Here's our view on the great AL MVP controversy of 2012. Words matter as much as statistics.
If we are going to give the MVP to whomever has the best WAR (Wins Above Replacement), then why even have a vote? Simple. Player A has the best WAR. MVP. Done. No further analysis required.
But hold on just a second. The award is for most valuable player. Not the best player on the field. Not the player that had the best statistical season. Not even the player whom everyone deems to be the best. It is for most valuable.
Now that changes things.
No one can argue about the greatness of Mike Trout's season. He can hit. He can run. He can play defense. He is a great player. He probably had the best season of anyone in MLB. But how valuable was he?
Let us use the WAR stat to prove our point. (We are not going to look up the actual WARs of each player, but we know the figures and they will suffice.) Mike Trout had a WAR of around 10. So without him, the Angels win 10 less games. The Angels did not make the playoffs with Trout's 10 WAR. They don't make the playoffs without him. How valuable is that?
Miguel Cabrera had a WAR of around 6. The Tigers won the AL Central by 3 games. Take away his WAR and the Tigers miss the playoffs. Seems pretty valuable to us.
If you want to award the best player for a year, re-word the award. Until then, live with it.