14 years ago
Anonymous

Is MVP officially defined in major league baseball?

Some say "most valuable to their team" but the award is "most valuable" --- period. Is there an official definition? I can't find one. I think they make it up as they go along! Sometimes they use which teams make the playoffs to help decide, but I think most baseball writers are idiots that can't think about such complex things. In fact, if you put up very good numbers on a bad team, aren't you extremely "valuable" to THAT team?
Top 3 Answers
14 years ago
Joe
Favorite Answer
There is no interpretive definition as supplied by Major League Baseball for the reason that the award is not strictly presided over by the league itself. The awards were presided over in the 1920's by Major League Baseball through the formed League trophy committees. These committees chose a select number of writers to vote on the MVP's, however this system was discontinued in early 1929. In October of the same year the Baseball Writers Association of America decided to continue the award, but in the process never defined the award past the basic Most Valuable Player whereas in the past the Chalmers Award and previous league MVP awards were more clearly defined. Unfortunately in the past 10-15 years I would say that it has become vogue for many to try and devise their own formula for what the MVP should be, when in reality it is only up to the personal criteria of every voter on a singular basis.
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14 years ago
Timothy S
I hate the argument that it can only go to someone on a team that makes the playoffs. The idea is that only a player on a playoff team can be valuable, which is ridiculous. If you take an all-star off of a team laden with all-stars (recent Yankees teams, for example), they might lose several more games, or possibly even ten. But why are those games so much more important than games played by a losing team? Theoretically, everyone is out there to win. When Steve Carlton won 27 games for a 1972 Phillies team that won 59 overall games, was his accomplishment LESS impressive because he played for a bad team? No! Then why can you use that argument for a hitter? Should Andre Dawson not have been considered for MVP in 1987 because he played on a poor team? Of course not! In fact, his monstrous season is more impressive given that the next highest RBI total on the Cubs team (behind his 137) was produced by the legendary Keith Moreland with 88. If you win ten more games for a bad team vs. 5 more games for a good team, why is it actually less valuable? (This doesn't really answer the question, but this is a pet peeve of mine)
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14 years ago
Anonymous
You pretty much answered your own question but as for the last comment about a good player being valuable to a bad team I'll relate a short story. One year, the Pittsburgh Pirates came in last place but their future Hall of Fame slugger, Ralph Kiner led the league in home runs and RBI. At the end of the season, General Manger, Branch Rickey told Kiner he was cutting his salary by 10%. Kiner was incredulous. "But I had a great season" he said. Rickey asked him what place the team came in and Kiner replied, "Last". Rickey told him, "We could have come in last without you."
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