November 16, 2012

"There Is Great Power In The Objectivity Of Math"

And so the Most Valuable Player in the American League did not win the American League's Most Valuable Player award.
Miguel Cabrera had an astoundingly good season, but Mike Trout was a more valuable player. As Jeff Passan says in this must-read column, it's not a travesty that Cabrera won the hardware last night. It's just wrong. (I have been slowly teaching myself to not give a damn about the BBWAA awards and I think that I have done a pretty good job in recent years.)

There have been dozens of articles out there over the past few weeks weighing the stats of Cabrera and Trout, positing this vote as a crucial battle in some supposed "stats vs. scouts" war. I've read a few, but haven't written about or linked to any of them (... except Passan's, I guess!).

And I won't be linking to any of the braying articles attempting to convince you that Cabrera's easy victory - 22 of 28 first-place votes - is a stunning and well-deserved rebuke to basement-dwelling dweebs like myself. However, you may certainly post any particularly exquisite cases of stupidity in comments.


laura k said...

What have these guys got against basements?

allan said...

Wanna see how every writer voted? Here you go! ... Warning: There are some doozies in there.

Anonymous said...

Looks like my previous Calculus II test.....jk. I think my professor wouldn't be alive anymore if he put that on our latest test. Is it nerd status if you can follow that?

allan said...

Maybe. I have no idea what it is. Anything above algebra was fucking lost on me.

Jere said...

Passan's article was written before the winner was announced, for anyone who didn't pick up on that.

(As a proofreader for a furniture company, I would like to point out that Passan wrote "Tempurpedic" when it should be "Tempur-Pedic.")

9casey said...

Yeah Trout might have been better, it is just hard to get over the whole triple crown thing.... Now if baseball wants to create the Bill James Triple Crown, that would be awful progressive of them...

laura k said...

How about getting over the whole RBI thing? It's either a percentage of chances, or it's almost useless.

allan said...

I come bearing numbers.

Cabrera had 333 PA with a total of 444 runners on base.
Trout had 214 PA with a total of 306 runners on base.

Batting with Runner on 1B
Cabrera drove in 22 of 212 (10.4%)
Trout drove in 8 of 151 (5.3%)

Batting with Runner on 2B
Cabrera drove in 34 of 146 (23.3%)
Trout drove in 24 of 100 (24.0%)

Batting with Runner of 3B
Cabrera drove in 39 of 86 (45.3%)
Trout drove in 21 of 55 (38.2%)

Cabrera drove in 95 of 444 (21.4%)
Trout drove in 53 of 306 (17.3%)

9casey said...

Interesting numbers, Allan was Cabrera walked in alot of those plate apperances? It will be fun to watch Trout grow as a player , if he could stay healthy . These young guys have problems with that.

allan said...

I don't know about walks. That wasn't part of the RBI Opp stats at BP.

Cabrera: 66 BB, 17 BBI.
Trout: 67 BB, 4 BBI.

allan said...

I guess you could look at each guy's splits at B-Ref to see how many times they were walked for each combination of baserunners.

Anonymous said...

That is integration, think of it as finding the total area under a curve, though it looks more a statistics related integration. ( :