Sunday, January 13, 2008

BBWAA vs. The Academy: This time it's personal

This latest FJM post has inspired me to take a look at the past decade and see who did a worse job: the BBWAA at voting for MVP, or the Academy at voting for Best Picture? Enjoy.


AL MVP: Jason Giambi
NL MVP: Jeff Kent
Best Picture: Gladiator

All steroid crap aside, Giambi had an insane OBP (.476) and has second-place finisher Frank Thomas beat in almost every category. You could've made a solid argument for A-Rod, who had a similar OPS+ to Thomas (162 vs. 163) and still played SS at the time.
Barry Bonds probably should've won in the NL. He had the better OBP (.440 vs. .424 for Kent) the better OPS+ (188 vs. 162), and leads Kent in most of the major counting stats. On the other hand, Kent played a more demanding position (2B vs. LF). Then there's Mike Piazza, who put up similar numbers to Kent while playing C. We'll call it a draw.

"Gladiator" was exactly the type of testosterone-fueled pointlessness that made me loathe 300. "Traffic" was the better and smarter film, and thus should've won here. Hell, I'd vote for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" over "Gladiator".

Who did worse: The Academy


AL MVP: Ichiro Suzuki
NL MVP: Barry Bonds
Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind

It's hard for me to be objective about Ichiro, so I won't bother with this. Sure, Giambi led him in nearly every category possible (except SB and BA), but did the A's win 116 games that year, and does Giambi have a cool batting stance? Didn't think so. As for Bonds, I suppose when you hit 73 homers and put up a 1.378 OPS, you're going to get nearly unanimous support for MVP. No real argument there.

2001 was a really weak year for the Oscars. "A Beautiful Mind" wasn't that great (did Akiva Goldsman really win an Oscar for this?), but who else to vote for? "Lord of the Rings"? "Gosford Park"? "Moulin Rouge"? I forgot "In The Bedroom" even existed until I saw the nomination list.

Who did worse: The Academy, I guess.


AL MVP: Miguel Tejada
NL MVP: Barry Bonds
Best Picture: Chicago

I'm calling bullshit on Tejada's win here. A-Rod had more home runs (57 vs. 34), a higher OPS (1.015 vs. .862), a much higher OBP (.392 vs. .354), a better OPS+ (158 vs. 128) and was way, way better at SS. Bull. Shit. I don't have an argument against Bonds, as usual.

The win for "Chicago" wasn't all too surprising, considering the Academy's hard-on for musicals. But how cool would've it been to see "Spirited Away" get a nod here, and possibly win? One can dream...

Who did worse: the BBWAA


AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
NL MVP: Barry Bonds
Best Picture: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Close call on the AL race. Carlos Delgado has a small advantage in most of the stats, and Jorge Posada gets bonus points for playing C. But A-Rod still has the edge here, if only for one reason: he played amazing SS, while Delgado was a statue at 1B. As for the NL, yawn.

Some people would say LOTR is overrated, that it is style-over-substance, ham fisted, over-the-top tripe whose sole reason for existence is to stroke the ego of Peter Jackson. Those people are communists. Fuck them. In the ass. With an authentic Elvish sword I got off Ebay and hung on my wall.

Who did worse: Push


AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero
NL MVP: Barry Bonds
Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby

Not much to bitch about here, as both winners pretty clearly had better seasons than their competition.

"Million Dollar Baby" was a fine movie, if a bit melodramatic. That can be attributed to Paul Haggis' script--more on him later. Since Hillary Swank is from Bellingham, I feel compelled to support her; however, she has been trying my patience lately.

Who did worse: Push


AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
Best Picture: Crash

I'm just going to ignore the MVP winners this time. This entire paragraph will be devoted to exorcising my Paul Haggis demon once and for all.

Paul Haggis, if you're reading this: fuck you. You're rich, middle-aged and white; what the fuck do you know about racism, or inner-city urban life? Your obsession with cutting and pasting Hallmark quotes into your screenplays have dragged down otherwise good movies like "Casino Royale" and "Million Dollar Baby". And now we have "Crash", which not only robbed Brokeback Mountain of a much-deserved award, but it had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the crotch. We get it! Racism is bad! Now stop bludgeoning us over the head and get off your fucking pulpit. You fucking douchetit.

Who did worse: The Academy, by a mile.


AL MVP: Justin Morneau
NL MVP: Ryan Howard
Best Picture: The Departed

In a way, I'm kinda glad Jeter didn't win, because then it would give ESPN yet another reason to slob his knob. But there's really no way around this: Jeter had the better year, and should've won. A 132 OPS+ is pretty damn good for a shortstop, and he has Morneau beat by a mile in OBP (.417 vs. .375). Howard's 57 homers look pretty on the stat sheet, but consider this: Albert Pujols hit 49, while playing in 16 less games than Howard. He also had the better OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, and played a much better glove at 1B than Howard.

"The Departed" was a great film, and deserved its win. However, I'm still pissed that "Little Miss Sunshine" robbed "Children of Men" of a nomination.

Who did worse: the BBWAA

Final Analysis

We can see here that the Academy has done a slightly worse job at picking the best movie of the year than the BBWAA. This wasn't an exhaustive research, of course: the '00s are a small sample size, and was mostly a decade dominated by Barry Bonds and A-Rod, so it's hard to argue those choices. 2007, of course, was a different story with Jimmy Rollins, and I won't rehash what others have said elsewhere. This year's Oscar race should be a tossup between "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood". However, if "Atonement" wins, I'm leaving Hollywood. In flames.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Craig said...

I hate to admit it but Tim was right - The Departed just isn't very good. And Nicholson is an absolute disaster in it. A second viewing is not kind to that movie. Should have been Children of Men over any of the nominees. Still, Morneau was a terrible choice. I say push.

I'm not sure where you got your information about 2005. Obviously Brokeback won, and everyone was happy because it deserved it, and no one ever spoke another word about that silly Paul Haggis movie about racism as it was in, like, the 80's but in a contemporary setting because everyone, including the Academy, realized that that movie guzzled monkey cum. Your information is erroneous. Erroneous!

Thu Jan 17, 06:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lord Benne said...

I agree that Children of Men was the far superior film, but since it wasn't nominated, what else was there? Letters From Iwo Jima, maybe?

I'll have to double check my facts on 2005. Surely my vitirol wasn't for naught.

Thu Jan 17, 06:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Craig said...

I will go to my grave maintaining that Flags of our Fathers was better than Letters From Iwo Jima.

Crash lost. I'm telling you. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just taken a call from the President. "Son", he says, "I have a mission for you. You must parachute behind enemy lines and blow up their headquarters. It will be dangerous, and exciting, and sexy, but we're counting on you." And I did. I seduced the hot double agent and stole the plans from her, then killed her before she could kill me. I narrowly escaped death several times. And then I saved the world. Sexily. So as you can see, Crash lost. Because it's a piece of shit.

Thu Jan 17, 09:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sycophantman said...

Paul Haggis is a visionary. No one else ever came up with the slo-mo anguish face shot before. Scoring it to swelling, melodramatic music was simply a masterstroke. I want to have a litter of Haggis babies. I'll call them Uwe and Boll, and they shall usher in a new era of peace in this broken world...

Fri Jan 18, 06:33:00 AM EST  
Blogger Whisk E. Bear said...

LOTR just isn't all that great, Benne. It was an obvious "achievement" Oscar for endeavoring to shoot 10 hours of epic fantasy movie.

Sat Jan 19, 12:13:00 PM EST  

Post a Comment

<< Home