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A Strong Argument for the NL MVP


Migrant Redbird

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Albert Pujols, underappreciated superstar

.... He's the most consistent player in all of baseball. He's the most consistent professional athlete on the planet. He may be the most consistent player in any sport ever. If he were publicly traded on Wall Street, he'd be the one stock that delivers steady growth, shaking off recessions and the collapse of the country's banking and mortgage structure, while others fall to pieces.

.... Pujols leads the majors in a slew of categories, from slugging average and OPS to more advanced stats like Value Over Replacement Player and Runs Created. He's one of the best baserunners and defenders in the league at his position. There is no good statistical argument that could possibly favor any other player in the league as more valuable this season.

Yet again and again, we read another tortured argument for a vastly inferior player as NL MVP.

.... "Pujols' team faded. I don't think he's a factor. Delgado or Ryan. The Delgado-Howard MVP race changes every day."

That comment wasn't from a columnist, but rather Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt. But the argument for Delgado remains equally puzzling no matter who makes it.

Player AVG OBP SLG

Pujols .349 .453 .633

Delgado .271 .351 .520

Pujols is the best defensive first baseman in the league. Delgado … isn't. Pujols runs the bases better than any first baseman in the league. Delgado … doesn't. When Delgado finished the month of April hitting .198, there were calls for the Mets to cut him. At the end of June, he was hitting .228. Pujols has been the best player in the league all year. But Delgado is the MVP candidate?

.... At age 21, Pujols had one of the best rookie seasons in sports history: .329/.403/.610, with 37 homers and 130 RBI. Since then, he's been the same player every year. He hits .330, slugs .600, gets on base at least 40 percent of the time, hits between 30 and 50 homers, never makes a mistake on the bases and plays near-flawless defense. Every single year. Eight years in a row. Most recently, with the prospect of major surgery hanging over his head on a daily basis. Pujols ranks fifth on the career OPS list. The players ahead of him? Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Barry Bonds.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

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I could be wrong, but wasn't Pujols critical of Howard winning it a couple years ago b/c Howard's team hadn't made the playoffs? Shoe's on the other foot now, but he could certainly point to that as why he should still win . . .

Right you are Mr. Bumbry:

"I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP," Pujols said

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Right you are Mr. Bumbry:

"I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP," Pujols said

Well Albert sees the award as the best player on the playoff teams, I think he's wrong. It should be the best player in the league because an individual doesn't have control over the rest of his team's performance.

It's an individual award not a team award, at least that's what I think it should be. Sorry Albert you deserve the MVP.

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The definition for MVP that they use is the player that has the most significant impact on his team's fortunes. While the Cards are 81-76, before the season many pundits had them pegged for less success than that. Score one for Albert.

The Mets got themselves back in the race to stay on July 17th. Since that date, Delgado has posted an OPS of 1.016 with 20 HRs and 58 RBI. Score one for Carlos.

Since July 17th, Pujols has an OPS of 1.100 with 16 HRs and 58 RBI.

Game, set, match - Pujols

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The problem is, everyone has a different definition of MVP and therefore, the right player doesn't seem to usually win.

The guy who wins is a worthy candidate but not the best candidate in many years.

Well, you saying the "right" player doesn't usually win means that you think your definition of the MVP is the "right" one and the others are wrong.

There are valid arguments to be made for various interpretations of the MVP award. Its defined as "most valuable" so you could certainly argue that simply having good numbers isn't the end-all of the award, they may have to have a lot of meaning behind them, i.e. been on a team that matters. Or you could argue that all of the performances are valuable, that a guy with massive numbers on a 70-win team is just as valuable as a guy with massive numbers on a 95-win team. One took a 60-win team to a 70-win team, the other an 85-win team to a 95-win team.

Thats really the main debate. Most of the time there is a clear leading candidate for each different "interpretation" of the MVP award, so the debate really isn't about who should win, but who's interpretation is right.

Always an interesting debate.

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"Most valuable" needs to be taken out of the sports world. It's too confusing, it's too vague. When everyone has a different definition, everything gets all muddled up and Justin Morneau manages to win the most important award of the year.

Change it to Player of the Year. Change it to the Babe Ruth award, or the Willie Mays award, or something. No one really cares if the Cy Young winner comes from a playoff team, and that's just as prestigious as the MVP.

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The problem is, everyone has a different definition of MVP and therefore, the right player doesn't seem to usually win.

The guy who wins is a worthy candidate but not the best candidate in many years.

Since there are so many different interpretations...why is your interpretation superior to others when you say the guy isn't the best candidate?

Edit: What Mackus said.

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He's pitched 4.8% of Philly's innings this year. I don't care if he hasn't given up a hit, you can't be the MVP playing that sparsely, IMO.

I think he's picking up quite a bit of momentum here late in the season. When you look at the main difference between the Phillies and Mets, right now it's Brad Lidge at the back end of the bullpen compared to the Mets using whoever. I don't disagree with you in principle though. Just don't be shocked if Lidge and K Rod in the AL win or finish top 3 in the MVP voting.

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