The Most Birdland Player award is awarded to one member of the Orioles in every O's win of the season. The criteria for MBP isn't the same as the criteria for the most valuable player, although they often overlap. In fact, a major portion of the decision should be based in unexpected contributions. Because of that bit, sometimes the best players are passed by the players who are supposed to be bad coming through in the clutch, or the players who have disappointed us all year doing something awesome. But sometimes an awesome player who is awesome all the time hits a big home run against the Yankees and is rewarded with an MBP.
In 2014 we awarded 96 MBP awards, the most ever in the history of Camden Chat. I was hoping we'd get to award 100, but 96 is acceptable I guess. There was a tie at the top, with both Steve Pearce and Chris Davis taking home eight MBPs. Pearce was, in my opinion, the absolute definition of Birdland this year. He came out of nowhere, with no track record and no expectations, and ultimately was one of the most valuable players on the team. Davis, on the other hand, was so miserable in most of his at-bats that people were desperate to vote for him when he came through in a game. I know that was the case for me.
For the most part, anyone on the roster had a chance to win on any given day. Of the 44 players who played in a game for the Orioles this year, 35 of them were nominated at least once. Of those 35, 27 were winners. Here is your total tally for the year:
|Alejandro De Aza||3||1||33.33%|
Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz were definitely victims of their own talent. They led the team in nominations but their winning % was lower than any of the other heavy hitters. One glance at the chart and it's obvious that the starting pitcher bias is still strong with the voters. Of the seven pitchers who made a start this season, the lowest win % among them was Kevin Gausman with 30% of the vote. Altogether, if a starting pitcher was nominated for MBP, he won 45.45% of the time.
Contrast that with position players, who as a group only won about 25% of the time, despite being represented more than once on nearly every ballot. Of the 14 players that received more than five nominations, only Pearce, Davis, and Manny Machado topped the 30% success mark.
Of course, the toughest place to win an MBP is in the bullpen. The 'pen as a whole did pick up one group award this season, but other than that they went just 3-for-24, a 12.5% win rate. Closer Zach Britton picked up two of the awards and Brad Brach took home the other. T.J. McFarland also won once, but it was in the one game where he was the starting pitcher.
So who do you think was the Most Birdland Player for the entire season? Was it Steve Pearce or Chris Davis, who won the most individual awards? Or is it someone else?