Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A-Rod, the 2005 MVP case

Well Neil H has spoken and spoken well. I as you know am a less stat impassioned person, more of a gut feeling kind of guy. First off, you simply cannot say that A-Rod is better in the clutch than Ortiz, you have to concede that point. Big Papi has carried my fantasy team all season and his stats do seem to indicate that he is better when it really matters, but doesn't it always matter? A run is a run is a run, doesn't matter if it is in the bottom of the 9th or top of the 1st, they all count the same.

A-Rod beats out in the basic stats of BA, HR, OBP and Slugging%, which are the only stats he can control, runs and RBI are determined by the rest of the team. A-Rod has also been hitting clean-up most of the season behind first Gary Sheffield and recently Jason Giambi, so he gets less chances to knock in runs.

They both carry similar fantasy numbers but I do argue Neil H's point over defense. A-Rod is playing Gold Glove third base and has gone what, 64 straight games without an error on the hot corner, whilst Big Papi sits in the air-conditioned dugout talking and drinking water. Whilst Juan Gone and Jason Giambi weren't awesome fielders, they were competent, and obviously having seen a lot of Giambi, I can tell you that whilst he has a very poor throwing arm, apart from that he plays a decent first base, and isn't a butcher there, which David Ortiz is everytime they let him out.

In 2003 A-Rod put up terrific numbers for last placed Texas and won a Gold Glove, this in my opinion helped him to win the MVP over my boy Jorge, who carried the Yankees in August with the bat and led his team into October baseball.

Overall my main point is pretty darn simple, when two guys are matched so evenly offensively then the defense has to come into play, A-Rod has a chance at a Gold Glove (it is him or Chavez) whilst Ortiz has no chance of even getting a sponsor for his glove it is that bad!

6 threw a strike:

At 5:43 pm, Blogger Pete J said...

Its interesting to see you justify A-Rods lack of RBI by saying that Sheffield and Giambi take away a lot of opportunities from him. I would argue those two are as deserving of MVP consideration as Rodriguez, if not maybe more so. Lets face it, the Yankees season stopped spluttering when Giambi got his groove back and not when Rodriguez was accumulating numbers early on.

Also the stat Neil H threw in about BA/RSP seems to suggest that A-Rod does get opportunities but doesn't cash in as often as you would have us believe.

Then there is the D. A-Rod is a Gold Glover as much as Mike Bordick could have been i.e. doesn't make mistakes rather than being someone who goes and robs guys of hits. Why no one gives credit to Joe Crede's glovework I don't know (maybe I'll have to write something in my blog about that).

You are also being harsh about Ortiz's glove. The truth is he is a solid first baseman with fairly soft hands and the only real problem is he has the mobility of Mount Rushmore with a hang over. Besides he's a DH and only Rafi Palmeiro wins Gold Gloves as a DH. He's there to hit and his hits are usually money shots and thats why he is a potential MVP. He makes a difference with his bat. Does A-Rod really make a difference defensively?

If its a case of A-Rod V Ortiz for MVP then you have to ask which team would be hurt more if either was not on the team? New York would still be riding the Giambi renaissance with heavy doses of Sheffield whereas Boston would not be atop the East without Ortiz. When they've needed a big hit he has come through and while Manny has appeared distracted at times, Ortiz has really carried a banged up Red Sox team through to the cusp of the division title.

If New York get past Boston to win the division then it could change and A-Rod could get the nod but for now I'd go for Scott Podsednik.

 
At 5:50 pm, Blogger Neil M said...

Scott Podsednik? I know you often think out of the box Pete but please...

Giambi if it wasn't for his slow start (and Neil H says the drugs thing also hurts him, I disagree) would be a genuine candidate, heck if he hits .350 and keeps his OPS over 1.000 for the last 20 games then he might get 3rd but Sheffield is not up there.

Ortiz is a butcher at 1st, A-Rod's D has been immense, 65 straight now without an Error, how can you rag on that?

 
At 9:22 am, Blogger Pete J said...

You probably think Darren Lewis is the greatest outfielder of all time and that Mike Bordick was better than Ozzie Smith.

 
At 1:18 pm, Blogger Neil M said...

Who? And c'mon Pete...

Ortiz is a butcher at 1st, Giambi is decent, not above average, maybe not even average but he's decent.

 
At 5:05 am, Blogger Neil H said...

Neil - where is the butcher tag coming from? He has a career fielding % of .990, and while some of that is down to his lack of opportunities, your use of the word butcher is far too strong. For comparison, Giambi is a career .991 guy.

The guy plays a servicable 1B - do we want him there every day, clearly not, but "butcher" needs a bit more evidence than you are offering.

 
At 8:29 am, Blogger Neil M said...

Ok...everytime I see Ortiz he makes an error, not just *that* Error but seemingly everytime I watch him play 1st he's not doing his job.

 

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