Would today’s debates change any past MLB awards?

From Zack Meisel at MLB.com on November 19, 2012, with mention of SABR Director Paul Hirsch:

It was a familiar predicament, really. One slugger appeared deserving based on the merits of an offensive achievement not seen for decades. Another player warranted strong consideration for his entire body of work, polished off by a rare blend of power, speed, defense and the ability to wreak havoc on the basepaths.

This year’s much-ballyhooed American League Most Valuable Player Award debate involving the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera and the Angels’ Mike Trout bears similarities to the 1961 race between Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

That year, Mantle had historic statistics, but Maris clubbed a record 61 home runs, surpassing Babe Ruth’s mark of 60 that had stood for 34 years. Five decades ago, baseball analysts didn’t have modern statistics such as WAR or UZR or ERA+ or FIP to judge players. Those once-intangible elements have now been converted into applicable measurements, providing voters with newer, more detailed references should they choose to incorporate them into their voting strategy.

Using today’s methods of valuing players, however, how many past awards might be redistributed? Should there exist a standard set of criteria for which to judge players to create a level, objective voting process, or should the debate be part of the process — and the fun?

“There are always going to be points of view, and I think civil discourse between reasonable people always benefits the game,” said Paul Hirsch, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) board of directors.

Read the full article here: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121118&content_id=40353162&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Originally published: November 19, 2012. Last Updated: November 19, 2012.