November 20, 2006

Howard is the MVP ( This is not a joke)

Ryan Howard was named the NL MVP today, and no matter how I try to rectify this, it just makes me so enraged I don’t know what to do.

I thought the MVP of the league was supposed to be an all-around team leader, great offensively and also a great defender. So with that said, let’s take a look at the three leading candidates for the NL MVP:

Ryan Howard batted .313 and had 25 doubles, 1 triple, 58 home runs, 149 RBI's, 108 bases on balls, struck out 181 times and stole no bases. It's a great season if you forget where Howard plays. He plays in one of the smallest parks in the Majors. But he did have great offensive numbers. On defense he committed 14 errors and had a fielding percentage of .991. This is where I don't see eye to eye on the award being given to him. That, along with the fact that the Phillies didn't even make it to the playoffs.

Albert Pujols batted .331 and had 33 doubles, 1 triple, 49 home runs, 137 RBI's, 92 bases on balls, struck out 50 times and stole seven bases. Now that is an MVP offensive year, but that’s not all. On defense he committed only 6 errors and walked away with the Gold Glove for NL players. On top of that he led his team to the 2006 World Series. As much as it pains me, Pujols seems like the hands down MVP.

Carlos Beltran batted .275 and had 38 doubles, 1 triple, 41 home runs, 116 RBI's, 95 bases on balls, struck out 99 times and stole 18 bases. A great season but not as great as Howard and Pujols. Here is where Beltran edges Howard and blasts right by him: He committed only 2 errors in centerfield of Shea Stadium (which is a huge amount of space to cover) and had a fielding percentage of .995. Did I mention he also took home the Gold Glove? Beltran should have been the runner up by a mile.

It pains me to see baseball value offense so much more than the overall game. Maybe I'm wrong but that's the way it seems. I mean there used to be a time when Reyes would have won the MVP, hands down, because of what he produced in all facets of the game, from offense to defense to stolen bases. But now that era is over and the time of "swing for the fences" rules with an iron fist. Sad for true baseball fans...

I almost feel ashamed for the voters.

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