Hey everyone, David got tied up. I just spoke with him and he's going to be here at 2 ET to chat.
OK, let's go. Auto update is turned on!
Im sure you have heard this a lot, but dont the Tigers remind you of the Cards last year? Sure, they have drastically underperformed and sometimes their play is baffling, but if you are an AL team, do you really want to face Verlander, Scherzer, Fister (even Sanchez), Cabrera, Fielder, Jackson (and Dirks)????
I have a hard team reading the Tigers. Yes, if Scherzer is healthy that front free looks terrific. But how much do we factor in that the Tigers look good because they've been beating up on the AL Central? But it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if they won it all. Although in this crazy year we can probably say that about any playoff team.
Come on Thursday baseball! Either Yanks and O's get tied up, A's and Texas end in a tie or somehow the Dodgers and Stl have a one game playoff!
I don't have any problem with analysts saying Trout is a better player in 2012 than Cabrera. The problem is WAR says Trout has had one of the top 5 years since the 50's (minus the Bonds HGH years). I don't see it. Love to have him on my team, but no way is that one of the top 5 seasons in 65 years.
I do think that's worth looking at some point -- maybe when the MVP vote draws near, I'll see if I can have Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference write a guest post. But keep in mind everything bWAR is giving him credit for: One of the best hitters in the league, plays in a tough home park (he has better road stats than Cabrera), one of the best defensive seasons ever, great baserunning. I'm not saying I agree with that, just that is what he's getting credit for.
FYI, bWAR has Trout's season as ninth-best since 1950 among position players. Yaz' 67 is No. 1.
Any team that makes the playoffs can win the title. Seriously.
What did I write yesterday? Only three teams with the best record have won the World Series wild-card era began in 1995. More wild-card teams have won it. Get in and you have a chance.
Isn't it a bit ironic that the 2nd wild card was supposed to add drama to races, yet we could have the final day mean absolutely nothing for the playoffs since 2004?
I didn't realize 2004 was that last time that happened. On the other hand, the NL would have been over a month ago. It's still be a pretty exciting final week, even if we won't get that awesome final day.
Hey 2010 Giants, we agree with you.
Ok, I admit I'm a biased Giants fan, but when looking at MVP, there really can't be a choice other than Buster Posey right? Molina is a better defensive catcher yes, and played more innings, but like Stark has been saying, only Bonds, Walker, and Brett have had 2nd halfs like Posey. Plus they won their division, not simply a Wild Card or no playoffs, and let's not forget, this is all from a guy who missed more than half of last season!!! Am I biased or just realistic?
But the first half counts as well. Not sure why it's more valuable to have a good second half or good September as opposed to a good first half or good April. If Molina doesn't have a big first half maybe the Cardinals are looking up at the Dodgers right now. Anyway, Posey WILL win, and is certainly deserving. I think any of Posey, Molina, Braun, McCutchen would be worthy MVPs this year.
Mike's biased, but with the right answer. Last season has no bearing at all, but his offensive 2nd half has been that impressive that it probably makes up for the defensive difference. (Not that Yadi is a slouch at the plate)
Babe Ruth is the all-time leader in WAR, yet his pitching peripherals were terrible, his base-running terrible and I'd safely assume he was more Chris Duncan on defense than Torii Hunter. Are we to believe that Ruth would be better than anyone in the game over the past 12 years, including Bonds, Pujols, Miggy, etc.? I'm all for new ways of thinking but "WAR says this guy's better so he is!" is frustrating.
I'm not quite sure what you're saying here, but yes, WAR should not be considered a definitive answer. But I do believe it's a better answer than "he won the Triple Crown" or "he had more RBIs" or "his team made the playoffs."
WAR is an imaginary stat and Cabera should win the MVP in a runaway since he's going to win the Triple Crown.
The people criticizing the Trout for MVP stance keep harping on WAR. The people criticizing the Cabrera for MVP stance keep harping on the Triple Crown. While neither side recognizes the other is trying to make an argument and stance independent of those two things. This entire debate makes me chuckle.
I agree with that. I think I see more from the Trout side, pointing his hitting numbers are nearly as strong as Cabrera's, his defense is off the charts awesome, his baserunning is sweet. The Cabrera side doesn't really seem to go beyond "Triple Crown" and "where would the Tigers be without him?" as if Verlander, Fielder, Jackson and Scherzer don't exist.
Haven't followed MLB much in the past 20 years or so. Have followed closely this year because Trout is from my hometown. Have baseball fans always been so rabid about "their" player? Fans seem to hate on Trout due to excessive media coverage (ESPN). If attaining the triple crown means Cabrera (best hitter in MLB) is MVP, hoe do Detroit fans account for a pitcher winning it last year?
I think it's grown more intense in recent with Twitter, Facebook, etc. In the specific case of a national outlet like, all most fans really want is to have ESPN say we love your team, we love your guy. Too much of this taken personally, as if it's an insult if I think Trout had a slightly better year than Cabrera. But here it is: I love Trout, I love Cabrera. I do not love Chone Figgins.
If Josh Hamilton had 2 more HR, would that make Miguel Cabrera less valuable?
Can someone please recognize that Clayton Kershaw deserves the CYA again this year? Lowest ERA, lowest WHIP, only a handful of innings behind the leader, and if he pitches tomorrow he will probably be the league leader in srikeouts. I've never seen a reigning CYA winner get less publicity with this kind of a year.
ESPN largely has focused the NL Cy Young race on Cueto, Dickey, and Kimbrel. Why isn't Kershaw getting any love? I'm not saying he is a clear cut winner but he should at least be in the discussion and I don't know why. He leads the NL in ERA and WHIP and is second in IP and Ks (after tomorrow night's game could lead in Ks). How about some left coast love?
Agree. But we all know the answer: If those guys are essentially even, tie goes to W-L record. It still matters.
True or False, we see Strasburg playing in the postseason?
I saw video of him taking batting practice. He told MLB Network he's still been throwing on the side. When Harold Reynolds asked him twice whether he'd be on the postseason roster, he artfully evaded giving a direct question. Not sure he'll pitch, but he can hit, so maybe he makes as the 25th guy -- pinch-hitter/emergency reliever in a long game? Wouldn't that be something?
According to WAR Trout's Offensive numbers are about 1 point higher. Am I correct that other stolen bases, Cabrera's numbers are better in every offensive category. How heavily are stolen bases weighed in WAR?
They have value, but most of the difference comes from defense. Baseball-Reference uses Defensive Runs Saved, from Baseball Info Solutions. Trout is at +23 runs saved compared to an average defender at his position. Miggy is at -4. I don't think either of those numbers seem radically off. Twenty-seven runs is worth nearly three wins.
The Nats don't have anyone in AAA who can hit better than Strasburg?
He hit .277/.333/.426, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 13 SO. He's a decent hitter. I could using him against a left-handed pitcher and not thinking it's a dumb move.
With regards to Trout on the basepaths, it's more than just SBs. How many 1st to 3rds does he get that most major leagues (let alone Cabera) wouldn't get. That adds value as well.
I might be a homer in saying this, but aside from his team going to the playoffs and the unjust payback against Braun (by voters)...lookin at that statistics, Braun should win the NL MVP easily.
It will be interesting to see where he finishes. I'm sure a few voters will leave him off the ballot. He was actually my preseason MVP pick. That's because I picked the Brewers to ... wait, maybe I shouldn't mention that.
Ben - It's also weighted for park factors, and base running.. Not just SB.
It's too bad Melky was in the NL. If he was in the AL and his shenanigans led to Miguel Cabrera's triple crown and subsequent MVP, the Internet might actually self-combust.
Are you going to take questions on the actual baseball left to be played or are we just going to litigate Trout v Miguel all day?
It's all people want to talk about! But fair enough. Let's move on!
Any chance this year's Nationals end up being last year's Phillies in the playoffs?
Anything can happen, of course. I like the balance in their lineup. I like that Harper has really blossomed the last two months (sort of under the radar) ... 13 HRs in August/September, .330 in September. They have power, speed, lefty/righty mix. Key may be their bullpen. Storen is closing now. Does Clippard have anything left in the tank?
Tell Nate that Posey's OBP is higher than Braun's and if he didn't play in AT&T, his slugging might be higher too. His adjusted OPS+ is higher.
I understand that Trouts defense is much better than Cabrera's. My only question with WAR is that Trout's Offensive WAR is also higher. It doesn't make sense. If you go by WAR Mike Trout and a nobody is worth the same as Cabrera and Austin Jackson.
Well, some of that is a positional adjustment: Trout being compared to other CFers, Miggy to other 3B. Factor in park effects (Angel Stadium tougher to hit than Comerica) and they end up pretty close, even before the positional adjustment. OK, no more Trout/Cabrera! I promise.
Best in-game manager? To me, it's Bochy hands down. Giants fan, though, so admittedly biased. To me, his moves (and granted, I see their games, so I see his all of the time, not the other managers) seem to make more of a positive impact to win games, and I rarely see his moves backfiring. Thoughts?
Wouldn't disagree. Never seems like the other manager is one step ahead of him (like, say, Don Mattingly or Ron Washington). Showalter has done a great job with the Orioles, but in-game strategy is arguably a little easier in the AL.
Two years ago the Giants won a title in part because Cody Ross turned into Babe Ruth against the Phillies (specifically Halladay). Who's your pick for random guy who totally swings a series this post-season (yes, it's impossible to predict, but have some fun!)?
Hmm ... chatters? More sleeper pick: Manny Machado. Has some surprising pop. Very confident player. He's not the guy you think you have focus on when you look at that lineup.
So the Mets are doomed to futility until they get new owners, right? Why would Wright or RA bother resigning there? Clearly the Wilpons only care about minimizing their Mets losses so they can stay in the black on the strength of SNY.
Hard to disagree with any of that. I wonder if they'll sign Wright to an extension this offseason. Does he take the long-term security? Does it mean anything to him to remain a Met?
Sabathia didn't no-hit the Sox last night, but Buccholz took care of any worries. Are he and Lester the biggest dissapointments in pitchers this year?
Lincecum has to be up there, no? I know he was a little better in the second half, but ERA is still over 5.00, leads NL in losses and earned runs. Nobody would have predicted that back in March.
Who do you think well win the AL cy young and why ?
I think Price WILL win ... first in ERA, tied for first in wins. I would probably vote for Verlander.
Todd, we would like to nominate Mr. Romero
Ahh, yes ... I think Stark gave him his AL Cy Yuck Award.
Wright wants badly to be a Met for life. The owners don't seem to care to keep him. If they did he would have a new contract. Though I have my doubts the Mets can afford it.
Even after they get the Bay and Johan contracts off the books?
My vote for random guy would be Adam LaRoche. Hard to call a guy with his numbers random, but I doubt people realize how great he's been. Plus, he is REALLY streaky and if he gets hot could be a guy who hits .450 for 2 weeks.
Good call. The Nats do strike out a lot, so that's concern I guess, that their lineup all runs into a strikeout slump at the same time.
Buck's done a great job managing the pen. One could argue in game managing is easier in the NL, because you can determine when to take out a pitcher based on his spot coming up in the lineup. In the AL, it's all looks and feel.
Right, I think that's fair. And in-game in the playoffs is even tougher. How quick of a hook do you have? You can't burn through your bullpen too much, because you have to win three series. Lots of stuff for managers to think about that doesn't apply in the regular season.
Hosmer = biggest flop in the field?
Karabell and I were just talking about that today. He's right up there. Very disappointing.
Random guy: the Todd-father, Todd Frazier. No stage is too big for him.
Can you remember an AL Rookie class as strong as this one? Stark has Cespedes 4th on his ballot, and he has had a really good year. The NL isn't bad either.
I think Jason Churchill wrote a piece on this last week for Insider. He did have this year's rookie crop as one of the best ever (for actual rookie performance). Sometimes a group doesn't show its true colors for a year or two, however, but anytime you have Trout and Harper, you're talking about historic potential.
Unfortunately for Frazier, he won't play because Rolen has "veteran experience" so Frazier is going to get squeezed.
David - Is Dubs basing that off the big stages he's played on, thus far in his career?
Why is there so little talk of the Yankees collapse? I mean, regardless of what happens, its still a collapse since they should be resting for the playoffs right now.
Not many teams have blown a 10-game lead, that's for sure. I think everyone kept expecting the Orioles to fade but they didn't. Looks like the Yankees will pull it out, however. Does anyone really think Boston will win one of these games? Did you see that lineup that played last night? Ugly.
In your opinion, Who is your Game 1 and 2 starter for the Reds, if they do end up in S.F. those first 2 games?
I'm pretty sure they'll go Cueto/Latos, although I wrote after his no-hitter that you could make the case for Bailey going in Game 2 since he's been so much better on the road.
I admit one of my fav reasons for the playoffs now is watching the Ron Washington dugout cam. Random guy: David Murphy
Murphy: Quietly excellent year with no fanfare whatsoever. By the way, here's a candidate for LVP (Least Valuable Player): Michael Young.
Look at 2001. AL-Ichiro, Sabathia, Soriano, Eckstein, NL-Pujols, Oswalt, Rollins, Dunn. Now that is a pretty good top 4 in BOTH leagues.
To Paul in MI...the Yankees did rest their regulars. When they were all on the DL over the last few months (Tex, Arod, CC, Pettitte).
How about Jim Thome as the out-of-the-box random guy? He's like 45, but can still hit the ball a mile.
By the way, I think Jayson Stark's year end awards put into sharp relief what a thoroughly miserable year it's been here in Toronto. How much shine to you think has come off Anthopolous? Do you think he's still a top exec in the making, or a flash in the pan?
I know they got crushed by all the injuries, so I'm willing to give him a pass on this season. But who's in the rotation next year? Romero was so bad you can't count on him. Morrow can't stay healthy. Who do you have after that? I tried to jump on the Toronto bandwagon, but I think I fell off.
RE: Frazier. the Little League world series is a pretty big stage....
We dont speak of the artist formerly known as Michael Young here.
I think the random guy is already Pete Kozma who is hitting so over his head right now that he looks like he stole Troy Tulowitzki's soul.
Random guy, Ichiro. At least your mom will be happy for him!
Doesnt Bob Melvin deserve the Manager of the year? Going down the stretch with an all rookie rotation and making it work
I'd vote for Melvin. Yes, Buck did a great job with the bullpen and shuffling his rotation, but Melvin has gone through multiple third basemen, a few different shortstops, smartly switched Crisp/Cespedes eventually in the outfield, kept winning even without Colon, McCarthy and Anderson. Great job.
Thoughts on the M's year David? What went right, what went wrong, where do we stand for next year? Thanks!
Pluses: Kyle Seager, young arms in the bullpen, Vargas turning into reliable innings eater, Erasmo Ramirez could be sleeper stud for next year, Jaso and prospect Mike Zunino could be great catching tandem next year, Saunders finally hit. Negatives: Smoak, Ackley's bat, Montero's bat, Hultzen's struggles in Triple-A. Bottom line for next year: This pitching/defense thing just hasn't worked. They need to find a way to add at least 100 runs of offense. And I don't think those guys are on the current roster.
Random guy, Edward Mujica. has 1.03 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 26 innings since the cardinals got him.
What has to happen for us to get a Baltimore-Oakland ALCS? That's what I'd really like to see, as unlikely as it may be.
One of them needs to win the division title. Actually, I think we would need the Yankees to win the East (95 wins) and No. 1 seed and A's to win the West (94 wins) and No. 2 seed. And then the Orioles beat the Rangers in the wild-card game and the Yankees in the ALDS.
I didn't read Jayson's column yet, but I would be astounded if the NL Cy Yuk wasn't the Rockies staff! Ugh!
I believe he gave it to Heath Bell. A very deserving NL Cy Yuck!
Does Trout win a gold glove this year?
Kershaw's year this year has lowered his career ERA to 2.81. Something to watch going forward. He's creeping up the list of lowest career ERA's since 1920.
If defense is realy the diffrence that will seperate Trout from Cabrera than where is the Adrian Beltre talk? Terrific offense numbers, there is not a better defender and his clutch hits this season are off the charts.
He think he finished third in the vote. Great season, loses points because his OBP is much lower than those two. Creeping into Hall of Fame discussion, however ...
Random guy who's not a great player who swings a series that will surprise everyone....I say A-Rod. Seriously. That should count.
Random guy: Nick Swisher. He slumped for most of the 2d half, but he's starting to turn it on. He's super streaky and can get hot at the right time.
Out of Baltimore and Oakland, who is more likely to be back in the playoff race next year?
Oakland. All that young pitching should bode well for the future. Orioles are more of a taped-together kind of team. When looking at past "miracle" teams, the ones that had the brighter future were younger (1991 Braves, for example).
Can we have a moment of chat silence for the Pirates fans? Another losing season, everyone bow there heads.
What's harder to understand WAR or the BCS formula?
How about the Rangers 'collapse"? Were they not way ahead not too long ago?
Well, they haven't collapsed yet! Biggest lead was ... looks like 6.5 games, latest on Aug. 12. That's still a pretty big lead to blow if they do it. I say they pull out one of these final two games.
I'm surprised Lincecum wasn't on the Cy Yuck ballot. Even with his better 2nd half, his overall numbers were pretty atrocious.
With the O's in Tampa and Texas in Oakland for the last two games, are the Yankees the favorite to take the top seed on the AL side? They might need to beat the Red Sox only one more time to make it happen given the remaining games of the other teams in the race.
Right, I think they win two from Boston and clinch the No. 1 seed. They also hold the tiebreaker over the Rangers if they finish with the same record (won season series 4-3).
Take Trout off of the Angels, they're still a contender. Take Cabrera off of the Tigers, they finish no higher than 3rd in their own weak division. Doesn't that say how "valuable" Cabrera is?
Not going there ...
Last Trout question. People are arguing that Cabrera took the Tigers on his back and willed them into the playoffs, yet if the Tigers werent playing the AL's worst division by far, they wouldnt have made anything. The Angels could hypothetically finish the year 4 games better than the Tigers!
Not going to comemnt ...
At least WAR is based upon real stats. The BCS is based upon human polls and computer algorithms made up by people who don't know anything about football.
If Trout was not a rookie and in his 8th season ...we wouldnt even be having this MVP discussion. How is Trout's D so amazing??? 2 assist, handfull errors, he's 29th in runs saved, and he's 3rd best OF on his team. Cabbys main rival is himself. the guy just oozes awesomeness and people have just become immune to the amazing numbers he's consistantly put up for 9 seasons!!! On a side note...Trout had 2 great months.
Not going there ... not sure where that 29th came from ...
Greatest strength of each playoff team (assuming Cards get in) is...
Yankees -- PowerOrioles -- BullpenTigers -- Top 3 startersRangers -- lineup depthA's -- momentumNationals -- RotationBraves -- Medlen, KimbrelReds -- BullpenCardinals -- Experience of last yearGiants ... you know, it may actually be their lineup
If Cabrera oozes awesomeness, shouldn't he get that checked?
if Trout were an 8-year vet i think people would be MORE open to it. but since he's "just a rookie" and has his own reward...
One last thing about the AL MVP: Most Trout supporters are saying Cabrera is #2. I have the feeling some doofus who votes Cabrera at 1 is going to vote for Trout at 8 or something.
I doubt that. I bet they're 1-2 on every ballot.
Do people realize that the Giants are secretly an offensive juggernaut? Okay, that's a bit strong, but they lead the NL in runs scored on the road.
Exactly. Without any production from LF since Melky went down, they've been scoring runs.
Trouts baserunning was so amazing he got thrown out at home and at third in the texas series over the weekend
Did people argue that Verlander shouldn't win the MVP last year because he had is own award? Nonsensical arguement.
if even one voter does what andrew says though it could swing the overall vote...
Based on historical votes, I think Cabrera wins pretty easily. HUGE credit given to players on playoff teams. Just looking at what various beat writers have written (and they're the ones with the vote), it seems most side with Cabrera. Last night's results clinched it for him.
I would bet 10 internet dollars otherwise, David. The reasoning behind Cabrera at #1 is the same type of reasoning that would elevate a Hamilton or Cano ahead of Trout. The reasoning behind Trout could easily support Cabrera at 2. IMO.
You may be right. Somebody voted Michael Young No. 1 last year, after all.
After the MVP vote, can we all take a deep breath and be friends again?
Yes, we all love baseball! Good one to end with. Thanks, everyone! Enjoy your baseball!