MVP—AN AWARD TREASURED BECAUSE NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS (COMMENT). Once more, there has been a debate over which of two great players—Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout—deserves to be the Most Valuable Player in the American League. In both 2012 and 2013, Cabrera won. The argument has been framed in terms of whether traditional stats (Cabrera) or moneyball stats (Trout) should prevail. Dick Weisfelder commented here on the 2013 voting: “Guess the AL MVP selecters still haven’t caught on to sabermetrics!” I think, however, that the most important factor each year has been that Cabrera has played for what has been perceived as the better team. Nick pointed out here that in 2012 Trout’s team won more games, but that Cabrera’s team played in a weaker division. In 2013, Cabrera’s team had much better pitching than Trout’s team. The MVP award is treasured because of these paradoxical results through the years. The award goes way back and its history has many bizarre results. A lot like the Oscars.

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