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October 5, 2000
The Daily Prospectus
Below is my ballot for this year's Internet Baseball Awards. I'm not going to get too deeply into explaining the choices, but I will provide a general description of my rationale in putting together each ballot.
If you'd like to vote in the IBAs, go to the page here at Baseball Prospectus and cast your vote by October 12.
Most Valuable Player
I don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about team performance. I'm looking at what the player himself did; if it's close, I may consider more context, but for the most part, it's only about the player.
My primary bias is towards up-the-middle players, even over and above the kinds of adjustments you see in Runs Above Replacment or VORP or other metrics. I believe that hitters at first base or DH or lousy defensive left fielders are a dime a dozen these days, but that having a quality bat who can play shortstop or catch is gold.
One other thing, and this applies to Cy Young and rookie balloting as well: I'm increasingly suspicious of short-term park factors in any places other than Denver and Los Angeles. I'm not ignoring them, but I am taking them with a larger grain of salt than I used to.
Cy Young is pretty basic: keeping runs off the board and pitching a lot. Again, while I look at things like Support-Neutral statistics and VORP, the park-factor element means I've weighted them less than in previous years.
OK, one comment: anyone who votes for anyone but Pedro Martinez for AL Cy Young is an idiot.
AL Cy Young
Rookie of the Year
Best player with rookie status. I'm inclined to take a guy with less playing time if the performance was really good, and slightly more inclined to consider team/season context. Slightly.
AL Rookie of the Year
Joe Sheehan can be reached at email@example.com.