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Ryan Howard got a second place MVP vote. That actually happened.

Nov 22, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

NLCS Giants Phillies Baseball

It has become ritual for we blogger-types to scan the awards ballots to find the oddities, outliers and outrages of the BBWAA vote, so I dutifully do so now.  No real outrages here.  Any reasonable person figured that Votto, Pujols and maybe — maybe — Carlos Gonzalez were your huckleberries, and they finished 1-2-3.  So to the extent there is any reason to complain here it’s of the “downballot snarking” variety, not the “this is outrageous!” variety. To wit:

  • Ryan Howard got a second place vote, a third place vote a fourth, two fifths, two sixths and a seventh. He’s a poor defensive first baseman who ranked 17th in OPS, yet he beat out Buster Posey on the ballot.  I know he’s a popular player and everything — and I would never say that he’s not a good player — but is there a player in the league for whom there is a greater disconnect between perceived value and actual value?
  • Roy Halladay was sixth. I haven’t thought hard about it, but it sort of feels right.  He didn’t have a case or anything, but I want voters to get back to seriously considering pitchers for the MVP.  There will come a season soon when someone goes, like 24-4 with 300 strikeouts and a low walk total. When he does, I want that guy to win the MVP.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez got a fourth place vote, but no other votes.  No man is an island. Except, that is, for the man who voted Jimenez fourth.
  • Dan Uggla got five votes. I can now officially taunt Marlins fans by saying that the Braves traded Omar Infante and Mike Dunn for an MVP candidate.  Wait, that’s silly. There aren’t any Marlins fans.
  • Deep thought: how can Omar Infante beat Joey Votto onto the All-Star team and not be considered more valuable?!  It’s the All-Star game, people!!
  • Adrian Gonzalez was the highest ranked player who got left off of someone’s ballot.  Voters can pick their top ten. I don’t believe that voters have to vote for ten players, however, so that could explain it. I mean, if a voter figured “top three is all that matters”  it makes sense to leave him off. But if the guy who left off Gonazalez actually voted for ten other dudes, that seems a bit nuts to me. UPDATE: reader Whitakk points out that there were 32 10th-place votes cast, so each voter must have turned in a complete ballot.  So someone didn’t think Gonzalez was top-10 material.  Odd.

Like I said: no basis whatsoever for outrage. Votto deserved it in my view, and there were no atrocities on the ballots.  But it’s fun to talk about it all the same, so we talk.

  1. tomemos - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    I plum forgot about the All-Star Game thing. How many other MVP winners have been left off the All-Star roster? Probably a lot, thinking about it.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    There will come a season soon when someone goes, like 24-4 with 300 strikeouts and a low walk total.

    ’99 Pedro Martinez please call the service desk, we have your MVP award. ’99 Pedro Martinez, please pick up the yellow courtesy phone.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1999.shtml#ALmvp

    • BC - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:05 PM

      Or 2002 Randy Johnson.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:25 PM

        ’02 RJ was good, but no one was topping ‘roided Bonds that year. Even look at Vlad’s monster year, one HR shy of a 40/40 season, 336/417/593 triple slash numbers, 206 (!) hits. And he was still almost half the bWAR of Bonds.

    • gsalvatore - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:33 PM

      Right on. I read that and thought Craig was either making a reference to Pedro, or almost perfectly nailed Pedro’s numbers by coincidence.

      Today, when I think about the ’99 MVP, I feel much like Homer feels when he finds out that he actually pays the Homeowner Tax, not the Homer Tax: “Well, anyway, I’m still outraged.”

  3. Ace - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Ryan Howard wasn’t the 2nd most valuable Phillie (Werth, Halladay), the 2nd most valuable first baseman (Votto, Pujols), or even the 2nd most valuable Ryan (Zimmerman, Braun).

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:46 PM

      Well put, Ace. He’s probably not the most valuable Howard either.

      • jhu1997 - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:10 PM

        He was better than Howie Kendrick, but if you count James Howard Thome as a Howard, then he wasn’t the best Howard.

  4. Jonny 5 - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Uhhh, Yeah. I don’t think Ryan Howard is the Phillies MVP this(or is it last?) season. I like the acknowledgement of Roy H. But every 5 games is going to be extra tough to draw an MVP of an entire league. Even from a homeboy such as myself.

  5. ThatGuy - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    You forgot to mention a closer, Brian Wilson, recieving a 3rd place vote. Right a closer that pitched 74 innings was the a top 3 most valuable player in the league.

  6. Adam - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Does he have a clause in his contract that gets money if he receives certain ranks in the MVP vote? If so, maybe someone was trying to make the Phillies pay more to him?

  7. yankeesfanlen - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    If I recall 50’s radio baseball announcing history correctly, a “huckleberry” was a bad player.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM

      That’s true, but my use of it is the “Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in ‘Tombstone'” version, roughly translated as “I’m the man you’re looking for.”

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:13 PM

        Wow, I thought that couldn’t be what you were referencing but indeed you were. “I’m your huckleberry” is def the best line from the whole damn movie.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:32 PM

        That line is the best, but only because of the Johny (Johnny?) Ringo line about “playing for blood” before it. The interactions between those two are incredible throughout the entire movie.

        Also the line about the guy’s spanish being just as bad as his english, and the guy just shrugging since he knows it’s true.

      • ta192 - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:17 PM

        Actually, there’s a bunch of good lines from that flick…

    • paperlions - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM

      I’m pretty sure “huckleberry” in that context was a derogatory term for a player from the country (i.e. a country bumpkin).

  8. schlom - Nov 22, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    I’m curious to find out who the two voters who left Adrian Gonzalez completely off their ballot were.

  9. scatterbrian - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    FWIW, C. Gonzalez had 636 plate appearances and 231 balls in zone (according to FanGraphs) while Halladay faced 993 batters.

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