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Johnny Damon on the Spot.
Posted by Roger Olivieri at 8/27/2006 4:21:00 AM
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Say what you will about David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. Johnny Damon is turning in an MVP campaign. If he stays hot for another week, he'll be on pace for a season of .300, 125 R, 30 HR, 30 SB, 100 RBI. Not to mention his ability to post a career year under the microscope. After all, in the off season, Damon was the BIGGEST story. It would have been so easy for him to shrivel up and fade away.


Damon's not even a top-three MVP on his own team.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 8/27/2006 1:14:00 PM
Wow. Three? Aside from the Jeter argument, who else? Again, this is speculative. I said if Damon goes .300, 125, 30, 100, 30. Jeter is looking at .335, 125, 15, 110, 35. I can see how one could explain Damon as #2 on the Yanks. How is he #4 at best?
Posted by RogOli71 at 8/27/2006 5:57:00 PM
Giambi's OPS is 1.014 and he's on pace for about 50 bombs. He's quietly held the offense together without Sheffield or Matsui and with Arod's struggles. Mussina's been the one consistent pitcher on the staff. His K/BB is nearly 5/1, third best in baseball. He's given up more than three runs in just four of 27 starts. Those two, and Jeter, have been more important for the Yankees than Damon.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 8/28/2006 8:19:00 AM
Giambi has had a very good year, but "held the offense together" is a pretty strong term with guys like Damon and Jeter getting things started. Mussina's ERA since the break is 4.91 with a WHIP of 1.37. He's living off of his first half stats.

Damon, on the other hand, has kicked it into high gear down the stretch hitting .317, with 11 HR, 29 RBI, 35 runs scored and .380 OBP. Giambi's numbers in that same time period are .262 BA, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 26 R, and a very nice .430 OBP. Jeter, though hitting .322 since the break has on OBP of .375 with 7 HR, 29 RBI, and 34 R.

Though they're all valuable, I'm sticking with Damon.

Posted by RogOli71 at 8/28/2006 10:35:00 AM
How does it make a player more valuable because his stats are better in a particular time of the season? As far as Mussina "living off his first half stats," which sample size offers a better glimpse of a player's worth: 19 first-half starts or eight second-half starts (one of which was cut short because of injury)? It's not like he's sucked in the second half, anyway. His K and BB rates are virtually the same as in the first half and he's allowed more than three runs just once. But we're getting into the weeds now. The argument is that the Yankees would be worse off this season without Giambi or Mussina than without Damon.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 8/28/2006 11:00:00 AM
Problem with a team like the Yankees: It's hard to separate who's responsible for what. Who is more valuable than who? I see your point, though I do disagree about Moose (three or less runs per start means nothing when you look at ERA and IP per those starts, but I digress). As far as "particular point of the season" argument - you're right. This is why it's hard, with that offense to pick apart a "What if" scenario between a bunch of guys with awesome numbers. The reason I gave Damon the nod is because it comes from all available directions with him - speed, power (this year, at least), runs scored and driven in. Giambi only hits for power. Jeter does it all, but doesn't measure up in the power department like Damon. Either way, I see your point, but still think Damon is extremely worthy of being in the running with Ortiz and Jeter.

Who'd have guessed I'd be defending Damon over Jeter? Jeter is my favorite player, not to mention the fact that I'd have booed Damon out of Yankee Stadium a year ago.
Posted by RogOli71 at 8/28/2006 1:18:00 PM
It doesn't really affect the voting, but substracting him from the rival Red Sox has certainly helped the Empire...
Posted by mikeinlalaland at 8/29/2006 7:25:00 AM
Mussina had a great first half... but the Yanks' best starter has been Chien Ming Wang (who just won his 16th this afternoon).

As for Damon, his ability to play through a number of injuries earlier this season, when Yankee outfielders were dropping like flies, shouldn't be discounted when figuring his value.

I follow the Yanks pretty closely, and I'd put Damon right behind Jeter and ahead of Wang, Rivera and Giambi for team MVP.
Posted by czegers at 8/30/2006 12:52:00 PM
Joe Sheehan was on the Hot List this afternoon and they were debating the MVP's of each league. He said Ryan Howard shouldn't even be the MVP of his own team, let alone in the top 5 of the National League. He also said David Ortiz shouldn't even be in the top 5 of his MVP race. Now I respect this guys opinion because he follows baseball as his life, but how in the sam is Ryan Howard not even in the top 5 of the MVP race in the NL? Pujols was out for a while, Berkman has been steady, but the only reason the Phillies are still talked about as a Wild Card contender is because of this man. Everybody said his power #'s and average would drop as the season went on, and all he did was prove everybody wrong of that theory. Sheehan said Chase Utley deserves more of an MVP vote than him. I myself have Beltran as my NL MVP with Howard right behind him, and Dye in the AL with Hafner behind him. He was talking about Jeter and Mauer being more deserving than Ortiz, but I think Mauer isn't even in the top 2 on his own team, whom I follow on a daily basis. I'd say without Santana and Morneau the Twins would be long gone by now and they are more deserving than Mauer, even though he's leading the world in hitting. Is this guy crazy, or what do you guys think??
Posted by schwang2u at 8/30/2006 2:04:00 PM
The Sheehans of the world have to go against popular opinion. If he just said "the MVP Race is between Ortiz and Jeter and fill-in-the-blank" like everyone else, why would you bother reading the Prospectus?

Posted by czegers at 8/31/2006 6:37:00 AM

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