Blog Entry

A tough vote -- no, really

Posted on: November 24, 2009 2:01 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2009 4:25 pm
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This was one of the easiest MVP votes ever.

And also one of the toughest.

The easiest because Albert Pujols was such an obvious winner, the first unanimous MVP since Barry Bonds in 2002. The toughest because there were so many great candidates to finish second through 10th.

I know, because I was one of the 32 voters for this year's National League MVP. And I can tell you that while it took me about half a second to decide on Pujols, I spent hours thinking about the other nine spots.

In most things, and even in most of the BBWAA postseason awards, nobody really cares who finishes second. It’s different with the MVP, where each spot is cherished, often rewarded (with contract bonuses) and sometimes even remembered.

One of the big reasons Jim Rice got my Hall of Fame vote was that six times in his career, he finished in the top five in MVP voting. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the dominant players of each era, and if you’re regularly recognized as one of the top five players in the league, that’s a pretty good show of dominance.

Speaking of which, let’s get back to Pujols, because besides winning the MVP three times (only Barry Bonds, with seven, has won it more), the Cardinals star has finished in the Top 10 in the voting in each of his first nine big-league seasons.

That’s unheard of.

The only other players with nine straight Top 10 finishes were Stan Musial and Willie Mays (who both went on to a 10th in a row), and neither did it in his first nine years. Pujols now has three first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, one third-place, one fourth-place and one ninth-place (in 2007).

Incredible.

So those other spots on the ballot do count, even when we’ve all known for months who’s going to finish at the top.

The rest of my ballot, with quick comments:

2. Ryan Howard. Tied for the league lead in RBIs, a close third in home runs, and once again dominated down the stretch for the team that won the NL East. Howard drove in 59 runs in his last 50 games. No one else in the majors had more than 41.

3. Hanley Ramirez. The batting champion, while driving in 106 runs and playing shortstop for a team that stayed in the race a lot longer than it should have.

4. Troy Tulowitzki. His turnaround matched his team’s.

5. Chris Carpenter. I still say he should have won the Cy Young, but his value goes beyond the days he pitches. Credited with finding a flaw in teammate Adam Wainwright’s delivery.

6. Prince Fielder. A great season, but he couldn’t keep the Brewers in the race.

7. Matt Kemp. Tough to pick between him and teammate Andre Ethier, but Ethier slumped during Manny Ramirez’s suspension, so Kemp finishes one spot higher.

8. Andre Ethier. The walkoff hits suggest he could have been higher on the ballot, but in front of who?

9. Matt Holliday. Only spent half the season in the NL, but his arrival helped spur the Cardinals to the NL Central crown.

10. Chase Utley. Another guy who easily could have gone higher on the ballot.

Could have been included, but couldn’t find a spot for them: Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum.


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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:28 pm
 

A tough vote -- no, really




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:33 am
 

A tough vote -- no, really




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Posted on: December 31, 2011 7:12 am
 

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 6:57 am
 

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:29 am
 

A tough vote -- no, really




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 5:44 am
 

A tough vote -- no, really



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:21 am
 

A tough vote -- no, really

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 5:05 am
 

A tough vote -- no, really

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Since: Sep 28, 2007
Posted on: November 24, 2009 9:03 pm
 

A tough vote -- no, really

fielder at 6th ain't that bad, considering if you look at the complete voting, 3 people placed him 10th!!!  1 voter placed derrick lee 2nd???  and Yunel Escobar...who the hell would even think that he is the 5th most valuable player in the NL???  wtf?!?!  my fork can do a better job voting.


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