This is the first time, unless I just haven’t been paying attention in prior years, that sabermetrics has become such a prominent feature when discussing who should win the MVP. Awards. Nate Silver wrote about it in the A.L. race between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, as did Lynn Zinser for the National League. WAR has become a frequent talking point on shows like Pardon the Interruption and sports talk radio.
It’s Moneyball extended. And in that regard, I have to fall into the old scout camp.
When it comes to MVP, I think there’s more than just numbers involved. I believe there are certain intangibles along with the statistics that go a long way in making someone valuable. It’s leadership. It’s the ability to keep your teammates loose, to take some heat off them or a manager. How do you quantify those characteristics?
Now that I’m no longer the ballplayer I used to be, I like to think my value to my softball team lies in that morale sector, cracking jokes along with base hits, not sitting off in a corner if I make an error of grounding into a double play. (Of course, I like to think I’m 6’6″ and a millionaire, too…)