One Vote?

As expected, Lee got jobbed out of the MVP and ended up third behind Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones. I can live with losing to Pujols, it was a tossup between the two and team records were going to give Pujols the push. But worst of all, Lee only received one first place vote and only one second place vote. Absurdity, in my opinion. Actually the whole vote was an absurdity. Morgan Ensberg finished 4th ahead of Miguel Cabrea. Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins finished 7th and 10th respectively, but Bobby Abreu was nowhere to be mentioned. It appers that Jason Bay didn't receive any votes and if you're going to give some votes to Jimmy Rollins, how do Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal not get some votes? The Internet Baseball Awards hold more meaning then this bunch of phooey. UPDATE: Here's the link to the final vote tally. I had only seen the top 10 when I originally posted. Jason Bay finished 12th, Bobby Abreu 15th, Marcus Giles received one 8th place vote and Jose Reyes received more votes (one 10th place vote) than Rafael Furcal. Meaningless? Sure. Ridiculous? No doubt. Lee didn't go home completely empty-handed though. He did win the prestigious MVN NLA (Nap Lajoie Award) as the NL's most dominant hitter. The press conference is tomorrow. Anyway, they asked me to write up a blurb on why I thought he deserved the award and you can read it by following the link.
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Comments

I can't believe ALL the voters were somehow convinced that Andruw Jones was one of the three most valuable players in the league...

Oh, and Jason Bay did receive 41 points, finishing 12th...

MVP ShmenMVP(bad Yiddish)- the only hardware that matters is the WS trophy!!

that espn.com article must have only posted the top 10, do you have a link for the entire vote? much obliged

"I can't believe ALL the voters were somehow convinced that Andruw Jones was one of the three most valuable players in the league..."

.590 slg, .941 OPS, .347 obp, 51 HRs, 128 RBI, gold glove calibre CF, and veteran stabilization in a team full of young kids on a team that won 90 games, and their division...I don't think it is much a stretch at all. His only weak spot is his batting average.

Ifyou put this guy in CF and hitting in our order, and send Patterson to Atlanta and I'd bet we make it to the playoffs last year, while the Braves stay home.

I'm a cards fan, and you are entirely right. Although I feel that Pujols should have won, I think that Lee should have been at least a relatively close second place, followed by a distant Andruw Jones.

I mean, Lee's stats were fantastic. A lot better than Andruw's .261

I'm disgusted. Like Rob, I can handle Lee losing out to Pujols, but the fact that A. Jones go so many more 1 and 2 votes disgusts me. Are sportwriters that enamored of the home run?

I just did a quick and dirty comparison of the numbers using ESPN.com's stats page and it is just ridiculous how much better Lee was than Jones. I'm sure this isn't news to anyone here, but I did want to make sure that I wasn't just biased for Lee. Here's how they rank among the rest of the NL:

--R-H-2B-3B-HR-RBI-BB-BA-OBP-SLG-FPCT-RF-ZR
Lee----2-1-1--34--2--7--10--1--2---1----3---4--4
Pujols--1-4-15-*--3--2---6---2--1---2----7---1--6
Jones-15-34-*-34--1--1--26--*--*---5----*---*--*

* Not ranked in the top 40 in NL for batting or top 8 for fielding.

Note that there are only 2 categories where Jones ranks higher than Lee - HR (51 to 46) and RBI (128 to 107 - thanks Korey, Neifi and Dusty!)

So frustrating! (And even more frustrating is that according to Win Shares, Jones isn't even the most valuable player on his own team. From THT - Furcal 27, Giles 25, A. Jones 23)

Did anybody write in Neifi!?

Man, I really tried to get the formatting right on that table - I swear everything lined up when I previewed it! Oh well, you get the idea.

Rob, if you want to link your readers, the NL NLA ran today - on the MVN home page.

thanks evan, I'll get it up in a bit.

We finished under .500 and 21 games out of the division. We don't deserve an MVP. The award isn't for the highest statistical ranking, it is for the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER. The few times a player has won MVP from a terrible team are the exception, not the rule. Both Jones and Pujols did more to make their team a playoff team than Lee did. I'm not sure why people get so bent out of shape about this anyhow.

X, The Most Valuable player to whom? Their team or the National League? In either case I think Lee was more deserving than what he got.

X,

Thank you for brining common sense to this sie.

Jose Reyes got more votes than Rafael Furcal. Wow.

There is no question that there is an inherit problem with the whole concept of MVP. That is why they should have a "Player of the Year" award. For the guy who had the best statistical year. That would go to DLee. But there is not value in baseball for a team that finishes under .500. It's one thing if he carried the team to within 3 games of the playoffs. But we weren't very close.

Chad, here's a little history from wikipedia on the MVP I found interesting.

The Chalmers Automobile Company awarded an automobile in 1910 to the batting average leader in each league. This led to a contoversy in the American League; Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie entered the final day of the season neck-and-neck. St. Louis, playing Lajoie's Cleveland team, played their infield back, allowing Lajoie to beat out seven bunt singles in a doubleheader and win the title. In the ensuing debacle, Chalmers awarded automobiles to both players. (The question of who really won the batting title is still debated.)

For 1911, the Chalmers Company decided that batting average was too narrow a focus for an award. The Chalmers Award was the first attempt to recognize a player for overall contributions to his team's success ó hence the designation Most Valuable rather than "player of the year", a distinction which remains today.

Hey, great site. I read it all the time.

The old media still just doesn't get it. When you mentioned that the internet poll had much more validity, it's somewhat of a coincidence because I cover high school sports in my area and I just wrote a column last night about how absurd the AP preseason polls are. Much like the baseball writers, they rely on TV, newspapers, radio stations and totally ignore the new media, because it's such a threat to the Old Media industry.

Here's a link to my column [ http://streatorsports.com/columns/missel.htm ], if anyone's interested.

Again, great site. Thanks for keeeping us Cub fans well-informed.

Rob...here is the link with the complete voting.

Scott Eyre and Jose Reyes each received a vote!!

"The award isn't for the highest statistical ranking, it is for the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER."

Explain ARod winning it while playing for that team full of turkeys in New York. He absolutely sucked when it counted.

I don't normally rant on this site, but COME ON.

The voting is fine. This is exactly how I thought it would finish, and I don't think that Lee getting 1 first place vote is wrong at all. Lee was VERY valuable to our team, BUT, his value didn't produce wins. Sure you're going to say that Pujols had better pitching, etc, but the bottom line is that Pujols and Jones won ballgames, and the stats aren't that much different between the three.

And why in the HELL are people getting upset about the bottom of the list voting? Does it really matter? The people who are voting know that it makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE whether they put Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins 10th, so why should you get all upset about it?

I'll tell you what would make the MVP vote a joke, LET THE DUMBASS FANS VOTE. That would make the whole process a joke, just like the All-Star selections.

I love Derrek Lee and the Cubs just as much as you all do, but he wasn't the most valuable player this year.

how much would you wager that the writer who voted Jason Bay 4th is the same who voted Lee 1st?

"X, The Most Valuable player to whom? Their team or the National League? In either case I think Lee was more deserving than what he got."

He got 3rd place behind two other STUDS. That's not a negative to Lee. He had a great season. But Pujols and Jones had great seasons on teams that made the post season, rather than finish 21 games behind the Cards.

"X,

Thank you for brining common sense to this sie."

Is that sarcasm? I can't tell sometimes. I just don't get why people think that you can say a player got robbed for an award with an undefined and subjective set of criteria. If the award was for player with the highest VORP, then it would easy to pick - and there would be no discussion. But the MVP is the BBWA's award granted to the player that the BBWA votes as most valuable. Why the hell make such a big stink about it and try and say that the BBWA is wrong. It's not as if some shlub won it and some other mope finished second. Those are studs on teams that made the playoffs.

I think some people get way to into calculating stats and trying to overanalyze those statistics and interpret meanings on them that the stats themselves don't warrant.

CWTP:

"He absolutely sucked when it counted.'

I don't know if you know this, but the voting is turned in before the playoffs. So, ARod's poor post season didn't factor in the voting. He was the best player in the AL on a competitive, playoff caliber team.

Per Yahoo!, by finishing third, Lee triggered a $750,000 increase in his next 2006 base salary to $8.75 million. I don't know what that bump would have been if he had won. I guess we should consider ourselve fortunate he didn't - as $750K is a big chunk of change as is for a meaningless award.

X,

That was not sarcasm. Jones only led the NL in HR and RBI and is THE best defensive CF since Willy Mays. Yet that is not enough for people. Who point all this BS SABR stats like VORP and win shares to say he does not even earn consideration of the award.

Whether you like it or not, history matters in baseball. It's part of what makes the game great. MVP and Cy Young award winners are an important part of that history (and to Hall of Fame candidates) and it's valid to question whether the system is wrong.

People who share X's opinion are probably in the majority. However, consider it this way. What else could Lee possibly have done to help his team win? He's being punished for the fact that the Cubs sucked. Put Pujols on the Cubs last year and we win the division, right? I hate this "This guy's a winner" talk 'cause it means nothing.

All the award does now is recognize the best player on a good team. I hate getting into arguments over semantics about what "valuable" actually means. The 'V' in MVP was most likely chosen arbitrarily, and yet people dissect its meaning to ridiculous detail. The spirit of the award is to recognize the player who had the best year and it's currently not doing that; itís not even evaluating the entire field.

If we cannot use statistics to measure performance, then what the hell is the point? Statistics exist to allow us to compare players on an equal playing field. I'm not saying just give the award to the Batting Champ, I'm saying it's wrong to penalize a great year for a bad team, no matter what your definition of "valuable" is.

LET THE DUMBASS FANS VOTE.

They did
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

And it was a lot closer to reality than the writers.

Anyway, I said my peace. Jones has a good year and thank god he had Furcal(.348 OBP), Giles(.365) and Chipper(.412) hitting in front of him most of the year to pad his RBI totals. He also had one month of an OPS over 1.000, Lee did it every month of the season. Defensively he's better and more important to his team than Lee, no doubts. Wasn't enough this year to warrant the disparity in their offensive games, in my opinion. In the end, no one will remember this, people barely remember who finished first, second is certainly not going to occupy anyone's long-term memory cells.

"He's being punished"

No he is not. Not winning the MVP is not a punishment. He just wasn't deemed the most valuable player by the BBWA. That's not a punishment.

"All the award does now is recognize the best player on a good team. "

No, if it was a clear cut decision, then a player on a bad team could still win it. But if it is close, and I don't know how you could possibly argue that this wasn't close, it is a tie breaker. Lee was voted 3rd, by a landslide over the next one, right? That's something - he's the THIRD MOST VALUABLE PLAYER. There happened to be two other guys who had amazing seasons also. You can argue better or worse - but it is entirely subjective based on what criteria you ulimately choose to use to differentiate. But objectively speaking, I can very easily make an arguement for any of those three to win it and could support it. I would have been OK with Lee winning it. I'm not saying he didn't have a great year. But he got beat out by two of the best players in the game, on two playoff teams. He didn't lose to Mario Mendoza or something - this is Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones.

"and yet people dissect its meaning to ridiculous detail."

Oh come now...people dissect every fricking play in the game, every stat, every word to ridiculous detail, and some folks love that. There is the Hank Aaron Award for best hitter. There is the Silver Slugger for best hitter by position. And the MVP award is for the Most Valuable, and the definition of that is vague and open to the BBWA to determine. But that's how it is. Until the rules change, that's it. And frankly, nothing bothers me about that. Pujols had a great season and deseves the recognition. I would have said the same thing if Jones or Lee won.

"If we cannot use statistics to measure performance, then what the hell is the point?"

Nobody said that you can't use statistics. Come on. Why is it that people always take these arguements past the point of the logical extreme to imply that others said/meant something so patently stupid? You can use statistics to do whatever you want. But there is absolutely no way you can use statistics to say which amongst Lee, Pujols or Jones is better, had a better season, or is more valuable since there is no set of numbers that can directly equate to those non-quantifiable terms. You can use statistics all you want. Compare raw statistics. Use averages and other statistical tools. You can even create fairly advanced formulae that manipulate the raw data so much and then you can assign meanings to those values (see Prospectus, Baseball for examples) But the question isn't if you can use statistics - it is how you choose to do that.

I like raw statistics. But they don't tell you everything. I like averages - but they don't tell you everything either. I like composite stats, but most have mathematic issues in their calculations and assumptions. (i.e. when you add avg + slg to get OPS, do you really have a straight line to add, or are you using different denominators and bases? Is a walk = a hit? Is the second base in a double truly worth the same as the first base? etc.) And then there are the hyper-statistics used today most of which I think calculate a number that then has to be interpreted. The problem isn't the number, but the interpretation of the number, the use of it, and the confidence in that methodology in terms of both use for predictions and for evaluations (i.e. VORP). And don't get me started on the garbage that is defensive statistics or the use of them...

But frankly, I use statistics every day in my career. I can tell you a machine's efficiency to the .00001 level of detail and the predictability of that machine. I have processes that are managed and measured to 6 Sigma. But measuring, predicting and evaluating a machine is a lot different than measuring, predicting and evaluating a baseball team. That's the part that never gets put into some of these arguements. Then people who don't truly understand the reliability of these statistics start spouting them, understanding what they are, but not what they are not... Anyhow...

Lee would have been a good choicce. Jones would have been a good choice. Albert Pujols was a good choicec. Congrats to all three on having very VALUABLE seasons.

"Defensively he's better and more important to his team than Lee, no doubts"

Yeah and how many more throwing errors would A-RAM and Nomore have had with a normal firstbaseman?

"They did
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php..."

Do you think you have an issue here with your sample population?

BP readers tend to be fairly homogenous in their viewpoint. The gospel of the few is overrepresented here.

BBWA takes a pretty good group of guys who have been covering the game for a long time, and who see a lot more games even than many of the most diehard of fans do. (ok - not as many as some who sit home and watch the baseball package day and night - but many...)

Again - You can make a good arguement for Lee. But you can also make as good an arguement for Jones or Pujols. None would have been a bad choice. All had very valuable seasons.

"I don't know if you know this, but the voting is turned in before the playoffs. So, ARod's poor post season didn't factor in the voting."

You OBVIOUSLY didn't understand my post. I was hoping you had read all the stories that said ARod's win marked a change from voting qualitatively to voting for the player with the best stats during the regular season.

If that were true, Derrek Lee would be MVP in the NL as well. But alas, he's not even MVP of his own team. Dusty gave that award to Neifi.

Why Jones did not deserve nearly the votes that he received:

I wrote this back on August 31, at Baseball Musings. The numbers are not a prefect match compared to the end of the season, but they are really close:

Jones is having an impressive season...but he still only hitting .270/.356/.588.

Lee: .346/.429/.681
Pujols: .329/.425/.610

Imagine if Lee actually had runners on base in front of him.

Runners on:
Lee: 195 AB - .323/.434/.615
Pujols: 224 AB - .313/.425/.603
Jones: 245 AB - .257/.361/.510

RISP:
Lee: 111 AB - .351/.487/.712
Pujols: 118 AB - .331/.494/.585
Jones: 152 AB - .224/.340/.395

Since when does a person win an MVP award for his defense? It is all about offense.

But the question is, did Derrek Lee have obviously better numbers than Pujols?

Pujols - .330 BA, .430 OBP, 41 HR, 117 RBI, 129 runs, 16 SB

Lee - .335 BA, .418 OBP, 46 HR, 107 RBI, 120 runs, 15 SB.

They are pretty even. I see no chance Lee could of ever beat out Pujols for the award. Pujols lead his team to 21 game lead in the division over us and without Derrek Lee we don't finish over .500......ohhh crap wait.

Jones was also logical choice to get more votes because of what that team went through. At one point it was Andruw Jones surrounded by minor leaguers. Yet the team still figured out a way to win. And they won for a long period of time off of Jone's bat. Is their any doubt that if Andruw Jones did not exist the Braves would not of even sniffed winning the division again? His numbers may not be as good as the others but their is no doubt he was very valuable to that franchise.

The only way Derrek Lee could of won the award was if he hit .350, and knocked in 140+ RBI. He had to of had a statistically far superior season than anyone else. He didn't. I don't see anything screwy with the voting. It seems very reasonable. I had Pujols 1st, Jones 2nd and Lee 3rd in my order of who should of won it.

you don't think there are any problems with sample population and homogenous views with the BBWAA?

I believe 2 writers from each city with a team get to vote. Bunch of old-schoolers who still think pitching wins is a valid stat.

So was it Paul Sullivan and Kiley who voted for the Cubs? or do you think Bruce MIles gets a vote? And which one DIDN't vote Lee first?

Since when does a person win an MVP award for his defense? It is all about offense

Well A-rod won over Ortiz this year cause of defense and Pudge Rodriguez won it a few years ago when his offensive numbers were worse than Palmeiro and Juan-Gone on the same team. (I think I remember that one correctly)

So I think they take a little of that into account. But yeah, mostly Home Runs and Rbi's.

It is a punishment if someone who deserves something is not given recognition for it. And please, let's not get literal with my use of the word punsihment.

You didn't address my main point, something you stated earlier but have not included in your rebuttal, and this is important.

X: "Both Jones and Pujols did more to make their team a playoff team than Lee did."

How can you make that statement? Is there a way one can determine who "did more" to make theirs a playoff team without taking the team into context? Statistics perhaps?

X: "We finished under .500 and 21 games out of the division. We don't deserve an MVP." (emphasis added)

So then this ceases to become an individual award, and I dislike that. In my post I wasn't implying that people who voted for Jones don't use statistics at all. What I was saying was a bit of hyperbole and frustration ("What the hell is the point?"). Statistics are the best way we have of objectively teasing out individual contributions to a team and comparing players.

I agree that people can assign too much to statistics. I agree that we should be more careful with how we compile our metrics and make sure we understand them. I agree they are not the whole picture and I agree that Pujols deserved to win. However, Lee not getting the proper consideration he deserved belies a deeper problem in the voting that I don't want to see continued.

I understand it's the BBWAA that votes and I can't change that. What I can do, however, is discuss how I feel about it with other schmucks like me on a blog. That's the whole idea of this blog, right? So we can share our opinions on what's going on.

I respect your opinion, X. You bring some excellent points and I'm sure you're a very intelligent person. I'm just going to have to disagree on this one.

I was hoping you had read all the stories that said ARod's win marked a change from voting qualitatively to voting for the player with the best stats during the regular season.

If that were true, Derrek Lee would be MVP in the NL as well.

This from the same Bluewater Pennant was lecturing all of us about 2 weeks ago that Pujols should be the MVP because he was rated #1 by the Elias system.

And A-Rod's MVP had nothing to do with any supposed change in the voting, is was completely about him playing both offense and defense.

If they'd clearly define what they mean by "most valuable", then there wouldn't be any controversy regarding Jones. If the voters want to use team wins as a criterion and give players on successful teams extra weight, or say "what does team X do in the absence of player Y?" (in the "make playoffs" sense), that's their prerogative.

It subjects players to all kinds of things that are completely out of their control and isn't fair to great hitters on bad teams with no RBI opportunities, but whatever. Kind of amusing they cover the game for a living, and not just when they have a free 20 minutes.

Just to be clear, though... is anyone saying Jones was somehow more intrinsically valuable than Lee in 2005, or had a better season in any way strictly confined to individual performance? If so, for the love of God, stop watching so much television. It's not good for your eyes.

I hate the Cardinals but in the "integrity" of the MVP award Pujols did deserve the nod. I probably wouldn't have said that if Rolen, Walker and Sanders were healthy the entire season but the numbers clearly show that with all the Cards injuries the Braves actually had a better lineup for the season even though it doesn't look like it on paper. D.Lee and Pujols had very similar numbers and Pujols gets the nod because his team wasn't in 4th place.

The problem is simply that even veteran baseball writers still don't know how to vote on the award...what the qualifications really are. Even people like Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark have bashed many of their peers lately. MLB should have developed a "Player of the Year" award years ago for each league...sort of like The Sporting News does to reward the best statistical year of a player in each league. The Cy Young doesn't take into account whether a pitcher was on a winning team or not. Well, I guess it can as it may be the tie breaker between two almost equal seasons like this season with Carpenter and Willis...but usually it doesn't. Plus, a pitcher can conceivably win the MVP award (likely a closer) so there is the possibility that a positional player who plays 162 games a year hits .340-50-140 will not have a representative in any MLB official award...not counting things like Silver Slugger awards that no one really cares about.

I listened to Dan Patrick's show today on ESPN Radio. He talked about how one of the NY papers used a picture of Arod making an error in the field with the caption "MVP". USA Today had an article about how he didn't deserve it... My gut tells me the Yanks would move Arod.

Would you trade Kerry Wood for Arod and move him to short? Or how about a blockbuster: Wood, Patterson and Walker to NY for Arod and Sheffield. I know, the crack pipe again. I know its completely far fetched but I like to brainstorm. The Yankees have to be thinking about making big changes. The Cubs should too...

Rob G.,
"I believe 2 writers from each city with a team get to vote. Bunch of old-schoolers who still think pitching wins is a valid stat. "

Its even worse than that..., as this McPaper article details.

I live in New York, and despite whatever the NY papers might say, i highly highly doubt the Yanks want to move A-Rod.

This from the same Bluewater Pennant was lecturing all of us about 2 weeks ago that Pujols should be the MVP because he was rated #1 by the Elias system.

Stop being a jerk. No I wasn't. Why do you feel the need to continually make shit like that up?? It's just nutty.

I have said that in my opinion (and it's hardly lecturing to have pointed out that a guy is ranked #1 Elias) Pujols, Lee, and Jones all were deserving. You could throw a hat over all three. I'm pleased that each has gotten recognition. These awards are subjective and handed out by different groups, so there's no guarantee of fairness.

No way that can be misconstrued into cheerleading for Pujols.

Wow, according to that link, newspapers are barring their writers from voting to avoid a conflict of interest. Can't blame them really. WHo do you think voted for Jose Reyes? Has to be some NY beat writer thinking that I can get chummy with Reyes by telling him that I voted for him. System=fraud

Posted by Bluewater Pennant, November 3, 2005 2:38 PM:

Albert Pujols was ranked #1 by the Elias system. Are you saying that Derrek Lee should win the MVP when Pujols is the highest rated player in Major League Baseball (much less the National League)??

Posted by Bluewater Pennant, November 3, 2005 8:29 PM:

The fact that Elias rankings are "moving averages" doesn't detract from the fact that they come up with an ordinal ranking each year. Pujols is the leader for 2005. That's all that's relevant.

Sorry, if I was mistaken.

It's punishment that Lee doesn't get one of those fancy Chalmers automobiles.

okay, first of all, Jacob, that Matt Suey gag on matsui made me crack up.

2nd of all, i actually dreamt that matsui came to the cubs. i hate dreams. its all over the place now that all it was was just that, a dream.

oh, does anybody know what happened to matsui in the 1992 japan high-school baseball national championship game when matsui was the slugger for favorite Seiryo H.S.?

the opposing team intentionally walked him in all 5 of his at-bats (even leading with none on and 2 out in the 7th), and his team lost, and he broke down crying during the post game interview, and then the tokyo giants drafted him, and the rest is history.

damn yankees.

Speaking of which, NY Times are reporting that Matsui just signed a 4/$51 deal. Somewhere B.Giles is smiling.

If Lee and Pujols had switched teams before the season, would the gap between the Cubs and Cards have been wider at the end of the year than it actually was? I believe so.

That is all.

"They did (let the fans vote)
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

And it was a lot closer to reality than the writers."

Ha ha, I can't believe you actually are arguing that? We all know that there is a much larger cubs fan base, so obviously Lee is going to get a boost from fan voting. Why is the American league all-joke team always filled up with Yanks and Sawx? because the fans vote, and they have more fans. Nice try on that arguement though

First of all I drink the Cubbie Kool-Aid but I believe that Andrew deserved the MVP. This was a pity vote. The fact that Albert finished behind Bonds in previous years shouldn't have been factored.

scooter

Don't know if this has gotten any mention yet but Matsui just resigned with the Yankees.

there is nothing remotely scientific or accredited or standardized about MVP voting.

its not sacred and its often abused.

sometimes you get the "huh?" decisions of the 84 AL MVP or sketchy ones like the 91 NL MVP...the right-outta-nowhere stuff like AL MVP 99. (willie hernandez, terry pendleton, irod) ...and etc etc

the only thing that "saves" the whole situation is that no matter who's picked they're not a scrub.

its an award that holds much merit and is responsible for pay raises for many via contract incentives...but its still just a popularity contest for more than a few voters.

we probally think about it more than most of the voters, unfortunately...even anyone who's taken the time to read just this thread discussing it.

Dayton Moore has pulled out of the running to be Bosox GM according to the Boston Globe. So now the Bosox have to chose from the terrible Jims in Bowden and Beattie. There was a report in one of the Boston papers that they might want to interview Hendry. Well given their choices they might start asking for permission to talk with him. As much as I like Hendry as GM I would like Theo or Dan Evans more.

There is absolutely no way that Andruw Jones was anything close to the MVP. Lee was on base -70- times more often in 20 more PA's. Lee's on base percentage was 60 points higher. For comparison, Neifi was well within 60 points of Andruw's OBP. Andruw hit 19 HRs with men on. 32 when empty. Lee had 15... but Andruw had 60 more at bats. Andruw his .207 with runners in scoring position, with an OPS of .721. Lee hit .331 with a 1.113 OPS. Andruw hit more home runs, but Lee created more runs by not only hitting better with men on base but being on base more often to be driven in.

Andruw gets bonus points for being more valuable defensively, but not enough so to make up for the fact that Lee created far more runs, therefore led to the Cubs winning more games than Andruw led the Braves to.

The media glorifies Andruw more than he deserves to be because of the fact that he was the only recognizable face on the Braves who was healthy and good the whole season. They're giving him credit for the rookies who filled in for those who were hurt, and for the better-than-usual seasons that the middle infield had.

I'm not going to argue against Albert Pujols, he was similar in value to Lee. But Jones, while having a good year, was not even in the same neighborhood as Lee.

Oh, sorry, I didn't even mention the fact that Lee had an 85 point advantage in Slugging percentage, coming from 26 more doubles.

More like a .53 point advantage. But who cares.

If you want to bitch about why Lee lost the MVP then ask our dumbass manager. With the Patterson and Neifi show he screwed Lee out of the MVP. The voters didn't. Dusty Baker did.

Besides Lee's numbers do not stand out in any category over anyone else. Was Lee dominate in batting average? OBP? HR? RBI? RUNS? SB? OPS? Yeah he was a little better in some and Pujols was a better in other areas. Given the choice between two pretty similiar seasons the voters are going to go with the guy who had his team in the playoffs over the guy whose team finished under .500. It isn't rocket science, it is just the way it is.

"Given the choice between two pretty similiar seasons the voters are going to go with the guy who had his team in the playoffs over the guy whose team finished under .500. It isn't rocket science, it is just the way it is. "

It's pretty simple guys. With or with our DLee, the 05 Cubs would have finished under .500. How valuable is that?

No, a .85 advantage over Andruw Jones. Didn't even argue against Pulols winning it.

Chad, good point in #59. Good point. Curse you Dusty Baker!! Oh and I'll be damned if I don't curse alex gonzales out loud every chance I get if we even dare to sign that guy.

Gimme a f#%$&ng break!

Cubswin,

'You OBVIOUSLY didn't understand my post. I was hoping you had read all the stories that said ARod's win marked a change from voting qualitatively to voting for the player with the best stats during the regular season.'

It's different voters- isn't it?

The bazaar thing is that essentially the same voters gave Bonds the MVP in '03 over Pujols, which makes you think they're going with strictly OBP as their criteria.

G R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB AVG OBP SLG OPS
157137 212 51 1 43 124 79 65.359 .439 .667 1.106
130 111 133 22 1 45 90 148 58 .341 .529 .749 1.278

Bonds won the VORP battle ( by about 4 runs) based on getting 61 IBB's over Pujol's 12. This was Barry's I am sorry your dad died award.

I don't have any problem with saying Derrek Lee should win the award, IF you have written Sammy Sosa and asked him to return his MVP to Mark McGuire.

In reality I think the writers made the correct choice for 1 & 2 this year- the MVP should only go to a player on a bad team if there are no worthy candidates- and say whatever you want, playing GG center field and hitting a gajillion clutch home runs when Chipper Jones was out of the lineup- makes you a worthy candidate.

I also think they made the right choice in '98 and wrong ones in 2001 and 2003.

I meant OPS not OBP as the criteria.

I am not sure why people keep bringing up '84 and Willie 'Boom Boom' Hernandez. He was the best player on the best team, just like Sandberg....

"Bunch of old-schoolers"

There is nothing wrong with "old-schoolers". These guys have seen a lot of the greatest players in the history of the game, long before you or I were watching baseball. They have seen more games and been more involved in the game than us. Anyone can read and interpret data off a spreadsheet. That's a commodity skill these days. It's unfortunate - since when I got my degree in Econ/Stats it wasn't quite so popular to use statistics in non-ops focused areas of the world. But that's the case.

The BBWA doesn't look at it from the same point of view that the "stats community" does. There's nothing right or wrong about that in and of itself and more than there is something right about it.

Rishi

"It is a punishment if someone who deserves something is not given recognition for it. "

A) Recognition is not a right
B) Pujols and Lee were also deserving of the award

" Is there a way one can determine who "did more" to make theirs a playoff team without taking the team into context? Statistics perhaps?"

Contrary to the opinions of some, you don't have to quantify something for it to be true. Some things are not quantifiable and are still facts. AAnd statistics alone would not answer the question of who did more because there are no raw statistics that you can use, and any manipulated statistics then require interpretation - which then goes back to subjectivity. But, quite simply, I can say without any doubt that Pujols and Jones did more to help their teams make the post season - because their teams did make the post season.

"So then this ceases to become an individual award"

NOPE - not at all. Because no Astros were in the top 3. No White Sox were in the top 3. It is an individual award. But one component of an individual, one component of value, is how you help your team win. As I said, nobody is proposing the MVP has to come from a post season team, or even a winning team. If it were clear cut that Lee was the #1, nobody would have a problem with it. In fact, nobody would have had a problem if he won. But at the same time, winning is a small crieria of value.

"However, Lee not getting the proper consideration he deserved belies a deeper problem in the voting that I don't want to see continued."

He was the THIRD most valuable player this year. He was behind two guys with fantastic overall performances. I still don't see how he isn't getting "proper consideration". Remember what Atlanta's lineup looked like for a while when Chipper and Giles were out. .263/.347/.575 with 51HR and 126 RBI while playing GG CF is a fantastic season.

Again - I'm not saying Lee didn't deserve consideration. I'm saying he got not only consideration, but he was selected 3rd of all NL players. That's a fine accolade. I just don't have any problem with him not getting it and being behind Jones and Pujols.

That said - nice discussion - we will probably have to agree to disagree on this one.

"As much as I like Hendry as GM I would like Theo or Dan Evans more."

Well - Theo turned down the Dodgers job with an equity stake in the franchise. There is no way the Cubs will offer him that much. I don't see Theo here...EVER

And I'd LOVE Dan Evans here. I just don't think we will let Hendry go to Boston at this point in the season. We could have done that a while ago, but if we did that, we'd have sent Baker packing also. At this point we are committed to Hendry for the rest of the year and Baker at least to the all-star break.

I'm not sure which season you watched, but repeating over and over that he hit all those clutch home runs doesn't make it true.

By my count, he hit 5 homers in one run wins, 7 in 2 run wins. He hit a significant portion in games where the Braves were already secure in winning and losing.

Lee has 8 homers in one run games, 3 in two run games. Not as many homers, but they contributed to the Win colum more often than Jones' did, in addition, 'Close and Late' which is often used as a clutch stat, Lee hit .414/.519/.793 to Jones' .279/.357/.686... good numbers, to be sure, but both the clutch argument and the winning more games argument fail in support of Andruw Jones

And say that we didn't have Lee. We still finish under .500 and win, say, 65-70 games. Would we think that we had more than a remote chance next year? I mean, what's our next best option at 1B? Probably moving Walker there and playing Hairston at 2B... and when Walker was hurt, trotting Hollandsworth out there. Without Lee, Hendry is out of a job in August, probably followed by throwing Dusty out on a street corner.... wait, you've convinced me. Damn Derrek Lee.

"wait, you've convinced me. Damn Derrek Lee."

Who are you talking to? I didn't hear anyone say a single thing about Lee not being deserving of the credit and consideration that he got as the third best player in the NL. In fact, I didn't see anyone say that you couldn't even make an arguement for him being #2 or #1.

There is nothing wrong with "old-schoolers". These guys have seen a lot of the greatest players in the history of the game, long before you or I were watching baseball. They have seen more games and been more involved

Thing is, all they use are stats, too. They just don't go much farther beyond HR and RBI's for the MVP or Wins for the Cy Young. They gave votes to Jimmy Rollins for a hitting streak in Sept. And Jose Reyes?

The use of stats in 1-run games versus bigger wins/losses is extremely misleading. If DLee hits a HR in the first inning of a game they end up winning 5-4, versus Andrew Jones hitting a HR in the first inning of a game they win 8-0, how is that any different. At the time they hit them, nothing was different. Plus, you could fairly easily argue that early HRs in blowout wins are the cause of the blowout wins (runs, rattling pitcher, pitching change results, etc.), in which case I want the guy who gives my team more blowout wins.

Not saying that Jones is better or worse than another in any of these areas; just a note about your selective use of stats.

If you want to talk about performance at specific points in those games, you have a more valid point, although I think that the stats view underestimates (granted, the media may overestimate) the impact on the rest of the team. Did DLee make the team better? Hard to say. Did Andruw make his team better? Also hard to say although it sure seemed like he was the only veteran leader (other than Julio Franco) who was healthy and playing consistent on a team with a bunch of overachieving youngsters. Is that causality or correlation? You could argue all day long about it, but saying he had nothing to do with it is as bad and as wrong as saying he had everything to do about it.

Sorry I think I meant causality or coincidence, but someone who knows more about statistical analysis can correct me.

With Ichiro officially coming out against Seattle, what does everyone think of the possibility that the Cubs persue him once again?

Is it just me or am I the only one that believes I am the MVP in the NL? By definition, "valuable" means
Having considerable monetary or material value for use or exchange
Of great importance, use, or service
Having admirable or esteemed qualities or characteristics

I do not believe it's possible for anyone to refute that I am/was the Most Valuable Player in the NL in 2005. Were it not for me, Roger Clemens would not have been playing in Houston. That must be taken into account because it is most certainly included in my value to the Houston Astros.

My value, which includes myself and Roger Clemens, is greater than Pujols, Lee, Jones, or anyone else.

Some may say that Pujols is the MVP, but we all know it's not true. Nobody can claim they've helped their team win more games than I have.

It would have been funnier if you spelled PETTITTE's name correctly.

I forgot about the other pretty good free agent on the market. Kenji Jojima.

He has won Japan's version of the Gold Glove in each of the past seven years, and Jojima threw out 42 percent (35-for-83) of runners attempting to steal last season for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. By comparison, Molina gunned down 31 percent (20-for-64) and Hernandez 26 percent (18-for-70).

Though the Mets have made defense a priority, Jojima's numbers at the plate suggest he would bring a welcome boost to the lineup as well. He batted .309 with 24 home runs in 116 games before breaking his left shin on Sept. 22

Right now it looks like he is seeking a 2 year deal worth $9 million.

"With Ichiro officially coming out against Seattle, what does everyone think of the possibility that the Cubs persue him once again?"

Ichiro is simply not worth the $12 mil when essentially he's a slap hitting CF. Plus, given that he's allergic to walks he's not a great leadoff hitter either..he's just there because of his speed...sort of like Baker throwing K.Patt into the leadoff spot...only Ichiro isn't immune to making contact. In reality Ichiro should be hitting 2nd or 3rd. An overpriced player like Ichiro is more suitable to playing CF for the Yanks or Dodgers. The Cubs don't need the Japanese media to help sell the team either..that's what Wrigley is for.

Life time OBP of .377. That's horrible.

So Bogey, you would take Pierre or Furcal over Ichiro? Really?

I realize he doesn't walk, but when you hit at a .330 or .340 clip, I think we can live without the walks. Either way, his OBP is as high as theirs.

I was being facetious, I was saying that without Derrek Lee, the Cubs would have adressed the problem at manager and possibly GM alot earlier.

And my point was that people in the media are giving Jones credit because he was the only healthy, reliable, and -recognizable- face, plus he his a good number of home runs. It's easier to give credit to Jones rather than Jorge Sosa, Reitsma, Boyer, Foster, Langerhans, Betemit... who all filled in for the injured or filled otherwise gaping holes.

If you are interested in the the WRIGLEY FIELD RENOVATION. MLB.COM just put up SOME PICS.

Check out the GALLERY link.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK:

Bunch of juicy rumors in this one, who knows what's true?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/columnist/...

Also, Todd Walker for Aaron Heilman?
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2005/11/cubs_to...

Damon's original asking price; 7/$84; okay, stop laughing

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankee...

Chad if that "Life time OBP of .377. That's horrible." was directed at me, where was it written that I said Ichiro sucked? I just said that he wasn't worth the $12+ price tag for a slap hitting CF...his value comes with bringing in foreign media and selling tickets which the Cubs don't need...the Mariners needed the pub with Griffey, Randy, A-Rod gone plus they had to outbid the Yanks and Mets. That's not even mentioning what it would cost in trade to get him here...sure as hell a lot more than it's going to take to get Pierre in trade. So feel free to exercise some common sense.

Secondly, if the Cubs can get Pierre for a couple fringe starters like Mitre and Brownlie then yes, I think Pierre would be a better trade at $3.4 mil compared to Ichiro's $12+ (and if you look at his contract he gets ridiculous perks like a housing allowance + paying his interpreter etc + other bonuses). So saving apprx. $9-10 mil (after bonuses/perks) Hendry could use that money to outbid the Cards/yanks for B.Giles on a 3 yr deal and you could get Pierre and B.Giles for nearly the same cost as Ichiro...that is if B.Giles gets around $11-12m a year and Ichiro reaches his PA/AS bonuses.

By the way, The Mets and Padres are reportedly close to a deal for Cameron with the Mets receiving bullpen help in return.

"Thing is, all they use are stats, too. They just don't go much farther beyond HR and RBI's for the MVP or Wins for the Cy Young."

I still don't think there is anything wrong with the Cy Young award going to a the pitcher who won the most games, provided he had an outstanding season as well. Carpenter's numbers may not have been as good as Clemens or Rivera, but the team won 21 times when he started. I have no problem assinging significant value to his wins, even though I clearly understand (and trust me I do) the fact that a win is impacted by several things outside of the control of a pitcher.

Nowhere have I read that the Cy Young Award is supposed to go to the pitcher with the lowest WHIP, ERA, ERA+, or any other stat you can name. It is to go to, subjectively, the best pitcher in the game as decided by the voters. This isn't a right and wrong. Any one of is is no more qualified to say that the wrong decision was made than those who do the voting. You can't quantify who should win the Cy/MVP becacuse there are no quantifiable defined measures, rather a subjective set of characteristics. It's amazing that people continue to argue that they know and can proove who should have won an award that has no objective criteria or definitions.

Congrats to Pujols/Jones/Lee/Carp/Clemens, etc. All have great years. Congrats to Pujols and Carp who were selected by BBWA for awards. Why argue over non quantifiable awards? I just don't get it.

They gave votes to Jimmy Rollins for a hitting streak in Sept. And Jose Reyes?

And those were 10th place votes. The 10th place votes on the MVP ballots have the same significance as a teams 52 round draft pick when the GM drafts his NEICE. That's a non-factor. Do you think any of them really think Jose Reyes is the 10th best player in the game?

Heilman for Walker, huh? I guess it gives us a swingman and makes JWill truly expendable(which is too bad because I really like him), and gives us a better shot at Furcal, or possibly lowering demand for him and therefore salary. I am all for this move.

"And my point was that people in the media are giving Jones credit because he was the only healthy, reliable, and -recognizable- face, plus he his a good number of home runs. "

No - that's not it.

First off, it is not "people in the media". It is fans, it is the baseball community, it is everyone. Don't blame the media wholly. Second, it is not because he was healthy, reliable or recognizable. That's hooey. I hear this arguement a lot from the stats community. It usually leads to - you just don't understand. That's not true - people do understand. They just don't agree. They just don't agree that everything can be quantified and measured or that the statistics that some are trying to use to quantify and measure accurately capture the reality of the raw data they are generated from, or that the interpretations of the calculations of the manipulated raw data accurately reads what that data is saying.

It is because Jones had an awesome season on both sides of the field for a good baseball team despite adverse situations. He lead the league in runs batted in. He lead the league in HRs. He is the best CF in the league. He did this without the support of having a prolific offense around him.

I wouldn't mind having A.Heilman, a fellow Notre Dame grad here, but I can see him being moved on again in the possible J.Pierre trade...he's been rumored in possible trades to SD, TB, TEX as well though.

Heilman for Walker straight up? I'll take that, as long as we get Furcal.

I'd rather we got Jae Seo, but still, not bad.

Why argue over non quantifiable awards? I just don't get it.

You tell me, why are you arguing? Cause it's a blog and that's what fans do, argue over meaningless stuff.

And those were 10th place votes. The 10th place votes on the MVP ballots have the same significance as a teams 52 round draft pick when the GM drafts his NEICE. That's a non-factor. Do you think any of them really think Jose Reyes is the 10th best player in the game?

Rollins finished 10th, he actually got 2 4th place votes. Nobody thinks Reyes was the 10th best player in the game last season and him getting a vote is just another point that the system is a fraud.

I think Pierre would be a better trade at $3.4 mil compared to Ichiro's $12

FYI, Pierre is arb-eligible, he's likely to get anywhere from $6 to $8 mil.

Erm... X? surely, for Andruw Jones to lead the league in RBIs, he must have had the support of a relatively prolific offense? Difficult to drive yourself in 128 times, I'd have said. Lee actually hit better than Jones or Pujols with batters on base - he just had fewer opportunities. Which, of course, comes down to the "prolific" supporting offense HE had.

I'm not saying that Lee should have won, but your reasoning seems a little suspect to me.

"FYI, Pierre is arb-eligible, he's likely to get anywhere from $6 to $8 mil."

and he will likely cost a top tier prospect, or two second tier prospects. I'd take Ichiro. Walks are nice, but hits are even better. And there are very few who do what a leadoff hitter needs to do better than this guy.

Leaky Blue, GIVE IT A REST will you? Get some professional help or pull the plug on your puter for awhile.

YEESH.

Just for the record, here's what you claim to not understand.

Albert Pujols was ranked #1 by the Elias system. Are you saying that Derrek Lee should win the MVP when Pujols is the highest rated player in Major League Baseball (much less the National League)??

But of course if you'd read one more paragraph all would have been clear.

Here's my entire post from which you selectively cut and pasted.

What's particularly special about the managers and coaches that their opinion should trump the owners, the players, the fans, and the writers??

Why should winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove mean that Derrek should then win the MVP? I hope he does, but I don't follow your reasoning.

Lee wasn't voted the outstanding player by his peers either, Andruw Jones was. Are the players wrong??

Albert Pujols was ranked #1 by the Elias system. Are you saying that Derrek Lee should win the MVP when Pujols is the highest rated player in Major League Baseball (much less the National League)??

****Frankly, I like the way these awards are coming down. The best player in the NL this year was a tie..Jones, Lee, Pujols. All three are getting recognition.****
Posted by: cubswinthepennant at November 3, 2005 02:38 PM

FYI, Pierre is arb-eligible, he's likely to get anywhere from $6 to $8 m

He is not going to get $8 mil a year in arbitration...he wouldn't get $8 mil on the open market. $4.5-5.5m tops..especially with a down year in '05.

I can't imagine Ichiro is really on the trading block - just like the Yanks and Matsui, the Mariners get a large amount of income from Japanese advertising and such, not to mention he's arguably the most popular player the franchise has had since the big guns left town.

"surely, for Andruw Jones to lead the league in RBIs, he must have had the support of a relatively prolific offense? "

Not really - he was the best of that offense by a landslide. For most of the season he was without much support at all. He had 51 HRs with little infront of him, and little protection.

"Which, of course, comes down to the "prolific" supporting offense HE had."

Nobody was saying that Derek Lee had a great offense around him. He did, however, IMHO, have much more projectable talent than Jones.

"I'm not saying that Lee should have won, but your reasoning seems a little suspect to me."

I'm not saying Lee should have lost, or Jones should have won, or anything like that. I'm saying there was no bad decision amongst them. I'm saying you can make a decent arguement either way - but that all three of those players had MVP calibre seasons and that you can't say conclusively that any one of them deserves it over the other two and that there was no wrong answer.

Cubs trade Leicester to the Rangers for a PTBNL. Nothing major, but could this be a prelude to a bigger trade?

Cubs just traded Jon Leicester to TEX for a player to be named...unless that player is Mench looks like that deal is off.

The Cubs traded Jon Leicester to Texas today for a PTBL. Leicester (like Mitre & Wellemeyer) was out of minor league options, and would have had to make the Cubs Opening Day roster coming out of Spring Training 2006 or else risk being claimed off waivers if the Cubs had tried to send him back to AAA. .

I thought of the three guys out of options, that Leicester actualy had thge best chance to make the Cubs staff next year. Mitre can't pitch efectively out of the bullpen, and Wellemeyer has terrible mechanics, but Leicester pitched OK out of the Cubs bullpen the last half of 2004, and pitched well in his last eight starts at Iowa this year, after struggling early.

One thing this trade does do is open up another spot on thr 40-man roster for a prospect like Carlos Marmol or Sean Marshall. Last year, Hendry made his final roster moves prior to the freezing of the minor league rosters on the Thursday before the final due date (which is a Saturday). So look for the Cubs to make their final moves tomorrow.

My prediction:

DROP:
Richard Lewis
Russ Rohlicek
Ryan Theriot

ADD:
Bobby Brownlie
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Ricky Nolasco
Felix Pie
Jae-kuk Ryu

Yeah, for Pierre I've seen Arbitration numbers expected to be about 5-5.5

"Cubs trade Leicester to the Rangers for a PTBNL."

Sorry John Hill!

#101 of 101: By Drew (November 16, 2005 01:26 PM)
Yeah, for Pierre I've seen Arbitration numbers expected to be about 5-5.5

-

I figure Juan Pierre will get about $5 mil in arbitration. Same goes for Rob Mackowiak. Gary Matthews, Jr should get about $4 mil, and Corey Patterson should get around $3 mil.

Why are these "players to be named" never actually named? I never did hear of the PTBN acquired in the Sosa deal. Anybody know who it was?

Btw, Rotoworld.com thinks this the Leicester deal is bad for the Cubs, but I doubt they know as much about our minor leaguers as AZ Phil!

Andrew, i have no idea who we got as the PTBNL in the Sosa trade, but if remember correctly we were actually owed 2 PTBNL because David Crouthers retired soon after we got him.

I think Mike Fontenot was the other in the Sosa trade.

bogey, didn't we get Hairston, Fontenot, Crouthers AND a PBTNL?

nope i'm wrong:

"2/2/05
Acquired INF/OF Jerry Hairston, INF Mike Fontenot and RHP Dave Crouthers from the Orioles for OF Sammy Sosa and cash considerations."

just one PBTNL

btw, espn.com is reporting that a mets-padres trade is imminent: Cameron for Nady

The thing about a PTBNL is that a lot times, there isn't one. It really should say "cash or a PTBNL."

In August 2003, the Cubs acquired catcher Mike DeFelice from Detroit for a PTBNL, but none was ever actaully sent to Detroit.

Last off-season, the Cubs acquired Stephen Randolph from Arizona for a PTBNL, but none was ever sent to the D'backs.

Before Spring Training 2005, the Cubs acquired Roberto Novoa, Scott Moore, and Bo Flowers from Detroit for Kyle Farnsworth and a PTBNL, but no PTBNL was ever sent to the Tigers.

Last season, David Crouthers (one of the players the Cubs got from Baltimore for Sammy Sosa) retired, but the Cubs did not receive a replacement.

What happens a lot of times is that the team that is expecting a PTBNL ends up getting cash in excess of the $50,000 waiver price (like maybe $100,000) instead of a player, and the team puts the money into the bank to use later for a Rule 5 pick and/or for a waiver claim or two instead. That way, the team gets a couple of players they may actually need at a later time, although the player or players would not be from the team with whom the trade was made.

The Cubs might get a player from Texas, but I would think it more likely that the Cubs will get cash instead (probably $100,000). I think this trade was made mainly to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for another player Hendry wants to keep from losing in the Rule 5 Draft (minor league rosters are "frozen" on Saturday), a player (probably a pitcher) who will have three minor league option years remaining istead of being out of options (like Leicester).

For instance, Bobby Brownlie and Jon Leicester project as similar-type major league pitchers (RHP middle relief), but it would make more sense to keep Brownlie (who would have three minor league options remaining) instead of Leicester (who is out of minor league options), if Hendry saw that as his choice in this case (and Brownlie IS probably "on the bubble"),

As for the other two Cubs who are out of minor league options, I believe Todd Wellemeyer could go in a PTBNL deal, too. I suspect Sergio Mitre will be traded for an actual player, though, because he has more value than Wellemeyer. Mitre appears to be capable of being a #5 starter for at least a half dozen MLB clubs right now, whereas Wellemeyer would eeem to be to project as (at best) a reliever (and that's only if he ever harnesses his control).

I would have loved to have been in the room when Boras and Damon sat down to decide his worth, specifically, the moment where they decided he was worth as many years as Carlos Beltran, who could be his grandson. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but still, absurd. On my list of people to shoot into space at the first opportunity, Boras is number one. He is just bad for baseball, period.

Andy Pet[t]itte:

Actually, by your reckoning the NL MVP should be the Mexican Olympic baseball team: when they defeated the US baseball team and kept it out of the Athens Olympics, Clemens' dream of pitching for the USA in the Olympics went up in smoke. It was only then that he thought about un-retiring and pitching for Houston instead.

AZ Phil--good analysis. I agree, Rohlicek, Lewis and Theriot need to be dropped. Mitre and Wellemeyer can't be protected, that would be dumb. Here's a tough one though: do you protect Geovanny Soto again? I don't see any big league teams willing to waste a full season roster spot on Soto as a backup catcher. Use that spot to protect a bubble case like JK Ryu or Bobby Brownlie or Chadd Blasko.

Also--doesn't Renyel Pinto need to be protected this year? Brian Dopirak?

josh hamilton added to TB's 40-man roster.

umm...okay. i dunno why they fear losing a guy who hasnt been on a field in nearly 2 years in between random arrests.

...and the cameron/nady trade is done

During my near nervous breakdown during the drawn
out Maddux negoations I found a website titled something like Scott Boras IS the Anti-Christ
which is probably still up if you google it. On some
level you have to blame players for taking the deals
he gets them. Pudge now HATES being in Detroit
and wants out but he took the money, ditto A Rod
& Rangers even if he did escape. It could be worse
Drew Rosenhouse could manage baseball players
( Imagine a press conference on Milton Bradley's front
lawn one of these days)

Jessica

Dear Dr. Paul Frankenstien,

The monster you created (and us too) is rampaging through the village and you are surprised. You have to remember that anything that happens in baseball is a DIRECT result of us, the fans, willingness to accept it.

I hear that it's Cameron for Nady and Otsuka and that the deal is not final until they work out Otsuka's money.

ERIC: Regarding Geovany Soto, I don't think the Cubs should have put him on the 40-man roster last year when they did, although he did look pretty good (especially defensively) in the AFL last year (2004). I would project Soto as a Jose Molina-type back-up catcher, possibly when Henry Blanco leaves after 2006.

The problem with adding a guy to the 40-man roster is that you might need to take him off the 40-man roster at a later time, and it is much easier to lose a player permamently if he is claimed off waivers than if he is selected in the Rule 5 Draft, because if the player is claimed off waivers, and if he still has minor league options left, the claiming team can just option him to the minors. They don't have to keep him on their 25-man regular season roster (unless he is oit of options).

Even though I don't think Soto would have been selected in last year's Rule 5 Draft, I do believe that he (unlike Rohlicek, Lewis, and Theriot) WOULD be claimed off waivers by somebody if the Cubs tried to drop him from the 40-man roster at this time. That's why they shouldn't have added him to the 40-man roster last year.

Likely catchers for Cubs minor league teams next year:

IOWA:
1. Geovany Soto
2. Jose Reyes
3. Casey McGehee (also 3B-1B-DH)

WEST TENN:
1a. Jacob Fox (also DH)
1b. Tony Richie (also DH)

DAYTONA:
1. Oscar Bernard
2. Paul O'Toole
3. Alan Rick

PEORIA:
1. Mark Reed
2. Mario Mercedes

ERIC: Two other Cubs I did not mention when listing the guys who would be out of minor league options after next season are Angel Guzman and David Aardsma, even though both will be using up their third option year if sent to the minors in 2006.

Although it is generally true that players get only three minor league options (three seasons during which they can be optioned to the minors), a player CAN get a 4th option year if after the completion of the third option year, the player does not ave five "full" seasons of experience in the majors or minors. A "full" season is defined as 90 days on an active major league or minor league roster in a given season (or a minimum of the first 60 days of a season on an active roster).

In the case of Angel Guzman, he was in Extended Spring Training and pitched in "short season" leagues (mid-June through August, less than 90 days) in 2000 and 2001, then spent "full seasons" in the minors in 2002, 2003, and 2004, but was on the DL for more than 60 days and didn't start pitching until August of this past season, so even if he is healthy all of next season, he still will have only four full seasons of experience (2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006) after next season, allowing the Cubs to option him to the minors in 2007 if they so choose.

In the caee of David Aardsma, the Giants signed him to a "major league contract" and immediately added him to the their 40-man roster after he was selected with the Giants #1 pick out of Rice in 2003. Aardsma was optioned to the minors in 2004 and 2005, but even though he will be using up his third option year in 2006 if the Cubs option him to the minors at any point next season, he still won't have five "full" seasons of minor league or major league experience after he completes his third option year (next year). So Aardsma would get a 4th option year in 2007 (or in 2008, but that's ONLY if he spends all of 2006 or 2007 in the big leagues).

Well done, Phil. In the case of Aardsma, I think he's a logical trade component this winter. Classic case of an underperformer, but SOME GM will see that Rice record, and the underlying talent, and put value on him as part of a trade package. Works for me, as I don't think too highly of Aardsma myself, and he did zippo in 2005 to change my opinion.

ERIC: When I saw Aardsma get cuffed around in the AFL last month, a scout with a radar gun behind home plate said he was throwing consistently 91-92 MPH. When he was a closer at Rice in 2003, his fast ball was clocked at 95-96 MPH.

So any thought that Aardsma might be a future closer for the Cubs is probably a stretch. He might have a future (eventually) as a big league middle reliever, but unless he gets the "giddyup" back on his hummer, he ain't gonna be a closer.

I figure Hendry will give Aardsma maybe another year to find his fastball, but he could get traded at any time.

I think it would be good to blame Hendry for the loss of velocity by Brownlie and Aardsma.

AZ Phil you appear to be very well informed on the minors...what happened to Brownlie's velocity? I don't ever remember hearing anything about arm problems with him and I remember when he was drafted that he consistently threw in the mid 90s and occasionally being able to hit 97. I heard at the end of this season that he was barely reaching 91. Has he just lost it or is this a possible steroids situation?

Man a lot of comments in a short period of time and I missed this...

given that he's (Ichiro) allergic to walks he's not a great leadoff hitter either..he's just there because of his speed...sort of like Baker throwing K.Patt into the leadoff spot...only Ichiro isn't immune to making contact. In reality Ichiro should be hitting 2nd or 3rd.

Ichiro isnt a great lead-off hitter because he is just their because of his speed? That is like saying David Ortiz isn't a very good cleanup hitter because he just there because of his strength. What the hell does that mean?

Ichiro is the best lead-off hitter in baseball. And I will go out on a limb on this one, anyone that disagrees with that is wrong. His skills are perfect for that role. His bunting ability is unmatched probably in the history of baseball. By time the ball makes contact with the bat he is already gathering up full steam and heading to 1st base. Not only is he already starting his running motion but he is placing the ball with pin point accuracy at the same time.

If GOD himself created a lead-off hitter he would create Ichiro. Un-matched speed, Tony Gwynn like batting eye, superior defensive skills, a cannon for an arm with incredible accuracy from the OF.

MikeC,

You forget that he doesn't walk much and the Sabre-friendly site here believes that you have to walk....a lot.

BUT! If God created a leadoff hitter his name would be Rickey Henderson. But Ichiro rules too.

#124 of 126: By Bogey (November 16, 2005 07:02 PM)
AZ Phil you appear to be very well informed on the minors...what happened to Brownlie's velocity? I don't ever remember hearing anything about arm problems with him and I remember when he was drafted that he consistently threw in the mid 90s and occasionally being able to hit 97. I heard at the end of this season that he was barely reaching 91. Has he just lost it or is this a possible steroids situation?

-

BOGEY: Brownlie was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis when he was at Rutgers, but the Cubs took him with their #1 pick anyway. He was just that good. Brownlie then suffered from a sore shoulder and a "tired arm" his first year with the Cubs (2003), and got shut-down early. An MRI showed no "structural damage," but ever since then, although he's supposedly healthy, he hasn't got his velocity back.

If you look at his 2005 season at Iowa, he was TERRIBLE as a starter in April and may, and ended up on the DL. When he came off the DL in June, he was used as a middle reliever. Over 12 games as a reliever in June & July, he pitched 21.1 IP, giving up only 9 hits (.126 OBA) and three runs (1.23 ERA), with 8 BB and 13 K. But then he was moved back into the starting rotation, and sucked again. His 12 games as a reliever in June & July is the reason I believe his future is as a major league middle reliever, and it's the reason I believe he is still salvageable, and why I would put him on the 40-man roster.

Oh yeah forgot about Rickey.

Thanks AZ Phil, I remember when he was drafted the mlb.com guys were comparing him to Tom Seaver and a surefire ace...oops. The Cubs are the LA Clippers when it comes to 1st round picks...hopefully Ryan Harvey and Pawelek will break from the trend of the Pattersons, Christensens, and Montanezs of recent drafts.

Chad & Mike C..you guys are suffering from selective reading disorder. I never said Ichiro sucked as a leadoff hitter, I said that he would be better suited to a 2 or 3 hole. There's a reason the Padres moved Gwynn down to a number 3 hitter when he started to consistently hit over .320...it's not because Marvell Wynne and Bip Roberts were better leadoff men. The original question posed was whether the Cubs should move on a Ichiro trade and at his contract I said it wasn't a good move for a slap hitting leadoff man who can make upwards of $14-15m with perks and bonuses. Obviously the package Rickey Henderson brought made him #1...and guess what, it certainly helped that he's the all-time walks leader. I think you guys are forgetting about Johnny Damon as well. Most consider Damon to be the best leadoff man in the game right now...even with his diminished speed...but he's only worth $8m a year, not the $12 mil he wants and same with the contract that Ichiro has.

You forget that he doesn't walk much and the Sabre-friendly site here believes that you have to walk....a lot.

HOGWASH!!!! Other than one person so far, there's no one saying that Ichiro isn't one of the best, if not best leadoff hitter in the game. Gross generalization. Anyone who has an issues with him just cause of his walks is bastardizing the OBP argument and putting a bad name to "saber-types" everywhere.

The guy gets on base cause of his remarkable bat control and good eye. As long as he's getting on-base and doing it consistently, no one should care how. Now you can worry that his physical skills will deteriorate with age, coupled with his lack of patience(walking) will cause a drop in his OBP and thus a drop in his value, but I don't see those days coming anytime soon.

I need to run a poll sometime soon and see exactly how biased/unbiased this site is towards sabermetrics. Listening to Chad/manny (no offense) you make it sound like it's a 80/20 split, I'd venture 50/50, no worse than 55/45. For later days...

The main reason walks are worse than singles is that they don't advance runners as well. When you have a hitter like Tavarez or Ichiro who get's lots of hits to support thier OBP- it's not much better than a guy who just walks a lot.

Take a look at thier RBI totals- I am not sure how you get 262 hits and only 60 RBI's in the AL, but Ichiro managed it. Ichiro's OBP has been .352 and .350 in two of the last three seasons. He's probably the most overated hitter in the game- and the frustrating part is that he could be a #3 hitter, probably, .320 .400 .530 if he tried.

Tony Gwynn got dropped down because the Padres didn't have anyone else to hit there, and he got fat.

#115 of 132: By crunch (November 16, 2005 02:32 PM)
josh hamilton added to TB's 40-man roster.

CRUNCH: Tampa Bay reinstated Josh Hamilton from the Restricted List and then sent him outright to the minors.

"The main reason walks are worse than singles is that they don't advance runners as well."

Well - that and generally speaking, a great pitcher doesn't give you the opportunity to take free bases when the chips are down, while a mediocre pitcher does.

"I am not sure how you get 262 hits and only 60 RBI's in the AL"

He had guys like Borders, Bocachica, Auralia, Spezio, etc. hitting in front of him. He was a leadoff hitter on a team that you can easily argue was the worst team in the AL that season. How did he only have 60 RBIs? He had a lot (or not much at all) help from his teammates.

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