Alex Gordon is having a really good season.
No one is really arguing about that.
"Dad, where were you when Alex Gordon tore Baseball Twitter apart?"— erik malinowski (@erikmal) August 20, 2014
What they are arguing about is whether or not he's one of the best players in baseball this season. There is a very simple answer: Who cares?
Clearly, that answer doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what was really being discussed last night, but just to clear things up:
It'd be really cool if Gordon won the MVP. Royals fans would love it, and some might even argue that he absolutely deserves it. They might cite his league-best UZR/150 and DRS in left field. Or they might mention that he's keeping pace with widely accepted MVP candidates like Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton in overall fWAR. They could say something along the lines of: "If Mike Trout deserved the MVP over Miguel Cabrera because of his defense, that same line of thinking applies to Alex Gordon if he has a better season than Trout overall in 2014."
Maybe you think those people have a point. Maybe you think that's extreme homerism.
It doesn't really matter, though.
Alex Gordon is not going to win the MVP. If Mike Trout can't garner more votes than Miguel Cabrera in the balloting, you don't have to worry about Gordon sneaking into the race and winning the award. Murray Chase wouldn't have it.
Sure, the debate is largely about how well certain stats -- like fWAR -- evaluate player performance, but ultimately, it's just one stat.
An interesting discussion on the subject between Yahoo's Jeff Passan -- a Kansas City native -- and FanGraphs' Dave Cameron took place on Twitter last night. It started here, but I Storified it to make it a little easier to get through.
These guys clearly know much more about statistics than most fans -- and writers for that matter. The debate moved on from Gordon rather quickly, but his exceptional performance this season is what got Cameron and Passan talking. There are many differing opinions on the matter, but it was interesting to see two prominent writers hashing things out publicly.