Wednesday, September 17, 2008

43 games doth not an MVP make

Or something like that.

Look, I love me the Manny Ramirez. I felt he was wrongfully run out of Boston and it's no surprise to me he is hitting .565 with 75 homers and 290 RBI.

But there is no fucking way he is the MVP of the National League. Most people know this from one simple stat:

43 games played.

That is not a full baseball season.

Jon Heyman says fuck you. There is no way Pujols, Wright, Howard, Berkman, Delgado or others are deserving. No way.

And surprise, he is not on this list of "best players of the year," which could be called MVPs.

Manny Ramirez has gone from savant to savior.

The world's most famous hitting savant has saved the storied Dodgers, lifting them from also-ran status to the cusp of the playoffs. By the true definition of the Most Valuable Player

That definition: no one knows because no one will define it.

award, Ramirez is the MVP.

Thanks to his short tenure in Los Angeles, he may not get the NL award. But he should. Manny has taken his new team and carried them to first place in the NL West. As long as they make it to October (and there's no reason now to think they won't), the award should be his.

The NL West is awful. Like, the worst division in baseball, by far. The Dodgers lead and are 79-72. The St. Louis Cardinals - led by the shitty Albert Pujols - are 78-72. And in fourth place. Toronto and the Yankees have a better record than the Dodgers (80-71) and have already wrote the moratoriums on their seasons. Even the Florida "$2.50 Payroll" Marlins are 78-72 and sit in third.

Manny's statistics are ridiculous by any measure. Nobody hits .401 on a new team in a new league in a pitcher-friendly park. Nobody has a 1.227 OPS over 43 games (not in the post-steroid era, anyway) to go with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs.

No one.

Berkman in March/April/May (56 games) - 1.219 OPS

So yeah, I guess that .008 points of OPS (over a longer game span) makes Hey-man right.

There are a handful of other candidates, most of them power-hitting first basemen:

Albert Pujols kept hitting while his team came back down to Earth.

Ryan Howard's going to lead the National League in home runs and RBIs, and he has led the Phillies into first for now.

Carlos Delgado has carried the Mets as they try to avoid a second straight collapse.

But no one can match Manny.

Really? No one can match him? Say Howward goes 39-39 with 20 homers and 65 RBI over the last dozen+ games.

Not good enough.

Pujols keeps OPSing over 1.100 and leads the Cards on a miracle playoff run?

No sir.

Ramirez's stats are otherworldly. But his impact is immeasurable.


Far be it for me to blame/attribute wins to one player, but the Dodgers are 25-19 since Manny's first game on August 1. 25-19. Not like 35-9.

The NL West: where a little more than .500 ball gets you the division!

Before Ramirez came to the Dodgers in the steal of the decade (all L.A. had to give up in the three-team trade was Class-A pitcher Bryan Morris and fading prospect Andy LaRoche)

"Steal of the decade." Wowzers.

Manny is a rent-a-hitter who is going to ask for a hundred cabillion dollars this off-season and will most likely leave LA - mainly because they have a ton of crappy players making way too much money.

Not Kazmir from the Mets to the Rays for Victor Zambrano or Aramis Ramirez from Pittsburgh to the Cubs for Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback and Bobby Hill? Those were pretty awful.

Best trade of the decade? One that will almost surely end in a first round exit by the .500 Dodgers and have zero impact after the ~50 games Manny plays this season.

they were running second in the worst division in baseball,

Still in that division.

a .500 team and down in the dumps. Now they nearly are a playoff certainty.

Who are still pretty much .500.

Manny surely has been the key to the Dodgers' bottom line. They're filling up Dodger Stadium again. They're selling Manny jerseys in their clubhouse stores for $302, and folks are grabbing them like there's a shortage.

Jersey sales - the smart man's MVP criterion.

Manny has been the key to their season, too. Once manager Joe Torre inserted Ramirez into the batting order and settled on an everyday lineup that also include the emerging Andre Ethier, it was clear who was best in the West.

Playing Andre Ethier over Juan Pierre is something Torre should have done from day one - considering Pierre's OPS+ is 67 and Ethier's is almost double that at 126. But no, Manny being there made Torre smarter.


But really, it's all Manny, who authored this Hollywood story.


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