Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sports Break

Yesterday the Yankees clinched the AL East. For weeks people have been debating whether David Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez should be AL MVP. Let's take a look at the numbers:

ARod leads in BA, HRs, OBP, SLG (and by extension OBS), Hits and Runs. Ortiz leads in RBI and Doubles and has less Strikeouts. ARod wins most of the conventional statistics.

Ortiz, however, kills ARod in batting with Runners in Scoring Position. He also has hit numerous dramatic HRs, many that have led to ties or wins. So the clutch factor goes Ortiz's way.

I have a big soft spot for clutch players. It's an important skill, more important than conventional numbers. So if ARod was a DH, I'd go for Ortiz, despite ARod having the statistical edge.

But alas ARod is not a DH. He plays 3rd base, and quite well also. Ortiz does nothing for his team in the field. In fact, if he played the field, he'd probably hurt his team. And since fielding is a part of the game (although not nearly as big as hitting) ARod gets a huge edge here.

One more element people have ignored: ARod has 21 SBs. Ortiz has 1. Big edge there also.

Given how the Yankees have taken the division crown, I can't imagine Ortiz winning the award. He's a great, great player, but ARod has just been better this year. And where would the Yankees be without him?

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