Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Can Pedroia and Youkilis split the MVP? Please?

Just kidding. But over here in MA, it seems a forgone conclusion that one of these pasty fellers will win it. I mean come on, they're on the Sawx, they're white (one's even Jewish!) and - most importantly - they hustle. Not like that lazy-ass (see: non-white) Manny Ramirez.

From fan chantin' (always the best barometer for who should win the MVP) to Ozzie Guillen lovin' to media drummin' - it seems as though the pint-sized second sacker will win the award.

Chad Finn - blogger - loves him the White Squirrel (nickname mine).

He'd be one of the smallest MVPs of modern times


- he's listed at 5 feet 9 inches and 180 pounds, which, according to, makes him allegedly two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than two-time NL MVP Joe Morgan.

No one cares.

But Pedroia's numbers are staggering for a hitter of any stature. He's leading the American League in batting (.330),

"Staggering?" Really? Great - I suppose. MVP-worthy - maybe. But "staggering?"

And BA is lame.

hits (188), multiple-hit games (55) and runs (108)

Runs are teammate dependent.

and third in doubles (43) and total bases (283). He has knocked in 22 runs in his last 19 games, is batting .600 over his last seven games, and has nine hits in 14 at-bats in the cleanup spot.

All very cool.

According to the Elias Stats Bureau via Buster Olney's blog, Pedroia is the first player in Red Sox history with a five-run, a five-hit, and a five-RBI game in the same season. Considering the hitters who have graced this franchise, that is an incredibly impressive accomplishment.

No, this is an incredibly odd, nuanced and pointless "stat" that means nothing. This is like Jimmy Rollins' 20/20/20/15/10/5/2/1/0.5 season in 2007.

And control your hyperbole rager there, Finn.

And while we'll get into a comparison of these Sox to the dynastic late-'90s Yankees another day, an astute Sons of Sam Horner poster pointed out that Pedroia's season at 24 years old is very similar to Derek Jeter's at the same age, when he hit .324, with 19 homers, 84 RBIs, and an OPS+ of 124

127, but who's counting (editing)?

in 1998.

It's worth noting that Jeter finished third in the MVP race that season, behind Texas's Juan Gonzalez and a certain expatriated Red Sox shortstop. But Jeter's competition, at the pinnacle of the steroids era, compiled far flashier numbers

I'll agree with this, to a point. Juan Gon hit 45 bombs with a .996 OPS. Nomar hit .323 with 35 homers, 12 steals and a .946 OPS.

Then there's Jeter. But Griffey - who finished fourth - hit 56 (!) homers with 20 steals. Manny, Mo Vaughn, Albert Belle (171 OPS+) and A-Rod all hit 40+ homers, had higher OPS+s and should have finished ahead of Jeter. But he's JETAH, so he finished third.

Now there aren't like 20 guys with 40 homers in 2008, but some dudes are putting together awesome seasons. Many of them are not on Finn's following list.

than have Pedroia's fellow candidates, who include:

Josh Hamilton: Wonderful numbers,

Which I would assume are a top priority in this award (even though I know it's not).

wonderful story, but the Rangers are an afterthought; his most meaningful moment of the season probably happened during his siege on Yankee Stadium at the Home Run Derby.

Thoughts. Memories. Scrapbooks. Acid flashbacks. These are the keys to winning an MVP award.

K-Rod: Sure he's having a season for the ages, but there a few stats more fraudulent than saves, and had he decided to take the season off to follow the Jonas Brothers on tour, the Angels still would hold a double-digit lead in the AL West.

All reasons to include him on the MVP list, even though he's maybe in the top five in the Cy running.

Carlos Quentin: The White Sox slugger might be his stiffest competition. He's walloped 36 homers, driven in 100 runs, and compiled a .965 OPS while anchoring surprising Chicago's powerful lineup. If Chicago makes the postseason, it would not be unjust if he claimed the honor.

Get this competency out of here.

Justin Morneau/Joe Mauer: Someone deserves credit for keeping that mediocre Minnesota roster in a pennant race, but Pedroia and Quentin are superior candidates to both Twins cornerstones.

Again, so include them!

Alex Rodriguez: I'm pretty sure I actually heard you snicker there.

Is it because I am a Red Sox fan??!?!?! Well-played and funny, Finnster.

Actually, he's a better candidate than the Twins dudes and certainly K-Rod. Probably better than people realize.

31 homers/.999 OPS/161 OPS+/16 steals with three CS/.315 BA for those who care.

So yeah, yet again one of the best all-around players in baseball, even when he only has 119 games played at this point.

Other things:

Kinsler Quentin Hamilton Pedroia A-Rod

OPS+: 134, 149, 135, 124, 161,

Runs Created: 105, 109, 110, 108, 107,

VORP: 55.1, 50.3, 47.8, 55.6, 63.2,

Pedroia has nearly the exact same stats (and plays the same position) as Kinsler - only with less steals (17 to 26) and homers (17 to 18). Oh yeah, and Kinsler is only batting .319, compared to Pedroia's .330.

So Pedroia = not best player at his position in his own league and behind a number of other players in most meaningful stats.

But the trump: He's on the Red Sox.

Start engraving the trophy now.

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