Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pujols says Howard not deserving of MVP

Albert Pujols said at a press conference that he believes Ryan Howard was not deserving of the National League MVP because he did not guide his team to the postseason.

Phanatic's Take:

Jared Trexler: The main problem I have with Pujols' argument is its premise. Carrying a team to the postseason has no relevance on the MVP voting (at least it shouldn't), and Pujols knew that fact when he made such an outlandish statement. Both men were deserving of the honor, and I think Howard's selection wasn't based solely on stats. It was based on a respect -- fear even -- that opposing managers had for the left-handed slugger over the season's final month. If Howard won't beat you, who will? Yet, when given even the slightest chance of affecting a game's outcome with his bat, Howard answered (just ask Tim Hudson).

The MVP Award isn't given to the best player, but rather the player MOST VALUABLE to his team. Pujols' Cardinals limped into the postseason with their backs turned. Howard's Phillies went 6-4 in their final 10 games, only to get passed by the red-hot Dodgers.

Both players hit in September when it counted: Pujols .378 and Howard .420. Fourteen of Howard's 39 August hits were home runs (talk about production).

Both are great players. But Pujols' argument forgets one simple fact. The Phillies had the better record.

John McMullen: Pujols is a great hitter and carried a pedestrian team to a World Series championship. In fact, the Cardinals were the worst team to win the big prize in my lifetime but, for better or worse, the MVP is based solely on the regular season and not the playoffs. This wasn't the American League race where you could have made solid arguments for three or four players. Howard was not only the clear-cut choice -- he was the only choice. This is just sour grapes on Pujols' part and it doesn't reflect well on him as a player. The ultimate goal in any sport is a championship ring and Pujols got one but he is still whining about individual honors. I bet Howard would trade his MVP trophy for Pujols' ring if he could -- Sadly, Albert might do the same.

Steve Lienert: First Scott Rolen won a ring, now this. I never really looked at Albert Pujols as soft ... until yesterday. Did he really just whine about not winning the MVP award? Someone needs to visit their local neighborhood gynecologist to clear up whatever is causing their discomfort. He just won the World Series in a year where his team finished two games behind the Phillies in the regular season. Does he also realize he didn't win the race for governor in Missouri, too? The only reason Ryan Howard didn't carry the Phils into the postseason was because he couldn't pitch the last three innings of almost every game in September. He hit 58 home runs with Pat 'No Bat' Burrell, who struck out 131 times in 144 games in 2006, hitting behind him. Would Fat Albert have done the same? Not bloodly likely. He would have been walked so much he would have stopped carrying a bat to the plate. That's not to mention that if the Phillies played in a division with two high-school teams (Hi Pittsburgh and Milwaukee) and a bad bar-league softball squad (I'm looking at you, Cubbies), the Phillies probably would have made it to the postseason, too. Howard meant more to the Phils than Pujols meant to the Cards. Not by much, but by enough for Pujols to tip his cap to Howard and appreciate the new addition to his jewelry collection: his world championship ring.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here you go dude. This is a little better story. One with the ACTUAL quotes, from a Dominican newspaper. Not a hack AP wire.

While I say that Pujols should have kept his mouth shut, it is pretty plain that several Dominican reporters perhaps asked him, "do you think the BBWA should award an MVP to a player that doesn't take his team to the playoffs?"

Pujols basically said "no." I don't share that sentiment, but many do. If he was asked straight out, you give him a pass.

Shouldn't have said it, but I am sick of players being cliche-machines with a thousand versions of the same vanilla answer anyway.

If that's the way he feels, fine. He DID NOT take a shot at Howard, there is a whole lot of spin on a quote that was pulled out of the middle of a larger one.