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A look at some of the more unjustified uses of MVP votes in recent memory.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

On Thursday, the BBWAA announced its selections for AL and NL MVP, and while you may not have agreed with the results, they were from from the most controversial we've ever seen. James Click identified some of the least-defensible first-place MVP votes ever in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "Crooked Numbers" column on November 17, 2005.
 


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Which players have won MVP awards without making the Midsummer Classic?

If you watched the All-Star game on Tuesday—and judging by the ratings, that’s a pretty big “if”—you probably thought you were watching the best players Major League Baseball had to offer (except for some injured ones). After all, bringing the best in baseball together for our viewing pleasure is what the All-Star game is for, or ​was for when it was still relevant. And since nothing can be better than the best, you're probably thinking, why even bother to see the second half of the season?

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In honor of Justin Verlander's MVP win, the BP team examines other pitcher MVPs and whether there was a better choice among position players

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As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.

Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.

Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.

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The polls have been closed, the votes are in, and the people have spoken.

Click here for the full results of the voting.

It's time to announce the winners of the 16th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,400 baseball fans from cyberspace participated in this effort to honor those players and managers whose performance in 2007 were most deserving.

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There's a rising favorite in the AL Central, as our experts weigh in on everything from division winners to Matsuzaka's line.

Our annual predictions arrive this year as our Hope and Faith series comes to an end. While the beauty of spring training is that every team can think it has a chance, somebody has to take the losses. For today, we concentrate on the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American League. Tomorrow we'll conclude with the National League predictions, along with the staff picks for the World Series.

Each author's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our preseason MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year voting. A slight shift at the bottom of the AL East rankings, a rising favorite in the AL Central, and anarchy in the AL West highlight our staff's guesses.

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November 2, 2006 12:00 am

Internet Baseball Awards

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Greg Spira

With tight races for the NL Pitcher of the Year and AL Rookie of the Year, it's time to find out who goes home with the virtual gold.

Click here for the full results of the voting.

It's time to announce the winners of the 15th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,400 cyberspace baseball fans participated in this effort to honor those players and managers whose performance in 2006 were most deserving.

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Before all the IBA ballots are counted, staff picks give a hint as to what hands the awards may find themselves in.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Travis Hafner posted the highest OBP in the AL while nobody noticed, while Neifi Perez ended up getting playoff PT. The young guns had their day and then some. Jermaine Dye gave a lengthy spanking to his 90th percentile PECOTA projection (PECOTA's .288/.359/.516 versus an actual .315/.385/.622). The crop of AL rookies included a guy with a 0.92 ERA finishing third, and rooks like Jered Weaver (105:33 K:BB) and Francisco Liriano (144:32) threatening to be Johan Santana's biggest challengers in 2007. The National League featured tighter races, including a four-way brawl for the Pitcher of the Year and another impressive crop of newbies.

Eight staff members weighed in on the season that was, casting their ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards. We summarized their findings below, and then let them have their individual say.

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Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards. The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings. Hitters: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (Avg/OBP/SLG/RARP/VORP) Pitchers: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (ERA, IP, SNWAR or ARP, VORP)

Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards.

The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings.

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October 24, 2003 12:00 am

Internet Baseball Awards

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Greg Spira

It's time to announce the winners of the 12th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,500 cyberspace baseball fans participated in this effort to select the baseball players whose 2003 seasons were most deserving of honors.

For complete results, click here.

It's time to announce the winners of the 12th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,500 cyberspace baseball fans participated in this effort to select the baseball players whose 2003 seasons were most deserving of honors.

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September 5, 2003 12:00 am

They Wuz Robbed

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Mark Armour

There has never been a season when Barry Bonds was obviously the league's best player that he did not win the MVP award. Were he to lose the award this season (he is currently leading in VORP by 17 runs over Albert Pujols) it would be his first real injustice. If Bonds has not been mistreated by MVP voters though, several stars of the past have been. Although it has been 80 years since anyone has hit like Bonds has the past few years, there have been occasions when a player has dominated his league for several years and been ill-served by the voters. The rest of this article briefly discusses a few of the more famous cases. Ted Williams' problem was that he played in a time when it was difficult to win the award without winning the pennant, and his team finished second every year. From 1941 through 1954, Williams led the league in VORP every season that he wasn't either in the military (five years) or hurt (1950). He won two awards: 1946, when the Red Sox finished first, and 1949, when they finished one game behind. Let's run through a few of the more interesting losses:

Leaving aside the 2003 race, which is, after all, still ongoing--and which Bonds might very well win--let's turn our attention to how Barry has been mistreated in the past. To begin with, we have to deal with the fact that Bonds has won the award five times, two more than any other player in history. This is not necessarily a contradiction, of course--if Bonds is the best player in the league every year, then the writers have a responsibility to give him the award every year. Given this, how many MVP awards should Bonds have won?

As you have no doubt gathered, I make no distinction between the "best" player and the "most valuable" player. What could be more valuable than "greatness," after all? The distinction is often used as a crutch; rather than trying to make the case that a candidate is really the best player, one can instead try to cloud the issue with grammatical semantics. We won't do that here.

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January 3, 2002 12:00 am

The MVP Prediction System

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Chaim Bloom

From 1946 though 1993, National League Most Valuable Player awards could be safely predicted, with only a handful of exceptions, using just a few indicators. Since that time, however, the system has already made three major mistakes (the MVP was not selected as a candidate by the system) and one minor mistake (the tie-breaker selected the wrong candidate). That's four out of eight correct calls, a rate that on the face of it suggests that the system may no longer work.

In this conclusion to the series, I'll look at reasons why National League MVP voters may be changing how they go about their business, examine the wrong predictions since 1994, and speculate about the future usefulness of the MVP predictor.

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