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Who deserved AL MVP in 1930?

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  • Who deserved AL MVP in 1930?

    This may be even more interesting than the NL version. You have the first place As with 2 prime candidates..Foxx and Simmons (and even Cocharine), and the Yanks with Gehrig and Ruth. All 4 guys had great stats, but they shared the value with equally important teammates. Then you have Cronin who put up great numbers from short and was by far the most valuable player on a team that finished ahead of the Yankees.
    11
    Al Simmons
    27.27%
    3
    Babe Ruth
    36.36%
    4
    Jimmie Foxx
    0.00%
    0
    Lou Gehrig
    27.27%
    3
    Joe Cronin
    9.09%
    1
    Other
    0.00%
    0
    Last edited by willshad; 04-04-2008, 05:12 PM.

  • #2
    Grove has a strong case with a 185 ERA+ and 291 innings which was absolutely huge for the 30s. He also lead the league with 9 saves and had 50 appearances and 28-5 record.

    Of the rest, I put Ruth and Gehrig solidly up on Foxx or Simmons.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah I forgot grove. But if he has a case then so does Vance from the NL. I think the fact that Simmons and Foxx are on a first place team evens out Ruth and gehrig's statistical advantage. I believe if they had actual voting it would have been REALLY close, and Cronin may have pulled it out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Geez, the 1930 A's were stacked! Well, at least as far as hitting goes. I voted for Simmons. If he had just a little more plate discipline....he may have batted over .400 in 1925, 1927, 1930 & 1931. His first 11 seasons as a hitter were really spectacular...and ofter overlooked. It's heartwarming (not!) to see that he wasn't elected to the HOF until 1953.
        Say hello on Twitter @BSmile & Facebook "Baseball by BSmile"

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree about Simmons. Through age 32 he had 1379 RBI and a .354 batting average in 11 seasons. Im willing to bet nobody has him beat in both stats after 11 seasons. Even Ted Williams only had 1264 and .347 after 11 seasons, though he lost almost all the 11th due to injury. Even if healthy and having a typical season he would have been about tied with Simmons. Mighty impressive. sabermetric people tend to underrate him because he specialized in things that they dont like...RBI and batting average. He wasnt a HUGE home run hitter, didnt walk, and didnt have a lot of speed or fielding value. But Id take a guy like him over a low average home run guy like Killebrew any day.
          Last edited by willshad; 04-04-2008, 09:17 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by brett View Post
            Grove has a strong case with a 185 ERA+ and 291 innings which was absolutely huge for the 30s. He also lead the league with 9 saves and had 50 appearances and 28-5 record.

            Of the rest, I put Ruth and Gehrig solidly up on Foxx or Simmons.
            Nonsense. Put Grove on the Red Sox (or any second divison team, for that matter) and see how "strong his case" would be...

            Here you go:
            Originally posted by WJackman
            ERA+ is pretty useless unless one knows more specifics.

            Here are the big three of the 1930 Philadelphia Athletics.

            The teams are listed in order of runs scored.

            Grove pitched:

            1. 16.2 innings against NY.
            2. 46.2 innings against Washington.
            3. 48.0 innings against Cleveland.
            4. 56.0 innings against Detroit.
            5. 34.1 innings against StL.
            6. 35.2 innings against Chicago.
            7. 53.2 innings against Boston.

            Earnshaw pitched:

            1. 32.2 innings against NY.
            2. 33.3 innings against Washington.
            3. 56.0 innings against Cleveland.
            4. 46.2 innings against Detroit.
            5. 47.2 innings against StL.
            6. 38.2 innings against Chicago.
            7. 41.0 innings against Boston.

            Walberg pitched:

            1. 54.0 innings against NY.
            2. 52.1 innings against Washington.
            3. 20.1 innings against Cleveland.
            4. 17.0 innings against Detroit.
            5. 38.1 innings against StL.
            6. 19.0 innings against Chicago.
            7. 08.2 innings against Boston.

            In 1935 and 1936 Lefty Grove pitched his fewest innings (about 40) against St. Louis and his most (about 100) against Detroit. A quick glance would say that Grove was working against tougher competition and getting a pass against the weaker teams. However, Grove's ERA against St. Louis over 1935 and 1936 was about 5.40. Against Cleveland it was about 3.20 and then less than 3.00 against the other teams.

            Grove was such a jackass team player that he would not pitch unless he wanted to, oftern missing starts in the early part of the season while waiting for the weather to get warm, and leaving his teammates to take in on the chin. This is why Ferrell started 12 times in 1935 and 1936 on less than three days of rest between starts while Grove did so but once.
            Originally posted by WJackman View Post

            In 1928 Grove was 24-8. He was 1-6 against NY and 23-2 versus the rest of the league. Mack then changed tactics. Anyone, he figured, could be cannon fodder for the Yankees but pitching Lefty against the weaker teams in the league was a sure victory. And since Mack won three straight pennants, who can argue with him.

            In 1930 Grove went:

            7-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 53.2 innings against Boston.

            3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings against STL.
            3-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 35.2 innings against Chicago.
            5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 48.0 innings against Cleveland.
            7-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 56.0 innings against Detroit.
            2-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 46.2 innings against Washington.
            1-0 with a 4.86 ERA in 16.2 innings against New York

            Lefty opened the season with a 6-2 CG win over New York on April 8. He started again versus the Yanks on April 25 and was knocked out, giving up 6 ER in less than 3 innings. I do believe these were the first two meetings of the teams that year. Over the remainder of the season, Mack used Lefty for a total of 5.1 innings spread over 4 games. At least one of those was in a mopup role.

            Rube Walberg, on the other hand, was the sacrifical lamb, starting 8 times each against the best teams in the AL other than the A's, the Senators and Yanks, and not at all, I believe, against the pathetic Red Sox.

            Mack also refused, or declined, to start Grove against the other top aces in the league, Wes Ferrell and Ted Lyons. Lyons and Ferrell squared off three times with Lyons taking two out of three, including a 2-1 game in September than snapped Ferrell's 13 game winning streak.

            Throughout most of the season Grove trailed both Ferrell and Lyons as the league's top winner. Ferrell's Cleveland squad went 27-39 against the top three clubs - Washington, NY and Philadelphia. They were 12-5 when Ferrell was the pitcher of record, 15-34 when he wasn't.

            Lefty's ego needed to be stroked, so late in the year Mack starting using him in relief so he could vulture wins and pass Ferrell in wins. Mack did this often for he knew that if Lefty got dissed and took the loss he might disappear and for a week or so.

            The BBWAA writers were well aware of this, which is why the top three vote getting pitchers in the AL MVP races in 1930 were:

            TSN: Lyons, 30 votes (4th overall); Ferrell, 29 votes (5th overall); and Grove, 9 votes (seventh overall).

            Associate Press: Lyons, 26 votes ( 5th overall); Ferrell, 25 votes (6th overall); and Grove, 8 votes (9th overall).

            Comment


            • #7
              Certainly theres some validity to the argument that Grove didnt have to pitch against the best lineup in the league very muich. But look at it this way, the Yankee pitchers NEVER had to go against their own lineup, and you dont see them having the kind of numbers Grove put up. He may not have been quite as dominant as his won loss and ERA would suggest, but he was still by far the best pitcher in the league.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by willshad View Post
                He may not have been quite as dominant as his won loss and ERA would suggest, but he was still by far the best pitcher in the league.
                When you consider EVERYTHING, Grove wasn't the best pitcher in the league in 1930. Wes Ferrell was, and all the people inside baseball knew this in 1930. Looking back at the naked numbers 78 years later without knowing the inside story, I can see how you'd arrive at this conclusion, though...

                The numbers on BB-Ref don't take into account usage patterns (including days of rest and how the pitcher was used on days off), average strength of opposing teams faced, etc, etc.

                Originally posted by WJackman View Post
                Digging a little deeper into this particular issue.

                Grove worked just 11.1 innings as a starting pitcher against NY in 1930 and 17.2 innings in 1931 for a total of 29 starter innings.

                Wes Ferrell, for comparison, and historically figured as the second-best American League hurler over those two season based on victories, worked 45 innings against NY as a starting pitcher in 1930 and 35 innings in 1931. For a total of 80 starter innings.

                So that - in what is considered Grove's benchmark seasons - is 80 starter innings against NY for Ferrell and 29 for Grove. If you toss in the 99.2 starter innings that Ferrell worked against the Philadelphia A'sin 1930 (53.1) and 1931(46.1), it shows that:


                Ferrell worked 179.2 innings against two of the most legendary lineups of all time while Grove worked 29. Those innings are the equal of more that 15 complete games
                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  More on 1930:
                  Originally posted by WJackman View Post
                  The 1930 TSN MVP went in this order:

                  Cronin (52 votes), Simmons (46), Gehringer (31), Lyons (30), Ferrell and Gehrig (29 apiece), Ruth and Grove (9 apiece).

                  Associated Press:

                  Cronin (48 votes), Simmons and Gehrig (39 votes), Gehringer (36 votes), Lyons (26), Ferrell (25), Eddie Morgan (15), Cochrane (13), Grove (8). I might have reported this incorrectly in the first post.

                  In the 1929 TSN MVP (unspecified committee of BBWAA writers) vote, Grove was not among the 21 people recieving votes, although fellow A's Simmons, Foxx, Cochrane and Dykes did.

                  TSN then polled the same committee that voted on the 1928 AL MVP. Grove was not among the 25 players who received votes.

                  In 1929 Grove went 12-1 versus the Red Sox (7-1) and Cleveland (5-0) but just 8-5 against the rest of the league. In a very unusual stat for the era, Grove had 11 starting no-decisions in 1929. He left games trailing seven times only to see the great Philadelphia offense come back and take him off the hook.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    More from the late Dick Thompson:

                    Originally posted by WJackman View Post
                    Well, I am not that impressed with either. In order to truely evaluate Grove's 1930 season one has to understand his personality and how Connie Mack handled him.

                    In 1928 Grove was 24-8. He was 1-6 against NY and 23-2 versus the rest of the league. Mack then changed tactics. Anyone, he figured, could be cannon fodder for the Yankees but pitching Lefty against the weaker teams in the league was a sure victory. And since Mack won three straight pennants, who can argue with him.

                    In 1930 Grove went:

                    7-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 53.2 innings against Boston.
                    3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings against STL.
                    3-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 35.2 innings against Chicago.
                    5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 48.0 innings against Cleveland.
                    7-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 56.0 innings against Detroit.
                    2-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 46.2 innings against Washington.
                    1-0 with a 4.86 ERA in 16.2 innings against New York

                    Lefty opened the season with a 6-2 CG win over New York on April 8. He started again versus the Yanks on April 25 and was knocked out, giving up 6 ER in less than 3 innings. I do believe these were the first two meetings of the teams that year. Over the remainder of the season, Mack used Lefty for a total of 5.1 innings spread over 4 games. At least one of those was in a mopup role.

                    Rube Walberg, on the other hand, was the sacrifical lamb, starting 8 times each against the best teams in the AL other than the A's, the Senators and Yanks, and not at all, I believe, against the pathetic Red Sox.

                    Mack also refused, or declined, to start Grove against the other top aces in the league, Wes Ferrell and Ted Lyons. Lyons and Ferrell squared off three times with Lyons taking two out of three, including a 2-1 game in September than snapped Ferrell's 13 game winning streak.

                    Throughout most of the season Grove trailed both Ferrell and Lyons as the league's top winner. Ferrell's Cleveland squad went 27-39 against the top three clubs - Washington, NY and Philadelphia. They were 12-5 when Ferrell was the pitcher of record, 15-34 when he wasn't.

                    Lefty's ego needed to be stroked, so late in the year Mack starting using him in relief so he could vulture wins and pass Ferrell in wins. Mack did this often for he knew that if Lefty got dissed and took the loss he might disappear and for a week or so.

                    The BBWAA writers were well aware of this, which is why the top three vote getting pitchers in the AL MVP races in 1930 were:

                    TSN: Lyons, 30 votes (4th overall); Ferrell, 29 votes (5th overall); and Grove, 9 votes (seventh overall).

                    Associate Press: Lyons, 26 votes ( 5th overall); Ferrell, 25 votes (6th overall); and Grove, 8 votes (9th overall).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Picking his all-time team in 1931, Ruth was asked why he did not choose Lefty. He answered that: "Grove? He's good, but mainly just a thrower. Plank and Pennock knew just what they were going to do and dit it - on every pitch. Grove just fires away."

                      He regarded "Matty" ... "the finest all-around pitcher of all time" - as apparently did both Mack & McGraw.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ibid.......

                        Originally posted by WJackman View Post
                        Innings worked in relief by Grove over 1930 and 1931:

                        BO: 21.0
                        CH: 12.0
                        NY: 9.2
                        CL: 7.1
                        WA: 6.2
                        DE: 6.0
                        Sl: 4.0

                        So Mack wasn't using Grove as any secret weapon reliever versus NY. Grove worked his most relief innings against the crappy Red Sox. Late in 1930, after Ferrell had led the AL in wins for most of the year, Mack started using Grove against the Red Sox in relief in order to vulture wins for Lefty and sooth his ego. Grove's 5-inning relief stint against Cleveland came the same way. Mack pulled Earnshaw after four innings despite a big lead in order for Lefty to get the win. Mack did the same thing in 1933 so that Grove could tie for the league lead in wins. This drew a scathing editorial from the the Sporting News regarding this practice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think its tough to argue for ferrell over Grove in 1930, even given the usage patterns. Even ignoring the won/loss record, Grove kills him in ERA, strikeouts, and strikeout/walk ratio. Sure , Grove didnt pitch much against the Yankees, but theres no reason to believe that, given more opportunities to pitch against them, that Grove wouldnt have done well against them overall. Sure, he did bad against them in a very small sample size, but in enough time things would have evened out. The Yankees were the best lineup in baseball, but not so much better than everyone else that a pitcher would continue to pitch to a 6.00 something ERA against them , while utterly dominating the rest of the league.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Starter innings worked by Grove in 1930:

                            NY: 11.2
                            BO: 39.2
                            SL: 34.1
                            CH: 30.1
                            WA: 42.0
                            DE: 50.0
                            CL: 43.0
                            PH: 0

                            [/QUOTE]

                            Starter innings by Ferrell in 1930:

                            PH: 53.1
                            NY 45.0

                            WA: 36.0
                            DE: 40.1
                            SL: 32.2
                            BO: 34.0
                            CH: 41.1
                            CL: 0

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Proctor, CF View Post
                              Picking his all-time team in 1931, Ruth was asked why he did not choose Lefty. He answered that: "Grove? He's good, but mainly just a thrower. Plank and Pennock knew just what they were going to do and dit it - on every pitch. Grove just fires away."
                              Further proof that Ruth was better at playing than evaluating. I have pretty good control, I know where my pitches are going, but it's over the fence. What non-Yankee fan would want Pennock's skill over Grove's skill?
                              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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