Thursday, January 17, 2008

At Least No One Argued That How Green Was My Valley Was "Feared"

Keith Law is back from vacation and is (somewhat belatedly) jumping into the Jim Rice fray, taking up Buster Olney's comparison of Oscar voting and MVP voting. Here's Keith:

I think that’s a fabulous idea. Let’s compare the mindblowing stupidity of MVP voting to the mindblowing stupidity of Oscar voting. For example, guess how many combined non-honorary Oscars Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Federico Fellini won?

Keith goes on to cite most of the boneheaded choices the Academy has made over the years (and on almost all of which I agree with Keith).

For my part, I think that bad MVP decisions are far worse than some of the Oscars' greatest misses because, with movies, there isn’t some quantitative baseline that the voters need to consider in order to competently make their case (Titanic aside, good box office isn't typically the reason for Oscar clunkers ). With movies it's typically matter of taste, and no matter how hard you can try, you can't effectively refute someone who simply insists that Titanic was better than L.A. Confidential. It's opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.

To make a bad MVP choice in baseball, however, it's not enough to refer to some subjective aesthetic judgment. I mean, Adam LaRoche has a beautiful swing, but that's never going to make him an MVP candidate. No, to make those bad choices, objective data must be actively ignored, and that's far worse than whatever happens with the movies.

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