Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Who's Voting For the MVPs?

OK, despite my DSL failing I'm going to post using dialup. The MVP voters are clearly not watching the same sport I do.

My picks for MVP were Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter.

First the NL MVP award went to Ryan Howard. Howard is not a bad pick, but it's hard to see the award not going to Albert Pujols, who pretty much beat Howard at every statistic that mattered.

Now onto the real travesty, which was Justin Morneau beating out Derek Jeter and Joe Mauer for the AL MVP. I could understand Mauer winning the award, and practically he might really have been the most valuable player in the majors this year. But Morneau? How is he more valuable than Jermaine Dye or Jim Thome?

The voters seem to be stuck using "traditional" stats such as home runs and runs batted in to make these decisions. Howard edged Pujols in both those categories. And Morneau easily topped both Jeter and Mauer in both stats.

It's as if the voters felt they couldn't give the award to Jeter or Mauer when they had a player who batted .320 and had over 30 hrs and 130 rbi. But that's plain stupid. First Jeter and Mauer both batted higher with runners in scoring position, so Morneau's rbi total is basically irrelevant. And while Morneau did have more power, both Jeter and Mauer had substantially higher OBPs. Why choose power over the ability to get on?

And here's the main point: Both Jeter and Mauer put up their numbers from middle of the infield positions where good hitters are at a premium. A shortstop with an OPS of .900 is much more valuable than a first baseman with an .934 OPS. It's why Jeter had a substantially higher VORP (the best in the league). It's also why Jeter led the league in win shares and had the second highest WARP3 (which measures wins over replacement player) in baseball (behind Pujols).

Here's what makes this even more ridiculous: Jeter won the Henry Aaron award for best hitter in the AL (an award he did not deserve) and won the gold glove at SS (which he also did not deserve). Morneau won neither. How is he more valuable again?

Update: Noyam makes the same point, but better than I did.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Frumteens Responds To Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) Theory!

Who would think that Frumteens would have even heard of it? Maybe he's responding to me?

Here's his argument:

"There are APikorsim who ask, how do you knwo that G-d created the world? Maybe it was the SPaghetti Monster?

The answer is, it is possible that the spaghetti monster created the planet earth, or people, but since the spaghetti monster is, presumably, a physical entity, or at the very least, an entity with certian attributes which makes him the spaghetti monster, then it cannot be he First Cause, who created all reality. In other words - the spaghetti monstrer could not have created the world since he is part of the world. Simply put: If the spaghetti monster created the world, who created the spaghetti monster? There has ot be a First Cause at the end of the chain, with no attributes or limitaitons at all.

Call that First Cause whatever you want --- Jews refer to it as Hashem."

Let's leave aside the flaws in First Cause theory for a moment. If there's a first cause, why can't it be the FSM? Frumteens claims because the FSM has to be part of the world (because he has to have specific attributes to be a flying spaghetti monster) and therefore can't be the first cause.

But why must the first cause have no recognizable attributes? G-d clearly has some attributes because something with no attributes is nothing. For G-d to be the first cause whatever attributes he has must have existed prior to creation. So why is it impossible for spaghetti to exist before creation?

Why is the FSM anymore part of the world (or reality) than G-d?

The Death Of A Great

Milton Friedman died today. For a good bio on his life see his Wiki entry. His economic work led to a revival of free market theory and a resurance of libertarian thought.

(Hat Tip: Volokh)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wow Steroids Really Do Work!

To get a sense how much better Barry Bonds was than everyone else in 04, look at this chart. You don't even have to know what it means. Just look at how much higher his numbers were.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Did He Just Say That?!!!

"This is gut-check time for James Dolan, who if he doesn't have Kiki Vandeweghe's phone number memorized by now he should have it tattooed to his forearm."

He's right about Isaiah Thomas, but should stay away from Holocaust imagery.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nah, He's No MVP

Check out Phil Taylor's article on today. His basic theory? That Derek Jeter doesn't deserve the MVP because he never "accepted" ARod. Seriously.

A shortstop with the second best VORP in the AL and one of the best batting averages with runners in scoring position shouldn't win the MVP because he never sat down with ARod and told him he was his friend. Mindboggling.