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Fact of the matter is A-Rod's worst OPS+ over the past 12 or 13 years was 120 when he was 21 years old. That is historically great.

I don't subscribe to sample size statistics like AVG w/ Runners in Scoring Position. They aren't indicative of his overall value. He's got a 168 OPS+ this year, which I'm guessing is one of if not the best in the majors.

He's got an .844 career OPS in the post season. Not phenominal, but great nonetheless when you factor in the level of pitching being faced.

All this A-Rod not being clutch stuff is media fabrication. When you've got a 168 OPS+, you are clutch. You are helping your team win way more often than not. End of story.

Eh, empirical evidence does suggest one can hit in situations where its easier to hit, and hit well while shrinking in more difficult situations. Stats don't speak to situational hitting. I'm not arguing any point specifically about A-Rod but am simply saying stats do lie, sometimes.

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Petit and Mussina are about done. Wang has his moments but shouldnt be a #1 guy which is what he will be if they dont get Sabathia. Still not sold on Chamberlain either. The middle relief has been terrible hasnt it? I thought they had been struggling there. And Rivera is coming to the end of his career. The AL east is looking like its going to be dominated by the Rays and Sox for a few years to come unless the Yanks do something big.

Petite is still a decent pitcher... and he owns the highest post all star break winning percentage of like any pitcher in history.

mussina is having a stellar yer

wang had 19 wins in the past 2 seasons, and is arguably one of the most dominant pitchers of the 2000's

the middle releif has been much better in recent weeks and was extremely good since the allstar break

mariano is still pretty much lights out as a straight up closer.. he might not have as many saves as other pitchers.. but thats because the yanks are rarely in save opp positions because of their historically over powering offense... but hes still arguably the best closer in baseball today.

The Yanks need a legit, power pitching number one. Can Wang be it? I don't know. But they certainly need more pitching depth. I think Moose may be closing in on the end of the line along with Petite. Joba might be a legit number one though. Hard to say with so little data on him as a starter. I say the Yanks need one more quality arms and two more dude who can get you 170 IP with ERAs in the 4.50 range consistently.

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bold statement - jeter / ARod = greatest left side of the infield duo of all time. Discuss:

Eh, until they win at the highest level together I don't think you can say that.

Russell - Cey were quite a tandem. :)

Thinking about it, the odd part is, or the more problematic issue so to speak is shortstops have only recently started to be offensive contributors at a high level. I mean you look at the 27 Yanks, nothing from the left side. The 75 Reds, Concepcion and Rose, two great players but nothing like A-Rod there.

Maybe Sabo and Larkin. I don't know. Good question flood.

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I don't subscribe to sample size statistics like AVG w/ Runners in Scoring Position. They aren't indicative of his overall value. He's got a 168 OPS+ this year, which I'm guessing is one of if not the best in the majors.

I'd agree in a lot of cases, but by the time you've played as long as A-Rod has and you've amassed over 2500 plate appearances with RISP, I'd say those numbers are legitimate.

Legitimate, yeah. Terribly important to overall value? Not all that much, in my opinion.

I also don't understand the MVP can't be on a losing team argument. A 147 OPS+ (A-Rod's 2003 year) is just as valuable on a team that loses as it is on a team that wins. You can't control the players around you. You're of equal value to either team. Am I missing something here?

If you put up the best stats, you are the most valuable player. How could you not be?

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bold statement - jeter / ARod = greatest left side of the infield duo of all time. Discuss:

Eh, until they win at the highest level together I don't think you can say that.

Russell - Cey were quite a tandem. :)

Thinking about it, the odd part is, or the more problematic issue so to speak is shortstops have only recently started to be offensive contributors.

A-Rod will go down as the best offensive player in the history of the game.. and can hold his own defensively.

Jeter is a future first ballot hall of famer for both his offensive and defensive prowess, as well as being an amazing team leader, and one of the most respected players in the game.

Russel/Cey didn't win anything either... at least A/J were making the playoffs every year ;)

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I'd agree in a lot of cases, but by the time you've played as long as A-Rod has and you've amassed over 2500 plate appearances with RISP, I'd say those numbers are legitimate.

Legitimate, yeah. Terribly important to overall value? Not all that much, in my opinion.

I also don't understand the MVP can't be on a losing team argument. A 147 OPS+ (A-Rod's 2003 year) is just as valuable on a team that loses as it is on a team that wins. You can't control the players around you. You're of equal value to either team. Am I missing something here?

If you put up the best stats, you are the most valuable player. How could you not be?

Because when you're not in the race you are pitched differently, your entire team is. And the MVP isn't about stats to me, at least not all about stats. The Rangers could have been horrible with or without A-Rod so he's not valuable he just has gaudy stats.

There's no pressure playing on a team who doesn't have a shot at the playoffs from June onward. Its a totally different thing playing on a team that needs wins every day to make the playoffs. So different its my feeling it means enough to justify not giving people in that position the MVP.

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Eh, until they win at the highest level together I don't think you can say that.

Russell - Cey were quite a tandem. :)

Thinking about it, the odd part is, or the more problematic issue so to speak is shortstops have only recently started to be offensive contributors.

A-Rod will go down as the best offensive player in the history of the game.. and can hold his own defensively.

Jeter is a future first ballot hall of famer for both his offensive and defensive prowess, as well as being an amazing team leader, and one of the most respected players in the game.

Russel/Cey didn't win anything either... at least A/J were making the playoffs every year ;)

Oh contraire, Russell and Cey won one World Series in 1981.

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http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/pbc/archive/2008/07/30/pirates-rays-cardinals-discussing-bay.aspx#comments

By Dejan Kovacevic | 1:56 p.m. Wednesday

The Pirates and Tampa Bay continue to discuss Jason Bay, a process that became deep yesterday, and two prospect names known to be in the mix on the Rays' end are shortstop Reid Brignac and pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.

Brignac, 22, is 6 feet 3, 180 pounds, and was the Rays' minor league player of the year in 2006. He is batting .254 in 90 games for Class AAA Durham. Tampa is so deep at shortstop -- including recent No. 1 overall draft pick Tim Beckham -- that he might not be missed.

Hellickson, 21, was drafted out of high school and moved through the system slowly, but he was 13-3 with a 2.67 ERA last year in low Class A and 7-1 with a 2.00 ERA in high A this year before moving up to Class AA Montgomery, where he is 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in seven starts. One scout for another team told me this afternoon "he would be a great pickup" for the Pirates.

To be clear, although these names have come up, that does not mean they could be lumped together. Brignac was ranked No. 3 in the rich Tampa system by Baseball America, Hellickson No. 8, and early indications have been that Bay will reap no bounty of prospects.

More on St. Louis in a bit.

UPDATE 2:23 p.m.: An American League team source just called from Toronto (where the Rays are playing): Says Brignac and pitcher Jeff Niemann are the names coming up most often. Another source -- not with a team -- says the Rays will not part with the following three pitchers: David Price, Wade Davis and Hellickson. But a push from other teams could change that if the Pirates are eager for Hellickson, as it seems they are. Niemann, 25, is a 6-foot-7 guy capable of throwing hard, but he is not seen in the same class as the other three even though he is BA's No. 7 guy.

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bold statement - jeter / ARod = greatest left side of the infield duo of all time. Discuss:

We talking offensively, defensively, or overall?

I certainly think you can make a case for A-Rod/Jeter.

And Sammy makes a great point about shortstops historically as well.

On the '55 Dodgers, Jackie Robinson played third and Pee Wee Reese played short. I'd say that's as important of a left side as the Yankers have but no where near the skill offensively.

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From buccoblog:

One Rays source is saying they are close to a “very interesting” trade. I talked to my friend that works with the club and he said the deal is “lightening in a bottle if it all gets done.” Neither would identify the team involved but since I was alerted, it must be the Pirates. Both clubs are being hush-hush.

I assume it involves more than Bay and nets the Bucs a couple of substantial impact players in return.

I’ll leave the “who” speculation to you folks since nobody is talking about the who.

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Legitimate, yeah. Terribly important to overall value? Not all that much, in my opinion.

I also don't understand the MVP can't be on a losing team argument. A 147 OPS+ (A-Rod's 2003 year) is just as valuable on a team that loses as it is on a team that wins. You can't control the players around you. You're of equal value to either team. Am I missing something here?

If you put up the best stats, you are the most valuable player. How could you not be?

Because when you're not in the race you are pitched differently, your entire team is. And the MVP isn't about stats to me, at least not all about stats. The Rangers could have been horrible with or without A-Rod so he's not valuable he just has gaudy stats.

There's no pressure playing on a team who doesn't have a shot at the playoffs from June onward. Its a totally different thing playing on a team that needs wins every day to make the playoffs. So different its my feeling it means enough to justify not giving people in that position the MVP.

There's a lot of different reasons you could be pitched differently, or have different types of pressure on you. It all seems rather subjective to me to give an inordinate amount of 'bonus points' for those types of things.

I understand your thoughts, but I don't agree. I think 'most valuable' should be as objective a measure as possible. It should go to the player who helped his team the most, which is generally going to be the player with the best overall stats. Not the player who 'appeared' to carry his team to the playoffs.

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Because when you're not in the race you are pitched differently, your entire team is. And the MVP isn't about stats to me, at least not all about stats. The Rangers could have been horrible with or without A-Rod so he's not valuable he just has gaudy stats.

There's no pressure playing on a team who doesn't have a shot at the playoffs from June onward. Its a totally different thing playing on a team that needs wins every day to make the playoffs. So different its my feeling it means enough to justify not giving people in that position the MVP.

There's a lot of different reasons you could be pitched differently, or have different types of pressure on you. It all seems rather subjective to me to give an inordinate amount of 'bonus points' for those types of things.

I understand your thoughts, but I don't agree. I think 'most valuable' should be as objective a measure as possible. It should go to the player who helped his team the most, which is generally going to be the player with the best overall stats. Not the player who 'appeared' to carry his team to the playoffs.

Point is, helped the team do what? Not win? A-Rod certainly didn't help his team with all his stats. Isn't that the idea of the game? Not 50 HRs but 100 wins?

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There's a lot of different reasons you could be pitched differently, or have different types of pressure on you. It all seems rather subjective to me to give an inordinate amount of 'bonus points' for those types of things.

I understand your thoughts, but I don't agree. I think 'most valuable' should be as objective a measure as possible. It should go to the player who helped his team the most, which is generally going to be the player with the best overall stats. Not the player who 'appeared' to carry his team to the playoffs.

Point is, helped the team do what? Not win? A-Rod certainly didn't help his team with all his stats. Isn't that the idea of the game? Not 50 HRs but 100 wins?

One player is never the factor in whether a team wins or loses in baseball, come on. The award is Most Valuable Player. Stats are stats, the person with the best stats is most valuable to his team.

Substitute A-Rod with a league average player on those Ranger teams and see how many games they'd win. Baseball is about run creation and run prevention. A-Rod created a ton of runs with the numbers he put up. He can't be held accountable because of his team's lacking ability to prevent runs. He was the most valuable player any team, winning or losing, could have.

It's fine if you want to favor a winning team's players. The argument makes sense on a level, but I don't agree with it. There's an obvious bias there you should recognize.

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Point is, helped the team do what? Not win? A-Rod certainly didn't help his team with all his stats. Isn't that the idea of the game? Not 50 HRs but 100 wins?

One player is never the factor in whether a team wins or loses in baseball, come on. The award is Most Valuable Player. Stats are stats, the person with the best stats is most valuable to his team.

Substitute A-Rod with a league average player on those Ranger teams and see how many games they'd win. Baseball is about run creation and run prevention. A-Rod created a ton of runs with the numbers he put up. He can't be held accountable because of his team's lacking ability to prevent runs. He was the most valuable player any team, winning or losing, could have.

It's fine if you want to favor a winning team's players. The argument makes sense on a level, but I don't agree with it. There's an obvious bias there you should recognize.

Replace A-Rod with another player and they're still in last place!

And there's always the year he won the MVP was a make-up for the year before when he didn't and had better numbers.

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personally i think the MVP should go to the player that makes the bigges impact for the team hes on... for instance... would the yanks have been as dominant without Mariano as closer?, would the red sox be in the same spot without manny or ortiz? that kind of player

so it just wouldnt go to a guy on the team that won the world series that was a great player on a team of great players.

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Brignac being involved in any deal for Bay would be a phenominal return for Pittsburgh. A potential impact SS for a good, but not exceptional outfielder, would be huge for that team.

After all, Bay's OPS+ is lower than Aubrey Huff this year. Crazy, huh?

I wish the O's could deal for Brignac if he's out there. I'm a little surprised there's not more interest in Huff. He's inconsistent, but he's in the middle of a great year. Guess he makes too much $$$ and lacks too much defensive value.

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One player is never the factor in whether a team wins or loses in baseball, come on. The award is Most Valuable Player. Stats are stats, the person with the best stats is most valuable to his team.

Substitute A-Rod with a league average player on those Ranger teams and see how many games they'd win. Baseball is about run creation and run prevention. A-Rod created a ton of runs with the numbers he put up. He can't be held accountable because of his team's lacking ability to prevent runs. He was the most valuable player any team, winning or losing, could have.

It's fine if you want to favor a winning team's players. The argument makes sense on a level, but I don't agree with it. There's an obvious bias there you should recognize.

Replace A-Rod with another player and they're still in last place!

Haha, are you really telling me you don't see the bias there? I respect your argument, but come on. Lacks serious objectivity.

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Replace A-Rod with another player and they're still in last place!

Haha, are you really telling me you don't see the bias there? I respect your argument, but come on. Lacks serious objectivity.

Huh? What do you mean? Objectivity? If you don't help your team win, you're not the MVP. Its really simple.

You're saying stats are objective and they're not. A team in the NL doesn't play against the same teams as A-Rod or in the same park 81 times. A Dodger plays in a pitchers' park 81 times whereas a Rockie played in a hitters park 81 times. That alone makes stats subjective.

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We talking offensively, defensively, or overall?

I certainly think you can make a case for A-Rod/Jeter.

And Sammy makes a great point about shortstops historically as well.

On the '55 Dodgers, Jackie Robinson played third and Pee Wee Reese played short. I'd say that's as important of a left side as the Yankers have but no where near the skill offensively.

I'd throw in Baltimore's combo of Robinson & Aparicio defensively as well.

And Trammel/Fryman in Detroit weren't shabby either.

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Haha, are you really telling me you don't see the bias there? I respect your argument, but come on. Lacks serious objectivity.

Huh? What do you mean? Objectivity? If you don't help your team win, you're not the MVP. Its really simple.

You're saying stats are objective and they're not. A team in the NL doesn't play against the same teams as A-Rod or in the same park 81 times. A Dodger plays in a pitchers' park 81 times whereas a Rockie played in a hitters park 81 times. That alone makes stats subjective.

How can you say they aren't helping the team win? You put up huge stats, you are helping your team win. Player A with OPS+ of 150 is always helping his team win more than Player B with OPS+ of 125 (rudimentary example but you get what I mean). The only difference is Player A's teammates, which he has nothing to do with, are offsetting his ability to help his team win more than Player B's teammates are. Saying Player B is more valuable than Player A is a subjective decision. Player A has better stats than Player B, Player A does more to help his team win. It's really that simple ;).

Fine, nothing is 100% objective. But there's tons of stats out there mathematically adjusted for things like league played in, park played in, etc. etc. Stats are by far the most objective measures we have. If they weren't, they wouldn't be used so heavily.

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Most Valuable is Most Valuable, regardless of what place your team finishes in the standings.

The reward for being on a good team is a championship.

The crux of my issue is stats to me don't dictate value. So how do you judge value if its not by how well the team the player is on does? Just by his stats? Then why bother with the MVP voting, it should just be who has the best OBPS or minuscule ERA.

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Most Valuable is Most Valuable, regardless of what place your team finishes in the standings.

The reward for being on a good team is a championship.

The crux of my issue is stats to me don't dictate value. So how do you judge value if its not by how well the team the player is on does? Just by his stats? Then why bother with the MVP voting, it should just be who has the best OBPS or minuscule ERA.

Because there's too many other factors in how well a team is doing. What if a player puts up huge numbers all year on a winning club and is poised to be named MVP. Last month of the season comes, the team's best starting pitcher gets injured and the team misses the playoffs. The player's production doesn't deviate at all in that last month of the season. All of a sudden he doesn't deserve the MVP since his team didn't make it?

That's kind of what happened to David Wright last year. He looked like the MVP all year, Phillies overtake the Mets and Rollins gets it. Wright should have been MVP.

It doesn't eliminate the need for voting. There's no rule that says each person has to value the same stats equally. Different people have different statistical philosophies, even among stat gurus I'm sure.

I think the vast majority of measuring value should be statistical. If there's a couple players who match up very closely in value, then you start looking at some intangibles.

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