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NL MVP: Albert Pujols

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols won the second National League most valuable player award of his career, winning by a comfortable margin of 61 total points over Philadelphia's Ryan Howard. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun was third.

Pujols received 18 of a possible 32 first-place votes, with Howard receiving 12. The other two went to Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who nonetheless finished eighth in the overall balloting. Two players who were traded to the NL in July and had major impacts on their new teams -- Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers and C.C. Sabathia of the Brewers -- finished fourth and sixth respectively.

Pujols, widely considered the best hitter in the game, hit .357 with a 37 homers and 116 RBI, and amazingly struck out only 54 times in 633 plate appearances. His other MVP award came in 2005, and he has been runner-up three times (including twice when he finished behind Barry Bonds).

The AL MVP will be announced tomorrow, with Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, Chicago's Carlos Quentin, Texas' Josh Hamilton and Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez among the leading contenders.


By Dave Sheinin  |  November 17, 2008; 2:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

Justin Morneau's stats were nearly identical to Hamilton's. Will he even garner a third-place vote?

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

When Pujols lost the MVP to Ryan Howard in 2006, he commented that "someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP."

Hmmm. I wonder what he thinks now.

Posted by: chrisduckworth | November 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Morneau deserves consideration, too, especially since his team was a contender. I'm guessing K-Rod, because Pedroia and Youkilis split votes, Quentin was hurt, and Hamilton put up numbers for a noncontender in a bandbox. With many position players, none clearly the favorite, K-Rod's off the charts save numbers for the team with the best record will let him get by with

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll freely admit to being a Cardinals fan, but this should be about the 8th consecutive MVP award for Albert Pujols. He's one of the best hitters in that league and is often overlooked for his glove. Very glad he won. He was very deserving of this recognition.

Posted by: CecilCountyJake | November 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Pujols is a great all-around player, but this isn't the "Greatest All-Around Player" award. I'd have gone with Ryan Howard.

And Pujols would understand why. He said as much in 2006.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 17, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I dont understand the criticism. Pujols isnt only the best hitter in the game today, but one of the top 10 there has ever been. If he could run, he'd hit .400

Posted by: milewalker | November 17, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Howard was robbed. Of course I am biased, but Albert Pujols was a shadow this year. Seriously, he was rarely in the paper or on ESPN. There is no doubt that Pujols is a great hitter. However, Howard led the league in 2/3 of the most important hitting categories. And most importantly, led his team to the playoffs and the title. Howard literally carried the team on his back the entire month of September to over take the Mets and the Brewers.
Hands down, Howard is the MVP regardless of the the strike outs and his avg. The world series title trumps all of that.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | November 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Howard was robbed. Of course I am biased, but Albert Pujols was a shadow this year. Seriously, he was rarely in the paper or on ESPN. There is no doubt that Pujols is a great hitter. However, Howard led the league in 2/3 of the most important hitting categories. And most importantly, led his team to the playoffs and the title. Howard literally carried the team on his back the entire month of September to over take the Mets and the Brewers.
Hands down, Howard is the MVP regardless of the the strike outs and his avg. The world series title trumps all of that.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | November 18, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

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