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  • 11/25/2011, 12:46PM ET

Verlander should not have won MVP

Argos. (184-101-29) vs fvkasm2x (193-58-12)
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I am not totally against pitchers winning MVP. However, in order for a pitcher to win MVP, they must have a historically good season.

But Verlander's season wasn't. In fact, lets compare his season to the two previous AL Cy Young winners:

Verlander (2011) - 2.40 ERA, 170 ERA+, 2.99 FIP, 7.8 WAR*
Hernandez (2010) - 2.27 ERA, 174 ERA+, 3.04 FIP, 6.2 fWAR*
Greinke (2009) - 2.16 ERA, 205 ERA+, 2.33 FIP, 9.15 fWAR*

*WAR is fangraphs & baseball-reference average

Very similar seasons between the 3. One could argue he had the worse season of the 3. But what was the difference? Verlander won the AL MVP, Hernandez placed 16th in AL MVP voting, and Greinke placed 17th in AL MVP voting.


Now, like I said, pitcher I believe should be able to win MVP, but they must have an exceptional season, one that only comes around only once an era.

If neither of the two previous winners even placed top 15, or if Pedro Martinez didn't win in his historical season, Verlander should not have won the MVP.


Last time I checked, players competed with each other IN THE ACTUAL YEAR THEY PLAY and not with other players from years past.

Please explain to me how Hernandez, Greinke and Pedro did this year? Comparing the performance of a winner this year to winners of years past in an attempt to discredit them makes no sense at all.

Some reasons why Verlander won (and valid ones at that):

1. Too much parity if you will, in the sense that no offensive player stood out.

Michael Young had a vote for every "place" from 1-10
Joey Bats had votes 1-9
Robinson Cano had votes 1-7
Jacoby Ellsbury had votes 1-6 and one 10th place vote

The point? None of them stood out more than their offensive peers.

2. Verlander helped his team dominate over the last 2 months of baseball and took his team to the playoffs. Toronto sucked mightily and the BoSox had a monumental collapse. That matters to voters. Winning matters.

For many, part of the criteria of this award is winning. You can't be MVP on a losing team, unless you have a historic season. Joey Bats and Ellsbury didn't do that.

3. Verlander was the best pitcher and fits category 2. I'll give his #'s next


Myth #1 - No offensive player stood out

Jose Bautista & Miguel Cabrera's 181 OPS+ were the highest in AL since 2002 when Jim Thome had a 197 OPS+. It has been 9 seasons since someone topped that.


Myth #2 - Detroit wouldn't have made the playoffs without him.

The Tigers finished 15 games up on the Indians! The Tigers went 25-9 in Verlander's starts. They would have only had to go 10-24, with any other pitcher, to make the playoffs. Considering the Tigers went 75-58 without Verlander, so I'm sure they could have managed 10 wins.

Not to mention his wins above a replacement level player was under 8. They would have still ran away with their division.

Besides, it is an individual award, not a team award.


Myth #3 - Verlander was by far the best pitcher this year

Not only was Verlander's season not as good as the two previous AL Cy winners, he wasn't even by far the best pitcher this year.

His fWAR was 3rd in baseball among pitchers. His ERA was 4th in baseball. His FIP ranked 11th in baseball!!!


You can't win MVP as a pitcher unless you have a historic season, Verlander didn't.


Your debunking of my "myths":

#3: Who cares if he was 4th in all of baseball with his ERA? He was 1st in the AL.

He won the AL MVP, not the MLB MVP. Where he compares against NL pitchers in the ONE stat you brought up is irrelevant.

2. I never said the Tigers wouldn't have made the playoffs without him. You're supposed to argue against me, not the commenters below and/or other internet bloggers/writers. However, Verlander went 16-3 in games following a Tigers loss. It is very easy for a team to fall in a funk and slip out of the race. Ask Boston about losing streaks.

1. Bautista AND Cabrera had 181 OPS+ as you state, which proves my point. They both had great seasons and BOTH had the same OPS. I sad nobody stood out among hitters. Your two examples have the same numbers, so how does either stand out?

Some things to note:

- Peter Abraham of the BOSTON Globe voted Verlander 1st and Ellsbury 2nd. Ken Fidlin of the TORONTO Sun voted Verlander 1st and Joey Bats 2nd. He was good enough to sway the hometown bias there.

- No offensive player recieved more than 5 first place votes. Verlander got 13.


#3 - He was 4th in baseball in terms of ERA, which means it wasn't a historically great year, he just had a really good year. He was 1st in the AL, but the two previous CY winners had a better season, and he didn't even have by far the best season in baseball this year.

The last SP to win the MVP was in 1986. You have to have a truly great year to win MVP if you are a pitcher. Verlander didn't.


#2 - Following a Tigers loss he did win 16 games, but it is a team game. In 9 of the 16 games his offense scored him 5+ runs. His average runs support was 5.3. He didn't win those games, the team won.

And you saying "[he] took his team to the playoffs" unlike Ellsbury or Bautista I thought implied that without him they probably wouldn't have made it.


#3 - So two players have two of the best AL seasons since Manny & Thome in nearly decade, and the cancel each other out? That just doesn't make any sense.

Two hitters have seasons of which likes we haven't seen since the high-scoring steroid era, and they lose to a pitcher who had a very similar season to the previous two AL Cy Winners and similar to 3 NL pitchers.


Verlander wasn't good enough for the MVP.


Verlander wasn't good enough? He finished with 280 pts, 38 more than 2nd place.

Look at his AL ranking in the major stats:

Category-Total-Rank

GS - 34 -1st
W - 24 - 1st
WIN% - .828 - 1st
IP - 251 - 1st
H/9IP - 6.239 - 1st
SO - 250 - 1st
ERA - 2.40 - 1st
WHIP - 0.920 - 1st


Ellsbury (a guy you didn't even talk about) finished 2nd in voting with 242 points. He only got four 1st place votes, but Verlander got 13.

He had the most wins since 1990.

He has the 2nd most wins following a loss... a record that goes back to 1972. You really don't think his season was impressive?

He is the 10th pitcher to win the Cy Young and MVP in the same year. Obviously it's been done before, so this isn't some random atrocity to the game.

2 pitchers in the NL finished in the top 12 of MVP voting and that was in a league where 2 guys had superb seasons. Braun didn't get a vote lower than 2nd place. Kemp didn't get one lower than 3rd.

As I said before, the AL had too much parity. The possible winners were getting anywhere from 1st place votes to 6th place votes. In the NL, it was clear. The AL wasn't, which is why Verlander won it. He stood out.

November 25, 2011  12:56 PM ET

Anyone see that the Red Sox were asking the Jays to let them have Farrell be their manager again?

The Jays basically told Boston to **** off in their own little polite way by saying give us Buchholz and we will give you Farrell. Love that.

Comment #2 has been removed
Comment #3 has been removed
Comment #4 has been removed
November 25, 2011  01:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I may drop this when there are more users here and it won't be picked up by said troll. Or I might argue this.

Thanks.

November 25, 2011  01:01 PM ET

No day off for me in Canada.

November 25, 2011  01:20 PM ET

If Guidry did not win it in 1978, no pitcher should win it ever again.

November 25, 2011  01:23 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

If Guidry did not win it in 1978, no pitcher should win it ever again.

The Gator, Louisiana Lightening...

November 25, 2011  02:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

No day off for me in Canada.

Me either, so I will battle you

November 25, 2011  02:27 PM ET

Pitchers have their own award- MVP is for day to day players

Comment #11 has been removed
November 25, 2011  03:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Pitchers have their own award- MVP is for day to day players

Doesn't say that in the MLB rules.

Comment #13 has been removed
Comment #14 has been removed
November 25, 2011  03:37 PM ET

Forget all the STATS !!!!! Pitchers win the CY YOUNG and HITTERS WIN MVP's ...THATS IT

November 25, 2011  03:40 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Forget all the STATS !!!!! Pitchers win the CY YOUNG and HITTERS WIN MVP's ...THATS IT

If that were the case, pitchers wouldn't be eligible for the MVP.

That's it.

November 25, 2011  03:42 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

And there was no clearcut offensive player that deserved it more than he did.

Bingo. That's the real argument. I could argue Cabrera, but there wasn't any runaway offensive player who deserved it more than Verlander.

Comment #18 has been removed
November 25, 2011  07:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Forget all the STATS !!!!! Pitchers win the CY YOUNG and HITTERS WIN MVP's ...THATS IT

Hitters have their awards, their called silver sluggers.

 
November 25, 2011  08:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

If Guidry did not win it in 1978, no pitcher should win it ever again.

duh nuf said

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