Monday, November 17, 2008

Let's Not Start That Again

With the close of baseball season, comes as it always does, the MVP debate. Yes, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and the Gold Gloves inspire debate amongst fans. However, every year there seems to be a heated battle for MVP in one league or another. This year pits Ryan Howard vs. Albert Pujols, but let's give it some history before we delve into this one.

In '06, Howard and Pujols went 1 on 1 for the award and Howard won it, riding the coat-tails of his fabolous finish that carried the Phillies to a near playoff miss at the hands of the tough NL East. Shortly after, Pujols held a press conference to complain about the injustice of the award because his Cardinals made the playoffs and that should be all that matters. Pujols hit an astounding .331 with 49 HRs and 137 RBIs. But, he lost to Howard's .313 with 58 and 149. The award came down to the writer's rewarding Howard for his late surge when it mattered most. Also, Pujols won the award in 2005, a year earlier. This shouldn't matter, but you have to think that played a part in the process.

Now in '08, the tables turned. Pujols' team missed the playoffs despite his other-worldly numbers and Ryan Howard's made the playoffs off another of his summer surges. Not to mention the fact that they went on to win the World Series! Pujols posted a dominant .357/37/116 (coupled with a year long elbow injury) and Howard hit .251/48/146. And this year, Pujols won and was a 17-7 favorite over Howard as voted by ESPN's experts. The Cardinals finished 5 games out of the wild card. When Howard won it, the Phils were 3 games off the wild card when the season ended. That's not a large disparity, but that's not mentioning Pujols' own complaining when he lost to a man whose team wasn't playoff bound.

I can't fight the feeling that the writer's tried to be fair and give Pujols the award now that things are the opposite. Also, not many people outside of Philadelphia are too crazy about the idea of three straight Phillies MVPs. However, in the end, Ryan Howard and the World Champion Phillies won the bigger prize. And being a Phillies fan, I should be counting my blessings and not complaining. There will be a post about the champs soon and seeing as I attended the clinching win, there should be plenty to talk about.


  1. You forgot to mention the fact that Pujols also held a press conference this year and said he didnt deserved the award. So don't paint him as a crybaby.

    The voters clearly got this one right. Normally, I feel like the MVP should be from a playoff team, but Pujols was flat out dominate. He outhit Howard by over 100 points. Im not even convinced Howard was the most valuable player on his team. Brad Lidge may hold that honor (even though closers are overated). In fact, in the early part of the season Howard hurt the Phils with his inconsistent play. And lets not get greedy...that wouldve been the third Phils MVP in a row.

    Howard would've been the most undeserving MVP since, well....Jimmy Rollins

  2. how dare you. i don't care what Pujols said, i'm not saying he didn't deserve it. just talk about it.

  3. pujols obviously deserved this one. i dont care what he said. he got snubbed for years when the league kept handing them out to bonds. pujols has nobody to protect him in the lineup and was playing hurt all year, while howard hit only .250 while being sandwhiched inbetween utley and burrell. plus he struck out over 200 times.

  4. i agree. I'm a little salty that the Phillie didn't get it, however, i can't deny the production that Pujols put up. My only thought is that this isn't an award to the best player. W/o Pujols, the Cards still don't make the playoffs. W/o Ryan Howard, the Phillies don't win the World Series (if that's too far thinking, then they don't make the playoffs). Big Difference.


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