Where's Carlos?

by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
November 21, 2006

Consistency is all I ask
Immortality is all they seek
They even all play shortstop, good lord
Give us this year our yearly award

Major League Baseball, the Baseball Writer's Association of America, and even Baseball Evolution's own Asher Chancey and Tony Aubry, perhaps everyone who lives outside Detroit, gave absolutely no consideration to Carlos Guillen for the AL MVP Award.

Actually, that's not true, because I live outside of Detroit, and I think it's not only ludicrous to vote Derek Jeter in so far over Guillen, but that Miguel Tejada's 2002 award demands that the award go to Guillen.

If I had to choose in this tight race, I'd have given the honor to Jermaine Dye, but that's not the issue.  The issue is that even given the questionable criteria that the voters for the MVP Awards use, Carlos Gullien deserves the award.

Guillen had slightly better rate stats, and Jeter had slightly superior counting stats.  Both players toil in moderate pitcher's parks, and Jeter stepped it up slightly more in the clutch.

So why should Guillen get the nod?  Because he was good down the stretch, silly.  Carlos notched a .975 OPS in the second half, culminating in a 1.082 mark for September.  Jeter posted a .912 OPS after the break, and a .919 mark in September.

Why does this information trump everything else?  Because in 2002, Miguel Tejada won the MVP Award over at least five players who had better offensive seasons, a fellow shortstop among them.  He basically won because he got a lot of big hits during an Athletics winning streak in the second half.

This year, the Yankees made their big push for the AL East Pennant in August after Bobby Abreu came in at the deadline and saved the day.  Derek Jeter had a below average month.

The Tigers, in the second half, began a collapse of epic proportions beginning in August, winning just 44% of their games from there on out.  During that span, Carlos Guillen kept the team in the playoffs by going .361/.432/.568 after it became apparent that Sean Casey was all the Tigers were going to get at the trade deadline.  Guillen helped his team when it supposedly counted the most, and with Tejada's precident, that means he should have gotten the hardware.

If that's not enough, consider that Jeter's season, offensively, was on par with that of teammates Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi, and only slightly better than what Alex Rodriguez and even catcher Jorge Posada provided.  On the Tigers, Carlos Guillen averaged 1.5 more Runs Created per Game than the next best offensive players.  In essence, Guillen was more valuable to the Tigers than Jeter was to the Yankees.

Even if you want to say that Jeter's situational hitting outweighs Guillen's Pennant Race hitting, and want to discount the point about Guillen playing a larger pole in his team's offense, wouldn't you think that if Jeter finished second that Guillen might just finish somewhere in the top seven?

He didn't.  And he didn't lose out to Jeter because he wasn't clutch enough (check out Michael Young's .412 BA w/RISP if it's all about clutch hitting shortstops), or because his numbers weren't good enough.  He wasn't even considered because he wasn't on the Yankees and everybody seemed to just forget about him.  And that's depressing.

Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith resides in Chicago, Illinois and can be reached at keith@baseballevolution.com.