Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baseball Fans Prove They Know Nothing About Baseball

According to, "[t]he Hank Aaron Award officially recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in the American and National Leagues." The award is unique in that it is the only major end-of-season award that is voted on by the fans, which makes the Hank Aaron Award perhaps the most accurate barometer for just how bad the nation as a whole is at evaluating "the most outstanding offensive performer" in a given year.

Case in point: this year's NL Hank Aaron Award winner was Aramis Ramirez.

Now don't get me wrong; Aramis Ramirez is a tremendous offensive third baseman, and as a rabid Cubs fan, I've watched the man completely obliterate an awful lot of baseballs over the last five years. But in 2008, Ramirez wasn't even the most outstanding offensive performer in the National League at his own position; Chipper Jones and David Wright both had better offensive years at the hot corner than Ramirez did (the three posted VORPs of 75.4, 66.2, and 44.7, respectively). And neither Jones nor Wright were in the same league as Albert Pujols in 2008.

To illustrate the absurdity of any offensive award being given to Ramirez instead of Pujols this year, let's compare some numbers:

Pujols: 96.8
Ramirez: 44.7

Pujols: .372
Ramirez: .297

Batting Win Shares
Pujols: 33.0
Ramirez: 21.0

Pujols: .462
Ramirez: .380

Pujols: .653
Ramirez: .518

Pujols: 1.115
Ramirez: .898

Pujols: 190
Ramirez: 128

Pujols: 37
Ramirez: 27

Pujols: 187
Ramirez: 160

Pujols: 81
Ramirez: 72

Pujols: 342
Ramirez: 287

Pujols: 104
Ramirez: 74

Pujols: 54
Ramirez: 94

And just for funsies, here are some numbers that don't even matter all that much:

Pujols: .357
Ramirez: .289

Pujols: 116
Ramirez: 111

Pujols: 100
Ramirez: 97

The only—only—offensive categories in which Ramirez outperformed Pujols in 2008 were triples (Ramirez 1, Pujols 0) and GIDP (Ramirez 13, Pujols 16). Pujols even stole more bases than Ramirez (7 to 2), and at a higher success rate (70% to 50%), and collected two more SF (8 to 6) than the Cubs third baseman.

These are not comparable seasons. Ramirez had a very good year. Pujols had a monster year by every metric ever invented to gauge the monstrousness of years.

Congratulations, voters, for finding a way to fuck this up.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you beat me to this.

    Just to pile it on:
    Rank (just NL)

    EqA: 19th
    VORP: 14th
    OBP: 11th
    SLG: T-13th with Carlos Delgado
    AVG: T-24th with James Loney
    RBI: 8th
    HR: T-20th with Carlos Beltran and Troy Glaus

    Notice how all are "th's" and not a single "st", "nd", or "rd".