The MLB announcement of the Hank Aaron Award includes a very blatant lie:
The Hank Aaron Award officially recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in the American and National Leagues.
This is not just a blatant lie, it's a vicious lie. I know because this man won it. And he was not, by any stretch of the imagination, the best offensive performer in the National League.
The other winner was none other than Euclis, the Greek God of Walks himself. I have trouble seeing him ahead of Milton Bradley in terms of quality, or Grady Sizemore in terms of quantity, or Alex Rodriguez in terms of both, but he was third in wOBA, so whatever. Weird, but it's fine.
Ramirez, though, was 19th in EqA and 20th in EqR. THAT is the best offensive player in the NL?
Want to limit it just to hitting and not offense, as the award claims? Fine, he 15th in wOBA, 15th in Runs Created, 20th in GPA, and his numbers like a 128 OPS+, 7.2 RC/27, .581 OWP and 2.4 Batting Wins don't even register on the Baseball Reference leader board.
Look, that's a good season, but it's not even top 10, let alone anywhere near the best. Especially when Albert Pujols was worth two Kevin Youkilises (yes, that includes defense, get over it). Pujols was worth, like, fifty more runs than Ramirez. His Baseball Reference page looks like something out of a video game.
How does this sort of crap happen?
Fans cast 230,000 votes at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, in this, the sixth consecutive year that fans have had a voice in selecting the award winners in this fashion.
But still, according to Baseball Almanac, the fans are only 30% of the ballot. So where does the rest come from? Wikipedia?
Fan's votes accounted for 30% of the points, with broadcaster's and analyst's votes accounting for the other 70%.
So there you go. The brilliant minds of fans and announcers deciding who is about the 15th or so best hitter in the league and giving him an award named after one of the greatest, classiest and most significant players in baseball history.
This bothers me to a large degree because, if this award was treated with any sort of dignity and seriousness, it would be a great answer to the idiotic "the pitchers have their own award so the MVP should just be for hitters!!!" brigade.