1.) Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2.) Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
3.) Lance Berkman, Houston
4.) Alfonso Soriano, Washington
5.) Miguel Cabrera, Florida
6.) Jose Reyes, New York
7.) Jason Bay, Pittsburgh
8.) Aramis Ramirez, Chicago
9.) Chase Utley, Philadelphia
10.) Carlos Beltran, New York
Ryan Howard is certainly a worthy MVP winner and no one should really have any qualms about him winning the award. It’s just that I think Albert Pujols was a more valuable player. Statistically, Howard gets the nod, but Pujols carried his team into the playoffs and then on to the World Series without much help from Jim Edmonds or Scott Rolen.
Howard, on the other hand, had Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Bobby Abreu for most of the season. In fact, a story in Baseball Prospectus surmised that Howard wasn’t even the MVP of his team.
That could be a little far-fetched, but the point is Pujols was the only man on the Cardinals down the stretch, while Howard hit just two homers after Sept. 9. Perhaps the argument for Pujols could be summed up by an email I received this week:
In game 157, Albert Pujols hit a three-run HR that allowed the Cardinals to make the playoffs and allowed La Russa to start Carpenter in Game 1 of the NLDS.
That sort of incredible moment is what wins players MVP Awards.
Another baseball writer crime.
I wouldn’t call Howard’s MVP a crime – far from it. But Pujols’ September should have clinched it for him.
That month? Try 41-for-110, 10 HR, 28 RBI, and 19 BB.
Meanwhile, don’t lump me in with the baseball writers or the arcane, anachronistic, outmoded and irrelevant Baseball Writers Association of America. They don’t let me vote, but the guy who put Pujols third on his ballot probably gets to vote for the Hall of Fame, too. Just like the guy who put Derek Jeter sixth on his MVP ballot.
Yeah, it’s all so scientific.
Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure Pujols is very pleased with how his season ended.