Joba and Manny

Nolan Ryan or Todd Van Poppel?

A few thoughts ran through my head today, so here we go.

1) Joba Rules
Wallace Matthews’ article has been eviscerated all over the blogosphere lately. While I think his argument is terrible and should be torn to shreds in an inhuman way, I think some people are missing a greater point. First, yes, a starter is more “valuable” than a reliever. I have no problem with that. But what I believe we are missing in this debate is a little context. Joba has a sketchy, at best, injury history. Again, I agree he is more “valuable” as a starter, but does that mean that’s the best decision for him? No, it doesn’t. But I think most people, in attacking Matthews’ point, have all of a sudden switched to completely pro-rotation for Joba. There was quite a debate over the winter about his proper position on the staff, and I think it was a good one. People were much more mixed. Don’t forget about Joba’s arm problems. If he gets hurt, Matthews is going to look a lot smarter.

All this said, I think the Yankees are doing the right thing by giving him a rotation spot. His arm is worth the risk, but he could blow it out. Be aware.

2) Big Question Regarding Manny
While reading Jorge Says No!, he asked how many home runs we think he’ll hit in his career. I didn’t know how many he had hit (527), so I checked. When I did, I realized that he has never won an MVP Award. Never. I can’t believe it. So, I started to wonder if he was the best player (I should say position player) ever to not win an MVP Award. Here’s the Award Shares from Baseball-Reference:

Eddie Murray 3.33
Mike Piazza 3.15
Manny Ramirez 3.03
Al Kaline 2.92
Mel Ott 2.75

Those are the top 5 in the Award Shares that had never won an MVP Award, and I think Manny can take the top spot by the time he’s done.

According to OPS +:

Joe Jackson (170)
Mark McGwire (162)
Johnny Mize (158)
Mel Ott and Manny Ramirez (155)

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