Albert Pujols was announced the National League’s Most Valuable Player today by Major League Baseball, for the second time in his career. Pujols beat out Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard by six first-place votes (Pujols received 18, Howard got 12).
Pujols received the award after a year in which his Cardinals finished fourth in their division. Pujols hit .357 on the year, with 37 homers and 116 RBI. Pujols also missed some time this year with an elbow problem. I really did not expect Pujols to pick up this award; I thought it would go to a deserving Ryan Howard.
Howard, who finished second, led the league with 46 homers and 146 RBI, while batting just .251. He also won the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, given the award is Most Valuable, Howard did have a great supporting staff in Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, and others.
However, it is questionable how well the Phillies would have done without that bat in the lineup.
Many think the Manny Ramirez should have won. The Dodgers went 35-15 with the newly acquired Manny in their lineup, and Manny had at least one RBI in every game. He also hit .347 with L.A. Manny really led this second-place Dodger team to the NLCS, where, of course, they lost to Ryan Howard and the Phillies.