Joey Votto wins NL MVP Award—Pujols 2nd, Holliday 12th, Wainwright 17th

First of all, let me say I have no problem with Joey Votto winning the MVP award.  He was the best player on the NL Central’s top team, the Cincinnati Reds.  To a lot of the writers, the most important thing is if it is close, the winner should come from a first place team. However, I continue to have a problem with these voters.  My first problem is that Brian Wilson finished 13th in the NL MVP, while Wainwright finished 17th.  In the NL Cy Young voting, Wainwright was 2nd and Wilson was 7th.  There seems to be something wrong there.  There are plenty of instances like these in recent years, where the writers are all over the place.

There are many reasons why Votto was chosen over Pujols.  Again, I actually think it’s the right choice.  Back in 2006, Ryan Howard beat out Pujols for the MVP, and Albert made the comment that he thinks the winner should come from a playoff team.  The Cardinals made it in 2006, and won it all.  In 2008, Pujols won the award, and Howard finished 2nd.  The Phillies made the playoffs, and, like the Cardinals in 2006, won it all.  And here lies the problem.  I already read today from a few writers that the reason they gave it to Votto was because the Reds went to the playoffs, and the Cardinals did not.  So what gives?  Are the writers changing their minds from one year to the next on whether the playoffs are important or not?

Jon Heyman voted AP 4th, and here are his comments from Twitter:

“Pujols is the best player on earth.  Reason I voted him 4th was he played for a disappointing team whereas Votto, A-gone and Halladay didn’t.  My vote is based on most valuable, not best, as the award suggests.  Harder to be valuable for an also-ran.  Cards/Rockies also rans this yr.”

Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post says that Ryan Zimmerman deserved better in the MVP voting, and I agree with him.  Here is his article on Zimmerman.

The problem with Heyman’s comments is that he and the other writers are all voting on a different set of standards.  Would the Reds have won the NL Central without Joey Votto?  No.  Would the Cardinals have finished 2nd without Albert Pujols?  No.  So I don’t see the argument as holding water for a player on a team that wins it, but not for a 2nd place team.  With Zimmerman it’s a little harder.  The Nationals finished last in the NL East, but it’s not Zimmerman’s fault.  Here is another problem.  Any player that wins the MVP Award on a first place team is going to have great teammates around him, either on offense or a great pitching staff.  Ryan Zimmerman is the best all around 3rd baseman in baseball right now, should be he penalized for his team’s lack of a pitching staff?

I just wish the voters would stick to a formula for the winner, where they all had to follow the same guidelines.  The same with the Cy Young Award.  There’s too much personal interpretation for what the MVP and Cy Young Awards actually mean. 

I already gave my rant on Roy Halladay winning the NL Cy Young Award.  The problem I had with it was not that he won, but that he won it unanimously, and it’s as if the voters didn’t realize just how close Halladay and Wainwright were.  The made it out to be that Halladay had no competition, and the stats don’t support that at all.  Here is my article on how close they actually were:

So what they’re saying today in the voting for the MVP is that Wilson was more important to the Giants than Wainwright to the Cardinals since the Giants made the playoffs.  Would the Cardinals have been in the race at all without Wainwright?  No way.  They need to decide if these are team awards, or individual awards.

Albert Pujols won the Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award for 1st baseman this year.  That means he was rated as a better defender and better hitter than Votto.  Yet he finished 2nd.  I’ve already concluded that the Gold Glove Award is getting to be a joke.  There’s no other way to say it when Derek Jeter won another one this year, totaling 5 GG’s now for him.  Derek Jeter is among the worst, if not the worst defensive shortstop in all of baseball when it comes to UZR.  The best defenders are only getting the award if their offense ranks well.

So anyway, I don’t know who had Pujols 6th yet, and I’m not sure who had Adam Wainwright 5th in the NL Cy Young Award, but for them and all others, it’s time for them to agree on what the standards for the awards are.  For a game that is treasured and crazy about statistics, I would like to see a little more of these statistics used instead of reading guys like Heyman making his own interpretations for what he thinks the awards mean.  I’ll look back and see if Heyman is contradicting himself from years past.  Part II is coming soon.

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