs are not counted).

In 2005, there were 223 players with at least 400 plate appearances (the last column is RBI per baserunner):
                        PA  R1  R2 R3 Tot RBI
1. Jorge Cantu 631 209 128 85 422 89 .2109
2. Mark Teixeira 730 265 138 78 481 101 .2100
3. Garret Anderson 603 190 135 65 390 79 .2026
4. Vladimir Guerrero 594 187 115 75 377 76 .2016
5. Manny Ramirez 650 248 151 94 493 99 .2008
6. David Ortiz 713 262 175 69 506 101 .1996
7. Travis Hafner 578 189 135 62 386 75 .1943
8. Mike Sweeney 514 177 90 53 320 62 .1938
9. Carlos Delgado 616 212 131 82 425 82 .1929
10. Gary Sheffield 675 234 146 85 465 89 .1914
11. Carl Everett 547 181 97 57 335 64 .1910
12. Reed Johnson 439 126 85 53 264 50 .1894
13. Richie Sexson 656 217 148 74 439 82 .1868
14. Chipper Jones 432 126 104 45 275 51 .1855
15. Frank Catalanotto 475 148 80 47 275 51 .1855
16. Garrett Atkins 573 192 137 81 410 76 .1854
17. Matt Holliday 526 186 130 52 368 68 .1848
18. David DeJesus 523 129 79 49 257 47 .1829
19. Aramis Ramirez 506 168 115 56 339 61 .1799
20. Hideki Matsui 704 269 171 79 519 93 .1792
21. Juan Uribe 540 155 103 50 308 55 .1786
22. Rich Aurilia 468 148 104 52 304 54 .1776
23. Jason Larue 422 122 91 49 262 46 .1756
24. Carl Crawford 687 192 120 65 377 66 .1751
25. Ben Molina 449 143 96 70 309 54 .1748
26. Jeff Kent 637 229 126 80 435 76 .1747
27. Mark Kotsay 629 211 116 58 385 67 .1740
28. So Taguchi 424 132 76 51 259 45 .1737
29. Grady Sizemore 706 172 117 52 341 59 .1730
30. Aubrey Huff 636 195 126 84 405 70 .1728
31. David Wright 657 223 129 82 434 75 .1728
32. Felipe Lopez 648 165 135 60 360 62 .1722
33. Craig Monroe 623 192 140 70 402 69 .1716
34. Carlos Beltran 650 161 123 80 364 62 .1703
35. Tadahito Iguchi 582 155 119 55 329 56 .1702
36. Chase Utley 628 224 152 77 453 77 .1700
37. Carlos Lee 688 231 162 90 483 82 .1698
38. Matt Stairs 466 163 93 58 314 53 .1688
39. Mike Young 732 215 115 67 397 67 .1688
40. Ken Griffey Jr. 555 178 105 56 339 57 .1681
41. Miguel Cabrera 685 254 152 88 494 83 .1680
42. David Eckstein 713 140 119 57 316 53 .1677
43. Albert Pujols 700 234 144 77 455 76 .1670
44. Emil Brown 609 207 141 66 414 69 .1667
45. Jay Gibbons 518 181 98 40 319 53 .1661
46. Pat Burrell 669 248 177 89 514 85 .1654
47. Raul Ibanez 690 206 145 67 418 69 .1651
48. Nick Johnson 547 177 124 58 359 59 .1643
49. Placido Polanco 551 141 84 61 286 47 .1643
50. Brian Roberts 640 165 107 63 335 55 .1642
51. Brad Wilkerson 661 120 107 54 281 46 .1637
52. Vernon Wells 678 216 129 77 422 69 .1635
53. Adam Laroche 502 173 112 70 355 58 .1634
54. Cliff Floyd 626 183 141 68 392 64 .1633
55. Khalil Greene 476 162 115 61 338 55 .1627
56. Chris Shelton 431 127 82 43 252 41 .1627
57. Bobby Abreu 719 237 165 78 480 78 .1625
58. Edgardo Alfonzo 402 119 91 43 253 41 .1621
59. Trot Nixon 470 175 97 62 334 54 .1617
60. Morgan Ensberg 624 197 137 69 403 65 .1613
61. Rod Barajas 450 121 78 43 242 39 .1612
62. Orlando Hudson 501 159 104 66 329 53 .1611
63. Derrek Lee 691 187 124 68 379 61 .1610
64. Russ Adams 545 165 109 68 342 55 .1608
65. Rondell White 400 127 79 49 255 41 .1608
66. Alfonso Soriano 682 219 148 57 424 68 .1604
67. Jose Reyes 733 143 105 70 318 51 .1604
68. Miguel Tejada 704 227 134 89 450 72 .1600
69. Alex Rodriguez 715 252 180 84 516 82 .1589
...
91. Johnny Damon 688 207 138 80 425 65 .1529
124. Jason Giambi 545 201 116 59 376 55 .1463
166. Robinson Cano 551 192 108 62 362 48 .1326
170. Edgar Renteria 692 238 147 87 472 62 .1314
171. Jorge Posada 546 205 117 74 396 52 .1313
179. Bernie Williams 546 224 115 65 404 52 .1287
182. Jason Varitek 539 198 124 56 378 48 .1270
183. Derek Jeter 752 190 134 80 404 51 .1262
189. Bill Mueller 590 209 141 64 414 52 .1256
198. Kevin Millar 519 170 117 56 343 41 .1195
200. Tony Graffanino 417 139 85 37 261 31 .1188
In bringing home the bacon when there is bacon out there to be brought, Ortiz is much better than A-Rod.

Blue Jay pitcher Josh Towers: "As good a hitter as he is, and he's one of the best, no question, I could never vote for a guy who doesn't play defense."

Many people would agree. I would have given Ortiz more time at 1B this season (and less to Kevin Millar), but that's another story. The fact is: Ortiz did not play much in the field -- and Rodriguez is thought of as one of the best fielding third baseman in baseball. But is he?

A SoSHer looked at Slappy's defense and reported:
He is well below the average 3rd basemen in the league ... He's WORST in Range Factor for qualified AL starters, SECOND WORST in Zone Rating ... That is downright horrid. He is 9 runs worse then the average 3rd baseman.
and offered a random sampling of three other third basemen:
         A-Rod  Chavez  Beltre  Inge
RF: 2.59 2.80 2.78 3.25
ZR: .730 .814 .798 .802
FRAA: -9 9 10 14
FRAR: 13 30 30 35
EqR: 265 89 74 83
Rate: 94 106 107 109
RF (Range Factor): The number of plays made per 9 innings.

ZR (Zone Rating): The percentage of balls hit into the player's area that he turns into outs.

FRAR (Fielding Runs Above Replacement): The difference between an average player and a replacement player is determined by the number of plays that position is called on to make. While the value at each position changes over time, the all-time adjustment for third base is 22.

FRAA: Fielding Runs Above Average. Same idea as FRAR, but the fielder is compared to his peers.

Rate: A way to look at the fielder's rate of production, equal to 100 plus the number of runs above or below average this fielder is per 100 games. (This is similar to ERA+ or OPS+.) A player with a rate of 110 is 10 runs above average per 100 games, a player with an 87 is 13 runs below average per 100 games, etc.
Judging by these stats, Rodriguez was not a good third baseman in 2005 (regardless of the comparisons). In September, the media talked about how few errors he had made in the second half of the season, but with a poor Range Factor, he wasn't getting to tough balls on which he might have made errors. ... But was his hitting so much more productive than Ortiz's to overcome this deficiency (assuming Ortiz's defensive value was 0)?

ESPN's Buster Olney sees things differently:
A-Rod has made play after play after play at third base down the stretch, and he's had an incredible offensive season. Ortiz has become the baseball equivalent of Joe Montana in big spots -- you know he's going to get a big hit. Ortiz is hitting about 60 points higher than his overall average with runners in scoring position, while A-Rod is hitting about 20 points lower than his overall average; he's not the most feared hitter in his own lineup. The Yankees win the division, so A-Rod gets the edge.
New York was given the East title only because of necessary seeding for the playoffs. Both teams finished with identical records, but the Yankees went 10-9 against the Red Sox this year. For this discussion, looking at who won the East is meaningless.

Say a tie-breaker had been played and the Red Sox won 1-0 on a non-Ortiz HR. Should Ortiz get the MVP because the Sox won the tie-breaker (and the East)? No.

Scott Miller (Sportsline):
Ortiz, by the way, did everything in his power this weekend to wrap up what should be his rightful AL most valuable player trophy. No disrespect intended to the masterful season constructed by Alex Rodriguez, but given Ortiz's stunning array of clutch hits and his invaluable role to the psyche of this team, this is one of those very, very rare instances in which a designated hitter should win the award.
This is an argument put forth by Ortiz's many supporters -- that he hits much better than Rodriguez when the game is on the line, when his production would be more valuable.

This goes hand-in-hand with the perception (even among Yankees fans) that Rodriguez tends to perform better when the outcome of the game is not in doubt (such as hitting a two-run homer with his team ahead 10-1).

Tom Verducci, in making his case for Rodriguez, tries to shoot that theory down, writing that A-Rod has been
good enough in the clutch. ... [T]he idea that Rodriguez doesn't come through often enough in big spots is a myth. ... Rodriguez is just as tough an out in a big spot as Ortiz -- actually, a little tougher if you read on-base percentage as the percentage of time the batter wins the war against the pitcher. The numbers do show that Ortiz is better at delivering the big blow -- the best in the game, in fact. But don't discount Rodriguez's work in key spots.
Years ago, we wouldn't have had any idea if Verducci was right or wrong. Now we do. So, what is the truth?

Thanks to SoSHer Eric Van, we have the evidence:

Boston and New York each played 65 close games (extra innings or decided in regulation by one or two runs):
        PA   AVG  OBP  SLG  HR RBI  RS
Ortiz: 288 .321 .417 .699 24 62 49
ARod: 282 .243 .340 .465 15 38 33
Each team played 20 games won by six or more runs:
        PA   AVG  OBP   SLG  HR RBI  RS
Ortiz: 100 .277 .360 .639 9 33 27
ARod: 98 .549 .622 1.171 15 46 39
If you remove the blowout-win stats from their season totals:
        PA   AVG  OBP   SLG  HR  RBI  RS
Ortiz: 613 .303 .403 .598 38 115 92
ARod: 617 .285 .389 .522 33 84 85
So Verducci, in citing Rodriguez's allegedly higher OBP in "big spots" (non-blowouts), is actually wrong. And in looking at "close and late" situations (below), we'll see that Verducci is wrong again.

The "close and late" numbers are easily found. I guess that's why Verducci merely made a claim, rather than backing it up with any evidence. Because the evidence supporting his claim does not exist. Indeed, the evidence shows the opposite of his claim.

A closer look (again, thanks to Van):

Games Won by 6+ Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 20 100 .277 9 33 27 .360 .639 .999
ARod 20 98 .549 15 46 39 .622 1.171 1.793

Games Won by 3-5 Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 36 161 .359 9 33 32 .478 .680 1.158
ARod 38 175 .382 12 32 40 .520 .721 1.241
Games Won by 2 Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 10 41 .355 2 13 9 .512 .645 1.157
ARod 8 36 .233 2 5 4 .361 .467 .828
Games Won by 1 Run
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 22 101 .356 7 17 17 .446 .690 1.135
ARod 25 107 .250 6 16 16 .374 .477 .851
Extra Inning Wins
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 6 28 .261 5 8 7 .393 .913 1.306
ARod 4 21 .400 1 2 2 .429 .600 1.029
Extra-Inning Losses
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 2 11 .111 0 0 0 .273 .222 .495
ARod 4 17 .063 0 1 0 .059 .063 .121
Games Lost by 1 Run
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 13 55 .327 7 14 11 .382 .837 1.219
ARod 13 55 .260 6 11 9 .327 .680 1.007
Games Lost by 2 Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 12 52 .298 3 10 5 .365 .596 .961
Arod 11 46 .205 0 3 2 .326 .256 .582
Games Lost by 3-5 Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 21 94 .224 1 12 5 .277 .282 .559
ARod 23 97 .298 6 12 10 .381 .560 .941
Games Lost by 6+ Runs
        GM   PA   BA   HR  RBI   R   OBP    SA    OPS
Ortiz 17 70 .220 4 8 6 .343 .458 .800
ARod 16 63 .217 0 2 2 .254 .250 .504
The complete breakdown:
        -------------------Ortiz-------------------
GM PA BA HR RBI R OBP SLG OPS

6+ W 20 100 .277 9 33 27 .360 .639 .999
3-5 W 36 161 .359 9 33 32 .478 .680 1.158
2 W 10 41 .355 2 13 9 .512 .645 1.157
1 W 22 101 .356 7 17 17 .446 .690 1.135
EE W 6 28 .261 5 8 7 .393 .913 1.306
EE L 2 11 .111 0 0 0 .273 .222 .495
1 L 13 55 .327 7 14 11 .382 .837 1.219
2 L 12 52 .298 3 10 5 .365 .596 .961
3-5 L 21 94 .224 1 12 5 .277 .282 .559
6+ L 17 70 .220 4 8 6 .343 .458 .800

---------------------ARod-------------------
GM PA BA HR RBI R OBP SLG OPS

6+ W 20 98 .549 15 46 39 .622 1.171 1.793
3-5 W 38 175 .382 12 32 40 .520 .721 1.241
2 W 8 36 .233 2 5 4 .361 .467 .828
1 W 25 107 .250 6 16 16 .374 .477 .851
EE W 4 21 .400 1 2 2 .429 .600 1.029
EE L 4 17 .063 0 1 0 .059 .063 .121
1 L 13 55 .260 6 11 9 .327 .680 1.007
2 L 11 46 .205 0 3 2 .326 .256 .582
3-5 L 23 97 .298 6 12 10 .381 .560 .941
6+ L 16 63 .217 0 2 2 .254 .250 .504
[Extra inning games are not double-counted, i.e., 2-W is 2-run wins in regulation]

Van:
Is there any question who the actual MVP is? How many of the Yankees' close losses would they have won if ARod had hit like Ortiz in them? How many of the Red Sox' close wins would they have lost if Ortiz had hit like ARod? Is the difference in defensive value that large? ... I'm amazed that people can still say "ARod had the better year at the plate" with a straight face, as if all situations were equal leverage and/or all differences in performance across leverage were random.

An analysis by Win Expectancies shows Ortiz being massively more valuable. The splits by game result are a handy proxy for that, one that requires no explanation of an abstruse methodology. You could simulate the season in Diamond Mind from now until the death of the universe and not get that split.
Still, the methodology isn't perfect. Using the final score is defining "clutch" retrospectively.

Say A-Rod hits three-run home run breaking a 5-5 tie in the 8th; then the Yankees score three more in the 9th, winning 11-5. Although his hit was crucial, the game will be listed as a "non-clutch" game. Likewise, if Ortiz does nothing much as his teammates build a big lead, only to have it nearly blown by the bullpen, then that game suddenly becomes "clutch".

Even if you calculated what the score/situation was in every single plate appearance, that still wouldn't clear things up. Because batting in a tie game is much different if it's 0-0 in the first inning or 4-4 in the eighth. A batter knows that in the first inning, he (and his team) will have plenty of time to score runs, and although it is a "tie game", there is less pressure.

What a batter does in "close and late" situations can be known at the time they are occurring. Close & Late is defined as "in the 7th inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one run, tied or with the potential tying run at least on deck."

Looking at the batting splits for Ortiz and Rodriguez, we see:
       PA  HR RBI  AVG  OBP  SLG   OPS
Ortiz 93 11 33 .346 .447 .846 1.293
A-Rod 91 4 12 .293 .418 .520 .938
Random stat in Ortiz's favor -- with runners at 2nd-and-3rd (at any time):
Ortiz: 7-for-12  1.476 OPS
A-Rod: 2-for 10 .729 OPS
There is also the issue of base-running. Rodriguez runs on the bases, Ortiz does not.

Rodriguez stole 21 bases in 27 attempts (77.8%). A 75% success rate is considered the break-even point; below that, in general, you should not attempt to steal (game situations will vary, of course). ... Ortiz attempted one stolen base -- against Baltimore on July 10 -- and he was safe. 100%!

If stats on taking an extra base (1st-to-3rd, 2nd-to-home) were readily available, Rodriguez would likely get an edge, but again, you would also have to know how many times he was thrown out in those attempts.

So ... after all that, who is my AL MVP? Who is better when it comes to the "actual value of a player to his team ... the strength of offense and defense [as well as] general character, disposition, loyalty and effort"? ... Whose production would I take overall?

I think it should be obvious there is no clear-cut answer (and I'm very curious how close the voting will be) (Over at the Courant, the Yankees writer picks Ortiz and the Red Sox writer tabs Rodriguez).

I compiled a lot of these stats right after the season ended, and when I thought about refining this post, I kind of expected I'd pick Rodriguez in the end. But, assuming baserunning and fielding give neither player an edge (not provable, though), can Rodriguez's slightly-better numbers with the bat offset Ortiz's better numbers when his team needed his production the most?

No.

7 comments:

mouse said...

Great post. I really enjoy seeing the breakdown of all these numbers; even more so since they seem to backup the popular perceptions of both players (though A-Rod's "un-clutchness" is vastly overstated in my opinion).

I am 99.9% sure that the MVP award will go to A-Rod, and it will be because he plays the field and because he plays for the Yankees, while Ortiz does neither. It's a shame, really, that the voters are so close-minded and traditionalist that they'll exclude Ortiz because he's "just a DH." A-Rod had a fantastic year, for sure, but...Ortiz is in a class all by himself.

Well, even without the official accolades from the "experts," I imagine there will be a giant Ortiz statue in the city of Boston someday. Hopefully Big Papi knows that all of RSN adores, appreciates and enjoys everything that he has brought to the team during his tenure, even if the idiots in charge of the awards don't.

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: Two comments...
1) Holy crap! What an impressive research effort! I wonder how many of the MVP voters put 10% of that effort into their votes? My guess: virtually none of them. Great work.

2)Yeah, if it came to that, I’d put my heart in the vault and trade Ortiz for ARod, who is probably "the best player in the game." But I think Ortiz will win the '05 MVP and deserves to, because the nagging fact remains: ARod joined the Yankees and they’ve performed, at best, about as well as they had before, and really a little worse. In Ortiz’ three years with the Sox, his team made the post-season three years in a row for the first time ever. Big Papi is the emotional heart of these Sox, while Jeter, not Rodriquez, is the Yankees spark. If MVP still is about making the biggest impact (a third baseman makes on average 2.5 plays a game, and most of them are routine, meaning that Butch Hobson could have made them on a bad day in 1978; nah, fielding that position doesn’t tip the scales for me) on a winning team, and enough of the voters are both unbiased and attentive, they have to vote for Ortiz. He’ll win it.

redsock said...

Thanks. Having a BP subscription and using the work of various Sam Horn posters -- I hope I thanked them enough (especially the amazing Eric Van) and made clear that they did the compiling of the stats -- helps a lot.

I was thinking that if I used only my strict definition that I would have to go with Slappy. My definition is production only, not really situational performance.

Though if it could be shown that throughout his career, Rodriguez has *always* done worse in close games and *always* done better when it "doesn't count", that would have to be considered.

And I'm loath to do it, but if you factor in the "intangible" stuff from the BBWAA letter -- loyalty, honesty, character -- Ortiz wins easily.

We'll see in less than 2 hours.

redsock said...

mouse:

I am 99.9% sure that the MVP award will go to A-Rod, and it will be because he plays the field and because he plays for the Yankees, while Ortiz does neither.

If we need A-Rod to get the MVP to keep Ortiz off the Yankees, that's an easy choice! Enjoy your trophy, Slappy!

A-Rod had a fantastic year, for sure, but...Ortiz is in a class all by himself.

I disagree on this one. That's why the vote will be close. .... Well, it better be close.

I imagine there will be a giant Ortiz statue in the city of Boston someday.

I can't believe one wasn't completed by about November 15, 2004. For shame, City of Boston!

Kyle said...

Great, great post! Love the stat analysis. Ortiz should have won it my mind.

Take him away from the Sox, and we miss the playoffs in 2005. Yanks still make it without A-rod. Mariano Rivera is the more valuable player on that team.

Anonymous said...

ARod for Presdient!!!

marvelandmildewgirl said...

Redsock, great post. I wonder though how much statistical nous would be brought to bear if Big Papi was the 3B and A-Rod the DH. Would we be arguing for pure average, OPS, OBP and RBI? I don't disagree with the results, yet I still ponder the darkness of my own heart. Even so, I hope A-Rod never wins a ring.