Mookie Betts: Your 2018 American League MVP

Spelunker

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Even though I was pretty sure this was going to happen, I'm still surprised by how happy this makes me.
 

nvalvo

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Looks like Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram voted Trout-Betts, which I'd call defensible, and Dave Campbell, the Twins beat writer for AP voted JDM-Betts. Also defensible.

JDM got two 2nd place votes, Bregman one, Jose Ramirez one, and Trout 24. Good job, everybody.
 

ifmanis5

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I can't stop watching this.
What a great moment. "I'm telling ya, it's time to party!"

Also thinking of the grand slam against the MFY, the 3-HR game owning the Angels, the perfect throw to get Daniel Murphy at third, the walk off against the Twins, hitting for the cycle against the Jays, the other perfect throw to get Tony Kemp. What a season.
 

Max Power

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Looks like Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram voted Trout-Betts, which I'd call defensible, and Dave Campbell, the Twins beat writer for AP voted JDM-Betts. Also defensible.

JDM got two 2nd place votes, Bregman one, Jose Ramirez one, and Trout 24. Good job, everybody.
I can understand JD over Mookie. If a writer really likes clutch hitting and RBI, JD was the guy. It's kind of dumb, but whatever. I don't understand Trout over Mookie. Mookie did all the same things Trout does as well or better than him this year. Maybe the writer was super into IBB fueled OBP.
 

cheekydave

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Watching Mookie Betts, makes me feel 8 years old again. Easy to root for such a talented low ego kid. You just cannot lose this kid. Pay Him. Alot, as much as he asks for.
 

RoDaddy

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So happy for him - Mookie's been great to watch since day 1. I remember the growing excitement in the minor league forum during his breakout year in A ball after a meh first season in Lowell (albeit at a very young age). He just kept getting better and better and continued in the bigs. I remember watching Ricky Henderson during his prime, and wishing we had a lead off hitter like that. Now we do, and he's even better!

And Yaz is #3 on the all-time season WAR list - wow!
 

SumnerH

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And Yaz is #3 on the all-time season WAR list - wow!
A reminder that WAR isn't a stat, it's a concept/framework. Yaz is #3 on the rWAR list, but “just” #20 on the fWAR list.

Betts tied Ted for #2 on the Red Sox list (rWAR), but is behind 4 Ted seasons and 1 each from Yaz and Speaker in fWAR.

Any way you slice it, impressive as heck. And a well-deserved win.
 

canyoubelieveit

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I can't stop watching this.
If you ever have 5 free minutes and want to put yourself in a better mood, keep picking out individual fans behind home plate and watch their reactions when Mookie hits it (at about 8:09). For many of them the camera cuts away just after the moment of realization and it's a joy to watch.

Congrats to the MVP.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Congratulations to Mookie on one of the greatest individual seasons in Red Sox history, nicely complementing the greatest season in team history!!
I've been thinking about this. Without looking at the WAR list, because I think that's boring, how does Mookie's season rank in the annals of Red Sox history?

Competitors would be:
Yaz triple crown in 1967
Ted triple crown in 1942 (or .406 in 1941 (or 46 or 47, I guess - he was pretty good))
Clemens in 1986 (or 1990? Forgot how amazing that season was for him)
Pedro in 1999 (I know 2000 is better by ERA+, but I'm partial to 1999, given the playoff performance)
Rice in 1978
Tris Speaker in 1912 (I dunno; B-Ref really likes that season, but I didn't see it with my own eyes, ya know)
Maybe even Jacoby in 2011?

Mookie's gotta be 1, 2, or 3, I think.
 

mwonow

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(Using my best Johnny Most voice): JUSTICE!
 

Savin Hillbilly

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I've been thinking about this. Without looking at the WAR list, because I think that's boring, how does Mookie's season rank in the annals of Red Sox history?

Competitors would be:
Yaz triple crown in 1967
Ted triple crown in 1942 (or .406 in 1941 (or 46 or 47, I guess - he was pretty good))
Clemens in 1986 (or 1990? Forgot how amazing that season was for him)
Pedro in 1999 (I know 2000 is better by ERA+, but I'm partial to 1999, given the playoff performance)
Rice in 1978
Tris Speaker in 1912 (I dunno; B-Ref really likes that season, but I didn't see it with my own eyes, ya know)
Maybe even Jacoby in 2011?

Mookie's gotta be 1, 2, or 3, I think.
A good list. I'd have to put Yaz 67 and Williams 46 at the top since both seasons led teams that broke generation-long WS droughts, and both are at or near the top in objective value as well.

After that, Mookie 2018 and Spoke 1912, probably in that order.

While we're talking 1912, Smoky Joe Wood's season belongs in there somewhere: 344 innings, 1.91 ERA, 35 complete games, 10 shutouts. Utterly dominant, very much in the same vein as Pedro 1999-2000 and Clemens 1990.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I posted this on social media last night and thought that it was interesting:

In the 1930s: Jimmie Foxx won the MVP
40s: Ted Williams (x2)
50s: Jackie Jensen
60s: Carl Yastrzemski
70s: Fred Lynn and Jim Rice
80s: Roger Clemens
90s: Mo Vaughn
00s: Dustin Pedroia
10s: Mookie Betts

No other MLB team has had an MVP per decade streak like the Boston Red Sox. Further, if the Sox had an MVP in the 1920s, the streak would reach 11 decades in a row because Tris Speaker won the award in the 1910s.

No matter what people may have told you, there's been a lot of great baseball players at Fenway Park for a long time.

The question for SoSH is, how would you rank those MVP seasons in order of greatness?
 

BuellMiller

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The photos at the top of this page should end all debate:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_season.shtml

Pretty good company.
I knew he had some great seasons, and legitimately deserved the MVP in 91, even if the Orioles only won 67 games, but I never realized Ripken had that good of a season by WAR. Amazing what you can learn from jumping down bref rabbit holes. Question, though. Who would lose a series between the 1991 orioles and the 2018 orioles, if the 1991 Orioles didn't have Ripken (and the 2018 Orioles didn't have Machado at all).
 

dhappy42

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I knew he had some great seasons, and legitimately deserved the MVP in 91, even if the Orioles only won 67 games, but I never realized Ripken had that good of a season by WAR. Amazing what you can learn from jumping down bref rabbit holes. Question, though. Who would lose a series between the 1991 orioles and the 2018 orioles, if the 1991 Orioles didn't have Ripken (and the 2018 Orioles didn't have Machado at all).
The one that surprised me the most was Rico Petrocelli’s 10 WAR year in 1969. He’s tied with Ripken (1984,) Hornsby (1922,) Lajoie (1906,) Speaker (1915)and Bryce Harper (2015.)

Ranking just ahead of them are Ruth (1928) and Rosen* (1953.) Just below are Bonds 1993,) Cobb (1909,) Henderson (1985 and ‘90) and Williams (1947.)

I knew he was underrated, but had no idea that in 1969 Petrocelli had a season comparable to Bonds, Ruth, and Williams.

*I’d never even heard of Al Rosen.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I posted this on social media last night and thought that it was interesting:

In the 1930s: Jimmie Foxx won the MVP
40s: Ted Williams (x2)
50s: Jackie Jensen
60s: Carl Yastrzemski
70s: Fred Lynn and Jim Rice
80s: Roger Clemens
90s: Mo Vaughn
00s: Dustin Pedroia
10s: Mookie Betts

No other MLB team has had an MVP per decade streak like the Boston Red Sox. Further, if the Sox had an MVP in the 1920s, the streak would reach 11 decades in a row because Tris Speaker won the award in the 1910s.
That's beyond interesting, that's kinda crazy. Also that you used to be ineligible if you had won one before and in 1929 they decided to drop the award in the AL. WTF?
 

Al Zarilla

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I posted this on social media last night and thought that it was interesting:

In the 1930s: Jimmie Foxx won the MVP
40s: Ted Williams (x2)
50s: Jackie Jensen
60s: Carl Yastrzemski
70s: Fred Lynn and Jim Rice
80s: Roger Clemens
90s: Mo Vaughn
00s: Dustin Pedroia
10s: Mookie Betts

No other MLB team has had an MVP per decade streak like the Boston Red Sox. Further, if the Sox had an MVP in the 1920s, the streak would reach 11 decades in a row because Tris Speaker won the award in the 1910s.

No matter what people may have told you, there's been a lot of great baseball players at Fenway Park for a long time.

The question for SoSH is, how would you rank those MVP seasons in order of greatness?
If Harry Frazee hadn’t sold Babe Ruth down the river, there’s your Red Sox 20s MVP.
 

Al Zarilla

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A good list. I'd have to put Yaz 67 and Williams 46 at the top since both seasons led teams that broke generation-long WS droughts, and both are at or near the top in objective value as well.

After that, Mookie 2018 and Spoke 1912, probably in that order.

While we're talking 1912, Smoky Joe Wood's season belongs in there somewhere: 344 innings, 1.91 ERA, 35 complete games, 10 shutouts. Utterly dominant, very much in the same vein as Pedro 1999-2000 and Clemens 1990.
Give me Ted’s .406 season in 1941. How many of us will ever see another .400 season? Never say never, but, I don’t think I will. 1941 was Ted’s best offensive WAR season too. For some reason, his fielding was worse in 1941 than in 1946 (switch from RF to LF?).
 

Max Power

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That you, that was an extremely interesting read.
I didn't know that we could indirectly thank Ty Cobb for the current MVP award switching from strictly batting average to overall performance, the addition of a character component, and the writers in each city voting. All these things we argue about are barely changed for the last 100 years.
 

RoDaddy

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A good list. I'd have to put Yaz 67 and Williams 46 at the top since both seasons led teams that broke generation-long WS droughts, and both are at or near the top in objective value as well.

After that, Mookie 2018 and Spoke 1912, probably in that order.

While we're talking 1912, Smoky Joe Wood's season belongs in there somewhere: 344 innings, 1.91 ERA, 35 complete games, 10 shutouts. Utterly dominant, very much in the same vein as Pedro 1999-2000 and Clemens 1990.
 

RoDaddy

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How about some of the Babe Ruth years? Any of 1916, 1918 and 1919. His combination of hitting and pitching is almost unheard of in the history of Major League Baseball - great pitching numbers, longest complete game in World Series history, 29+ scoreless innings, the World Series pitching wins, while also winning home run titles in 1918 and 1919 with OPS's around 1
 

Savin Hillbilly

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A post in the Pearce thread reminded me that I had not yet really processed the fact that Mookie Betts just had an MVP, 10+ WAR season where he missed almost 30 games.

His 136 games played are the fewest in MLB history by a player with at least 10 rWAR. Only two other guys have ever had a 10-rWAR season with under 140 games played: Trout (2012, 139 G/10.5 rWAR), and Rogers Hornsby (1925, 138/10.2).

Among all 10+ WAR players, only Ruth, Hornsby and Barry Bonds have had a season with more rWAR per game played than Betts 2018. If you make the denominator PA instead of G, you can add Yaz, Mantle, Cobb and Honus Wagner to that list.

It just keeps getting more amazing.