November 18, 2008

MLB MVPs Announced: Albert Pujols wins the NL MVP; Dustin Pedroia takes the AL honors. Rob Neyer makes a pretty compelling case that it could have been Lance Berkman in the NL and Joe Mauer in the AL, King Kaufman weighs in on the voting, and Baseball Prospectus takes a look at the AL candidates.

posted by holden to baseball at 03:45 PM - 9 comments

The right guys got it this year. Pujols's numbers are superior to everyone in the NL. Ryan Howard struck out 199 times and bat .251 and that doesn't cut it. You can't say he totally carried his team on his back. Pujols. Easy.

Pedroia is trickier because Mauer and Morneau had comparable numbers. In that case, tie goes to the guy whose team DOES get in the playoffs (although Twins almost did). Anyway, those two guys cancelled each other out. And with that competition Josh Hamilton didn't have a chance playing on a bad team. Pedroia really did carry the Sox though when the going got tough.

posted by bluesdog at 12:56 AM on November 19, 2008

I hate the good player on a bad team argument against an MVP candidate. Texas wouldn't win games with ANY offensive star on their team because they can't build a rotation to save their life. That's a management issue and doesn't impact how valuable a player is to their team.

posted by dfleming at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2008

MVP is a bad name for the award in any sports league. Every year the "valuable" topic comes up -- just change the name already. It can mean anything you want to justify your rooting interest in a player. Valuable to what -- the team, the league, the fans, the game of baseball?

A more fitting title would be Outstanding Player, Most Productive or just Player of the Year. There would still be bias toward guys on the best teams but hopefully it would encourage voters to look at individual production.

posted by bluesdog at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2008

I think Pujols was an easy choice. Nothing against that pick. He's the best.

Hard to argue with Pedroia either. It was a bit of a week year in the AL for power numbers, and everyone likes Pedroia. He had a fantastic season and Josh Hamilton hit a second half slump. I would have been ok with Mauer, though. He's quietly just as incredible a player as Pedroia.

Manny had a helluva year too. I hope that's not forgotten. Crazy numbers in LA. His yearly totals are second only to Pujols.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:09 PM on November 19, 2008

Yeah it's too bad Manny didn't decide he wanted to play baseball until he was in California.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:17 PM on November 19, 2008

I totally agree with bluesdog on changing the award to Player of the Year. That might help the chances of players like Hamilton win every now and then.

Locally there has been a lot of buzz due to the Dallas Morning News sports writer, Evan Grant, leaving Pedroia completely off his ballot. Not even in his top ten. I think you can argue the case for a few other players winning the top honor, however, I think you have to list Pedroia in the top 5.

posted by dviking at 12:36 AM on November 20, 2008

So, we all agree that Pujols and Pedroia each deserve the award, but there's still a question of the award's definition?

I totally disagree with changing the name. If there is any change needed to assure that the award goes to the "most valuable", it should occur in the voting process, not changing the award's name/meaning to fit a voting style. Plus, I'm sure Spofi has the ability to dissect the definitions of "outstanding" or "productive" just as much as "valuable".

In the case of Josh Hamilton, I think his awards will come. Currently, he's building it.

posted by BoKnows at 02:52 AM on November 20, 2008

I agree that the right guys won. Looking at the ballots, though, there still is something to be desired (from my perspective) from the voters. I don't think Howard should have finished second in the NL (I don't think he was even the most valuable player on his team), and Morneau finishing over Mauer in the AL is disappointing.

The voters are still obsessed with HR and RBI totals. It's just that Pujols had such an incredible all around year (including being second in the batting race and first in slugging) that it was almost impossible to pick against him, even though Howard outdistanced him by a considerable margin in each category. Had Ryan Howard put up those numbers (47 HR, 146 RBI) in the AL, I think he would have won the AL MVP without a doubt, which would have been a travesty.

posted by holden at 01:10 PM on November 20, 2008

How about the "Most non-steriod-using-player who's-stats-are-legit-so-we're good-here Award"?

Not to confuse anyone, we can just call it the MNSUPWSALSWGH award.

Kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Certainly has a nice ring to it.

posted by BornIcon at 02:19 PM on November 21, 2008

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.