Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Back

But this will be a short post. Gotta work in slooooowly. :)

I'm glad to see the Cardinals are still playing with a purpose. I'm sure Arizona doesn't feel the same way. Its a crippling blow they've dealt the D-Backs so far in this series. A win today for the home team, and it doesn't matter what LA does tonight. Ya think Joe Torre will send LaRussa a fruit basket as a thank you?

The Cardinals swoon earlier this month, coupled with the Dodgers' surge, has made the past week the first time St Louis wouldn't have been in first place in the NL West all season. Something for the useless trivia file.

There's been a lot of talk out there about the NL MVP. Lots of opinions, some of them informed, some not. I would break down the top 6 candidates or so this way:

- Albert Pujols. Enough said.

- Ryan Ludwick. He has had an MVP caliber year. He will suffer from being on the same team as AP, much like Rolen and Edmonds did in 2004, however his numbers, and defense, compare favorably with what Albert has put up this year. Merits serious consideration. If not the MVP, he should definitely - DEFINITELY - be comeback player of the year in the NL.

- David Wright. Plays in NY. That alone will get him votes. Knock on Wright is he sucks with RISP. I can't find a RISP stat table anywhere (AARGH!) that supports that perception, but he did stink up the joint last night against the CUBS - in the 3 innings I watched he left 4 runners on.

- Carlos Delgado. Tanked the first half of the season, assisted in getting Willie Randolph fired. Then decided to show up. Sorry, you're not MVP-caliber.

- Manny Ramirez. Tanked the first half of the season to get out of Boston. Admitted as much later. Now tearing the cover off the ball. His play for LA makes him a candidate, however I disqualify him for the same reason I wouldn't vote for Delgado.

- CC Sabathia. Single-handedly keeping Milwaukee relevant in the Wild Card race. 10-2 with the Brewers. Was 6-8, 3.83 with Cleveland, but after a disastrous first 4 starts he was 6-5 with a 2.16 ERA. Merits serious consideration.

For my money, the only 2 serious candidates in the NL are Pujols and Sabathia. This may come down to a 'who makes the playoffs' vote. If the Brewers sneak in, I don't see how you can not vote for Sabathia. He's also a serious candidate for the Cy Young. If they don't make it, well, it's a toss-up.


Pitchers Hit Eighth said...

You're forgetting the latest media darling, Ryan Howard.

For my money, it's Pujols.

Wonder if Ludwick will take votes from him, kind of like the MV3 back in the day?

Mike said...

Yeah, forgot about Howard. I haven't heard any buzz about him, though; although admittedly I haven't been paying close attention these past two weeks.

I was surprised to see he'd hit 47 HR this season. But if HR were a sure ticket to MVPs, Mark McGwire would have won 4 of them. I don't think there's any doubt Ryan Howard is the best pure power hitter in the NL, but the MVP of that team is Chase Utley. If Howard's not even the MVP of his team, he can't be the MVP of the league.

Pitchers Hit Eighth said...

I think you're underestimating how much the BBWAA loves the long ball. :)