Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. A’s fans, click HERE to learn more and join FanPulse.
A’s fans were asked last week if they have confidence in the direction of the team, and the result was a resounding “Yes!” The final tally was 93% approval, the same as the previous week.
This survey was taken last Monday, after the A’s wrapped up their final homestand of the season, in which they won four of six and put themselves in great position to earn a postseason berth. From there they ended up splitting their final six road games in underwhelming fashion, but it was still enough to clinch a Wild Card spot and home-field in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday, Oct 2.
Among the other 29 fanbases, only three gave their teams a higher approval rating, though unfortunately one of them is the A’s upcoming opponent. The Astros (98%) and Braves (98%) stayed on top of the voting as they have all year, and the Rays (97%) scored well too after finishing the summer hot. Oakland will host Tampa Bay this week in the one-and-done elimination game.
In the other weekly question, manager Bob Melvin continued his enormous fan support. He fetched a 93% approval rating, just a tick below his score of 95% the previous two weeks. That’s his 14th straight week at 90 or above, and only Houston’s A.J. Hinch has a longer streak of 90+% ratings.
As for the national question, this week it was about postseason awards. I voted Yes and I’m not sure I agree with the results on this one. To be clear, it’s absolutely possible to win (and deserve) an award even despite missing the end of the year, like Josh Hamilton in 2010, because his numbers were so great that nobody passed him during his final idle month. But the missed time should absolutely factor in, as unfortunate as that sounds, because why in the world wouldn’t it?
Mike Trout plays for a crappy, also-ran, non-playoff team, so his path to the MVP was to have numbers so much greater than everyone else’s that he couldn’t be ignored. And he was on the way to doing that! But by missing the final month, the competition (Alex Bregman and Marcus Semien) mostly caught up with him (esp on bWAR). I think every single baseball fan probably wishes Trout didn’t get hurt and that we could see what kind of numbers he’d have finished with, but he did get hurt and we can’t pretend he didn’t.
Over in the NL, it was a tight race all year between Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, and their teams both made the playoffs. But Bellinger now played 26 more games in that pursuit. That doesn’t seal it, as Yelich’s numbers are still quite comparable despite the missed time and he could pull a Hamilton (that’s a good thing in this context), but what are you gonna do? Prorate his numbers as if he didn’t get hurt? Of course his missed time will affect the race, even though his injury was by no fault of his own. I’m absolutely not saying you should dock them extra for getting hurt at a crucial point in the season, but you should take their numbers at their merit, which in this case includes a couple dozen fewer games for one of the two candidates. I can’t even imagine the logic behind just pretending it didn’t happen.
Anyway, none of this matters because Semien should just be given both MVP awards for being doubly awesome.