Sunday, October 05, 2008

Albert Pujols Was Not A Good Enough Pitcher To Win The MVP

I for one can't wait for the deluge of Ryan Howard-for-MVP columns from older dudes wearing RBI Glasses™. RBI Glasses™: Available at ShittyLensCrafters all across the country. Hey, here's the first one, from Bob Klapisch.

Me: Bob Klapisch, you're writing a column about your awards picks. What are you going to call it?

Bob Klapisch (stopping to think for exactly 0.00038 seconds): The Klappie Awards! I'm on break.

Bob Klapisch's Klappie Awards

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, NL: Ryan Howard, Phillies.

Nope. Wrong. So so so so so so so wrong. You should be criticized on some sort of hypercritical baseball blog for that opinion.

We’re prepared to face the firing squad on this one, having passed over Albert Pujols.

Klapisch is talking about a literal firing squad. He has written his farewell notes to his wife and kids. But he's doing this because he's a man. A man taking a stand. A man choosing another man who is ranked 30th in his league in VORP for MVP. These are the kinds of causes for which a man like Bob Klapisch is willing to stare death in the face.

Mark DeRosa and Cristian Guzman had higher VORPs than Ryan Howard. VORP is not the final word by any means; it obviously has deficiencies. But hey, also: Ryan Howard was 6th on his team in OBP. Think about that.

But as unthinkably dangerous as the Cardinals’ slugger was, he couldn’t get his team to the postseason. Howard did.

You're right. Albert Pujols did not nearly pitch well enough, or for enough innings (Can you believe zero innings? What a bum!) for the Cardinals to to make the playoffs. (The Phillies had a team ERA of 3.88; the Cardinals 4.19. Albert Pujols? More like Albert Not A Very Good Pitching Coach!)

Pujols should have lobbied to have St. Louis the city moved to Oregon, where his Cardinals would have won the NL West by two games and he would be lauded as a clutch MVP baseball superhero with quality intangibles and a leader with the uncanny ability to come through when it counts. But unfortunately, Pujols has never been good at getting entire cities to spontaneously change their geographical locations.

Ryan Howard batted .168 in April. Albert Pujols' batting averages, by month (and I know batting average doesn't matter. Here they are anyway): .365, .373, .302, .347, .398, .321. Bob Klapisch, do you think for some reason that games played in April don't count in the standings? Ryan Howard batted .213 in August.

Granted, Pujols had better season-long numbers.

Granted, "The Wire" is a "better" show than "Hole in the Wall."

But Howard was in another reality in September, when impact players make their mark.

But "Hole in the Wall" and one very funny moment where a guy couldn't fit through the hole in the wall, and that is the kind of impact that impact TV shows make when it counts.

While the Phillies were catching and passing the Mets (again), Howard batted .352 and hit 11 home runs — one every eight at-bats.

While the Cardinals were playing baseball, Albert Pujols batted .357.

Ryan Howard hit behind Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. If Albert Pujols hit behind Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, he would have had 493 RBI. Do the math. It checks out.

He finished the season with a mediocre .251 average, but otherwise led the majors with 48 HR and 146 RBI.

Sure, he hit by far the most home runs. RBI are bullshit. Here are things he didn't lead the majors in:

Literally any defensive statistic. Any of them. Just pick one.

You know who led or was damn close to the lead in a shitload of those statistics? Albert Pujols. The 2008 NL MVP.

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