a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

MVPQ - 1980s

Here's what's happening.

1980 - MVPQ

NL
Steve Carlton P Phils (MVPQ)

AL
George Brett 3B Royals
Rickey Henderson LF Athletics (MVPQ)

1981 - MVPQ


NL
Mike Schmidt 3B Phils (RMVP)

AL
Rickey Henderson LF Athletics (RMVP)
Buddy Bell 3B Rangers

-I mentioned in the 90s post that Rickey is my favorite non Giant; I was 9 and 10 living in the Bay Area when Rickey was the best player in the AL, as a kid, just barely over 20 years old, crazy exciting - impossible not to root for the A's too.

1982 - MVPQ


AL
Robin Yount SS Brewers (RMVP)

NL
Gary Carter C Expos (RMVP)

1983 - MVPQ


AL
Cal Ripken SS Orioles (RMVP)
Robin Yount SS Brewers

NL
Dickie Thon SS Astros (RMVP)

1984 - MVPQ


AL
Cal Ripken SS Orioles (RMVP )
Alan Trammell SS Tigers

NL
Ryne Sandberg 2B Cubs (RMVP)

-Just a handful of dominant players in the ALRMVP race in the 80s; following Henderson's back to back, here's Ripken.

1985 - MVPQ


NL
Dwight Gooden P Mets (RMVP)
Pedro Guerrero LF/1B/3B Dodgers
Willie McGee CF Cards
Ozzie Smith SS Cards

AL
Rickey Henderson CF Yankees (RMVP)
Wade Boggs 3B RSox
Charlie Hough P Rangers

-3 for Rickey. 

1986 - MVPQ


AL
Roger Clemens P RSox (RMVP)
Wade Boggs 3B RSox

NL
Rick Rhoden P (RMVP sub 10)

1987 - MVPQ


AL
Roger Clemens P RSox (RMVP)
Wade Boggs 3B RSox

-Clemens goes back to back.
NL
Tony Gwynn RF Padres (RMVP sub 10)
Bob Welch P Dodgers (RMVP sub 10)


MVPQ 1988


AL
Wade Boggs 3B RSox (RMVP)

NL
Andy Van Slyke CF Pirates (RMVP)
Kirk Gibson LF Dodgers (RMVP)


MVPQ 1989


NL
Kevin Mitchell LF Giants (RMVP)

AL
Bret Saberhagen P Royals (RMVP)
Wade Boggs 3B RSox (RMVP)

-And then Boggs goes back to back.

MVPQ - 1990s

See what we're doing here.

1990 MVPQ


AL
Rickey Henderson LF Athletics (RMVP)
Roger Clemens P RSox
-A couple of weeks ago, Canseco said someone currently in the HOF was a steroid user.  Rickey's my favorite ever non Giant, and I don't care at all about steroids - but the circumstances suggest that this season might be the one that he's referencing. 

NL
Barry Bonds LF Pirates
Eddie Murray 1B Dodgers
Frank Viola P Mets (RMVP)

MVPQ 1991


AL
Cal Ripken SS Orioles (RMVP)
Frank Thomas 1B WSox
Devon White CF BJays
Robin Ventura 3B WSox

NL
Bobby Bonilla 3B Pirates (RMVP)

1992 - MVPQ


NL
Barry Bonds LF Pirates (RMVP)
Ryne Sandberg 2B Cubs
Greg Maddux P Cubs
Sid Fernandez P Mets


AL
Robin Ventura 3B WSox (RMVP 14+)
Frank Thomas 1B WSox
Roger Clemens P RSox
Brady Anderson LF Orioles

1993 - MVPQ


NL
Barry Bonds LF Giants (RMVP 14+)
Jose Rijo P Reds
Lenny Dykstra CF Phils

-The best season for a position player in the 90s, Barry's first year as SFG.

AL
John Olerud 1B BJays (RMVP)
Rafael Palmeiro 1B Rangers

1994 - MVPQ


NL
Greg Maddux P Braves (RMVP)
Jeff Bagwell 1B Astros
Barry Larkin SS Reds

AL
Frank Thomas 1B WSox (RMVP)
Albert Belle LF Indians

1995 - MVPQ
AL

Albert Belle LF Indians
Randy Johnson P Mariners
Tim Salmon RF Angels (RMVP)
Bernie Williams CF Yankees


NL
Greg Maddux P Braves (RMVP 16+WARP)
Barry Bonds LF Giants

-Maddux's back to back RMVPs follow Bonds's back to back - it's important to recognize the flip side of the run inflation of the "steroid" era - that means the pitching numbers have to me similarly adjusted.  Maddux's '95 is the best season of the past half century. 
1996 - MVPQ


NL

Barry Bonds LF Giants
Jeff Bagwell 1B Astros
Kevin Brown P Marlins (RMVP)
John Smoltz P Braves

AL
Alex Rodriguez SS Mariners (RMVP)
-ARods first RMVP

1997 MVPQ


AL
Roger Clemens BJays P (RMVP)

NL
Craig Biggio Astros 2B (RMVP)
Mike Piazza C Dodgers
Pedro Martinez P Expos

1998 - MVPQ


NL
Scott Rolen 3B Phils (MVPQ)

AL
Ken Griffey CF Mariners (MVPQ)
Roger Clemens P BJays
Alex Rogriguez SS Mariners

MVPQ 1999


AL
Pedro Martinez P RSox (RMVP)
Nomar Garciaparra SS RSox


NL
Mike Hampton P Astros (RMVP sub 10)

MVPQ Seasons - 2000s

The best unintended benefit of my blog vanishing, requiring a manual move of my previous posts back to this space, is that I had to redo my baseball list.

That seems like madness, given the extensiveness of the work it took to put it together the first time, but as I mentioned in my last list post - one of the main components of my rankings, WARP3, went through a pretty significant defensive overhaul this season.

The current numbers are better. And now my list is better.

The other element that's better is I've solidly increased the degree to which the list values peak - I still think career value is what should primarily be measured - but I wanted to reward excellence - wanted to give some recognition for greatness.

So, now I've done that. Included as a component in the New and Improved Ranking of the 200 Greatest MLB Players ever is MVP Quality seasons, those with a WARP3 of 10+. The new WARP really solidifies that as the benchmark number, I think - those players who reached it really, in an ordinary year, could absolutely have been legitimately called the best player in their respective leagues.

So, I'm going through the decades and providing (1) all of the MVPQ years and (2) all of the Real MVPs, the player in each league with the highest WARP3. Currently, the new WARP database is only sortable through 1954, so that's where I'll stop with this list for the time being.

But I won't need to wait much longer to unveil...The 200 greatest players in major league baseball history.

When that's done - the 50 greatest QB, RB, WR in NFL history.

When that's done - my new line of erotic cakes.

Here's the first decade of the brand new century. 2009 isn't over yet, I'll update as needed once the season ends:

2000-MVPQ
AL
Alex Rodriguez SS Mariners
Pedro Martinez P RSox (RMVP 14+WARP)

NL
Greg Maddux P Braves (RMVP sub 10WARP)

-Who had the best season in the decade? Pedro Martinez in the year 2000.

2001 MVPQ
NL
Barry Bonds LF Giants (RMVP)
Sammy Sosa RF Cubs
Luis Gonzalez LF DBacks

AL
Bret Boone 2B Mariners (RMVP)

-Let the steroid speculation begin! Bonds, as you'll see when I add the 90s list, is no stranger to MVPQ (total of 8 for his career). But by the time we reach Bret Boone, it's fair to wonder how he reached this level of performance.

MVPQ 2002
NL
Barry Bonds LF Giants (RMVP)
Randy Johnson P DBacks

AL
Derek Lowe P RSox (RMVP)

-Two straight for Bonds. Why has Johnson (now with my club, so I don't want to raise my voice too loudly, avoided the PED chatter?

MVPQ 2003
NL
Barry Bonds LF Giants (RMVP )
Albert Pujols LF Cards
Marcus Giles 2B Braves

AL
Esteban Loaiza P WSox (RMVP sub 10)

-3 straight for Bonds and Pujols, who gets a good bounce from the new WARP numbers, makes his debut. The AL has a lot of Tommy Tutone one hit wonders during the decade.

MVPQ 2004
NL
Adrian Beltre 3B Dodgers
Barry Bonds LF Giants (RMVP)
Randy Johnson P DBacks
Scott Rolen 3B Cards
Albert Pujols LF Cards

AL
Johan Santana P Twins (RMVP)
Miguel Tejada SS Orioles
Carlos Guillen SS Tigers

-The Bonds run ends with 4 straight. Santana is 4th pitcher in 5 years to take ALRMVP

MVPQ 2005
NL
Dontrelle Willis P Marlins (RMVP)
Roger Clemens P Astros

AL
Eric Chavez (RMVP)

2006 MVPQ
NL
Carlos Beltran CF Mets
Miguel Cabrera 3B Marlins (RMVP)

AL
Grady Sizemore CF Indians (RMVP)

-Beltran's had a better career than you think.

2007 MVPQ
NL
David Wright 3B Mets
Albert Pujols 1B Cards (RMVP)
Jake Peavy P Padres

AL
Alex Rodriguez 3B Yanks (RMVP)

-Pujols and ARod with their first RMVP Awards of the decade.

2008 - MVPQ
NL
Albert Pujols 1B Cards (RMVP)
Carlos Beltran CF Mets

AL
Cliff Lee P Indians
Mariano Rivera P Yanks (RMVP)

-Pujols wins his 2nd; it's the best season of Rivera's career.

2009 - MVPQ
NL
Albert Pujols 1B StL (RMVP)


AL
Joe Mauer C Min
Zack Greinke P KC (RMVP)
Evan Longoria 3B TB
Roy Halladay P Tor