Jim Salisbury should be called out for submitting ridiculous MVP ballot (updated) – .

Jim Salisbury should be called out for submitting ridiculous MVP ballot (updated) – .

On Thursday we complained about the Cincinnati writer who had Zack Wheeler 5th on his Cy Young ballot. It was the only 5th place vote Wheeler received, and it reeked of an inexperienced multisport reporter who failed to justify its reach.

So if we’re consistent in our view that voting should be taken seriously, then NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury should receive criticism this morning.

On his MVP ballot, he voted Bryce Harper first, but dropped Juan Soto in 7th place, Fernando Tatis Jr. in 6th and ranked Paul Goldschmidt in 3rd place: For context here, Harper was first, Soto was 2nd, Tatis Jr. was 3rd and Brandon Crawford and Trea Turner finished 4th and 5th respectively. Goldschmidt was not in the top five.

Therefore, Salisbury’s vote comes across as homer bullshit, meant to help Bryce win the prize by downplaying his main competitor by depriving them of a vote.

I know Philly fans might laugh at it and say ” it’s a boy Jim! this is our guy!But it is the amateur hour of a seasoned journalist who knows better. Putting Soto 7th is indefensible. Vote seriously or don’t vote at all. If Salisbury is trying to make the point that being part of a “winning team” is important, then Harper should have been dropped lower on his ballot. The Phils have won 82 games, so let’s not act like they’re behemoths this year. The Padres won 79. There isn’t a ton of variation there.

The same goes for people like Susan Slusser, from Chronicle of San Francisco. She had Bryce Harper FIFTH and put Crawford first. Talk about a big joke. Trying to put the hometown guy on top.

If we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that a large chunk of voters should not vote, or should take their responsibility more seriously. Too many of these ballots are very questionable, and it’s especially great considering that we’re talking about the sacred sport of baseball, which values ​​“the integrity of the game” and all that. All the unwritten rules about how you’re supposed to behave and so on. We need an “unwritten rule” that the ballots for homer should be put in the trash.


Salisbury wrote a story to NBCSP explaining his ballot. He always gets ripped off on social media, but here’s some of what he said in the story:

The 2021 National League MVP poll was the toughest, in any category, I have ever encountered.

100% agree. There was no runaway favorite in the NL.

I love big production numbers as much as anyone and they’re the first thing I sift through when considering a ballot. But that precious nebulous word still wins me over. For me, it’s loaded with nuances. I think about the heart of professional sport and what it represents: winning. I think about the player’s performance numbers, frame them around the concept of winning and go from there. Has this player produced big numbers? Yes. Did he help put his team in the running and keep them there?

Better yet, for me, at least, he put a team on his back in the second half, raised him from the dead, kept him alive and in hunting for the playoffs to the end? I appreciate this stuff. That’s why I was one of 17 voters to give Harper the first place. And, oh yeah, I know the NL East was a weak division and the Phillies, the team I’m covering, only finished two games with over 0.500s. But that weak division ultimately produced the World Series champion and was there for the take, by at least four of the clubs, mid-season.

I do not agree with this line of thinking. The teams have some great races in the playoffs. That’s not to say they were regular season behemoths. The NL East was the worst division in baseball and the Phillies barely went over 0.500. They were certainly up for grabs, but in any other division they would have been knocked out a few weeks before.

Compare the Phillies to the Padres for a minute. San Diego finished with 79 wins in the top division in baseball. They fought mightily on the stretch. But Fernando Tatis Jr. reduced by .282 / .364 / .611 and Jim placed him in 6th place with Harper first. There isn’t enough variation in the total number of wins or wider stats to justify placing Tatis 6th. Salisbury probably could have gotten away with a vote for 4th or 5th place, but not Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto back to back in 6th and 7th.

Speaking of Soto, he posted numbers to the Harper-esque about a crappy team in the same crappy division. .313 / .465 / .534 was his line. If we’re arguing that winning matters, then Shohei Ohtani probably wouldn’t have made No.1 on an American League bracket ordered by Salisbury as the Angels stank and only won 77 games. I would have loved to see him rank the AL guys.

Goldschmidt got my vote for third place due to her work in games under pressure that brought a slumped Cardinals team to seventeen straight wins and delivered them to the playoffs.

I was impressed with how Austin Riley stepped up and delivered for Atlanta all season, but especially in the home stretch. He helped the Braves build the momentum that propelled them into something special in October. I know that this observation will not be objective enough for some, but I believe in it.

It’s good, but the season is 162 games, it’s not 17 games. Personally, I agree with the “body of work” argument, which values ​​all 162, not just small portions of August / September / October.

Juan Soto who got my seventh place. Which season. What a second half. What a hitter. Like Tatis, he started in the top 3 of the colander but was passed by others when I just couldn’t get my personal take on the word value out. The Nationals were a second-place team in a winnable NL East at the end of June, but fell in the second half, it wasn’t Soto’s fault. He might have been in a different place on many ballots if the Nats hadn’t held a clearance sale in July and traded Turner and Max Scherzer.

It’s a weak argument, in my mind.

And no one will dispute that the interpretations of the word “value” will be different. These awards are subjective in nature and ambiguously defined, but when 29 other writers propel Soto to 2nd place while Jim had him 7th, then he is the extreme outlier and seems contrary in that regard. In the end, if ‘winning’ was extremely important then Harper would have fallen below his 2nd / 3rd / 4th guys on this ballot, because the Phillies didn’t make the playoffs, Harper had 0 hits in. this crucial Atlanta series, and 82-80 is hardly impressive.

Ultimately –

People think that we hate Salisbury or that we are “bad” or whatever. Rest assured, there is a ton of respect for Jim Salisbury at Wide crossing. He has long been an excellent writer / journalist / baseball spirit. But we’re evaluating occurrences in singular voids, and that poll was pure, unfiltered bullshit. There is no explanation. That doesn’t mean Jim is a 30 year old bullshit, it just means he’s a one day bullshit.

Type “Jim Salisbury” into the Twitter search bar if you are not convinced.


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