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(Bugs & Cranks)   Catching up with Albert Belle, who should have won the 1995 AL MVP. Bonus: He says Miguel Cabrera is more valuable than Mike Trout and that rattlesnakes make great golf instructors   (bugsandcranks.com) divider line 102
    More: Amusing, Albert Belle, Mike Trout, MVP, Miguel Cabrera, al mvp, Peter Angelos, Jim Thome, Jerry Reinsdorf  
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709 clicks; posted to Sports » on 06 Mar 2014 at 1:45 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



102 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-06 12:20:27 PM  
I've got to go with Miguel Cabrera. When you look at batting average, when you look at home runs, when you look at RBIs, when you look at a guy getting on base and scoring runs, (Cabrera's) going to do some damage in the line-up. He won the Triple Crown, he should have been the MVP, though I know there's been some debate about Mike Trout. I know he hit over .300, I know he can score a lot of runs and he can save runs with his glove, but you look at Detroit as a winning team and Anaheim was a losing team. So do you go with the best player on the best team or do you go with the best on the worst, and I think you should go with Miguel Cabrera because he was the best player on the best team.

Q.E.D., Star Trek stat nerds.
 
2014-03-06 01:18:52 PM  
Oh boy, it's this thread again.
 
2014-03-06 01:49:00 PM  
Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks
 
2014-03-06 01:49:43 PM  
Now this is a fark I haven't given in a loooooooong time.
 
2014-03-06 01:51:58 PM  
Albert Belle was the dude I traded for in World Series baseball on the Sega Saturn. Yea...I was one of the only kids with a Saturn.
 
2014-03-06 01:53:37 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.


You can't. There's no rational explanation. However, it's simply a fact of life at this point.

Anyway, this has debate been beaten to death the last couple years. Miguel Cabrera is clearly the best hitter in the game, and arguably a top 3 greatest right-handed hitter ever. Mike Trout is clearly a more all-around player. Which is truly more valuable? I've quit trying to argue it either way. But I do know this -- Albert Belle is not going to be my definitive reference on the matter, and I am not surprised that he favors the offensive numbers over defensive value.
 
2014-03-06 01:53:48 PM  
Joooooooooeeeeeeeyyyyy
 
2014-03-06 01:54:47 PM  
apparently I walked by Albert Belle in a casino in the late 90s.

my friend, "hey, do you know who that is?"

me, "who are you talking about?"

friend, "that guy you just bumped into."

me [turning around], "Who?"

friend, "you know, that big black guy with a white girl on each arm... that's Albert Belle"

me, "meh."
 
2014-03-06 01:55:33 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks


A great player's will to win rubs off on his teammates. You can't quantify heart or grit. Or scrappiness. That sandpaper quality that players like David Eckstein brought to the table is worth more than any rally-killing home run ever will be.
 
2014-03-06 02:05:07 PM  
So are you related to that guy Joey Belle?
 
2014-03-06 02:06:06 PM  
When he was in the minors he worked as a substitute school teacher during the off season.
 
2014-03-06 02:10:06 PM  

sigdiamond2000: I've got to go with Miguel Cabrera. When you look at batting average, when you look at home runs, when you look at RBIs, when you look at a guy getting on base and scoring runs, (Cabrera's) going to do some damage in the line-up. He won the Triple Crown, he should have been the MVP, though I know there's been some debate about Mike Trout. I know he hit over .300, I know he can score a lot of runs and he can save runs with his glove, but you look at Detroit as a winning team and Anaheim was a losing team. So do you go with the best player on the best team or do you go with the best on the worst, and I think you should go with Miguel Cabrera because he was the best player on the best team.

Q.E.D., Star Trek stat nerds.


I figure you're probably kidding, but it's funny how people talk about how Trout supporters were "stat nerds" but then nominate Cabrera because of ... his stats.

It's like DiMaggio vs Ted Williams in 1941, except through the looking glass.
 
2014-03-06 02:28:02 PM  
Opinions, opinions. What do the mathematicians say???
 
2014-03-06 02:34:28 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks


Not an explanation, but the "V" in "MVP" stands for "valuable." As in value to the team, via statistical contribution. Can't really have a team without other players, though. As long as that undefinable "value" aspect is included, then the team's performance is going to come into play.
 
2014-03-06 02:45:03 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks


No, that's OK. Really.
 
2014-03-06 02:46:32 PM  
When's the last time a World Series MVP played for the losing squad?
 
2014-03-06 02:46:36 PM  
"Trick or treat, Albert!"

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-01-06/sports/9601060085_1_bo y- jose-feliciano-halloween-incident

/Used to yell that at him when he played against the Mariners.
 
2014-03-06 02:47:36 PM  

MNguy: When's the last time a World Series MVP played for the losing squad?


Andre Dawson won it when the Cubs finished last.
 
2014-03-06 02:49:14 PM  
Well, at least someone recognizes that Albert got robbed in 95.  First player (maybe only) with 50 HR's and 50 2B's in a season and loses to Mo Vaughn (Mostly because Belle was an asshole and Vaughn was a nice media guy in Boston).  God damn that 95 teams was amazing... sigh.

/Tribe will win a Series someday
// Arguably the two best teams to not win a Series (besides that Mariners team) are the 54 and 95 Indians
///Third slash, guess I'm out.
 
2014-03-06 02:51:12 PM  

MNguy: When's the last time a World Series MVP played for the losing squad?


Wiki says 1960, Bobby Richardson for the Yankees. Mazeroski's home run beat them.
 
2014-03-06 02:55:12 PM  
In his prime Belle was considered the biggest asshole in baseball, by far.  Was that fair?  Does anyone know?
 
2014-03-06 03:01:01 PM  
So, if you're only going to be rewarded the MVP solely on individual efforts then no pitcher could ever win the award. Unless, of course he pitched to a two strike count and with no catcher had a pass ball. Then somehow got the runner out every time without the aid of other players (passed balls to every player, recovering the ball and tagging out each runner or beating the runner home on bases loaded with a recovered ball) and recorded every out for the entire season in this fashion.
Hitters would only be able to win the MVP by simply getting on base and stealing every base without a pitch being thrown to other batters. Either hit a home run or steal bases home. Also, he couldn't feasibly be a position player as he would be required to play every position 100 percent of the time. Including pitching, throwing the ball on a ground ball from the infield and catching it at first, playing all three outfield positions for pop fly's and all the while catching the pitch and running to the defensive positions in the field.THEN, only then could a player win an individual award without depending on what a player's teammates do.
 
2014-03-06 03:03:40 PM  

ongbok: MNguy: When's the last time a World Series MVP played for the losing squad?

Andre Dawson won it when the Cubs finished last.


that must've been a helluva year to win world series mvp and not even have played in it
 
2014-03-06 03:13:48 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks


Yep, agreed that its stupid.  I think the major problem (and there's no turning back, I understand) is that they named the award "most valuable player" rather than "player of the year".

So we've had decades of debating not only who should win it... but what the title of the award even means.

*sigh*
 
2014-03-06 03:20:32 PM  
I didn't understand the debate then, and I don't understand bringing it up now.

Cabrera was deserving (no question in my mind).  He is a very good fielder at 1B and the best hitter in baseball I will likely see in my lifetime.

Is there really a debate about this?
 
2014-03-06 03:29:40 PM  

great_tigers: So, if you're only going to be rewarded the MVP solely on individual efforts then no pitcher could ever win the award. Unless, of course he pitched to a two strike count and with no catcher had a pass ball. Then somehow got the runner out every time without the aid of other players (passed balls to every player, recovering the ball and tagging out each runner or beating the runner home on bases loaded with a recovered ball) and recorded every out for the entire season in this fashion.
Hitters would only be able to win the MVP by simply getting on base and stealing every base without a pitch being thrown to other batters. Either hit a home run or steal bases home. Also, he couldn't feasibly be a position player as he would be required to play every position 100 percent of the time. Including pitching, throwing the ball on a ground ball from the infield and catching it at first, playing all three outfield positions for pop fly's and all the while catching the pitch and running to the defensive positions in the field.THEN, only then could a player win an individual award without depending on what a player's teammates do.


I'm not even saying that team performance shouldn't be considered, but this is perhaps the dumbest argument I've seen against that stance.
 
2014-03-06 03:30:49 PM  

bglove25: Well, at least someone recognizes that Albert got robbed in 95.  First player (maybe only) with 50 HR's and 50 2B's in a season and loses to Mo Vaughn (Mostly because Belle was an asshole and Vaughn was a nice media guy in Boston).  God damn that 95 teams was amazing... sigh.


By WAR (either bWAR or fWAR), it would either have been Randy Johnson (if you "allow" pitchers), or John Valentin.

Valentin had basically the same OBP as Belle, less power (37 2B, 27 HR, .533 slugging), but that year the various metrics suggest that he was the best defensive shortstop in baseball.  Plus he could run the bases (20 SB vs 5 CS, took the extra base 53% of the time).  In the meantime, Belle played one of the easiest positions on the field (LF), and he even played that badly.

It's not "most valuable hitter", and Belle and Vaughn were one-dimensional players who hurt their team whenever they weren't in the batter's box.  If Belle has gotten hurt, the Indians could replace him with Jeromy Burnitz or whoever, and the dropoff would be bad, but not crushing.    You can't say the same for a slick-fielding shortstop with a .399 OBP, wheels, and solid power.

(If anyone mentions RBI, keep in mind that Valentin was a #2 hitter who hit behind the immortal Lee Tinsley or a 36-year-old Willie McGee that year.  Belle hit #4 behind Vizquel/Lofton/Baerga.)
 
2014-03-06 03:36:57 PM  

kukukupo: I didn't understand the debate then, and I don't understand bringing it up now.

Cabrera was deserving (no question in my mind).  He is a very good fielder at 1B and the best hitter in baseball I will likely see in my lifetime.

Is there really a debate about this?


It isn't "was he deserving" it is "was he the most deserving".

My question is always, if he does not win the Triple Crown with the exact same stats, and trout has the same stats, is he your MVP?

If not, then he shouldn't be just because a third party didn't get a couple more dingers.
 
2014-03-06 03:38:04 PM  

great_tigers: So, if you're only going to be rewarded the MVP solely on individual efforts then no pitcher could ever win the award. Unless, of course he pitched to a two strike count and with no catcher had a pass ball. Then somehow got the runner out every time without the aid of other players (passed balls to every player, recovering the ball and tagging out each runner or beating the runner home on bases loaded with a recovered ball) and recorded every out for the entire season in this fashion.


This post is dumb and you should feel dumb.

kukukupo: He is a very good fielder at 1B and the best hitter in baseball I will likely see in my lifetime.


1) Miguel Cabrera is not "a very good fielder" at any position.

2A) Miguel Cabrera's best season (2013): 1.078 OPS, best in baseball.
2B) Albert Pujols averaged a 1.075 OPS for seven seasons from 2003 to 2009.

Memories are short.
 
2014-03-06 03:46:10 PM  
You can throw WAR out (I won't), I don't love the Angels, but it is way cool to see Mike Trout on the TV whenever I want cause he is that farking good.  I mean, you get to watch a guy like Trout, you stop and watch (and I love my Dodgers).

The worst argument in the last couple of years in favor of Miggie was the playoffs thing in Trout's rookie year when Miggie won the triple crown (very cool, by the way) despite the Angels winning more games than the Tigers did that year (a side effect of divisions).  There should be little doubt that Mike Trout has been the best player in the AL the last couple of years.  He has also been the best player in both leagues as well.  Mike Trout is freaking amazingly awesome, and he is going to be the best player of his generation.
 
2014-03-06 03:51:25 PM  

chimp_ninja: 2A) Miguel Cabrera's best season (2013): 1.078 OPS, best in baseball.
2B) Albert Pujols averaged a 1.075 OPS for seven seasons from 2003 to 2009.


Not that I'm arguing necessarily for or against Mike Trout/Miguel Cabrera, but I never understand why people post this fact in every one of these threads as some kind of "proof" that Miguel Cabrera wasn't deserving of his MVPs. Pujols won the MVP three times during that span.

What does that prove? What is the argument?
 
2014-03-06 03:53:20 PM  

chimp_ninja: great_tigers: So, if you're only going to be rewarded the MVP solely on individual efforts then no pitcher could ever win the award. Unless, of course he pitched to a two strike count and with no catcher had a pass ball. Then somehow got the runner out every time without the aid of other players (passed balls to every player, recovering the ball and tagging out each runner or beating the runner home on bases loaded with a recovered ball) and recorded every out for the entire season in this fashion.

This post is dumb and you should feel dumb.

kukukupo: He is a very good fielder at 1B and the best hitter in baseball I will likely see in my lifetime.

1) Miguel Cabrera is not "a very good fielder" at any position.

2A) Miguel Cabrera's best season (2013): 1.078 OPS, best in baseball.
2B) Albert Pujols averaged a 1.075 OPS for seven seasons from 2003 to 2009.

Memories are short.


His stretch from 2001-2010 is one of the greatest in the history of the sport. But it has nothing to do with Cabrera.
 
2014-03-06 03:53:28 PM  
Ugh, forget it. I see now that you're arguing for Pujols being a better hitter in general, not against Cabrera for MVP.

Disregard. It's been a long day.
 
2014-03-06 03:54:48 PM  

ricewater_stool: His stretch from 2001-2010 is one of the greatest in the history of the sport. But it has nothing to do with Cabrera.


I think he was taking issue with the "Cabrera is the best hitter in my lifetime" argument, not his deserving an MVP.
 
2014-03-06 04:02:06 PM  

sigdiamond2000: ricewater_stool: His stretch from 2001-2010 is one of the greatest in the history of the sport. But it has nothing to do with Cabrera.

I think he was taking issue with the "Cabrera is the best hitter in my lifetime" argument, not his deserving an MVP.



Well, since Pujols moved to the AL at age 32, i.e. not terribly old, he's been pretty mediocre.
 
2014-03-06 04:14:59 PM  
Baseball writers have no interest in picking the best player. They look at counting stats until they find which player makes their dick hardest, then they invent the definition of "valuable" that year so their guy wins (note that they're not actually good at that last part, but whatever).
 
2014-03-06 04:20:23 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Too busy to actually get into this at the moment, but I'd still love it if someone can explain why an individual award should depend on what a player's teammates do.

I'll check back later.  Thanks


Because it's "Most Valuable Player", not 'Best Player'.

There is value in winning. There isn't much value in being the best player but still losing
 
2014-03-06 04:39:13 PM  

chimp_ninja: bglove25: Well, at least someone recognizes that Albert got robbed in 95.  First player (maybe only) with 50 HR's and 50 2B's in a season and loses to Mo Vaughn (Mostly because Belle was an asshole and Vaughn was a nice media guy in Boston).  God damn that 95 teams was amazing... sigh.

By WAR (either bWAR or fWAR), it would either have been Randy Johnson (if you "allow" pitchers), or John Valentin.

Valentin had basically the same OBP as Belle, less power (37 2B, 27 HR, .533 slugging), but that year the various metrics suggest that he was the best defensive shortstop in baseball.  Plus he could run the bases (20 SB vs 5 CS, took the extra base 53% of the time).  In the meantime, Belle played one of the easiest positions on the field (LF), and he even played that badly.

It's not "most valuable hitter", and Belle and Vaughn were one-dimensional players who hurt their team whenever they weren't in the batter's box.  If Belle has gotten hurt, the Indians could replace him with Jeromy Burnitz or whoever, and the dropoff would be bad, but not crushing.    You can't say the same for a slick-fielding shortstop with a .399 OBP, wheels, and solid power.

(If anyone mentions RBI, keep in mind that Valentin was a #2 hitter who hit behind the immortal Lee Tinsley or a 36-year-old Willie McGee that year.  Belle hit #4 behind Vizquel/Lofton/Baerga.)


So, being the only player in history to go 50 HR and 50 2B's (in a 144 game season no less) is less important than 20 stolen bases (and completely discounts that that Indians team had a better base stealer- kenny lofton, and a much better defensive ss -Visquel). Belle's fielding average was .001 below the league average, but yeah, we was terrible in LF.   I mean, I think WAR is useful and all, but no. Just no.  The only reason an injured Belle doesn't destroy the Indians is that line-up was stacked.  But yeah, missing league leader in runs, doubles, HR's, RBI's, Slugging and total bases is totally just like losing a good defensive shortstop that gets on base and has decent power for the position.  Good argument.
 
2014-03-06 04:43:15 PM  
If it weren't for being filthy rich, Albert Belle could use his personality for birth control.
 
2014-03-06 04:50:20 PM  

sigdiamond2000: I think he was taking issue with the "Cabrera is the best hitter in my lifetime" argument, not his deserving an MVP.


In addition to Pujols' run, Frank Thomas was every bit as good for 8 years as Cabrera has been for the last 3 or 4.  People have short memories.
 
2014-03-06 05:31:44 PM  

keypusher: In his prime Belle was considered the biggest asshole in baseball, by far.  Was that fair?  Does anyone know?


www.waitingfornextyear.com
Fernando Vina probably thinks he was.
 
2014-03-06 05:34:05 PM  
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadu:

I'm not even saying that team performance shouldn't be considered, but this is perhaps the dumbest argument I've seen against that stance.

chimp_ninja


This post is dumb and you should feel dumb


 It is dumb. But so is saying that Trout does everything by himself and doesn't rely on help from his teammates.
 
2014-03-06 06:13:59 PM  
great_tigers:  It is dumb.

Glad we agree.

But so is saying that Trout does everything by himself and doesn't rely on help from his teammates.

You're missing the point.  The point is that Mike Trout is only responsible for what Mike Trout does.  If he hits like a slugger, takes his walks like a veteran, runs like a leadoff man, and plays excellent outfield defense, he's incredibly valuable.  Worrying about what his teammates are doing is a distraction from that.
 
2014-03-06 06:19:37 PM  

great_tigers: Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadu:

I'm not even saying that team performance shouldn't be considered, but this is perhaps the dumbest argument I've seen against that stance.

chimp_ninja


This post is dumb and you should feel dumb


 It is dumb. But so is saying that Trout does everything by himself and doesn't rely on help from his teammates.


Nobody makes that argument. You're trying to reduce the argument to Trout into a ridiculous straw man argument.

The argument for Trout is that he's a better overall player. He's a slightly worse hitter than Cabrera, but he *more than* makes up for it with his superior fielding and by being one of the best baserunners in the game. The argument is that Trout provides a ridiculous amount of value for his team - 10+ WAR seasons have happened less than 60 times in baseball history. In fact, Trout supporters are arguing that you *should* take into account the contributions of your teammates when talking about who provided more "value", to counter this ridiculous notion that because Cabrera's team went to the playoffs, he gets the MVP while Trout does not. Which is ridiculous for two reasons:

1. Trout's team actually finished with a better record than Cabrera's in 2012, when this debate started. His team did better in a stronger division, and missed the playoffs because they weren't fortunate enough to be in a crappy division.
2. Baseball is a game of many people contributing to the outcome. It's entirely possible that a person can produce the most value for his team, but the rest of the team won't produce enough to get them to the playoffs. In this case, the rest of the Angels combined for 16 WAR, while the non-Cabrera Tigers produced 18.9 WAR (per fangraphs)

Trout played on a worse team last year. He still provided the most value.
 
2014-03-06 06:25:20 PM  
Ok, too much to respond to, so I'm just gonna pose another question:

If a player's value depends on what his teammates did, and being on a playoff team matters, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli.
 
2014-03-06 06:37:24 PM  

bglove25: So, being the only player in history to go 50 HR and 50 2B's (in a 144 game season no less) is less important than 20 stolen bases


You seem to be omitting that he was a top-tier defensive shortstop, which is much more important than a nice-to-have like good baserunning speed.  Ozzie Smith is a Hall of Famer, and he hit like a AAA scrub most of the time.  Shortstop is one of the two most important defensive positions, and Valentin played it very well in 1995.

(and completely discounts that that Indians team had a better base stealer- kenny lofton, and a much better defensive ss -Visquel).

I don't know what this has to do with John Valentin deserving the MVP over Albert Belle.  The point is that it's much easier to find a crappy outfielder who can hit than a slick-fielding shortstop who can hit.  If two guys put up the same numbers, and one is a SS and one is a LF, the SS is much more valuable.

Belle's fielding average was .001 below the league average, but yeah, we was terrible in LF.

Yes.  This is because fielding percentage is a horrible way to measure the quality of a defender.  You can only get charged with an error if you can get to the ball, and Albert Belle had mediocre range.

Andruw Jones never led the NL in fielding percentage.  Neither did Willie Mays.  Devon White only led his league once.  Those are probably the three greatest outfield defenders in history.

In LF, Barry Bonds never led the NL in fielding percentage, and he's a go-to pick for the best defensive left fielder of all time, even with his mediocre arm.

In RF, Roberto Clemente never led the NL in fielding percentage.  Seeing a pattern here?

I mean, I think WAR is useful and all, but no. Just no. The only reason an injured Belle doesn't destroy the Indians is that line-up was stacked. But yeah, missing league leader in runs, doubles, HR's, RBI's, Slugging and total bases is totally just like losing a good defensive shortstop that gets on base and has decent power for the position. Good argument.

It is.  It's also why Mike Trout is a better player than Miguel Cabrera, even though he's not a better hitter than Miguel Cabrera.  Because WAR rolls up more aspects of a player's game.

In 1995, the gap between Belle (.317/.401/.690) and Valentin (.298/.399/.533) didn't overcome their respective  defensive contributions.  That shouldn't even be a particularly controversial claim.
 
2014-03-06 06:45:56 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Ok, too much to respond to, so I'm just gonna pose another question:

If a player's value depends on what his teammates did, and being on a playoff team matters, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli.


False premise is false. A players value depends on what the as a whole did.
 
2014-03-06 06:47:17 PM  

MFAWG: DeWayne Mann: Ok, too much to respond to, so I'm just gonna pose another question:

If a player's value depends on what his teammates did, and being on a playoff team matters, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli.

False premise is false. A players value depends on what the as a whole did.


Oh, ok. I'll reword it.

"If a players value depends on what the as a whole did, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli."
 
2014-03-06 06:54:26 PM  

DeWayne Mann: "If a players value depends on what the as a whole did, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli."


I think it depends if he accidentally the whole thing.

(By the way, It's Loney, by one point of fielding percentage.  QED.)
 
2014-03-06 06:56:37 PM  

chimp_ninja: DeWayne Mann: "If a players value depends on what the as a whole did, who was more valuable in 2013 (and why): James Loney or Mike Napoli."

I think it depends if he accidentally the whole thing.

(By the way, It's Loney, by one point of fielding percentage.  QED.)


Two more steals, too.  That'll make those Trout fans happy.
 
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