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Pujols wins NL MVP unanimously

Nov 24, 2009, 2:12 PM EDT

No drama this time, as Albert Pujols took home all 32 first-place votes to be named the National League’s MVP by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday. Pujols is the first unanimous MVP selection in either league since Barry Bonds in 2002.

Hanley Ramirez finished runner-up while Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki, Andre Either and even Derrek Lee received second-place votes, but it wasn’t really all that close. This was Pujols’ year.

Click here to see a full breakdown of the results (Where’s Chase Utley, and who the heck gave Jeremy Affeldt a tenth-place vote?).

The repeat distinction is well-deserved for Pujols, who led the National
League in on-base percentage (.443), slugging
percentage (.658) and OPS (1.101), while also besting the National
League field in home runs (47) and runs scored (124). Pujols was a
monster in nearly every situation imaginable in 2009, but he
really cleaned up with the bases loaded, blasting five grand slams and
driving in 35 runs. The most incredible part? He did all that damage in
17 at-bats.

Sometimes we’re so distracted by his absurd production with the bat
that we forget the little things he does on the diamond. Pujols didn’t
win a Gold Glove this season, but he probably should have. He even led
his team with 16 stolen bases, tying a career-high.

We’re not giving away an MVP of the decade or anything, but if we did,
Pujols would wear the crown. Pujols, now a three-time MVP winner, didn’t even make his debut until 2001, but
he leads all major leaguers this decade with a .334 batting average,
366 home runs and 1,112 RBI. And to think he gave everyone else a year head-start.

As we close the book on yet another award season, a few voters went
rogue — some with compelling arguments, others, no
so much — but it can’t be denied that the BBWAA got the major awards
right for a second straight year. With this year’s Cy Young and MVP selections, we
have four of the most elite, exciting treasures of our game. It’s a
great time to be a baseball fan.

  1. dl3 - Nov 24, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    “It’s a great time to be a baseball fan.”
    It is indeed.

  2. OH YEAH - Nov 24, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    A-Rod is just as GOOD. STOP MAN CRUSHIN DJ

  3. OH YEAH - Nov 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    A-Rod is just as GOOD. STOP MAN CRUSHIN DJ

  4. StevenEll - Nov 24, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Jeremy Affeldt was probably the 12th best player on the third best team in the NL West. So voting him 10th for MVP surely is defensible.

  5. Chaz - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    “We’re not giving away an MVP of the decade or anything, but if we did, Pujols would wear the crown. Pujols, now a three-time MVP winner, didn’t even make his debut until 2001, but he leads all major leaguers this decade with a .334 batting average, 366 home runs and 1,112 RBI. And to think he gave everyone else a year head-start.”
    From 2000 through 2009, A-Rod led the major leagues with 435 homers and 1,243 RBI.
    A-Rod won just as many MVP awards (3) and World Series titles (1), and made as many playoff appearances (6), while playing more challenging defensive positions (SS/3B vs 1B/OF, plus 96 games of 3B).
    Yes, Pujols has higher rate stats, including OPS+, and he hasn’t admitted to steroid use, if that’s a criterion. Still, I don’t think the Decade MVP award is as clear-cut as you state.

  6. Bill@TDS - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    I think I’d give the Player of the Decade Award to Barry Bonds. three missed years and all. Then Pujols close behind, then A-Rod.

  7. Elkboy - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    Isn’t the modern or “sabermetric” triple crown BA/OBP/SLG? OBP/SLG/OPS is only two stats and one that is the other two added. If a player was first in OBP and SLG, he would by nature be first in OPS, so that seems silly.

  8. D.J. Short - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    Totally right. Screwed that up.

  9. kme - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    Who would you rather have to build a team around Albert or A-rod? Who epitomizes what’s good about baseball and who epiotmizes what’s become bad about baseball? That makes pretty easy to determine who is decade’s MVP.

  10. Jeff Lewis - Nov 24, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    Granted he’s only halfway to a HOF career, but remember votes like these when people start arguing about Utley not belonging. He should probably have been second or third this year (for the 2nd or 3rd time in a row), he should have at least 2 Gold Gloves, and the voters will ask, “If he was so good how come he never came close to an MVP or won any Gold Gloves?”

  11. JBerardi - Nov 24, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    “Who epitomizes what’s good about baseball and who epiotmizes what’s become bad about baseball?”

    This is about value, not about a largely fictional storyline.

  12. Mike J - Nov 24, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    Anyone who took juice openly should not be in the competition period. Pujols is probably the best right handed hitter of all time, and will most likely be on of the top three hitters of all time when said and done. A guy that hits 40 homers and strikes out like a lead off guy hitting .330 every year is about as rare as it gets.

  13. JLM - Nov 24, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    Yeah AROD is just as good, except for the ‘RIODS…..

  14. JLM - Nov 24, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    To bad I can’t spell, I meant ‘ROIDS, but I”ll take the opportunity to correct myself and add “and drama…..”

  15. Astrozac - Nov 25, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    “From 2000 through 2009, A-Rod led the major leagues with 435 homers and 1,243 RBI.
    A-Rod won just as many MVP awards (3) and World Series titles (1), and made as many playoff appearances (6), while playing more challenging defensive positions (SS/3B vs 1B/OF, plus 96 games of 3B).
    Yes, Pujols has higher rate stats, including OPS+, and he hasn’t admitted to steroid use, if that’s a criterion. Still, I don’t think the Decade MVP award is as clear-cut as you state.”
    Good points, but A-Rod had one more year in the decade and not to mention Pujols had a rookie season in there(though its not like he had bad numbers) while A-Rod was a vet. Plus since 04 A-Rod has just been a cog in the machine playing in the largest market.

  16. CTJ - Nov 25, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    I would give Player of the Decade to Barry Bonds. Three missed years and all. Then Pujols close behind, then A-Rod.
    If ARod is in the conversation we dont have a problem with drugs, so Bonds is the best

  17. D.J. Short - Nov 25, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    It’s a three-horse race, for sure. Can’t go wrong with any of them, really. I mean Bonds had a .609 OBP and 1.422 OPS in 2004! That’s insane. Fairly or unfairly, sometimes we are guilty of overlooking these historic totals because of who he is. I’m partial to Pujols because of his consistency, but that’s just me. Different ways to measure it.

  18. Shely - Nov 25, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    I think this is the reason Carpenter or Wainwright were not voted the Cy Young. Too many writers are really haters of Tony LaRussa. Someone wrote that last week. I think he is correct. Albert was a shoe in for the MVP, and many writers did not want TLR to have both award winners on his team. How you can give the Cy to a guy who was 5 & 5 after the All star game is beyond me.

  19. Steve - Nov 25, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    If you can give Barry Bonds and A-Rod any kind of justification for using performance enhancing drugs, then McGwire should be in the HOF. If you can’t justify McGwire, then the other two can not be considered as MVPs for any time period.

  20. Beverley Chavez - Jan 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

  21. screenprinting tshirts - Feb 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    I’m a little ticked about the outcome of last night’s Super Bowl what do you guys think who should’ve won the colts! or the Saints?

  22. watch tv and movies - Mar 8, 2010 at 8:36 PM

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