The Instigator
iamadragon
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
Achidnagar
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Jimmy Rollins deserved Major League Baseball's 2007 NL MVP award.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
iamadragon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2009 Category: Sports
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,079 times Debate No: 9002
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (7)

 

iamadragon

Con

I believe that Jimmy Rollins did not deserve the NL MVP award in 2007.

Jimmy Rollins: http://mlb.mlb.com...
NL (National League): http://en.wikipedia.org...
MVP (Most Valuable Player) award: http://en.wikipedia.org...

deserve: to be worthy of, qualified for. [1]
2007: http://en.wikipedia.org...
not: http://en.wikipedia.org...

I will not open with an argument in R1. I hate all this "Burden of Proof" garbage, so even though it might actually be on my opponent to show that Rollins deserved the award, I will be presenting my own arguments in R2. My opponent is free to build a case for Rollins in R1, and I would enjoy it if he or she did so, but he or she is not obliged to.

[1]http://dictionary.reference.com...
Achidnagar

Pro

I thank my opponent for this opportunity. Despite the resolution implying a Rollins-oriented debate, it will inevitably come down to a comparison of Rollins and his opponents for the award. Thus, significant proof will inevitably be needed by both sides.

The MVP award is given to an "outstanding player" [1], presumably the most outstanding, in the league. As defined by merriam-webster.com, outstanding means "marked by eminence or distinction". It is awarded through a vote by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. As there is no single statistic on which the writers must judge, individual writers choose on their own what makes one player more outstanding than another. The very nature of the award is such that the player who deserves it most is the one who makes the most sports writers think he deserves it most. In instigating this debate, my opponent has implied a belief that some sportswriters' votes were misplaced. I believe that is not true.

Jimmy Rollins proved himself to be truly outstanding in the 2007 season. On a statistical level, he was likely the most effective offensive player in the National League. He led the league in games played, at bats, runs, and triples, was second in extra base hits and tied for second in hits, and took 5th place in stolen bases [2]. This shows that he was both a skilled batsman and an effective baserunner, to an extent more valuable than any other player in the league. The versatility of his statistics in many areas allowed him to join the 30-30 and 20-20-20-20 clubs [3]. He was one of only 2 NL players to achieve the former that season [4], and one of 4 ever to achieve the latter [5]. Rollins was awarded a silver slugger, for the best performance by an NL shortstop that year[6]. He was also excellent defensively, winning the NL's Gold Glove for shortstop [7], and maintaining a .985 fielding percentage over 1441.1 innings [8].

This debate of course boils down to whether Jimmy Rollins was more valuable and outstanding than all other eligible players, but I will leave it to my opponent to introduce that aspect.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://sports.espn.go.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
7. http://en.wikipedia.org...
8. http://www.baseball-reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
iamadragon

Con

I agree with everything my opponent said about the nature of the MVP award. It is supposed to be given to the most outstanding player. I will now refute my arguments and then provide my own, showing why Rollins was not the NL's most outstanding player in 2007.

"On a statistical level, he was likely the most effective offensive player in the National League."

I believe that he wasn't particularly close at all.

"He led the league in games played, at bats"

Whether this is a good thing depends on his rate stats (AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, etc.) Generally, of course, it's good for a player to play more and appear more in games, so this looks good for Rollins.

"runs"

This is a stat fans and analysts use often to show a player's offensive prowess, but in reality, it shows nothing of how good a player is. A player scores a run when he crosses home plate. However, the creation of a run depends on multiple hitters. The only time Rollins will score a run completely on his own merit is when he hits a home run. Thus, runs are an extremely team-dependent stat. If one player gets on base every single time he comes to the plate, but his teammates always make outs, that player will never get a run, even though he clearly does a fantastic job at what he's supposed to do. On the other hand, if another player gets on base 1 out of 10 times, which is a horrible rate, but his teammates are incredible and always drive him in, he'll get 1 run every 10 ABs, and over the course of the season, end up with possibly well over 50. The first player had zero runs to the second player's well over 50, but the first player was clearly far, far superior.

While these examples are extremes, they show why runs can be a misleading stat.

"triples, was second in extra base hits and tied for second in hits, and took 5th place in stolen bases"

These are nice, but it would be a lot better to simply look at Rollins's SLG, which will take into account all extra-base hits. One reason why Rollins's leads in so many counting categories is because he played so much. It would be a lot more effective to look at his total ABs, PAs, and Games Played, and then to look at his rate stats.

Hits are a bad stat, because they essentially treat singles the same as home runs. Clearly, however, a single is far less valuable than a home run. Also, while stolen bases are nice, they simply aren't that great for creating runs. For a player to even contribute, overall, with base-stealing ability, he must steal at a rate above about 75%, and even then, he will not contribute much value with this aspect of his game. [1]

"versatility of his statistics [sic, sort of] in many areas allowed him to join the 30-30 and 20-20-20-20 clubs [3]"

These 30-30 and 20-20-20-20 clubs are somewhat arbitrary. Assume one player has 50 HR, 10 3B, 15 2B, and 10 SB. He isn't a member of either of these "clubs." If another player, however, has 20 HR, 20 3B, 20 2B, and 20 SB, he is suddenly a member of this "club" and people might think he's better than the first player. However, the first player had 80 more total bases (TB) with only 10 fewer steals. 80 more total bases, over the course of a season in which a player gets about 560 ABs, results in an almost .150 difference in SLG, which is incredibly significant.

"Rollins was awarded a silver slugger, for the best performance by an NL shortstop that year[6]. He was also excellent defensively, winning the NL's Gold Glove for shortstop [7], and maintaining a .985 fielding percentage over 1441.1 innings [8]."

These two awards, the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, are completely subjective and voted on by the managers and coaches of MLB teams. There is no way these managers and coaches see players enough, or even have close to enough time/interest in studying how these players have actually done–therefore, the awards are often given based on reputation or other factors which are irrelevant to what the award is supposed to stand for. Plus, citing these is really an appeal-to-authority, as they are not based upon facts at all but rather the opinions of (often misinformed) individuals.

Also, fielding percentage (FPCT) is really a useless statistic. Not only are errors also decided subjectively, by official scorers, but the stat doesn't take range into account. If a shortstop gets to tons of balls because of his athleticism and superb range, and makes an occasional error, isn't he better than a shortstop who never gets to any ball other than one that is right at him, but doesn't make any errors? Yes, he is.

There were many players who were better than Jimmy Rollins, but for this debate, I need only provide one.

Here are some of David Wright's statistics from the 2007 season [2]:

.325 AVG/.416 OBP/.546 SLG/141 OPS+ in 711 PAs, and a RC/G of 9.0.

Jimmy Rollins's [3]:

.296/.344/.531/118 in 778 PAs and a RC/G of 6.9.

To put it quite simply, David Wright mauls Jimmy Rollins in these offensive categories. It isn't even close to being a competition. Jimmy Rollins's only potential big advantage is that he's a shortstop and David Wright is a third baseman, and shortstop is a more premium defensive position, but really, defensive positioning between shortstop and third base cannot make up for a 23 point difference in OPS+ and a 2.1 difference in RC/G.

On the basis of David Wright's extreme superiority to Jimmy Rollins offensively, which cannot be outweighed by 50 PAs of playing time and defensive positioning, David Wright deserved the 2007 NL MVP award over Jimmy Rollins.

I have linked to stats describing various stats I have used in this debate below.

[1] Baseball Between The Numbers (a book. If you want a more detailed citation, I can give one.)
[2]http://www.baseball-reference.com...
[3]http://www.baseball-reference.com...
[4]http://www.hardballtimes.com...+ OPS+ (Adjusted On-Base Plus Slugging)
[5]http://www.hardballtimes.com... PA (Plate Appearances)
[6]http://www.hardballtimes.com... OBP (On-Base Percentage)
[7]http://www.hardballtimes.com... SLG (Slugging Percentage)
[8]http://www.hardballtimes.com... RC and RC/G (Runs Created, and Runs Created per Game)
[9]http://www.hardballtimes.com... TB (Total Bases)
[10]http://www.hardballtimes.com... FPCT (Fielding Percentage)
Achidnagar

Pro

Thank you for the intelligent response. I will refute that with which I disagree and try to expand the use of the "outstanding" criteria beyond statistics.

"I believe that he wasn't particularly close [to most effective offensive player] at all."
effective: 1 a: producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect (merriam-webster.com)
It's not averages that show how decided or decisive someone's effect is. Averages don't win games. Runs win games. The sheer weight of Rollins' statistics does indeed show him to be more effective, more influential, than any other player.

"Whether [games played and at bats are] a good thing depends on his rate stats (AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, etc.) Generally, of course, it's good for a player to play more and appear more in games, so this looks good for Rollins."

Again, too much weight is placed on averages, and not enough on the value of consistency. The end goal is the total statistics, which are achieved through a combination of playing as much as possible and having a good average. Someone who bats only 5 times and hits each time will have a .1000 average, and is almost certainly an excellent player, but he will not have had that much effect on the team in total.

"[Runs are] a stat fans and analysts use often to show a player's offensive prowess, but in reality, it shows nothing of how good a player is. A player scores a run when he crosses home plate. However, the creation of a run depends on multiple hitters. The only time Rollins will score a run completely on his own merit is when he hits a home run. Thus, runs are an extremely team-dependent stat. If one player gets on base every single time he comes to the plate, but his teammates always make outs, that player will never get a run, even though he clearly does a fantastic job at what he's supposed to do. On the other hand, if another player gets on base 1 out of 10 times, which is a horrible rate, but his teammates are incredible and always drive him in, he'll get 1 run every 10 ABs, and over the course of the season, end up with possibly well over 50. The first player had zero runs to the second player's well over 50, but the first player was clearly far, far superior."
But a better player will always score more runs if he gets on base more. If the first player was on the second team, then the first inning would never end. Examples this extreme just won't happen. Rollins' hits and XB hits stats [1] show that he earned the run opportunities he got.

"[Triples, extra base hits, hits, and stolen bases] are nice, but it would be a lot better to simply look at Rollins's SLG, which will take into account all extra-base hits."
SLG doesn't show a player's influence on his team. Total bases do, and they take into account XBHs. Also, triples arguably show more skill than home runs, as they rely on good placement and speed [2].

"One reason why Rollins leads in so many counting categories is because he played so much. It would be a lot more effective to look at his total ABs, PAs, and Games Played, and then to look at his rate stats."
And there are statistics that combine ABs, PAs, and games played with rate stats: total hits, total extra base hits, and on-base total.

"Hits are a bad stat, because they essentially treat singles the same as home runs."
Then look at total bases.

"Also, while stolen bases are nice, they simply aren't that great for creating runs. For a player to even contribute, overall, with base-stealing ability, he must steal at a rate above about 75%, and even then, he will not contribute much value with this aspect of his game."
Stolen bases demonstrate excellent baserunning ability. Rollins' SB rate was 87% [1], and thus obviously successful. And whether they contribute or not, they do distinguish the player as a skilled individual, arguably making him outstanding.

"These 30-30 and 20-20-20-20 clubs are somewhat arbitrary. Assume one player has 50 HR, 10 3B, 15 2B, and 10 SB. He isn't a member of either of these "clubs." If another player, however, has 20 HR, 20 3B, 20 2B, and 20 SB, he is suddenly a member of this "club" and people might think he's better than the first player. However, the first player had 80 more total bases (TB) with only 10 fewer steals. 80 more total bases, over the course of a season in which a player gets about 560 ABs, results in an almost .150 difference in SLG, which is incredibly significant."
The clubs may be arbitrary in the exact numbers they use, but they do demonstrate someone is a good all-around player, at power-hitting and at baserunning. And whether a player deserves to be in special clubs or not, getting into them does earn eminence and distinction.

"These two awards, the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, are completely subjective and voted on by the managers and coaches of MLB teams. There is no way these managers and coaches see players enough, or even have close to enough time/interest in studying how these players have actually done. Therefore, the awards are often given based on reputation or other factors which are irrelevant to what the award is supposed to stand for."
But Rollins was still the best NL shortstop, both offensively and defensively. Also, reputation is very important. It's a huge part of what makes someone outstanding.

I will agree that fielding percentage is not meaningful, at least not for comparing players of different positions, which I am about to do.

If the MVP award were just about who puts up the best averages, then Jimmy Rollins would indeed be an inferior choice to Wright. But the MVP is for the most valuable and outstanding player. It may sometimes be arbitrary which players stand out from others, but that is still essential to the award. My opponent is looking for an award for the player with the greatest slugging percentage or RC/G, but the MVP is not necessarily it. Rollins was extremely valuable to his team. He was responsible for more scoring than anyone else in the league, and even if he achieved that through sheer weight of playing time, he remains more valuable than anyone else.

Also, while the MVP is in itself a great distinction, it depends on other distinctions to be awarded. Both players won the golden gloves and silver sluggers [1][3], which are certainly important for a player's reputation, whether they are fairly decided or not. Both achieved 30-30 seasons as well[4]. Only Rollins, however, joined the 20-20-20-20 club[5]. We can debate the usefulness of that, but the fact remains that he was the only NL player to accomplish the feat that year, and one of only four ever. This will get him far more distinction than any rate stat; you can compare rate stats for anyone any time, but making the club was true history.

I also believe that Rollins had significant media attention throughout the season, probably more than Wright. This is very difficult to prove now, as Rollins is better remembered because of the MVP. But he appeared on the Letterman show, and was "an instant media sensation" [5]. Although media coverage may be biased and arbitrary, the nature of the judging is very strongly tied to it. The manner of judging by sports reporters has been around since 1931 [6], and is thus inherent to the award; the contributing factor of media attention is also inherent.

My opponent previously acknowledged that Rollins had a slight defensive edge over Wright. Add to that his huge batting contribution and the attention he received, and one can see that Rollins truly was most valuable.

My sources:
[1] http://www.baseball-reference.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...(baseball)
[3] http://www.baseball-reference.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
iamadragon

Con

"It's not averages that show how decided or decisive someone's effect is. Averages don't win games. Runs win games. The sheer weight of Rollins' statistics does indeed show him to be more effective, more influential, than any other player."

Sure, but I have shown that Rollins's advantage over Wright in terms of playing time is not nearly enough to compensate for Wright's massive averages advantage.

"Again, too much weight is placed on averages, and not enough on the value of consistency. The end goal is the total statistics, which are achieved through a combination of playing as much as possible and having a good average. Someone who bats only 5 times and hits each time will have a .1000 average, and is almost certainly an excellent player, but he will not have had that much effect on the team in total."

Right. Here's another stat: David Wright had 146 RC [1] to Jimmy Rollins's 135. [2] RC itself already takes playing time into account, as it is a simple counting stat.

"But a better player will always score more runs if he gets on base more."

This could not be less true. I already showed an extreme example in which this was not the case, and therefore, it's easy to see why it could happen in a less extreme scenario.

Just think about runs for a second. You can't do everything by yourself. To score a run, you would need someone else to get hits. The second a stat becomes that team-dependent, it also becomes useless for player analysis.

"If the first player was on the second team, then the first inning would never end."

But he isn't on the second team.

"Rollins' hits and XB hits stats [1] show that he earned the run opportunities he got."

I don't understand how they show that, but regardless, it's a flawed argument. I've already addressed his hits and XB hits, anyway, and shown why Wright was better.

"SLG doesn't show a player's influence on his team. Total bases do, and they take into account XBHs."

What? They're essentially the same thing, except looking at SLG and PA makes more sense than just looking at XBH, because a player who isn't very good could play a TON and get a lot of XBH.

If one player has 100 PA and hits a HR every time, he's more valuable than a player who has 1000 PA and hits 101 HR. It isn't hard to see why. While playing time is important, a player also needs good averages, or else he could just be a mediocre player amassing large totals through sheer playing time. A mediocre who plays a lot isn't THAT helpful.

"Also, triples arguably show more skill than home runs, as they rely on good placement and speed [2]."

That doesn't matter. A home run is obviously a more desired result.

"And there are statistics that combine ABs, PAs, and games played with rate stats: total hits, total extra base hits, and on-base total."

Addressed above.

"Stolen bases demonstrate excellent baserunning ability. Rollins' SB rate was 87% [1], and thus obviously successful. And whether they contribute or not, they do distinguish the player as a skilled individual, arguably making him outstanding."

A player who deserves the MVP award has to be the best at helping his team win. How he does so is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if his stolen bases make him more versatile if stolen bases just aren't that helpful.

"The clubs may be arbitrary in the exact numbers they use, but they do demonstrate someone is a good all-around player, at power-hitting and at baserunning. And whether a player deserves to be in special clubs or not, getting into them does earn eminence and distinction."

It doesn't matter if a player is good all-around. Certain aspects of the game (hitting) are far more important than other aspects (baserunning.) Therefore, a player who is flat-out incredible at hitting and mediocre at baserunning is better than a player who is good at hitting and baserunning. Obviously, the most valued players have always been those who have been the best hitters (aside from pitchers, of course.) Babe Ruth then, Albert Pujols now, etc. Neither of those two was incredible at baserunning, but they were incredible at hitting.

"But Rollins was still the best NL shortstop, both offensively and defensively. Also, reputation is very important. It's a huge part of what makes someone outstanding."

You haven't shown that he was the best offensively or defensively, and whether or not he was is irrelevant to the MVP argument. The MVP goes to the best player, period. Also, reputation is not important at all. Reputation doesn't change how much value a player gave to his team. It doesn't have anything to do with being outstanding.

"If the MVP award were just about who puts up the best averages, then Jimmy Rollins would indeed be an inferior choice to Wright. But the MVP is for the most valuable and outstanding player. It may sometimes be arbitrary which players stand out from others, but that is still essential to the award. My opponent is looking for an award for the player with the greatest slugging percentage or RC/G, but the MVP is not necessarily it. Rollins was extremely valuable to his team. He was responsible for more scoring than anyone else in the league, and even if he achieved that through sheer weight of playing time, he remains more valuable than anyone else."

No. The MVP goes to the individual who has, on his own, contributed the most value. That's just obvious. It's the Most Valuable Player, and thus, you can't use team-dependent stats like runs to show why he deserved the award. I've shown why, when taking into account averages AND playing time, Wright was better than Rollins. Thus, Wright deserved the award, and thus, Rollins did not deserve the award, and the resolution is negated.

The next two paragraphs are about recognition, and I have addressed those. The MVP goes to the best, the most valuable, player, regardless of recognition.

"My opponent previously acknowledged that Rollins had a slight defensive edge over Wright. Add to that his huge batting contribution and the attention he received, and one can see that Rollins truly was most valuable."

I acknowledged that Rollins's playing SS gives him a slight advantage over Wright. His huge batting contribution doesn't matter in and of itself; it has to be better than other player's batting contributions, and as I showed, Rollins's batting contribution wasn't even close to Wright's. The attention is irrelevant. Rollins's playing SS isn't enough to overcome Wright's hitting advantage.

[1]http://www.baseball-reference.com...
[2]http://www.baseball-reference.com...
Achidnagar

Pro

I believe my opponent has been inconsistent in defining the MVP award. All definitions used are from merriam-webster.com.

In Round 2:
"I agree with everything my opponent said about the nature of the MVP award. It is supposed to be given to the most outstanding player."
Outstanding: Standing out from a group; marked by eminence or distinction.
Eminence: A position of prominence or superiority.
Disctinction: The quality or state of being marked by excellence.
These definitions indicate that being outstanding has two important components: Being of superior excellence, and standing out prominently.

In Round 3:
"The second a stat becomes that team-dependent, it also becomes useless for player analysis."
"A player who deserves the MVP award has to be the best at helping his team win."

My opponent is presenting two different ideas about the player-team relationship. He declares team-related statistics to be useless, but then asserts that a player only matters as far as his contribution to the team. I presume by "best at helping his team win", he means statistics such as RC, but that is not what he says. RC does not actually measure what any player did for his particular team, it just treats the contribution theoretically based on individual statistics.

"The MVP goes to the best player, period. Also, reputation is not important at all. Reputation doesn't change how much value a player gave to his team. It doesn't have anything to do with being outstanding."
This demonstrates an incorrect understanding of what it means to be outstanding (see definition above). He chooses to ignore the component of standing out (which has obviously strong ties to a reputation), basing his definition entirely on player excellence.

Also, my opponent has decided very specifically which statistics and criteria to use for determining Rollins' deserving the award. Yet he agreed with "everything my opponent said about the nature of the MVP award." In my Round 1 statement, the one to which he was agreeing, I said, "As there is no single statistic on which the writers must judge, individual writers choose on their own what makes one player more outstanding than another. The very nature of the award is such that the player who deserves it most is the one who makes the most sports writers think he deserves it most." When my opponent agreed to those terms, he was agreeing that the person who deserved the 2007 NL MVP was whoever the judges decided deserved it based on their own criteria. The judges may have been wrong in the opinion of some, but that is irrelevant. They were what defined the 2007 award and its criteria. My opponent's criteria may be well thought-out and well justified, but they are not relevant, because he is not a judge. He may prove that the judges, and therefore the very nature of the award, were stupid. But then it is a stupid award that Jimmy Rollins still deserved.

Based on my clarification of the nature of the award, it is evident that publicity and reputation are indeed important, if the sports reporters judging it think they are. I already showed how Rollins was superior to Wright in media attention and unique achievements; he received much publicity, therefore standing out more prominently than Wright.

Again, considering that the award was judged by media, the impression of helping a team win more important than the statistics. Total runs, then, are far more important than runs created, because they are far more tangible. Rollins also had many dramatic moments that would have received media attention. His offensively dominant stretch from August 26 to August 31, during which he hit back-to-back home runs and was declared NL Player of the Week [1] is a fine example. The media and people in general will always value certain events over others; a 9th inning home run could be remembered for decades while a first inning homer will probably end up as just a statistic.

The MVP award is very subjective. That is unavoidable, as what makes someone or something valuable and outstanding is in the eye of the beholder. My opponent values certain statistics over others, and justifies himself well. But the award is in fact the "Most Valuable Player to Various Sports Writers" award. If the "Most Valuable Player to iamadragon" award ever becomes the retrospective standard for 2007, then Rollins will not stand a chance.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
iamadragon

Con

My opponent's argument is filled with flaws.

"Eminence: A position of prominence or superiority.
Disctinction: The quality or state of being marked by excellence."

One who is superior, in baseball, is one who is better.
One who is excellent, is baseball, is one who is better.

Thus, he who is outstanding, is, in baseball, he who is better.

"My opponent is presenting two different ideas about the player-team relationship. He declares team-related statistics to be useless, but then asserts that a player only matters as far as his contribution to the team. I presume by "best at helping his team win", he means statistics such as RC, but that is not what he says. RC does not actually measure what any player did for his particular team, it just treats the contribution theoretically based on individual statistics."

RC, among the other stats I provided, shows how good a player was. We use non team-dependent stats to determine how good a player is, and the best player is the one who helped his team win the most. I didn't say a player only matters as far as his contribution to the team. That's a weird distortion of what I am saying, which is that the best player helps his team win the most. Team-related stats are stats that do not illustrate individual skill, because they are heavily dependent on the performance of other team members.

"This demonstrates an incorrect understanding of what it means to be outstanding (see definition above). He chooses to ignore the component of standing out (which has obviously strong ties to a reputation), basing his definition entirely on player excellence."

Not only have I addressed the definition above, but I'd like to point out that my opponent clearly appears to be resorting to semantics. The MVP has always stood for the distinction of being the best and most effective baseball player.

"Also, my opponent has decided very specifically which statistics and criteria to use for determining Rollins' deserving the award. Yet he agreed with "everything my opponent said about the nature of the MVP award." In my Round 1 statement, the one to which he was agreeing, I said, "As there is no single statistic on which the writers must judge, individual writers choose on their own what makes one player more outstanding than another. The very nature of the award is such that the player who deserves it most is the one who makes the most sports writers think he deserves it most." When my opponent agreed to those terms, he was agreeing that the person who deserved the 2007 NL MVP was whoever the judges decided deserved it based on their own criteria. The judges may have been wrong in the opinion of some, but that is irrelevant. They were what defined the 2007 award and its criteria. My opponent's criteria may be well thought-out and well justified, but they are not relevant, because he is not a judge. He may prove that the judges, and therefore the very nature of the award, were stupid. But then it is a stupid award that Jimmy Rollins still deserved."

This conclusion of my opponent's simply does not follow. I agreed that not one statistic could determine everything, which is why I used at least five. Just because I agree that a judge must decide who deserves it most, doesn't mean that I agree with the judges' decision. Faulty logic.

Also, my opponent has no way of knowing if I am a judge or not.

"Based on my clarification of the nature of the award, it is evident that publicity and reputation are indeed important, if the sports reporters judging it think they are. I already showed how Rollins was superior to Wright in media attention and unique achievements; he received much publicity, therefore standing out more prominently than Wright."

Your clarification was not only wrong, but you have not shown that Rollins's random distinctions resulted in more media attention. So, were that even relevant, your claim would still be unsubstantiated.

"The MVP award is very subjective. That is unavoidable, as what makes someone or something valuable and outstanding is in the eye of the beholder. My opponent values certain statistics over others, and justifies himself well. But the award is in fact the "Most Valuable Player to Various Sports Writers" award. If the "Most Valuable Player to iamadragon" award ever becomes the retrospective standard for 2007, then Rollins will not stand a chance."

That is not what it is called. It is called the Most Valuable Player award, and thus, it goes to the best, most valuable, player.

My opponent has not addressed my claims regarding Wright's superiority to Rollins, so I assume he has conceded these arguments.

Therefore, I have shown that because Wright was a superior baseball player to Rollins, and the MVP award goes to the best player, Wright deserved the award, and Rollins did not.

The resolution is negated.

Vote CON.
Achidnagar

Pro

"One who is superior, in baseball, is one who is better.
One who is excellent, is baseball, is one who is better." Not if someone else is more excellent.
One who is prominent, in baseball, is one who gets more recognition and media attention.

"Thus, he who is outstanding, is, in baseball, he who is better" and gets more recognition.

"Not only have I addressed the definition above, but I'd like to point out that my opponent clearly appears to be resorting to semantics. The MVP has always stood for the distinction of being the best and most effective baseball player."
My opponent believes being the best player in the stats he provided makes a player best and most effective overall. Judges of the awards had access to the statistics provided. Were they judging based mainly on those statistics, Rollins obviously wouldn't have gotten the award. The fact that Rollins did get the award suggests they judged on other factors; their criteria - the criteria that mattered - were not the same as my opponent's. My opponent may be valid in saying that the criteria were wrong, but that does not mean Rollins did not fit them. Criticizing the criteria may reduce the value of the award, but Rollins still deserved it. Were my opponent to debate the resolution, "The 2007 NL MVP judges used poor criteria," he would have a strong case, but that is not the resolution at hand.

"This conclusion of my opponent's simply does not follow. I agreed that not one statistic could determine everything, which is why I used at least five. Just because I agree that a judge must decide who deserves it most, doesn't mean that I agree with the judges' decision. Faulty logic."
By agreeing on the necessity of a judge, my opponent acknowledges that the award is subjective. I have shown above that the "outstanding" definition includes both a player's excellence and a player's reputation. Judges must decide on their own which statistics and achievements make a player most excellent, and how to weight excellence and reputation when combining them. My opponent acknowledged that analysts, as many of the judges would be, use runs to determine a player's offensive prowess. This goes against my opponent's choice of statistics. My opponent has refuted the judges' criteria, but has failed to show that Rollins did not fit them.

"Also, my opponent has no way of knowing if I am a judge or not."
Even if my opponent is a judge, he does not represent the judges' general trend. 16 out of 30 first-place votes went to Rollins, and he had a total of 353 points. Wright was fourth place with 182 points.[1]

"That is not what it is called. It is called the Most Valuable Player award, and thus, it goes to the best, most valuable, player."
My phrasing was wrong, but that's not the point. My opponent does not believe it really always goes to the best, most valuable player; otherwise he wouldn't be debating. He thinks it SHOULD go to the most valuable player. The decision regarding players' relative value and outstanding qualities is made by judges. Thus my phrasing.

"My opponent has not addressed my claims regarding Wright's superiority to Rollins, so I assume he has conceded these arguments."
I have conceded Wright's superiority in the particular statistics my opponent chose. I have not conceded that these were the most important statistics used for judging the award. My opponent's conclusions are thus nullified.

I will now summarize my argument:

My opponent and I agreed that the MVP goes to the most outstanding and valuable player. Being outstanding includes excellence in playing ability and in prominence, or attention received. Valuable, as it has been used, means "of great use or service" [2]. My opponent has tried to limit the nature of these two key words, but has not qualified any statements made in that regard.

As these two words selected as base criteria have quite broad meanings, their use is subjective. Judges are used to interpret and apply them to players; the judges serve as translators between the raw data and achievements and the final comparison of different players' value. The significance of specific statistics and accomplishments is dependent on how the judges value them. In the case of 2007, the judges decided that the value of runs, games played, at bats, XB hits, triples and stolen bases was significant. They appear to have valued these more highly than OBP, SLG, OPS and RC/G. The judges' choice in valuing the categories is debatable, but right or not, their choices defined what, statistically, made someone deserve the award on a statistical level. Thus, Jimmy Rollins, as a leader in these categories, showed himself to be an excellent player and of great use to his team.

Also, Rollins received significant media attention throughout the season and historically joined the 20-20-20-20 club [3]. This demonstrates a significant degree of prominence. My opponent has not shown any other player to have received such attention.

Rollins was outstanding not only by fitting the judges' statistical criteria better than anyone else, but by gaining attention over the course of the season. The statistics show he was very valuable to his team - more valuable, in fact, than anyone else - and the attention he received made him valuable as a representative of the MLB and baseball in general. David Wright, my opponent's counterexample, did not fit the judges' statistical criteria as well as Rollins did, and there is nothing to show that he received equal attention.

Basically, my opponent thought that this debate would focus on defining what makes a player valuable. But what mattered for the 2007 NL MVP was the general opinion of the judges as to what makes a player valuable, not what anyone else thought. The award was defined by the judges. Jimmy Rollins fit that definition better than anyone else.

One can debate the value of the statistics on which the judges based the award, but changing how the statistics are valued means that it is no longer about the 2007 NL MVP. It is about the 2007 NL player who would have gotten the MVP, were the award defined differently.

Jimmy Rollins fit the judges' criteria for MVP better than any other player. Therefore, Jimmy Rollins deserved Major League Baseball's 2007 NL MVP Award.

Resolution affirmed.

Vote PRO.

[1] http://sports.espn.go.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Achidnagar 7 years ago
Achidnagar
1. I believe I did show that. We agreed that the award went to the most valuable and outstanding player, not just the ambiguous "best". I have shown that being valuable and outstanding is about more than just putting up the best statistics. I have also shown that whatever one may argue about which statistics are valuable, that is not relevant to any specific instance of the award, as the judges choose which statistics matter.
2. So you're effectively calling the MVP judges, with whom you disagree, unintelligent. That does not change what the award was about. It just means that the factors it was about were unintelligently chosen.
3. But you didn't show that Wright stood out more. You said that he was a better player, and justified it quite well. But your idea that being better means a direct correlation to standing out just doesn't make sense. I have provided that sources that show Rollins stood out significantly. These are not based on statistics, they are based purely on the fact that Rollins had significant prominence, reason irrelevant. I believe Wright did not stand out so much. You have shown nothing to the contrary.

This has degenerated to an argument. Arguments only accomplish anything if one side admits to being wrong. That definitely will not happen while these comments have potential to affect the debate. I will thus stop responding regarding these three specific issues.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
The part that got cut off should read as follows: "and the creation of runs is pretty relevant to victories."
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
<"But Rollins had more runs, hits, etc. His actions contributed most to actual scoring. In Rollins' case, playing more did contribute more value. If you want actual value, then look at which team would be worse off without their player. Getting rid of Wright and his RC doesn't necessarily affect the team all that much. Getting rid of Rollins and his runs definitely does.">

Firstly, having more runs and hits doesn't at all necessarily mean he contributed more to the scoring. Rollins' OBP was actually very average, which indicates that his runs came about due to playing in a great hitters park in a very strong line-up. Runs, as pointed out by iamadragon, are inherently team dependent, and since a player's value is independent of his team, this means runs, especially since superior metrics are readily available, are both flawed and obsolete.

While I'm not big on the BR version of runs created, it's relatively accurate in most cases; however, stats such as OPS+ and EqA which measure a players OPS (OBP + SLG%, adjusted for park and league contexts) and total offensive output respectively both show Wright was offensively superior to Rollins. Furthermore, a normalized version of EqA (EqAp) which adjusts for positional value shows that, despite Rollins being a SS and Wright being a third basemen, Wright still beat Rollins.

As for hits, merely looking at them, in and of themselves, isn't good enough, because all hits don't carry the same weight. Furthermore, it's entirely possible for a fantastic offensive player not to average a whole hell of a lot of hits. Some players walk an awful lot, which consequently reduces the amount of hits they'll gain; however, walks are still very valuable; getting on base is a very important aspect in scoring runs.

And you're contradicting yourself -- getting rid of the player who did contribute more would, indeed, make that team worse off. Remember, winning is the name of the game, and the creation of runs is pretty relevant to vi
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
1. No... you didn't show that.
2. And any intelligent person can see that some "objective matters, such as specific statistics" are better than others, like I showed.
3. LOL! Then you should have argued that in the debate... anyway, I showed why Wright stood out more, because I showed that he was better.
Posted by Achidnagar 7 years ago
Achidnagar
1. They might to any logical person for determining which player is best. But I have shown that is not the same issue as who is the 2007 NL MVP.
2. If a judge's only thought process was, "Player A wins because he is the most outstanding and valuable," he would not have actually based his decision on anything at all. In deciding which player is most outstanding and valuable, the judge must consider actual objective matters, such as specific statistics. The specific statistics and other factors that tend to be valued by many of the judges form the objective, effective criteria that actually define what it means to get the award.
3. What makes you think David Wright stood out more than Rollins? I believe Rollins stood out more. There is a correlation, but not a causation, between standing out and skill. And you're confusing what you think the award should be and what it is. If the judges actually followed all of your ideas and standards about the award, then Rollins wouldn't have gotten it. Media attention can influence what judges will consider most important in giving the award. Therefore, it has an effect on the award.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
1. I think they matter, and I provided reasons why they should matter to any logical person.
2. What? No, the decisions are founded on the already-existing definition of MVP...
3. Rollins really stood out. He was really good. David Wright stood out even more. He was even better. Your logic that the MVP's being awarded by the media means media attention is important is not only faulty but a misrepresentation of what I said. Media attention does not make a player better; therefore, it is not a criterion for winning the MVP award.
Posted by Achidnagar 7 years ago
Achidnagar
1. You've shown that Wright won in the stats that you think matter. But the stats that you think matter are not relevant to the 2007 MVP.
2. If the judges didn't define the award more specifically, then the decisions they made about the award would be unfounded. You can't say a player is most valuable just because he's "the best". So of course it's the job of the judges to define the award more specifically, whether that's officially their job or not. Your whole idea of what the award is about is based on how you think it's generally perceived. But an award is in fact defined on the basis of how it's awarded. The 2007 MVP was awarded based on merits such as Jimmy Rollins'. Therefore, Jimmy Rollins deserved the award.
3. So you are going to say that Rollins didn't stand out as much, because you don't think he was really good? It doesn't make sense. Rollins did stand out, he was prominent. The reasons behind it are irrelevant. And if you're right about this, then it only supports Rollins. Rollins really stood out. Therefore, Rollins was really good. He was outstanding in both aspects of the word (prominence and excellence). And to say that media attention is irrelevant is absurd. The MVP is awarded by media. Obviously, the impression that the media have of players is integral to the award, and has been since 1931.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
1. Then why are you arguing runs at all? I showed Wright did better in the stats that matter.
2. It is not the job of the judges. The award is already defined. I am not making the award less meaningful–that's an unsubstantiated, ridiculous, irrelevant claim.
3. Because there are different definitions of the word prominent? Heck, your definition even says "standing out prominently." That means the player really stands out. That means the player is really good.
Posted by Achidnagar 7 years ago
Achidnagar
1. Runs alone don't show what he accomplished, but he did well in many other statistics as well.
2. Defining the award is subjective, and it is the job of the judges; they already decided what a player needed to do to win the award. By criticizing the judges' choice you are making the award less meaningful, but you are not showing that Rollins did not deserve the 2007 NL MVP. Also, you can't define an award just based on its name. Otherwise the Cy Young award would always go to Cy Young, and an award for someone now dead would be stupid. We agreed on "valuable" and "outstanding", and Jimmy Rollins fit those words best as far as they applied to the award. By acknowledging that my example was at least debatable, you acknowledge that "best" may not directly follow from "most valuable". The definition of Most Valuable Player may be the player who is most valuable, but 2007 NL MVP means something different.
3. Why should prominent mean something totally different than its definition just because we're talking about baseball? Prominent never means "good". In baseball, more prominent players will tend to be more good, but in your criticisms of the GG and SS, you acknowledged that the players who stand out and have the best reputations aren't always the best.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
1. Runs don't actually show what Jimmy Rollins accomplished.
2. It doesn't matter if it's subjective. That's why we're arguing it. The definition of Most Valuable Player is the player who is the most valuable, and using common sense, that's the best player. As for your not playing but with the best averages example, it is arguable, and that's why there's a debate.
3. Prominent, in baseball, is someone who is good. You're also just being foolish if you think that media attention is a valid criterion for the MVP award.
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