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Archive for November 22nd, 2010

Joey Votto was named the 2010 NL MVP with a commanding 31 of 32 first place votes. Finishing a distant second was Albert Pujols, who in addition to winning three MVPs has also been the runner up four times.

Votto’s selection over Pujols is perfectly justifiable, but it is interesting to note that it was actually Pujols who was recently awarded the silver slugger for first base in the National League. Coincidentally, Votto became the first player to win the MVP, but not the silver slugger, since Pujols in 2005. In total, there are only five instances of an MVP failing to win the silver slugger (excluding American League pitchers voted as MVP) since the latter award was first given out in 1980. Listed below is a comparison of the MVP and silver slugger for each instance.

Based on offensive WAR, in three of the five seasons, the silver slugger actually had a better year with the bat than the MVP. Not surprisingly, in all of them, the MVP’s team made the playoffs, while the silver slugger’s team did not. In 2000 and 2005, however, Giambi and Pujols rated as the better hitter by a significant margin, leaving one to scratch their head as to why they were overlooked for the silver slugger.

MVPs Who Didn’t Win a Silver Slugger

2010 Player PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG oWAR
NL MVP Joey Votto* 648 106 37 113 0.324 0.424 0.600 6.9
1B SS Albert Pujols 700 115 42 118 0.312 0.414 0.596 7.4
                   
2005 Player PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG oWAR
NL MVP Albert Pujols* 700 129 41 117 0.330 0.430 0.609 7.2
1B SS Derek Lee 691 120 46 107 0.335 0.418 0.662 6.0
                   
2002 Player PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG oWAR
AL MVP Miguel Tejada* 715 108 34 131 0.308 0.354 0.508 5.8
3B SS Alex Rodriguez 725 125 57 142 0.300 0.392 0.623 8.2
                   
2000 Player PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG oWAR
AL MVP Jason Giambi* 664 108 43 137 0.333 0.476 0.647 9.4
1B SS Carlos Delgado 711 115 41 137 0.344 0.470 0.664 7.6
                   
1991 Player PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG oWAR
NL MVP Terry Pendelton* 644 94 22 86 0.319 0.363 0.517 5.5
3B SS Howard Johnson 658 108 38 117 0.259 0.342 0.535 5.7

 *Team made the post season.
Note: Excluded Dennis Eckersley, Roger Clemens, Willie Hernandez and Rollie Fingers, who each won the MVP as pitchers in the American League.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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After a nearly two-month search, the Mets are poised to name Terry Collins as their next manager, according to several media reports.

Collins first managerial job was with the Astros in 1994, but could have been as a Yankee several years earlier.

The hiring of Collins, who served as Mets’ minor league coordinator in 2010,  really shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his recent connection to both the organization and new vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta.  In 2004, Collins was one of three finalists for the Mets’ managerial position before losing out to Willie Randolph. Then, one year later when DePodesta was General Manager of the Dodgers, Collins was believed to be the front runner to replace Jim Tracy as skipper. However, midway through his search for a new manager, DePodesta was unexpectedly fired by Los Angeles, and the team’s new GM Ned Colletti eventually settled on Grady Little.

It’s been 11 years since Collins managed in the big leagues. His last game as a major league field general was a 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians on September 2, 1999, after which he resigned the position. With the Yankees in town to begin a four-game series, Collins held an emotional press conference to announce his decision, which then Angels’ GM Bill Bavasi insisted was completely voluntary.

Collins second stint as manager with the Angels ended with a teary resignation.

Before serving as manager of the Angels from 1997 to the end of the 1999 season, and after several successful seasons leading the triple-A Alburquerque Dukes (Dodgers) and Buffalo Bisons (Pirates), Collins got his first shot at managing in the majors in Houston, where he led the Astros to a 224-197 record from 1994 to 1996. However, his first breakthrough almost came with the Yankees several seasons earlier.

Even before Dallas Green was fired during the 1989 season, the Yankees were rumored to have had an interest in both Collins and the Buffalo Bisons’ triple-A affiliate that he managed. Leading up to Green’s dismissal on August 18, 1989, the Yankees reportedly had expressed increasing interest in moving their triple-A operations from Columbus to Buffalo as well as adding Collins to the organization as a coach. Sure enough, the day after firing Green, two Yankees’ executives, including George Bradley, then vice president of player development, traveled to Buffalo, sparking rumors that Collins was either ticketed for the Bronx or Columbus, which was in need of a new manager after Bucky Dent was named interim manager.

Once again, however, fate played an unfortunate hand for Collins when Yankees GM Syd Thrift, who was hired only five months prior, resigned a little over one week after Green was fired. Thrift, whose four-year tenure as Pirates GM came to an end when he was fired after the 1988 season, was thought to be the driving force behind the Yankees’ interest in relocating their triple-A club to Buffalo as well as one of Collins’ biggest advocates in the organization. With Thrift gone from the picture, talk about Collins and Buffalo subsided, and the Yankees eventually decided to appoint Dent as full-time manager.

After two close calls, Terry Collins has finally made it to the top of the heap as a manager in New York. Some have expressed concerns about his high strung personality, particularly with regard to handling the pressure that comes with managing in the big city, but the Mets’ have clearly settled on a manager with extensive baseball experience. Even more importantly, their selection represents a complete break from the more laid back culture that the team has fostered since firing Bobby Valentine after the 2002 season. Although the Mets probably couldn’t turn back the clock and rehire Valentine, opting for Collins seems to be the next best thing. Ultimately, success on the field will be determined by the players that new GM Sandy Alderson is able to obtain, but in Collins, the Mets have definitely taken another step in a new direction.

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