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less-valuable-but-a-better-hitter-this-isnt-right-2 | November | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

Less valuable, but a better hitter? This isn’t right…

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Albert Pujols was named the National League's Most Valuable Player for 2005 today, after four consecutive years of finishing behind Barry Bonds. Andruw Jones, with slightly less impressive offensive numbers, was named the league's best hitter when he won the Hank Aaron Award last month. Something isn't right. I think the voters got it backwards. On purpose. Although I have no evidence to support such a theory, it is easy to see how someone might think this year's MVP voting was rigged -- indirectly if not by force. There is little doubt among most fans or "experts" that the NL's best two hitters in 2005 were Pujols and Derrek Lee, while the two most valuable players were Pujols and Jones. Therefore, it is conceivable that Pujols could have been named the league's outstanding hitter (Hank Aaron Award) and MVP, or that he could have come in second for both awards to Lee and Jones. But I can't imagine how baseball "experts" could honestly believe Jones is the better hitter but less valuable than Pujols, since much of Jones' value comes from saving runs in the field. If the Hank Aaron Award is just for outstanding hitting, and Jones won that, then factoring in defense should only guarantee Jones the MVP award. Or else Pujols simply deserved them both. But it seems like someone wanted to be politically correct and make sure Pujols finally got the recognition he deserves (as if finishing second-place a fifth year in a row wouldn't create a media frenzy around his name), and a little vote-swapping was organized to make sure Pujols finally was named MVP and Jones still received an honor worthy of the season he had. But I'm not fooled -- Jones was the league's most valuable player, and Pujols was the league's best hitter. And if my crazy little theory actually represents the truth, then shame on MLB and whoever organized the sham. I hope I'm wrong, but with Bud Selig in charge, I'm not optimistic. (The top three vote-getters in this year's MVP race were the only three to receive any top-three votes. Pujols received 18 of 32 first-place votes and 14 second-place votes for a total of 378 points. Andruw received 13 first-place votes, 17 second-place votes, and two third-place votes for a total of 351 points. Derrek Lee received one first-place vote, one second-place vote, and the remaining 30 third-place votes for 263 points. Morgan Ensberg (160) and Miguel Cabrera (146) were the only other players to receive more than 100 points.)

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