Monday, November 28, 2005


I had intended to post my complete ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards here but I seem to have misplaced the paper I wrote them down on, and they are lost to history. I could of course recreate them, and be pretty close to what I actually voted, but instead I will simply review the winners and who I would have picked.

My ROY picks were Ryan Howard and Huston Street. These were also the BBWAA and IBA winners.

My NL Cy Young choice was Roger Clemens, while my AL choice was Johan Santana(last year's BBWAA choices, although Johnson deserved the NL award). The BBWAA chose Carpenter and Colon, while the IBA chose Clemens and Santana as I did.

The choices of Carpenter and Colon by the BBWAA have to be frustrating to people who get exercised about this sort of stuff. They are a return to the "best W-L record automatically wins" days. Carpenter pitched 241 innings with a 3.12 RA, for +65 above replacement and +36 above average. Clemens pitched just 211 innings, but posted a remarkable 2.13 RA for +80/+54. I don't think it's particularly close. I also have Pettitte and Oswalt ahead of Carpenter, although not to the same extent Clemens is. And behind Carpenter, Dontrelle Willis and Pedro Martinez are very close as well.

Examining Carpenter and Clemens more closely, Carpenter got 5.51 runs of support(5.62 park adjusted). Clemens got 3.58(3.51 park adjusted). The average NL pitcher, with a RA of 4.45, and an EW% slope of .107, would put up a .625 W% with Carpenter's support and just .399 with Clemens'. Therefore, Carpenter(21-5) was +4.75 wins in his 26 decisions and Clemens(13-8) was +4.62 in his 21. Pretty much a dead heat. And you expect about 1 decision for every 9 innings, which means Carpenter should have had 26.8 and Clemens should have had 23.4. So Clemens, in addition to getting lower run support, got less decisions, even when compared to innings.

If you figure this comparison based on replacment level instead of average, Carpenter will do better still because he had more decisions, but the difference will be small and is not nearly enough in my opinion to justify overlooking Clemens' huge advantages in run prevention.

The AL Cy is even worse, since Santana was 4.9 wins above an average pitcher with his run support while Colonw as just 2.2 better. Santana pitched 231 innings, Colon 222. Santana had a 2.97 RA; Colon 3.84. Santana was +77/+46; Colon +52/+23. No one was particularly close to Santana either; Halladay had better rate stats, but pitched 90 less innings due to his injury.

My MVPs went to Rodriguez and Lee; the IBA and BBWAA awards went to Rodriguez and Pujols. The choice of Pujols is not a bad one by any means; perhaps a close analysis of situation data could even make it seem obvious. What was puzzling, from the writers, was Andruw Jones finishing second and Lee third. Apparently the contending team pseudo-requirement was taken to its extreme. Interestingly, though, no NL player other than Pujols, Lee, and Jones recieved a third place or better vote. I don't see why, though, in the case of Jones. He had an OBA of .335 and made 435 outs while creating 112 runs. Contending players like Brian Giles and Morgan Ensberg had superior seasons offensively. Certainly Jones' defense is valuable, but to get up with Derrick Lee he's got thirty runs to make up.

Lee and Pujols were very close in many categories. Lee batted 679 times, Pujols 688. Lee made 398 outs, as did Pujols. Lee hit .335, Pujols hit .333. Lee had a .418 OBA, Pujols .428. It was in power that Lee staked his claim with a .662 SLG and .327 ISO versus .615 and .282 for Pujols. Lee created 150 runs, Pujols 146. Lee was 90 runs better then a replacement level first baseman, Pujols 86. Lee was 68 runs better then an average first baseman, Pujols 64.

One also cannot shake the feeling that it may have been a lifetime achievement award for Pujols. He has finished behind Bonds the last couple years with some tremendous seasons, and this year, with a much better claim to being the best in the league, it was tough not to give it to him.

1 comment:

  1. When I went thru the process, I had Carpenter and Rivera, and Pujols and ARod. I think I recall that DIPS brought Clemens down (he was lucky on BABIP?), and with Santana, I did a "bad thing" and discounted Santana a bit because he won last year, and gave a bit of extra credit to Rivera because he had a great season, and he is perhaps the best closer ever. I, for one, enjoy this additional latitude permitted by a vote format system. The problem, of course, is that some real voters obviously overweigh those "intangibles", in a way that strikes some (me) as silly. But that is an argument to be more discriminating in who you allow to vote, rather than a comdemnation of the vote process itself.

    As to the MVPs, Pujols vs Lee is a wash, and so I go with Pujols because I think his 2005 performance is less influenced by luck--he has been better than Lee every year, and is likely to be better next year. That's no disrespect to Lee, who is a very desirable combination of offense, fielding, and intangibles. He is my kind of player. But Pujols is special, obviously.

    And for the AL, ARod is obviously more deserving than Ortiz, unless 1) Ortiz hit much better in the clutch, and 2) ARod sucked in the field. You will find support for both of these claims, and I have seen this stuff, but with a gun to my head I believe that ARod was a more valuable ballplayer in 2005.


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