August 15, 2002
The numbers don't lie
I have been stuck in history mode for the last couple of days, looking at my top 20 hitters and pitchers of all-time.
So, today I thought I would focus on the present.
Over the last week or so I have heard a lot of talk about Miguel Tejada's MVP credentials.
In addition to all the stuff I read on the internet, I've had a multi-email exchange with two different A's fans about Tejada.
Both of them were a little upset that I did not list Tejada as one of my top 5 AL MVP candidates last week.
And both of them tried to explain to me why Miguel Tejada should win the MVP over my choice, Alex Rodriguez.
I tried to be calm and listen to their reasoning and then respond to it with my reasoning.
However, that proved to be pointless, as after I was done talking (or typing actually) they would basically just say, "Yeah, but where would the A's be without Tejada?" or "Or where would the A's be if they had ARod instead of Tejada?" or something similar to that.
First of all, they would still be in Oakland. (RIMSHOT!) Thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the chicken and make sure to tip your waiter.
But seriously folks...
I present to you two players.
The two men both play in the same league.
They both play the same position.
And neither of them has missed a single game this season (which makes any statistical comparison pretty good).
Here are the two players and their projected stats, using their numbers as of today, for 162 games played:
(If anyone knows how to use HTML and is willing to teach me how to make a real chart, please Email me!)
-PLAYER-- AVG. OBP. SLG HR 2B RBI RUN BB SB EqA. RARP ZnRt RngF E
Player X .313 .400 .620 52 31 136 127 84 11 .336 65.2 .917 4.76 7
Player Z .301 .345 .509 36 31 131 103 36 _4 .295 40.2 .815 4.57 22
As you can see, Player X is better than Player Z in every single category, except for one, Doubles, in which they are tied.
Player X is on pace to have an On-base % that is 55 points higher and a Slugging % that is over 100 points higher.
He is on pace to hit 16 more home runs and to draw 50 more walks.
He is on pace to steal almost 3 times as many bases.
He is on pace to score 25 more runs.
He is on pace to hit for a better average and to drive in more runs.
For those of you (like me) interested in the more advanced performance metrics, which account for the differences in home ballpark, etc...
Player X has an Equivalent Average (EqA) that is over 40 points higher.
And he is 25 Runs Over Replacement Position (RARP) ahead of Player Z.
And on defense (the last three categories) he is way ahead in Zone Rating and significantly ahead in Range Factor.
And he is on pace to make 15 less Errors.
So I ask you to look at the performance of the two players and tell me in what possible way Player Z has provided more value to a baseball team than Player X.
Player X is, of course, the MVP of the AL, Alex Rodriguez.
And Player Z is, of course, Miguel Tejada.
And as for "Where would the A's be if they had ARod instead of Tejada?"
Well, let's see...
The A's are currently in 3rd place, 3.5 games behind the 1st place Mariners (and the 2nd place Angels).
Substitute ARod for Tejada (and add the 55 points of OBP, 100 points of SLG, 16 homers, 50 walks and better defense) and the A's are at least 1 spot higher in the standings and possibly leading the division.
Miguel Tejada is a very good player and he is having a great year.
But Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest players of all-time and he is having an even greater year.
Look at the numbers and be logical, it isn't even a contest.