Who is the NL MVP? Well, all the baseball know-it-alls have cast their votes and the winner will be announced this Monday (likely Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols). I'm wondering what an MVP is though. The acronym stands for most valuable player and it has long been debated that the player winning the award should be from a playoff team. If you remember back in 2006 when Ryan Howard won the award the Phils did not make the playoffs (slightly edged Pujols whose Cardinals won the World Series), and there have been players in years past that have been deemed worthy of MVP status, but their clubs failed to play into October (Larry Walker 1997 Rockies, Robin Yount 1989 Brewers). Personally I feel the MVP should be the player with the best overall numbers that contributed the most to his team's success, but that team doesn't necessarily have to be a playoff caliber team, but at least one that was in contention for the better part of the season. By that reasoning, that means Ryan Howard was the correct choice in 2006 even though the Phils feel short of the postseason, and that Albert Pujols would be the correct choice this season as the Cardinals too fell just short. I'm a diehard Phils Phan, but I'm also a MLB loyalist and I honestly feel that Albert Pujols should be the 2008 NL MVP because he has the overall superior numbers and is a much better fielder too.
By the #'s:
Ryan Howard- 162 g, 105 r, 153 h, 26 dbl, 4 trpl, 48 hr, 146 rbi, 1 sb, .251 avg, .881 ops, 199 k's, and 19 errors.
Albert Pujols- 148 g, 100 r, 187 h, 44 dbl, 37 hr, 116 rbi, 7 sb, .357 avg, 1.114 ops, and only 54 k's and 6 errors.
Other that will receive consideration- Lance Berkman, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Chase Utley, Matt Holliday, Chipper Jones, and Ryan Ludwick.
*Of note, if Pujols finishes 2nd, it will be his 4th time playing bridesmaid.