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Thread: what are the worst MVP selections ever?

  1. #41
    Lots of good and interesting choices. I'll still go with my nominee, Willie Stargell in 1979. I haven't done the research and probably won't, but I think there's a good chance that Stargell had lower WAR and WS totals than any other winner. He also played in only about 70% of his team's innings in the field. He was aided greatly by the fact that Winfield didn't play on a winner and Schmidt had a low BA. Hernandez, the co-winner, probably should have won it outright given the circumstances, but the hoopla surrounding The Famalee, and the reality that Stargell did have a number of big hits late in the season, and the fact that he was perceived as a beloved elder statesman, etc.- sealed the deal for him. Parker was far and away the best player on the Pirates in 79.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francoeurstein View Post
    Steve Garvey (1974). Still one of the most overrated players IMO.
    in defense of Garvey, There were really no 'wow' type of seasons in the NL that year, and , based on the player evaluation methods of the time, his pick wasn't a bad one. This was a period of transition in the NL, as the older stars were passing their prime, men like Stargell, Bench, Brock, and Rose. Also , the newer generation were just starting out...Schmidt, Parker, Foster, Luzinski. It's easy for us to say now: 'Schmidt had 10.5 WAR and Garvey only had 5.1! What a travesty!' But at the time, batting average was looked at more than on base percentage, and there was no OPS+, much less WAR. If a guy hit well over .300 with some power, it was considered a great year, regardless of anything else. From the current point of view we would look at Jim Wynn's year, or Joe Morgan's year, and look at on base percentage, positional value, and stolen bases, and see how it all adds up. But at the time, all that mattered was the fact that Wynn only batted .271 , and Morgan only had 67 RBI.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    in defense of Garvey, There were really no 'wow' type of seasons in the NL that year, and , based on the player evaluation methods of the time, his pick wasn't a bad one. This was a period of transition in the NL, as the older stars were passing their prime, men like Stargell, Bench, Brock, and Rose. Also , the newer generation were just starting out...Schmidt, Parker, Foster, Luzinski. It's easy for us to say now: 'Schmidt had 10.5 WAR and Garvey only had 5.1! What a travesty!' But at the time, batting average was looked at more than on base percentage, and there was no OPS+, much less WAR. If a guy hit well over .300 with some power, it was considered a great year, regardless of anything else. From the current point of view we would look at Jim Wynn's year, or Joe Morgan's year, and look at on base percentage, positional value, and stolen bases, and see how it all adds up. But at the time, all that mattered was the fact that Wynn only batted .271 , and Morgan only had 67 RBI.
    When I was a kid in the late 1970's Garvey was considered a big star because:

    1) He hit .300 and drove in 100 RBI every year
    2) Played for the Los Angels Dodgers
    3) Had those Pop-Eye forearms and that haircut.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by willshad View Post
    in defense of Garvey, There were really no 'wow' type of seasons in the NL that year, and , based on the player evaluation methods of the time, his pick wasn't a bad one. This was a period of transition in the NL, as the older stars were passing their prime, men like Stargell, Bench, Brock, and Rose. Also , the newer generation were just starting out...Schmidt, Parker, Foster, Luzinski. It's easy for us to say now: 'Schmidt had 10.5 WAR and Garvey only had 5.1! What a travesty!' But at the time, batting average was looked at more than on base percentage, and there was no OPS+, much less WAR. If a guy hit well over .300 with some power, it was considered a great year, regardless of anything else. From the current point of view we would look at Jim Wynn's year, or Joe Morgan's year, and look at on base percentage, positional value, and stolen bases, and see how it all adds up. But at the time, all that mattered was the fact that Wynn only batted .271 , and Morgan only had 67 RBI.
    This is true, and I do realize that was how players were evaluated back in the day. However, if that was the case today it would definitely be a snub.
    Rest in Peace Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francoeurstein View Post
    This is true, and I do realize that was how players were evaluated back in the day. However, if that was the case today it would definitely be a snub.
    It would be on the level of Morneau's MVP award.

  6. #46
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    '74 is a touch before my time as an active, attention paying fan but I am pretty sure that the Dodgers winning the NL pennant that year was a significant aspect of his MVP award and not just his traditional stats.
    "It's like watching a Western. It's slow, so you can watch the chess moves. Nothing seems to happen, but when it goes down, it goes down big." - Howard Bryant

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  7. #47
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    It's very easy now to go back and look at numbers and say so and so should have won the MVP because of this stat and that number and these numbers over here and those stats over there, but sometimes you just had to live through a season and see the nuances of how a year may have unfolded to really know.
    Many times, as you know, it's not necessarily what you did but when you did it that matters to many voters. They cover teams and understand why a certain player was more valuable to his team for that particular season that we looking back can't figure out or understand.
    That being said, I thought Ron Guidry got ripped off the year Jim Rice won. Not that Rice didn't have a monster year but I thought without Guidry the Yankees are a distant also ran instead of the World Champions that they became.

  8. #48
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    Chuck Klein in 1932. He was a total Baker Bowl fraud. His home/road split that year is laughable at best.

    Home: .423/.464/.799
    Road: .266/.340/.481


    Sure this was before they had home/road splits but couldn't anyone see that he was merely an average hitter who put up Jekyll and Hyde numbers only because of the joke of a park he played half of his games in?

    He almost won it in 1931 and 1933 as well when he came in 2nd both years in the MVP voting.

    1931
    Home: .401/.465/.740
    Road: .269/.327/.421

    1933
    Home: .467/.516/.789
    Road: .280/.338/.436

    I mean do you even need to look at home/road splits to realize that this guy is a fraud of the first degree? You would think the voters would realize this just from watching him play on the road day in and day out.
    Last edited by Joltin' Joe; 02-22-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiambiJuice View Post
    Edgar Martinez may have been even more deserving than Belle. But Vaughn was definitely not the right choice.

    Some other recent ones that come to mind are

    Juan Gonzalez in '96 and '98
    Pudge Rodriguez in '99 (probably about 6 or 7 more deserving players)
    Justin Morneau in '06 (Mauer or Jeter)
    Ichiro in '01 (116 win season and the novelty of a Japanese position player, but Giambi should have been the unanimous winner)
    Pedroia in '08 (Mauer was much better, but somehow Morneau came in 2nd place and got 7 first place votes.)

    It still boggles my mind that Justin Morneau finished in the top 2 in back-to-back seasons. He probably wasn't a top 15 position player in the AL in either season.
    Brett Boone was the best player on the 2001 116 win Mariners and he would have been a better MVP than Ichiro or Jason Giambi.

    stevegallanter.wordpress.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Gallanter View Post
    Brett Boone was the best player on the 2001 116 win Mariners and he would have been a better MVP than Ichiro or Jason Giambi.

    stevegallanter.wordpress.com
    Back then, I thought it should've been Boone too. But now playing Monday morning quarterback, the right guy probably won as he was clean while the other two were not.

  11. #51
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    I think we all have our preferences, so I limited mine to what I believe are five biggest snuffs:

    1934 Cochrane over Gomez- I actually made a thread on this, but I still stand in the opinion that Lefty's performance in batter-dominated Depression baseball outweighs Cochrane's misjudged season as a leader.

    1942 Gordon over Ted Williams

    1974 Garvey over Schmidt, Winn, or Bench

    1999 Rodriguez over Pedro Martinez

    2006 Morneau Jeter

    2011 gets a dishonorable mention because Kemp outclassed Braun in every way
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiambiJuice View Post
    Pedroia in '08 (Mauer was much better, but somehow Morneau came in 2nd place and got 7 first place votes.)
    I think Mauer's lack of power cost him along with the bogus Red Sox Nation support behind Pedroia
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
    I think we all have our preferences, so I limited mine to what I believe are five biggest snuffs:

    1934 Cochrane over Gomez- I actually made a thread on this, but I still stand in the opinion that Lefty's performance in batter-dominated Depression baseball outweighs Cochrane's misjudged season as a leader.

    1942 Gordon over Ted Williams

    1974 Garvey over Schmidt, Winn, or Bench

    1999 Rodriguez over Pedro Martinez

    2006 Morneau Jeter

    2011 gets a dishonorable mention because Kemp outclassed Braun in every way
    Good list, Ty. I'd add one of my "favorites", which I previously mentioned. Willie Stargell (co- MVP in 1979 with Keith Hernandez). It's dangerous to use WAR as the selector for MVP, but it certainly makes sense that the MVP surely must reside among the top 5 or 10 in WAR totals. In 1979 Stargell had a WAR total of 2.3- yes, 2.3. I doubt that he was in the top 20 in the NL in WAR.

    Without looking it up, I'd guess that Stargell may have had the lowest WAR total of any MVP.
    Last edited by BigRon; 02-22-2012 at 02:35 PM.

  14. #54
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    MVPs listed first....to me, Gehrig's 1934 season is one of the best ever. In 1934, Gehrig had 409 total bases to Cochrane's 180. Cochrane's WAR was 4.3 to Gehrig's 10.7. Listed below are their triple crowns stats. Gehrig won the Major League triple crown in 1934 as well, one of only 5 times that has been accomplished. And Lou finished 5th in the MVP race.



    Players MVP/ ranking/ year/ HR/ RBI/ AVG
    Mickey Cochrane 1 1934 2 76 .320
    Lou Gehrig 5 49 165 .363

    Marty Marion 1 1944 6 63 .267
    Bill Nicholson 2 33 122 .287

    Joe Gordan 1 1942 18 103 .322
    Ted Williams 2 36 137 .356

    Joe Dimaggio 1 1947 20 97 .315
    Ted Williams 2 32 114 .343

    Zoilo Versalles 1 1965 19 77 .273
    Tony Oliva 2 16 98 .321

    Joe Dimaggio 1 1941 30 125 .357
    Ted Williams 2 37 120 .406

    Miguel Tejada 1 2002 34 131 .308
    Alex Rodriguez 2 57 142 .300

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Back then, I thought it should've been Boone too. But now playing Monday morning quarterback, the right guy probably won as he was clean while the other two were not.
    I agree that Boone would have been a fine choice, but I still think Giambi should have won. Without Boone, the Mariners still win well over 100 games that year.
    My top 10 players:

    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Barry Bonds
    3. Ty Cobb
    4. Ted Williams
    5. Willie Mays
    6. Alex Rodriguez
    7. Hank Aaron
    8. Honus Wagner
    9. Lou Gehrig
    10. Mickey Mantle

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRon View Post
    Without looking it up, I'd guess that Stargell may have had the lowest WAR total of any MVP.
    I think you're right. After looking up some other possible candidates, I couldn't find anyone lower.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  17. #57
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    I am watching MLBN's "Prime 9." This episode features top 9 MVP snubs (players are only considered once).

    9) 1997 Larry Walker over Mike Piazza- I agree with MLBN. Piazza played in a much tougher ballpark at a more valuable position.
    8) 1952 Hank Sauer over Jackie Robinson- Here is where MLBN consultants aren't doing their homework. One historian (honestly the people at this site seem more intelligible than this man) notes how Sauer led in home runs and RBI, but shouldn't have been MVP because of his run-of-the-mill team. Then another "historian" discusses how Musial led in OPS, etc. Well, guess what? Voters were looking at homers and RBIs and average.
    7) 1940 Frank McCormick over Johnny Mize- According to MLBN, the pennant race captured the voters' attention more.
    6) 1962 Maury Wills over Willie Mays- Perhaps the stolen base record provided too much hype?
    5) 1995 Mo Vaughn over Albert Belle- Personality triumphed over numbers
    4) 1958 Jackie Jensen over Mickey Mantle- Mantle is coming off two huge years so he appears as "slipping." Less RBIs than Jensen, though he was walked way more with RISP, MLBN acknowledges.
    3) 1944 Marty Marion over Stan Musial- Writers may have simply wanted to hand it to someone else because Musial had won it the year before. They may have wanted to avoid promoting one player.
    2) 1934 Mickey Cochrane over Lou Gehrig- As we've discussed before, MLBN attributes the award to Cochrane's leadership as a manager. I still believe Lefty Gomez was the MVP, but I would prefer to at least see Gehrig. However, this snub is one seen more in hindsight IMO. Voters weren't really taking era into account, so they were going to consider a batter no more matter how favorable the hitting conditions. At the time, Cochrane wasn't a huge mistake (it still isn't) because he batted well for a team that won the pennant.
    1) 1942 Joe Gordon over Ted Williams- Biggest snub ever. I was surprised to hear that Williams was on base for all but 11 games.

    The list and reasonings belong to MLBN (unless I give my opinions otherwise). The more I think about these awards, the more they appear to be serving the voters' purposes than actually awarding the most valuable player. Then again, my cynicism runs deep.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  18. #58
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    The Cochrane choice has always confused me. If you are going to pick someone from the team, why not pick Gehringer, who had much better numbers, and also played a valuable defensive position? It's kind of silly that both of Cochrane's 2 MVPs came in seasons that were probably not among his top 7 seasons.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrus4189Cobb View Post
    7) 1940 Frank McCormick over Johnny Mize- According to MLBN, the pennant race captured the voters' attention more.
    .
    What pennant race? The Reds won the NL pennant easily in 1940. The pennant race that season was in the AL between the Tigers, Indians and Yankees. 1940 was unusual in that era because there was a race in the AL and no race in the NL.

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    Vaughn over Belle still annoys me.

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