Friday, November 16, 2012

Miguel Cabrera Wins MVP, Stats Geeks Can't Quantify their Rage

Had Mike Trout won the AL MVP, I wouldn't have agreed with it, but I would have understood. He had a great season. But Miguel Cabrera winning the MVP has incensed a sect of baseball nerds that worship numbers and believe that stats are the only thing in baseball that matters.

Here's why Miguel Cabrera won:

1. He won the Triple Crown, which is a statistical rarity in this sport. Hitting for power and hitting for average is a tough balance.

2. He performed well in the clutch. He had a 1.032 OPS in September when the Tigers needed to win to make the playoffs. Throughout the season he hit .356 with runners in scoring position, and .420 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.

3. He was more valuable.

He was just better than Trout. Deal with it. All your WAR and UZR and your numerology mean nothing. At the very least, he and Trout are on equal footing. In which case, give deference to the player whose team made the playoffs. And give deference to the player who won the Triple Crown.

The arguments against Cabrera are shallow. The numerologists argue that a certain set of stats can accurately determine what a players value is? Really? Because the designation "Most Valuable Player" brings so much ambiguity with it. It requires subjectivity and human opinion in order to determine which player is the most valuable.

There is no objective, statistical measurement of value. There is no empirical way to determine which player is more valuable than another. So any argument based solely on stats is incomplete, and invalid.

Miguel Cabrera is the MVP, and the baseball stat gurus are crying their imaginary numbers (i's) out.