This is from Golenbock’s Facebook page, which may explain all the horrific spelling errors. He does not actually have an MVP vote, but is representative of a large segment of the voting population. It is quite possibly the most perplexing ballot in the history of ballots. There is no unifying theory, and most importantly, no Derek Jeter:
My pick: Mark Tiexiera. After him, I had in order: Joe Mauer, Ichiro, Dustin Pedroia, Michel Cabrera, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youkelis, Aaron Hill, and Evan Longoria.
The quickest and easiest way to illustrate how ridiculous this ballot is is to use WAR, which encapsulates offense and defense. It is not perfect, but it is probably the best statistical measure to use to determine MVP.
The listed players have the following WAR’s, in this order:
5.1, 7.7, 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, 5.1, 5.0, 3.5, 6.8.
So his number 1 pick is statistically indistinguishable from players 4-7, player 9 should be 2nd, and player 2 should clearly be first. Furthermore, there are a number of top 10 WAR players not on this list of 9 (not sure why he did not list 10 guys), including Ben Zobrist, Derek Jeter, Chone Figgins, and Franklin Guttierez. Clearly, Golenbock was not using statistics to make his picks. Then what was he using? There are many such anomalies on this ballot:
If he wants to credit players from winning teams, as he clearly did with Teixeira, where is Jeter? He is 4th in WAR, ahead of Tex and behind Mauer, Zobrist, and Longoria, and clearly has a reputation as a leader and a winner. That Pedroia, Crawford, and Hill make the ballot while Jeter is left off is astounding.
What is Ichiro doing third? He is on a non-contender and his numbers are lesser than most of the players listed after him.
Miguel Cabrera, Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, and Evan Longoria behind Pedroia? Has he even watched the Red Sox this season?
No Angels? Chone Figgins merits a spot based on the numbers, and guys like Bobby Abreu and Kendry Morales should be on any ballot put together without using sabermetric data.
Carl Crawford over Longoria and Zobrist? I get that Zobrist is a new face and that people may not put much stock in the positional adjustments that make him #2 in WAR, but Longoria has clearly been more valuable than Crawford.
Aaron Hill has had a nice year, but he just does not belong.
My ballot today (subject to change): I typically try to use most of the sabermetric statistics while allowing a bit of context (such as whether the team is a playoff team) to filter in.
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