Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday...

Mike Piazza!

Mike, who sure seems like he should have a more Italian middle name than "Joseph," is 41 today.

I don't really have anything new to tell you about a guy like Piazza, but lookit (also just seeing how/if this new BBREF feature works):

[There we go! Took a few tries.]
So...yeah. A lot of people are saying Mauer's having the best year by a catcher ever, and maybe he is when you factor in defense and such, but it's pretty hard to compete with that.

Piazza outhit Larry Walker by OPS+, had only four points less of batting average and six fewer RBI...and Larry Walker was a RF who played in the best hitters' environment in history, Piazza a catcher (technically) in a pitcher's park (which doesn't factor into the OPS+, of course, but the HR and RBI). The Dodgers even finished ahead of the Rockies in the standings. Where does this rank among the worst MVP snubs of all time? Would Mauer 2009 be worse?


  1. I don't know if it is the worst MVP vote ever, But here are the leaders in Win Shares in the NL that year

    Gwynn 39
    Piazza 39
    Biggio 38
    Bonds 36
    Bagwell 32
    Walker 32
    Rolen 29

  2. Here are the leaders in BFW

    8.2 Biggio HOU
    7.7 Piazza LA
    6.2 Bonds SF
    6.1 Bagwell HOU

    Walker had 4.4

    I do recall that maybe some writers saw that his home/road splits that year were balanced, so they did not discount for Coors

  3. Until they correct Mattingly over Brett in '85, I no longer care about the MVP debate. It ceased being a relevant award that year.

  4. Brett did beat Mattingly 37-32 in win shars. Rickey Henderson had 38. But Brett's team did win their division

  5. Here are the BFW leaders

    6.9 Henderson NY
    6.6 Brett KC
    5.6 Boggs BOS
    4.5 Ripken BAL

    Mattingly had 3.0

  6. In WAR from Sean Smith's site

    Henderson 10.0
    Brett 8.0
    Mattingly 6.4

    I did not look anyone else up

  7. Here are the leaders in adjusted batting wins from Baseball Reference

    1. Brett (KCR) 6.3
    2. Boggs (BOS) 5.2
    3. Mattingly (NYY) 4.9
    4. Henderson (NYY) 4.7
    5. Murray (BAL) 4.1
    6. Gibson (DET) 3.2
    7. Barfield (TOR) 3.0
    8. Bradley (SEA) 2.9
    9. Evans (DET) 2.5
    Davis (OAK) 2.5

  8. Not discounting for Coors was profoundly silly of them. His home/road splits ARE eerily balanced, but that just means that he hit much better on the road than he did at home.

    I just saw that you addressed this issue on your blog, too. Nice work. The one thing about Biggio is that his numbers (BFW, WARP, etc.) are obviously heavily affected by his fielding numbers, and they look kind of fishy to me. Generally, Biggio measured out as an average fielder (despite his reputation), but was suddenly awesome in 1997. By FRAA, for instance, he went from -21 in 1996 to +21 in 1997. It seems a lot more likely to me that it was one of those wild blips fielding stats are prone to (or two of them in a row, since I doubt he was that bad in '96 either) than that he actually improved 42 runs from one year to the next.

    So anyway, I'd still be pretty confident about going with Piazza. They both look a lot better than Walker, though.

    Similarly, in 1985, looks to me like you could make a good case for either Brett or Rickey, but not so much Donnie.

  9. Good point about the fielding runs. It seems like any fielding stat fluctuates alot from year to year. That confounds any MVP analysis.

  10. Biggio's fielding Win Shares don't fluctuate that much, though. He started playing 2B in 1992. Here are his fielding Win Shares from 1992-2001

    4.9 (94, strike year)
    7.5 (1997)

    Even if we took the low of the 3 years from 1996-98, 5.9, he would have had 36.7 (he actually had 30.8 hitting win shares-this is from the electronic version of the win shares book). Here are Piazza's fielding win shares from 1993-2001

    6.4 (1997)

    It lists him with 32.3 hitting win shares in 1997, but it gives the total as 38.6 (must be rounding since it is not 38.7). His fielding win shares show alot of fluctuation. But not everyone likes win shares. I have found that 2B men and SS seem to be treated a little unfairly by win shares. Go