Jim Thome: Godfather of Modern Baseball?

An interesting viewpoint on Jim Thome.

Some pretty amazing stats. How is he not in the Hall already? :smack:

I have a hunch he’ll get in soon.

It was right there in the article.

Plus, you know, he played in Cleveland.

Like now.

Well, tomorrow, which is close enough to “now.” :smiley:

My shock stems from the fact I didn’t realize he played all the way to 2012. I had thought he must have been eligible before this year. My bad. :o

How in all that is holy did Miguel Tejada beat him for the MVP in 2002? Miguel Tejada at BBRef: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tejadmi01.shtml. Thome: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thomeji01.shtml

From those, in 2002, Tejada: .308/.354/.508. 34 HR/131 RBI. 128OPS+ 7 SB 5.6 WAR. The A’s went 103-59.

Thome: only 147 games as opposed to Tejada’s full 162, but see: .304/.445/.677 (giggle) 52 HR/118 RBI. 197 OPS+ 1 SB (lol) and 7.4 WAR. Oh, but the Indians went 74-88.

WTF, BBWAA? ARod should’ve been even more pissed, with his 8.8 WAR. (The Rangers were their usual ineptness, going 72-90.) It’s Thome and Rodriguez’s fault they didn’t have Barry Zito and Mark Mulder pitching for their teams?

I may be new here, but is the MVP award basically given to the best guy on one of the best two or three teams that year? Anyway, Thome’s a Hall of Famer in my book. You want to first clear the backlog of all of the eligible players we somehow manage to not vote for in our little contest here, be my guest, but he needs to be in at some point.

You can go back through the historical MVP voting and find lots of egregious examples using WAR. Juan Gonzalez in '96 with 3.8 when Ken Griffey jr. racked up 9.7, for instance. Voters had different criteria and they seemed really, really enamored with RBI.

Historically, that has, in fact, often been the case.

Andre Dawson won the NL MVP in '87 for a Cubs team that finished in last place in the NL East, and that was seen as a surprise – everyone agreed that he’d had a monster year (49 HRs, 137 RBIs), but the MVP simply wasn’t given to players on last-place teams. ISTR that the conventional wisdom was, “how valuable can a player be if the team itself is bad?”

Ironically, if advanced sabermetrics had been a thing back then, maybe Dawson would not have won that award. His WAR was a good-but-not-amazing 4.0.

Just in case it wasn’t clear from some of the earlier, teasing posts in this thread: Thome is in the Hall of Fame. He was elected in his first year of eligibility, and his induction ceremony is this very afternoon.

Yeah, I thought I remembered that he’d been elected, but then I read the OP and got confused whether he did or didn’t. Well deserved, in any case.

The ESPN article going into each of this year’s inductees is unintentionally hilarious because of the logic the author uses to justify these inductees and not other deserving candidates. I skipped Jack Morris’s blurb, expecting a train wreck, but Vlad Guerrero’s is really funny: ‘Sure, Larry Walker and Dwight Evans should be in by the numbers if Vlad’s in, but Vlad looked like a Hall of Famer!’

I guess I don’t understand their reasoning behind giving it to the guy on the best team. It’s a team sport. Why should a player who clearly had a much better year—not that WAR is the be-all end-all of value—be penalized just because his team sucks? He can’t help that. But it does seem to be the way they’ve always determined the award.

In 2002 advanced metrics were not all easily available or understood, and the argument that a very good hitter who was also a fine defensive shortstop was more valuable than a much better hitter who was a crappy fielder is a pretty logical one. That is literally not one of the 20 worst MVP decisions ever made, and, in fairness, Thome did not deserve the award even if Tejada also didn’t.

I think it’s the one year that there is a good argument for Thome being the MVP. After all, he finished second in WAR to a player who later admitted that he was using P.E.D.s that season.