Ray Ozzie has a new MSN Spaces blog, and he starts off with a cheap shot at the Yankees.
One of the most unexpected pleasures of our new bi-coastal life is that not only are we able to continue rooting for our beloved Sox at Fenway ... but thanks to also living within walking distance to Safeco Field, we now have twice the number of opportunities to watch the Yankees lose. (Papi was robbed, btw.)
Ray, for all your past success and your acknowledged vision and brilliance (yadda, yadda) and despite the fact that you are one of the most important people in the industry that I've been part of for more than 20 years, I have to say this: you're simply delusional about baseball. That's ok, though. It's pretty common amongst folks who have spent large portions of their life in New England. I'm not quite sure how I've avoided it myself. I think the fact that I had Yankee games available on WPIX on the local cable system for the first few years that I lived in Nashua might have helped keep me from going that way.
Twice the opportunties to watch the Yankees lose? Ray, that wouldn't be true no matter what reality you live in, and that's because of the unbalanced schedules MLB has adopted since going to the three-divisions-plus-wildcard
abominationschedule. Adding the Seattle games to the mix only gets you about 50% more total games involving the Yankees and your local teams. But now let's also look at the 2005 stats to see how it actually broke down. The Yanks were 10-9 against the Sox, and 7-3 against Seattle. So you went from having 10 opportunities to see the Yankees win to 17 opportunities; and you went from 9 opportunities to see the Yankees lose to 12 opportunities. So, what you really got was a 33% increase in opportunites to see the Yankees lose, versus a 70% increase in opportunities to see them win. Sorry, Ray, but now that I've pointed out the truth of this matter to you, perhaps you may realize that life was better for you before you went bi-coastal
On to the A-Rod versus Papi debate. Robbed? Robbed??! Hah! Not a chance!
A-Rod played every single game of the season for the Yankees hitting, and all but one fielding. Ortiz, on the other hand missed three games completely, and he barely played the field at all -- just 78 innings versus A-Rod's 1390. Notwithstanding Ortiz's cushy half-time assignment, A-Rod still beat him in every major hitting statistic category except doubles, RBIs, and walks and strikeouts... and if you factor in the 16 hit-by-pitches for A-Rod, versus Ortiz's one, the advantage in strikeout and walk statistics is pretty much moot. Now, if you just look at run production (scored plus batted in), Ortiz had about a 5% advantage, but that's not nearly enough to make up for the fact that he contributed almost nothing to his team's defense. A-Rod, on the other hand, was second amongst third basemen in the league for innings played, and he compiled a .971 fielding percentage -- just a statistically insignificant two thousandths of a point behind the league leader amongst third basement who racked up more than a thousand innings in the field. (And A-Rod was flawless for the innings that he filled in for Jeter at shortstop, too, by the way.) So, Ortiz wasn't robbed at all. In terms of total contribution to their teams' nearly identical results, A-Rod did far more by any objective measure. This wasn't even a close call, and the only reason Papi Ortiz got any consideration at all is the fact that quite a few of voters are still so shocked by the Red Sox 2004 championship that they need to raise up Ortiz in stature in order to make any sense out of it.
1. Gregg Eldred11/17/2005 09:55:16 AM
What kind of firestorm will I create? A-Rod winning the MVP award? Please. As you show, his stats are good, but was he the "Most Valuable Player" of the American League or the one with the best stats? Could the Yankees have made it as far as they did without him? I venture to say "yes," because of a Yankee that really deserved the award. Mariano Rivera. But let's face it, a reliever won't win that award. But he deserved it more than A-Rod. And a player that is a DH is in the running? He only shows up to bat. I would also say that Konerko should have won the award. The White Sox needed him, every day, to make it to the playoffs. But this is one of the reasons that I love baseball. Debating these types of things during the long winter.
2. Richard Schwartz11/17/2005 11:35:59 AM
@Gregg: I'm definitely on the side of not giving the MVP award to a reliever. Closers like Mariano can win games, but mostly they are there to not lose games. You have to be in a position to win before a closer has value. And frankly, I'm not even fond of the concept of "the closer". What ever happened to the complete game starter, anyhow?
As for Konerko, the White Sox were the better team overall, and they won their division by a comfortable margin, whereas the Yankees won only on a tie-break, so I think it's a fair point that A-Rod (or Mariano, for that matter) was more critical to the Yankees success simply because replacing either of them with someone who contributed to even one less win would have made a bigger difference. But in reality, A-Rod probably just has better PR than Konerko.
3. Curt Stone11/21/2005 03:33:40 PM
I totally agree with you on A-Rod being MVP. I can't believe how little emphasis is given to DEFENSE. Red Sox fans will tell you over and over how many game winning hits Papi had but forget how many runs A-Rod saved in the hot corner. Heck, everytime a fielder makes one out, there's no telling how many runs they may save and games they've won with their glove. I saw A-Rod make some amazing plays in the field this year!