Joe Posnanski is one of the best, if not the best, baseball writers in the country. He embraces sabermetrics and has a seemingly endless well of entertaining stories. I also link to his great blog. Today, he took a writer named Thomas Boswell from the Washington Post to task for a poorly written article which explained that Ryan Howard and not Albert Pujols was the deserving NL MVP. As most people with a brain can comprehend, Pujols was by far the most valuable player in the NL (and all of baseball) in 2008. If you have a few minutes, read Joe's blog entry linked here. I'll paste a couple of my favorite lines:
"And I know that Boz understands that Pujols is a much better player because he spends the next paragraph pointing out that, yes, Howard can’t field, and yes Pujols outhit him, and yes Howard strikes out a lot while Pujols walks a lot. He knows this to be true. But you know the Seinfeld line about how impressed he is that the Chinese are sticking with chopsticks (”Oh, they’ve seen he fork. They don’t care. They’re sticking with the chopsticks”). Well, Boz is sticking with those RBIs"
Brilliant. Another gem:
"King Kaufman over at Salon wrote something the other day that I really liked. He wrote that the methodology for some voters seems to be: “Figure out who you like as MVP, then fashion the current year’s definition of ‘valuable’ to fit.”
Also brilliant, although Joe himself didn't come up with the line.
I won't dive too deeply into specifics of this year's crop of horrible awards ballots, because it's been done ad nauseum elsewhere. Click here, here, and here if you'd like to read some well-written stuff that criticizes the voting. Suffice it to say that, for once, the voters got the award winners right.
Additionally, Check out Beyond the Boxscore's list of the top 50 position players in baseball this year, factoring in offense, defense, and position. Notice something? Howard is nowhere to be found. Wow.
***EDIT***: At Fangraphs, Check out Eric Seidman's well thought and objective (Eric is a Phillies fan) argument why Howard should not have sniffed the MVP Award this year.