28 August 2013

The Press has Already Chosen Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

Machado being Machado | photo: Keith Allison

One thing that I have noticed over the week while being far away from data plan cell coverage was that the general media discussion seemed to be basically focused on Miguel Cabrera, his evident winning of the 2013 AL MVP, and discussion over whether this year is better than last year.  No other player seemed to be given much consideration.  It made me wonder how much press coverage the other favorites have been getting.

To determine the favorites, I selected the top five WAR performances in the American League according to the metrics available at Fangraphs (fWAR) and Baseball Reference (rWAR).  Below is that table:

Mike Trout Angels 8.6 1 7.7 1
Miguel Cabrera Tigers 7.6 2 7.1 2
Chris Davis Orioles 6.4 3 6.2 4
Evan Longoria Rays 6.2 4 5.2 7
Manny Machado Orioles 5.7 5 6.2 4
Robinson Cano Yankees 5.0 8 6.3 3
To check how often a player has been getting attention, I simply ran a news check on Google, took their article count on the search "name 2013 MVP".  It certainly is not the most advanced way to figure this stuff out, but it should given a decent barometer.

Mike Trout
1,790 hits
Miggy Still Clear Cut MVP Choice over Trout
Mike Trout is Better, Not MVP Better
Happy Happy Birthday Mike Trout
2013 AL MVP Race: Miguel Cabrera is Still More Valuable than Mike Trout
Mike Trout Likely Facing MVP Snub Once More
Trout may have the league lead in the two most used WAR metrics, but the general sentiment seems to be either he is not better than Cabrera or that he will once more be overlooked.  I find the most reasonable headline among these five to be the Happy Birthday one.  There is still about 30 games left in the season and the Mike Trout / Miguel Cabrera dog fight certainly has not been settled, yet.  Yes, Trout has to overcome the old guard's appreciation for triple crown statistics, their relative shrugging over defensive worth, the Tigers' sailing for the playoffs, and how picking Cabrera over Trout is now more than the players in that they now are symbols of a greater battle between equally clueless old and new guards.  But, yeah, Happy Birthday, Mike Trout!

Miguel Cabrera
4,720 hits
2013 AL MVP Race: Miguel Cabrera is Still More Valuable than Mike Trout
Triple Crown or no, Miguel Cabrera's 2013 is Still Special
Miggy Still Clear Cut MVP Choice over Trout
One thing I am often told by editors who wish to drive up audience numbers (something that I have probably been way too indifferent about) is that a successful writer is not someone who writes well.  It is a writer (or editor) that comes up with a title that imparts a great deal of emotion in the reader.  The way to do that is to sum up your post with a definitive and over-the-top conclusion that may be simply ridiculous.  Again, to think there is a clear cut choice or that no debate is needed is downright silly with a fifth of the season remaining.  The injury article hints at that.  I did not read it, but I fear that there may be a passage that states the only thing in between Miggy and a trophy is an injury.  That is a disservice to Trout, maybe others, who is also having an incredible season.

Chris Davis
2,470 hits
Davis gets a greater number of hits than Mike Trout here.  My initial assumption is that this occurs because they are using him as an example why Cabrera might not get the triple crown.  Again, Cabrera has overwhelming support.

Evan Longoria
1,220 hits
Josh Donaldson is the American League's MVP? This means WAR
As you can guess from the titles above, few writers are even discussing Longoria as an MVP candidate.  His presence in an MVP article is often due to him playing with a former MVP (i.e., Pujols) or playing against MVP candidates (e.g., Cabrera).  He is also noted when writers wish to discuss great players in a broad sense.  Longoria has to be one of the most underrecognized players in the game.

Manny Machado
701 hits
Machado appears to differ from Longoria.  Not many people write about Manny, but when they do they tend to recognize that Machado is very good.  He does not have the years to too often appear in best of player articles except for someone to drive the knife into ARod as they both share the same number.  If anyone is a dark horse, Machado is the guy.

Robinson Cano
1,970 hits
Ichiro Suzuki's impact: A legend's legacy in pinstripes
These articles tend to have a few things in common: (1) the Yankees' season is no good, very bad, bedong; (2) Robinson Cano is awesome; and (3) he should always win an MVP.  There very much appears to be a Yankees lament meme traveling through the internet.  It seems being on the fringe of the Wild Card race is incredibly traumatic.

The Tally?
Miguel Cabrera 4,720

Chris Davis 2,470

Robinson Cano 1,970
Mike Trout 1,790

Evan Longoria 1,220

Manny Machado 701
The moral of this post?  We need to write more about Manny Machado.  Oh, and that there is a lot of the season left to play.

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