Congratulations, Albert Pujols on your second MVP award. You sure... deserved it.
If there was a "Best Player" award, I'd have no argument with this. There are few players that can claim to be anywhere near as skilled a baseball player as Pujols is.
That said, I'd like to make a case for the overrated Ryan Howard. It's true that he was just farting around and lollygagging his way to 48 home runs and 146 runs batted in. Anybody can get lucky, am I right? And, well, despite Howard's shortcomings, the Philadelphia Phillies won the NL East division title.
Now, I understand that the St. Louis Cardinals soared their way to a 4th place finish in the NL Central. And they would not have been able to attain that lofty position without the contributions of their star slugger. Hell, who knows? They might have finished in 5th or 6th place if not for their MVP.
Lord knows, you can't expect to put forth the excellence of a 4th place finish unless you get an MVP year. I'll bet the Cards wish they had more players like that. Maybe they could have finished in 3rd place! The mind boggles!
You know, now that I have made the case for Howard, I think that the baseball writers made the right choice after all. It's pretty clear to me that the Phillies could have finished in 2nd, 3rd or even, gosh, 4th place without Howard.
And it's totally true that Howard lacked consistency all year, and only excelled in September, when his team needed his production most. But who cares about that!? He struck out 199 times! Think of all the runs that could have been scored.
Howard's 146 RBI, mostly achieved in garbage time situations, is child's play compared to the 116 that Pujols put up. Obviously, Pujols' runs were more pivotal. They certainly led the Cardinals (86) to have more wins than the Phillies (92) had.
Pujols said it best in 2006: "I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP." You tell 'em, Albert!
Clearly, the baseball writers agree. Since that's what it takes to win that award, then I certainly hope Howard does the right thing and hits 25 less homers next year and drives in 35 less runs. Then, as long as the Phillies finish 11 games out and in 4th place... he'll be a shoo-in for MVP.