Explain this:

Jason Bartlett has an 83 OPS+.

Jason Bartlett has a .328 on-base percentage and has struck out three times more than he has walked.

Jason Bartlett has a .358 slugging percentage and has hit 1.00 home runs this season.

Jason Bartlett has missed 32 baseball games, which accounts for his relatively unimpressive total of 43 runs scored and 34 runs batted in.

Jason Bartlett ranks 11th among “everyday shortstops” with an .825 zone rating.

Jason Bartlett ranks 12th among “everyday shortstops“ with 4.22 range factor.

Jason Bartlett ranks 17th among ”everyday shortstops“ with a .969 fielding percentage.

Jason Bartlett scores a minus-1 on the Dewan Plus/Minus fielding system, meaning he has made one fewer play than the average shortstop in baseball this year.

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted Jason Bartlett the Tampa Bay Rays most valuable player in this magical season of 2008.

Your honor. The defense rests.

But it’s cool.

14 Responses

  1. doug

    You are all now dumber for having heard that. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    Seriously, that is beyond ridiculous. Evan Longoria? Carlos Pena? Scott Kazmir? Scott Shields? Dioner Navarro? Those are just the guys off of the top of my head. Just wow.

  2. GregD

    Chad, Chad, Chad
    There are things that the writers know by being with the club every day in the clubhouse that we fans just couldn’t possibly understand. With that access they are imparted a special knowledge and understanding that you can only experience by crossing the press box threshold.

    You should also realize that there are things you get by watching a game that just don’t show up in the numbers. If numbers were the only thing that mattered, then they wouldn’t even play the games on the field. They’d just pull out a calculator to see who wins. For all the numbers you quote, do you even recognize how much better the other players around him play on defense, or his impact to the dynamics of the basepaths on offense.

    Bottom line, Bartlett gets the job done. He is a winner and a difference maker. The Rays success this year proves that. He had an above .500 record with Minnesota, including a division championship in 2006, before coming to the Rays this year. And the Rays come out of nowhere to win the division! It all started with the savy veteran leadership at SS.

    Here’s to you MVP Bartlett!

  3. Chad

    Greg, you have convinced me. Consider me properly scolded.

    And Doug…great Billy Madison reference.

  4. NickP

    He’s obviously not the team’s MVP, but Poz’s use of defensive stats is misleading. Bartlett is actually one of the better SS in the league.

  5. Shawn

    The answer: sportswriters are idiots.

    The real MVP: Evan Longoria, although you could make a good case for Carlos Pena.

  6. Chad

    I’m not disagreeing with you, NickP. I haven’t watched Bartlett enough to make any judgments.

    However, I’d like to know on what you base your opinion that he is one of the better SS. The stats sure don’t seem to show it.

  7. Kurt Frost

    Didn’t the Ray go from the bottom of the stats in defense to close to the top? Shortstop has to have something to do with that.

  8. Kurt Frost

    And while I don’t dismiss stats and sabermagicians, they are some of the must smug people on the planet and 95% of them need to be punched in the face, starting with Rob Neyer.

  9. doug

    Jason Bartlett at shortstop, using Justin’s method with just the hardball times defensive data (justin uses tht revised zone rating and zone rating).


    I ran the numbers for the Top 50 players at SS by innings played at the position. Bartlett ranks 34th at -4.2 plays.

  10. Mark in CC

    Maybe it proves what some of us have been saying all year (especially about Dunn). It isn’t about Fantasy Stats it is about being a baseball player.

  11. doug

    Fantasy stats count in real baseball too. Being a baseball player doesn’t tell me much. Tell me what a guy does as a baseball player with stats. That he brings energy to the club doesn’t make him a good player. It might mean he could be a good bench coach, but it doesn’t make him a good player. Produce numbers on the field.

  12. Kevin

    Can’t it be both things? Everyone has to be in one of the two extremes, or something. Only OPS+ matters or only clubhouse presence matters. Maybe they both count?

    That being said, the main point I want to make is that the jury is still out on Adam Dunn with regards to “being a baseball player.” I am tired of people just saying he wasn’t a baseball player or that he didn’t care just by what they saw in left field. Do you think he wasn’t trying his hardest or playing with heart and still producing those kinds of numbers?! Anyway, I want to avoid making a judgment on whether or not he was a “baseball player” or a good clubhouse presence. Like GregD said:

    There are things that the writers know by being with the club every day in the clubhouse that we fans just couldn’t possibly understand.

    Different reporters seem to have different opinions about Dunn’s ballpark presence as we saw in the chaotic aftermath of Chad’s heartbreak over the Dunn trade and all the different postings from reporters. Can we quit saying he was lazy and didn’t care?