Sunday, July 23, 2006

Proof of Local Bias in BBWAA voting, 2001 MVP

  • Following up on Monday's column, in which I wrote, "And did you notice that two AL MVP voters listed Jason Giambi fourth on their ballots? And does anyone else suspect that one or both of those voters hail from Seattle?"

    A reader was kind enough to send me the ballots (top three listed) for all 28 voters, and I have to report that I was off ... but not by much.

    Here's how the Seattle-Tacoma writers voted:

                    1st     2nd      3rd
    Bob Sherwin Boone Ichiro Giambi
    Larry LaRue Boone Ichiro Giambi

    Believe it or not, Sherwin (Seattle Times) and LaRue (Tacoma News-Tribune) were the only voters who had Boone-Ichiro-Giambi in that order. Now, there are a lot of possible reasons for this, so many reasons that I won't even get into them, but doesn't it seem just a mite strange to you? Of course, both the Oakland voters had Giambi No. 1 ... and both the Cleveland writers had Alomar No. 1, too. As I said Monday, the hometown biases tend to cancel each other out, but the problem for Giambi was that the Seattle writers' biases meant that two players got listed ahead of Giambi on those ballots, rather than just one. Not that those two ballots were the difference; even if Sherwin and LaRue had switched Giambi and Ichiro, Ichiro still would have won the award, 287 points to 283.

    Oh, and in case anyone's curious, the two writers who didn't rate Giambi as one of the three most valuable players in the American League were Patrick Reusse (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) and Carter Gaddis (Tampa Tribune). The other oddities include Reusse listing Mariano Rivera third, and Dick Kaegel (Kansas City Star) listing Alex Rodriguez second. This might, by the way, be the first time I've ever agreed with Kaegel about anything.

  • The above from Rob Neyer's espn column, 11/01

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