The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Time to take a breather and discuss something important: Baseball.

We hope there are some baseball fans amongst our readership. If so, we assume there may be an equal breakdown between Yankees, Red Sox and Mets fans. In the interest of full disclosure, Democratus is a Yankee fan. A Yankee fan that does not hate the Red Sox, if you can believe it.

As you probably know, Alex Rodriguez was named the American League's Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox Designated Hitter, David Ortiz, came in second in the voting. Red Sox fans are appalled and believe Ortiz was robbed of the MVP. With all due respect, not only is Rodriguez a better player, not only did he have a better season, it's not even close.

First, Rodriguez is not a favorite of Democratus. He's the best all-around player today but Yankees like Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill will always have a special place in Democratus' heart.

First, the numbers (A-Rod's are in bold).

Games 162 - 159
Avg. .321 - .300
Hits 194 - 180
2B 29 - 40
3B 1 - 1
HR 48 - 47
Runs 124 - 119
RBI's 130 - 148
SB's 21 - 1
BB's 91 - 102
K's 139 - 124

Ortiz comes up with more doubles, RBI's and walks. Rodriguez leads in every other category.

Now, lets take a closer look. Oritz grounded into more double plays, 13, as opposed to A-Rod's 8. Ortiz had a phenomenal On Base %, .397. A-Rod's On Base % was .421. Finally, A-Rod created 151 runs while making 428 outs. Ortiz created 146 runs while making 443 outs.*

It's no secret that Fenway Park inflates numbers and Ortiz is no exception. At home, Ortiz hit .322, on the road, .278. At home, his On Base % was .425, on the road, .369.

It's no secret that Yankee Stadium isn't the best hitter's park in baseball. Nonetheless, at home A-Rod hit .351 compared to .291 on the road. At home, A-Rod's On Base % was .448, on the road, .395.

And of course, the big one. Rodriguez is a baseball player while Ortiz is a hitter. There's a big difference. Ortiz is an old-school slugger, hits with power with a lot of walks and strikeouts. That's about all he gives you. A-Rod is a five category player, hitting for average, with power, speed and defense.

On mere principle, a DH should never win the MVP unless he has a tremendous season, and Ortiz's, as great as it was, falls far short.

In short, Rodriguez created more runs while making less outs and played an excellent third base. He can beat the opposition in a variety of ways. Ortiz is a two dimensional player, power and walks.

We hope there's some baseball fans out there and we thought this would be a good break from politics. Feel free to discuss.

*RC - Runs Created - A runs estimator created by Bill James. A runs estimator attempts to quantify the entire contribution of a player's statistics to a team's total runs scored. It typically involves some positive value for things like hits, walks, steals, home runs, etc. and negative values for outs, caught stealing and GIDP. There are 24 different versions of RC depending on the stats you have and I am using the most basic here. (H + BB) * (TB)/ (PA)

No comments: