August 10, 2002
More idiocy over at ESPN.com
Yesterday I wrote about the mind numbing experience that is reading Phil Rogers' thoughts on the NL MVP race.
Apparently whatever Rogers has is rubbing off on other columnists.
Sean McAdam breaks down the AL MVP race in his most recent column.
Now, I'm not going to bash McAdam like I did with Rogers, because, well, Phil Rogers makes Sean McAdam look like Bill James.
But, he did say some "interesting" things...
Who is his choice for MVP? None other than my favorite player, Torii Hunter.
McAdam discusses some of the reasons why Hunter should win (defense, baserunning, hitting, etc) and then says:
"The case against: Hunter's RBI total (72) is off and he doesn't steal as many bases (17) as other athletic players do."
His RBI total is "off"? What does that even mean?!
He is on pace to drive in 100 runs! And he is doing it with Jacque Jones (.326 OBP) batting leadoff and Cristian Guzman (.292 OBP) batting 2nd.
He doesn't steal as many baseball as "other athletic" players do? Other athletic players?! He has got to kidding me.
Hunter is currently 11th in the league in steals, with 18.
Anyway, I won't give him too much crap for what he says about Hunter. After all, he did pick him as the MVP, so what he says in his "case against" doesn't mean a whole lot.
Here is what McAdams has to say about the Yankees' candidates...
On Alfonso Soriano:
"But for now, he'll likely be handicapped by being part of such a star-studded team."
and on Jason Giambi:
"The case against: The Yankees won before Giambi. They're winning with Giambi. They'll win after Giambi. See the point? Good as Giambi is, he's joined a powerhouse and it's hard to quantify his impact."
I am not going to comment on this at the moment, I just want you to remember what he said.
Basically that they are on a team that is a little too good, so they shouldn't be MVP.
Remember that, okay?
Next up, we have McAdam on Ichiro!:
"The case against: Compelling as he is to watch -- at the plate, on the bases and in the field -- Ichiro is also, let's face it, pretty much a singles hitter offensively. He fails to make a dent in any of the run production/power categories. Matched against some of the more punishing hitters in the league, Ichiro comes up short."
This is different from last season in which way exactly?
Ichiro! is hitting for almost exactly as much "power" as he did last season (.350 AVG/.457 SLG last year and .346 AVG/.459 this year).
McAdam tries to explain the difference:
"The verdict: Ichiro took the game by surprise in 2001, which generated lots of publicity."
This goes right along with what I said in my entry about Phil Rogers' column.
Sportswriters like to find something new and exciting and pump it up and vote for it.
Then the next year, when the thing they voted for isn't as new or exciting, they find another thing (like a former starting pitcher that has been converted to a closer).
More McAdam on Ichiro!:
"When the Mariners ran off in the AL West [last year] and he was the obvious linchpin. But the Mariners are merely good this year and Ichiro's case as MVP isn't as compelling."
And I also want you to remember what he is saying about Ichiro's team.
That last season they were really really good, so he deserved the MVP, but this season the Mariners are not quite good enough.
And now McAdam on my pick for MVP, Alex Rodriguez:
"The case against: The Rangers are going to finish last in the AL West, albeit in baseball's toughest division. That's not Rodriguez's fault, as he's doing everything -- offensively and defensively -- that could be asked of him. But his team's poor showing gets to the "valuable'' part in the Most Valuable Player equation."
Another thing to remember.
According to McAdam, the Rangers are not good enough for ARod to win the MVP.
McAdam also says about ARod:
"For now, A-Rod will have to be content to simply be the game's best player, hardly a consolation prize. In this era of oversized offensive numbers, it's doubtful we'll ever again see a player from a second-division club named MVP, the way it once happened for Cal Ripken and Andre Dawson."
So ARod is the game's "best player," just not the "most valuable" player. I know some people like to make that argument, but to me, that makes absolutely no sense.
Not to mention the fact that Andre Dawson was not anywhere close to "the game's best player" when he won the MVP.
Anyway, I have a more important revelation to show...
Remember the things I told you to remember? NO?!?! C'mon!
Well, ok, you didn't really have to. I will recap them for you:
Alfonso Soriano plays on a team that is TOO GOOD.
Jason Giambi plays on a team that is TOO GOOD.
Ichiro! plays on a team that is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Alex Rodriguez plays on a team that is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Torii Hunter plays on a team that is JUST RIGHT.
Does this sound like the story of "Goldielocks and the Three Bears" to anyone but me?
Soriano and Giambi's pourage is TOO HOT.
Ichiro! and ARod's pourage is TOO COLD.
And Torii Hunter's pourage is JUST RIGHT.
Phil Rogers and Sean McAdam should collaborate and write children's books.
Their first one could be called "John Smoltz and the Three Bears."