One of the more annoying aspects of 21st century baseball fandom has come by way of the dreaded stat geek.

You probably think I’m going down the route of “The RBI is the only stat that matters”, “VORP is only for loners and dudes who really hate the Discovery Channel”, or some other get-off-my-lawn type rant, but you’d be mistaken.

I’m actually all in on much of the new statistical analysis that has taken baseball by storm in the past decade. Anything that helps you understand the game better has to be considered a good thing.

I just wish stat geeks weren’t so obnoxious about it all.

Having successfully tarnished the image of oldie-but-goodies like batting average, saves and runs batted in, the geeks are now on a crusade to diminish the significance of the win.

Seriously. The win.

You have to admire their gusto, going after the very thing that the idea of sport revolves around. It’s almost as if people have forgotten the wise nice man with really poor clock-management skills who taught us the one indisputable fact that drives the engine of competition…


CC Sabathia took the A’s behind the woodshed—whatever the hell a woodshed is—on Thursday, allowing just one hit over eight innings to collect his 19th win of the season. Those 19 victories stand against just five losses, and his ERA sits at a tidy 3.02.

You would think numbers like that—all within the prism of being the unquestioned ace of the best team in baseball—would make Sabathia the hands down favorite in the American League Cy Young race.

But the stat geeks say otherwise, and they may even make fun of your educational background as they do.

The geek is convinced that Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez has been the AL’s best pitcher in 2010. They say his mediocre 10-10 record is purely the product of playing for a last-place team, and that if Hernandez and Sabathia switched places, it would be King Felix who would be knocking on the door of his first 2o-win season.

That these statements are 100 percent true is beside the point. It’s like me saying, “If I were a world-class tennis player with a bottomless bank account and astounding bone structure, it’d be me and not Andy Roddick watching Brooklyn Decker get out of the shower in the morning.”

Again, this would (probably) be true. And part of me wants to die after crystallizing the limitations of my life simply to prove a point on this stupid blog. But ultimately it’s just an example of how ridiculous it is to disparage what Sabathia has done this season just because he’s better setup for success than King Felix.

Now to get the geeks really fired up, I’m about to take it a step further. I’d like to make the case that in addition to the Cy Young award, Sabathia is the American League’s MVP in 2010.

Don’t scoff. Think about it. Even without Josh Hamilton putting up monster numbers, the Rangers are beating out the weak competition in the AL West. Miguel Cabrera is a bona fide stud, but his team will be lucky to break 80 wins. Robinson Cano has enjoyed a breakout season in the Bronx, but it’s safe to say the Yankees were still a playoff team even if he didn’t make the leap.

Sabathia, meanwhile, is the one constant on a Yankee rotation being held together by spit and the last shreds of Javier Vazquez’s dignity. Without their ace, are the Yankees even a 90-win team this season? Do they win 80?

He’s been the rock, the slump buster, the very definition of what an ace is supposed to be. He is, in so many ways, the most valuable player.

Don’t let the geeks tell you otherwise.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached via e-mail at Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus .

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