Archive for the ‘Hanley’ Category

Hanley being Hanley

August 28, 2009

I know you’ve probably all seen this, but Rob Neyer thinks Albert Pujols might not be the MVP.

And I’m going to go one further: right now, right this very second, Pujols is not the MVP. Hanley Ramirez is.

It was barely two weeks ago when I said this: “it’s impossible to make an argument against Albert.” And it was. But since I wrote those words, late on the evening of August 11, here’s what’s happened:

Pujols: .261/.404/.522
Hanley: .481/.542/.731
and just for fun, Utley: .296/.500/.729

Well, that changes things, doesn’t it? I don’t think Albert’s getting that triple crown after all (sorry, lar).

As I write this, Fangraphs has the three top NL WARs as 6.9 for Ramirez, 6.8 for Utley, and 6.4 for Pujols. That half-win difference isn’t big, but it isn’t too close to call, either. Say you don’t think they’ve got defense right at all, and you want to go with plus-minus instead of UZR? That bumps them about four runs closer together. Narrows the gap a lot, but doesn’t close it. Hanley still wins.

Look, Pujols is going to win the MVP. No question about it. And that’s certainly not any kind of a tragedy; he’s still having an incredible season. But imagine you’re at the beginning of the 2009 season and building a brand-new team. You can get an average defensive shortstop (and Hanley is that, despite his bad reputation) who you know is going to hit .365/.428/.575, or you can get an average defensive first baseman (and Pujols has been that in ’09, despite his good reputation) who you know is going to hit .313/.441/.666. Knowing what you do about what most shortstops are like and what most first basemen are like, don’t you grab the SS and hope to pick up a 1B who can hit a little later on? I know I do. And that (well, the stats, but that in a nutshell), to me, is why Hanley Ramirez is the NL MVP right now.

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Oh, what the holy hell is this

June 23, 2009

Some utter rot from MLB.com:

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies or Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins. And that’s what makes picking a starting shortstop to represent the National League so tough.”

He’s talking about this Hanley Ramirez. And this Jimmy Rollins. The first (and it’s pretty clear any way you want to look at it, but see e.g. this) is quite easily the best shortstop in the National League, and the other, so far in ’09, has been the worst. The first is in the discussion for the distinction of “best player in the National League who is not playing first base for the Cardinals,” while the other has never really been as great as his reputation, and seems to have lost it entirely (as middle infielders sometimes do) at age 30.

I mean, the actual news part of the article is good news — Hanley finally surpassed J-Roll again in the All-Star voting after two weeks of Phillies-Phan-led insanity. But they should really stop pretending that MLB.com isn’t beholden to MLB and its clubs for its editorial content. In fact, they should get rid of individual bylines altogether: a “By the Philadelphia Phillies PR Department” line rather than “By Alden Gonzalez/MLB.com” would’ve made this a little more palatable.