A Friday Ramble

Five things:

1. Will anybody ever be happy as a Blue Jays fan? Seriously – ever? Here’s what I mean:

Last offseason, people blasted the front office. They blasted Rogers, blasted AA, blasted Beeston. I know – I was at the State of the Franchise event. People were angry that Toronto wasn’t spending money. They were angry that we didn’t win the Darvish bid, and didn’t sign Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, or any of the other marquee free agents. Not only did we not sign any – we didn’t even try!

But now, after the massive trade that brings in Reyes, and Johnson, and Buehrle, and with them their high-priced contracts – people are mad? It’s true – I’ve seen the tweets and the blog posts about how now the Jays will be stuck with bad high-priced contracts, how in 4-5 years from now we’ll be weighed down by salary commitments.



2. I don’t want to see Toronto get rid of J.P. Arencibia. I like him. I know that he has much more trade value than John Buck, who literally has zero (as in zero). I know that many are calling for a deal that would send JPA to Texas for pitching, then have Buck start behind the plate until Travis d’Arnaud is ready. And while that may make a lot of sense, I just don’t want it. John Buck was so incredibly bad last year (.192 AVG, .644 OPS in 343 AB), that he is more of a liability than an asset. I know he had a great season with the Jays in ’09, but that looks more like a fluke. Keep JPA, at least for the start of 2013. And while we’re at it – Izturis for 2B!

3. Really amazed that while the Jays megatrade got a ton of airplay on Sportsnet on Tuesday night, TSN still spent the overwhelming majority of Sportscentre talking about the hockey lockout. Insane.

4. For the record, I don’t really care about the AL MVP award. I would have voted for Mike Trout, but I’m fine with Miguel Cabrera winning. He had an amazing year, of that there is no doubt. If Trout would have finished third, or if somebody like Josh Hamilton would have won, then that would be a different story. The beauty of the AL MVP debate this year is that people are taking about baseball in November. And that, like it or not, is the great thing about the award being called MVP, and not “Best Hitter”, or “Most Outstanding Player”. Any individual voter can take the acronym MVP and make it mean something different. Some put emphasis on making the playoffs, others on performance in September, and others on intangibles like leadership. Nobody is wrong, and I think that makes for much better intrigue than a simple statistical formula.

5. With that said however, some voters are still flat out wrong. I get a kick every year about the MVP ballot, because so many writers make absolutely ludicrous decisions with their down ballot votes. Remember last year when Michael Young got a first place vote? I’m not sure if it is meant to shame voters into making better choices, but this year the BBWAA has published every voters full ballot for the first time, so everybody knows who exactly each voter picked. And if it was meant to shame them, it didn’t work.

Here are my favourite votes from this year:

– No matter what side of the Trout vs. Cabrera debate you were on, I’m pretty sure everybody could agree that they were surefire bets to be 1-2 on the ballot. Well, Sheldon Ocker from the Akron Beacon Journal (Cleveland chapter), didn’t thik so. He put Cabrera first, and Trout third, behind Adrian Beltre of Texas. Bizarre.

– Equally bizarre in the NL MVP vote was the decision making of Tracy Ringolsby of Fox Sports.com (Colorado chapter). While about half the voters (17 of 32) thought Craig Kimbrel of the Braves was worthy of a vote, Ringolsby put Kimbrel second. That’s right, the Atlanta Braves closer, who pitched all of 62.2 innings, was the SECOND MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THE NL, ahead of Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, and others.

– Yadier Molina was one of the best players in the NL last year, without a doubt. That was proven in the MVP results, as Molina finished 4th – he was voted in the top four on 29 of the 32 ballots. But for some reason, our friend Ringolsby put Molina 10th, and Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com (Chicago chapter), had him 8th. As bad as that sounds, those two are way better than John Maffei of the North County (CA)

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Times (San Diego chapter), who completely left Molina off the ballot!!!

– The above mentioned Padilla also made a curious decision to give a 10th place vote to Hunter Pence. Pence, after all, did prove his worth when arriving in San Francisco at the trade deadline by torching NL pitching to the tune of a .219 average and .671 OPS. His full season WAR, including his time with the Phillies, was 0.8, good enough for 108th in the NL (lower than John McDonald’s 0.9).

– By far, the winner of this year’s WORST MVP ballot goes hands down to Mr. John Lowe from the Detroit Free Press. Kudos to Lowe for at least voting Cabera & Trout as 1/2. But from there? Yikes. Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson was Lowe’s pick for the third most valuable player in the AL. The same Jim Johnson who DIDN’T RECEIVE A SINGLE THIRD PLACE VOTE IN CY YOUNG VOTING!!! Oh, but there’s more! Robinson Cano, who finished 4th overall, and Adam Jones, who finished 6th, were left off his ballot completely. And the kicker? His 10th place vote went to……Raul Ibanez! The same Ibanez who posted a 0.3 WAR, was a part time player for the Yankees, and put up a .197 average and .492 OPS against lefties. Yep – sounds like MVP numbers to me.

2 thoughts on “A Friday Ramble”

  1. I listed my top 10 on my awards ballot post, but here they are:
    1. Trout
    2. Cabrera
    3. Robinson Cano
    4. Adrian Beltre
    5. Yoenis Cespedes
    6. Prince Fielder
    7. Josh Hamilton
    8. Edwin Encarncacion
    9. Josh Willingham
    10. Joe Mauer

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