James: Three looks at MVP voting

From SABR member Bill James at Bill James Online on February 20, 2020:

I had been looking at some old MVP votes which were starkly inconsistent with modern voting practices. I tried to ask the gentleman how he would explain these discrepancies, if the way that we evaluate players has not really changed. Yes, Babe Ruth was always recognized as great, and yes, Babe Ruth WAS great, but what about Don Baylor in 1979, or Jackie Jensen in 1958, to name just a couple of MVP selections from the past which are not likely to be mirrored in the present?

I realized that I was stumbling into a Twitter argument, which is the modern equivalent of interrupting elephants during mating, so I exited the situation as gracefully as I could, but it started me thinking, again, about a subject I have thought about many times. How could we document the changes in MVP voting patterns over time? We THINK we know that MVP voting patterns have changed, but we think we know a lot of things that aren’t true. How could we objectively test this?

Read the full article here: https://www.billjamesonline.com/three_looks_at_the_mvps/

Originally published: February 20, 2020. Last Updated: February 20, 2020.