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Statistical argument to why Bonds deserves MVP

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Statistical argument to why Bonds deserves MVP

Postby jdh » Sat Sep 20, 2003 1:43 pm

A lot of people are saying that the only argument that anyone thinks Bonds deserves MVP is that his team made the playoffs and Pujols' did not and that they haven't heard a statistical argument, so here goes:

batting average: Bonds .342 Pujols .365 (not a huge difference)
on base percentage: Bonds .534 Pujols .442
OPS: Bonds 1.294 Pujols 1.121 (Bonds' OPS and OBP offsets Pujols batting average advantage
HR: Bonds 44, Pujols 42 (basically equal)
RBI: Bonds 87, Pujols 123

RBIs are the only category where Pujols has the clear advantage. I also don't buy that as being a clear enough reason to give Pujols the MVP over Bonds because Bonds is such a feared hitter that teams generally won't pitch to him with runners on base most of the time, which limits his RBI chances. Look at the walks Bonds 145, Pujols 71. If Bonds wasn't getting walked those 75 extra times (almost all of which were probably RBI situations), he'd have just as many RBIs.

You also have to consider performance down the stretch, because that's the most important time of year (this is why Delgado won't get AL MVP). Since the all star break, Bonds is hitting a ridiculous .400 with a 1.462 OPS. Pujols has hit .361 since the all star break, with a 1.119 OPS, but hasn't come up big down the stretch when the Cards needed him the most.

I just don't see how it can be argued that Pujols has been signifigantly better than Bonds in any category except RBIs, which isn't really his fault. He's hit 44 HR in 371 at bats, vs Pujols' 42 HR in 564 at bats. If Bonds had hit HR at the same rate as he has in the amount of at bats Pujols has had, he'd have hit 68 HR already.

Since there is no clear advantage to either of them statistically, you have to go with the one that carried his team to the post season, and that's Bonds.
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Postby Madison » Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:51 pm

Jdh wrote:Since there is no clear advantage to either of them statistically, you have to go with the one that carried his team to the post season, and that's Bonds.


Once again the argument has boiled down to walks and postseason. Bonds gets so many walks due to lack of protection in the lineup (not his fault), umps not calling a strike a strike, and the fact that he stands on top of the plate. Bonds gets a lot more walks than he deserves, due to the fact that he wears all that armor so he can stand on top of the plate and take away the middle to inside of the plate without the fear of getting hit. That makes a pitcher have to try to pitch him on the outside corner. It's a whole lot easier to get hits when you know where the pitch is going. Back him off the plate and bring his armor back down to size and let's see how well he does. I'm sure he would still be a superstar and do very well, but I don't think he would be the offensive threat that he is now. I don't believe he should be rewarded for being an "opportunist".

Once again, as to the postseason. If you want to use that as an argument, then get MLB to state on the voting ballots that it makes a difference. Until that happens, making it to the postseason is irrelevant when deciding the Most Valuable Player.

Should Pujols be punished for playing the game the way it was meant to be played? He's in the box and doesn't get the benefit of a lot of calls like Barry does. I've seen plenty of at bats this year and it's amazing what the difference in the strike zone is for the two of them. Both are very good players, but when Bonds has a tiny strike zone, due to his "opportunistic ways", and Pujols strike zone is twice as big, I think what Pujols has done is more impressive and is the determining factor as to who the better player is.

How about all the time off? Bonds has missed 29 games now. That's over a whole month of the season. Doesn't grinding it out for the team also factor into the MVP in everyone's mind? I'm sure Pujols is tired as well, but we don't hear about him wanting or needing time off because he's "tired", and he's played more games than Bonds has. You have to do the job day in and day out.

With Bonds hitting a couple out this week, and Pujols bat being quiet, I still haven't decided who the NL MVP should be just yet. We've got another week to go, and it could make all the difference in the world.
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Postby LCBOY » Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:00 pm

Madison wrote: Bonds gets so many walks due to lack of protection in the lineup (not his fault), umps not calling a strike a strike, and the fact that he stands on top of the plate. Bonds gets a lot more walks than he deserves, due to the fact that he wears all that armor so he can stand on top of the plate and take away the middle to inside of the plate without the fear of getting hit. Once again, as to the postseason. If you want to use that as an argument, then get MLB to state on the voting ballots that it makes a difference. Until that happens, making it to the postseason is irrelevant when deciding the Most Valuable Player.


Madison,

You are starting to sound like a broken record. }:-) Let me ask you this. IS Barry the ONLY player that wears armor? Is Barry the ONLY player that stands on top of the plate? And the umps not calling a strike a strike just to Barry or to all the players? I've asked these questions before and you never answer them. The MVP voting parameters are quite vague. It doesn't mention team performance but that does mean it shouldn't be counted. EVERYTHING should count including team performance. The question is who much weight should team performance be given? Since almost all voters take into account team performance to some degree you are clearly in the minority when you claim team performance should not count at all.
Last edited by LCBOY on Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jdh » Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:03 pm

Realistically though, RBIs is the only category where Pujols has any kind of statistical advantage. Yes, Pujols has a higher batting average, but that's masked by Bonds having a much higher OBP. In OPS, which I think is the best measure of a hitter, Bonds has a huge advantage. And the walks are an element of how feared he is as a hitter, not necessarily the lineup. Even when he had Kent batting behind him for most of last year, he still was walked at even a higher rate than this year.

Besides, if you don't think players should be excluded from serious MVP consideration because they are on a bad team, then why punish Bonds for not having lineup protection, meaning he gets walked more often and doesn't get the RBIs. RBIs and runs are two stats that are more indicative of the players you have around you than your own hitting ability.

As far as missing time, Pujols has missed 5 games, plus there were 9 others where he was limited to pinch hitting, which is basically 14 missed games to Bonds' 29, so only 15 more missed games. Considering that Bonds missed close to 2 weeks because his father died, that shouldn't be a major factor. It would be like saying that since Schmidt missed 2 starts when his mother died he should be excluded from Cy Young consideration.
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Postby Madison » Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:22 pm

LC BOY wrote:You are starting to sound like a broken record. Let me ask you this. IS Barry the ONLY player that wears armor? Is Barry the ONLY player that stands on top of the plate? And the umps not calling a strike a strike just to Barry or to all the players? I've asked these questions before and you never answer them.


I have answered all those questions. I think you just like stirring the pot on issues like this.



Jdh, I never once used Rbi numbers as a reason for Pujols to win. I don't think Barry should be given an advantage for all his walks either. Most of them he doesn't earn.

I do agree with OPS being more important. What a hitter does when he hits the ball is more important to me than how many walks that Bonds is handed. And yes, Bonds does have the advantage in OPS, but even you agreed to cancel that out with Pujols average.

Jdh wrote:OPS: Bonds 1.294 Pujols 1.121 (Bonds' OPS and OBP offsets Pujols batting average advantage


So that leaves your argument for Bonds at walks and postseason. That's not enough for me to give Bonds an advantage and I already explained why.

You do make a good point about the time off though. I'll concede that point other than the fact that Pujols was injured and then continued to play hurt, where as Bonds just takes a day off here and there because he's "tired".

By the end of next Sunday or Monday, I should be able to decide who I think should win (not that it really matters), but right now it's still Pujols by a very slim margin. This last week of the season could very well make go either way for me.
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Postby Snap » Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:24 pm

Stats can be skewed to read as you'd like to read them.

Either one is deserving, but I'd vote for Pujols.
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Postby Super GM » Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:20 pm

Guys, please keep your posts as short as possible. I'm too lazy to read those long posts... I start itching and scratching. It gives me an allergy! :-D
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Postby LCBOY » Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:27 pm

Can we stop the endless Bonds vs Pujols debates until the season ends? Please! :-[
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Postby Super GM » Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:33 pm

Amen to that! I'm getting sick of 'em too!
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