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November 21, 2000

Appreciating Pedro

Some Perspective on Dominance

by Mark McKinniss

(Ed. note: Mark McKinniss submitted a short piece to the Baseball Prospectus staff in the wake of the BBWAA awards. If you have something you'd like to have published here, send it in the body of an e-mail to info@baseballprospecus.com. We regret we cannot respond to all submissions, but we will read every one.)

He finished fourth in the Internet Baseball Awards AL MVP voting. He was fifth in the slightly less reliable BBWAA MVP vote. He should have been winning his second consecutive MVP award, and there's nothing but a complete lack of perspective denying Pedro Martinez the hardware he's due.

Consider:

  • Pedro's worst OPS Against mark in his career: .688
  • Greg Gagne's career OPS: .686

  • Pedro's cumulative OPS Against for 1996-2000: .576
  • Rey Ordonez's career OPS: .579

  • Pedro's OPS Against in 2000: .472
  • Pete Harnisch's OPS as a batter in 2000: .488

  • Pedro's home runs allowed, 1997-2000: 68
  • Mark McGwire's home runs, 1998: 70

  • Pedro's strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1996-2000: 5.04
  • Sandy Koufax's strikeout to walk ratio, 1962-1966: 4.57

  • Pedro's strikeout-to-walk ratio, 2000: 8.88
    I can't even compare this to anything, except...
  • Pedro's strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1999: 8.46

As if the numbers could not speak for themselves, there is more:

Pedro Martinez doesn't have the luxury of facing a pitcher every three innings. He has a Green Monster in his backyard. He faces the most bulked-up hitters in the history of the game.

What can you say? Pedro Martinez should get the next five MVP awards to compensate for being short-changed over the last two years. The rest of us should be reminded not to miss out on a great career.

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