Sunday, September 03, 2006

Howard hitting 3 should earn him MVP

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard belted three more jacks Sunday to boost his Major League-leading total to 53. He is the second sophomore to hit more than 50 homers, passing Ralph Kiner's 51 in 1947.

And the funny thing is most of the "experts" are saying he shouldn't win the MVP- or at least they were last week. Because his Phillies team is currently on the outside of the playoffs (they are 1.5 GB in the WC) people say the winner HAS to come from a playoff team, so guys like Carlos Beltran (Mets) and Albert Pujols (Cards) are considered the frontrunners.

First of all let me clarify that NO WAY does the MVP have to come from a winning team. Heck, back when I was a youngster watching ball the MVP often came from non-playoff teams : Between 1974 -1993, the era before the Wild Card was born, there were 43 MVP winners (remember, in 1979 the award was split between "I'm" Keith Hernandez and Papa Stargell). Of those 43, 14 did not play in the postseason the year they won it, and Andre Dawson won it in 1987 with a Cubs squad that was under .500 (76-85, 18.5 GB).

So let's throw that argument out the window. When a guy is lighting up the league like a Monte Cristo in only his second full season in the bigs that guy deserves the award, even if his team is sub-.500. Just look at the numbers :

.308, 53 HRs (1st in MLB), 133 RBI (1st in MLB), .401 OBP(7th in NL), .660 SLG(2nd in NL), 88R, 1.062 OPS (2nd in NL, 4th in MLB) -and he's only 27 years old with just under 850 career ABs and making only $355k! Talk about a bargain!

Sure the other 2 candidates are having nice seasons. Beltran: .286, 39 HRs, 112 RBI, Mets lead NL East by 15 games; Pujols: .321, 42HRs, 114 RBI, Cards lead NL Central by 6 games.

But neither of them are having that "oooh, wow, did you see what he did today" type of season like Howard is, and that's the TRUE barometer of who should win the MVP. Oh by the way, Phat Albert hit 3 homers Sunday, too. But somehow it just didn't seem to be as big a deal, as the new kid on the block is plowing through the league and ready to take Pujols' trophy from him.

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