The NL MVP voting results were released today, and while overall they got right the only thing that really matters, a closer look at the ballot totals reveals a pair of unforgivable mistakes:
- Albert Pujols only received 18 of 32 first-place votes, with 12(!) going to Ryan Howard(!!) and 2(!!!) going to Brad Lidge(!!!!)
- Chase Utley finished 15th
I know it's beyond tired to complain about the BBWAA, but while some will take the selection of Pujols as a sign of how far they've come, I'd say the results would be better taken as a sign of how far they still have to go before we can even think about taking their opinions seriously. Pujols is the best player in baseball. By a healthy margin. And peak Chase Utley is one of the greatest second basemen in the history of the sport, a guy basically making a career out of Bret Boone's presumably artificial ceiling. How that guy finished third on his own team - without a single top-three vote - just blows my mind to the point at which I have to cover my ears so as not to decorate the walls on either side of my head with boiling CSF.
It's insane. It is inexcusable and completely insane. Brad Lidge? Ryan flipping Howard? It just - ...no. You know who would've been a better first-place vote than Ryan Howard? Randy Winn. Or Brad Hawpe. Maybe even Fred diddly God damn Lewis. There were literally dozens of more valuable players in the NL this year than Ryan Howard. Howard finished second. 13 slots ahead of Chase Utley, who was the better player by at least like three or four wins. This is the stuff migraines are made of. Somewhere out there, between 14-32 BBWAA NL MVP voters are trying to get cheaper winter heating by drilling a hole in the microwave.
I wonder if there are any other fields in the world in which the people who cover a given topic know so little about the topic.