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Doctor Detroit

Baseball awards and Tigers getting screwed

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The 1955 season is one that my Dad always mentioned and I just looked at the numbers. Yogi Berra won the league MVP, Al Kaline finished second.

                           1st           Max       |       Season Results 
Rk Name Team Place Points Points Share| AB H HR BA OPS SB| W-L IP ERA WHIP SO SV
+--+----------------+----+-----+------+------+-----+-----+---+--+-----+-----+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
1 Yogi Berra NYY 7 218 336 0.65 | 541 147 27 .272 .819 1|
2 Al Kaline DET 4 201 336 0.60 | 588 200 27 .340 .967 6|

Kaline was 1st in batting average, 2nd in OPS, 4th in HRS, 2nd in runs, 4th in triples, and 5th in RBIs at the age of 20.

Yogi Berra was 10th in adjusted OPS, that's about it. Problem was Tigers were just 79-75, even an 85 win season probably would have gotten Kaline the MVP.

The 1987 MVP and I think that award has really cost Alan Trammell more votes for the HOF.

                           1st           Max       |       Season Results 
Rk Name Team Place Points Points Share| AB H HR BA OPS SB| W-L IP ERA WHIP SO SV
+--+----------------+----+-----+------+------+-----+-----+---+--+-----+-----+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
1 George Bell TOR 16 332 392 0.85 | 610 188 47 .308 .957 5|
2 Alan Trammell DET 12 311 392 0.79 | 597 205 28 .343 .953 21|

Trammell was 6th in OPS, 5th in adjusted OPS, 3rd in hits, 3rd in batting average, 10th in RBIs and 5th in OBP while playing the toughest position in baseball for a division winner. Belle was 5th in OPS, 7th in adjusted OPS, 2nd in HRs, 1st in RBIs, and was a below average LFer.

I think statistically you could say their hitting seasons were similar but the Tigers won the division and Trammell plays SS and played it at a gold glove level in 1987.

If you have more to discuss please list. There are other examples but I wanted to throw out the two that are probably most obvious first.

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About Berra and Kaline this is how I'd guess it worked.

1) You mentioned record. That does mean something in many years. Not all apparently, but many it does.

2) Berra was a catcher doing those numbers. Kaline was an outfielder.

3) I'm guessing the three stats that voters looked at during that time were average, home runs and RBI. They were tied in HR, Berra had a slight edge in RBI and Kaline a big edge in average. But then we come back to that catcher thing. How many catchers had Berra's numbers?

About the Bell example, I can't explain that one. I'm sure people loved his HR total and league leading RBI total. Trammell was a SS putting up numbers that you didn't expect out of a SS in that era. The Tigers won the thing, but if I remember correctly when this was going on, I think most ballots were already in before the final weekend of the season. I think Tram got jobbed.

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There's a huge double standard, and from time to time, the Tigers get screwed. In 1990, the voters explained that they didn't vote for Cecil Fielder, who had MVP numbers, because his team was out of the race -- then, the very next season they voted in Cal Ripken.....whose team was out of the race.

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