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Howard wins NL MVP award


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NEW YORK -- Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player on Monday after leading the majors in home runs and RBI, beating out the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols for the honor.

Howard received 20 first-place votes and 12 seconds for 388 points in balloting by a panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Pujols got 12 firsts, 19 seconds and one third for 347 points.

Howard, the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, had 58 homers and 149 RBI while batting .313. He had the most homers in the major leagues since Barry Bonds hit a record 73 in 2001.

He set Phillies records for home runs and RBI, producing the highest totals in those categories in big league history for a second-year player. Twenty-three of Howard's homers put the Phillies ahead and five tied games. The Phillies went 32-18 in games in which he homered.

Pujols, who hit .331 with 49 homers and 137 RBI, defeated Atlanta's Andruw Jones 378-351 in last year's voting after finishing second in 2002 and 2003. Stan Musial and Ted Williams (four times each) are the only players to finish second more often than Pujols, who matched three-time AL MVP Mickey Mantle with three second-place finishes.

Pujols was third in the NL in batting average behind Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez and Florida's Miguel Cabrera, and second to Howard in homers and RBI.

Stan Musial (four times), Ted Williams (four times) are the only players to finish second more often than Pujols, who matched three-time AL MVP Mickey Mantle with three second-place finishes.

Houston's Lance Berkman was third with 230 points, followed by the New York Mets' Carlos Beltran (211), Cabrera (170) and Washington's Alfonso Soriano (106) -- who on Sunday reportedly reached a preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the Chicago Cubs worth about $136 million.

Pujols gets a $100,000 bonus for finishing second, Berkman $250,000 for placing third and Beltran $200,000 for winding up fourth.

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I guess I will be the voice of discontent.

Pujols or Beltran deserved it more then Howard. It is not the best player award. It is the Most Valuable Player.

For all of Howards bombs, his team still missed the playoffs.

If Pujols was not on the Cards, I am pretty sure they do not sniff the playoffs or find themselves the most improbrable Champions ever.

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I guess I will be the voice of discontent.

Pujols or Beltran deserved it more then Howard. It is not the best player award. It is the Most Valuable Player.

For all of Howards bombs, his team still missed the playoffs.

If Pujols was not on the Cards, I am pretty sure they do not sniff the playoffs or find themselves the most improbrable Champions ever.

I disagree.

While Howard did not make the playoffs, this has not stopped guys from winning in the past. See Carlton, Steve, as a prime example.

In addition, after Abreu was traded away, and everyone gave up all hope on the Phils, Howard put them on his back, and basically carried them right back into contention for teh WC.

He is most deserving.

Besides, one can make a case that Beltran may not have been the most valuble on his own team. Reyes, or Wright, anyone?

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I disagree.

While Howard did not make the playoffs, this has not stopped guys from winning in the past. See Carlton, Steve, as a prime example.

In addition, after Abreu was traded away, and everyone gave up all hope on the Phils, Howard put them on his back, and basically carried them right back into contention for teh WC.

He is most deserving.

Besides, one can make a case that Beltran may not have been the most valuble on his own team. Reyes, or Wright, anyone?

Howard carried the Phillies-without him the Phillies would have been in the cellar- he deserved IMO

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I disagree.

While Howard did not make the playoffs, this has not stopped guys from winning in the past. See Carlton, Steve, as a prime example.

In addition, after Abreu was traded away, and everyone gave up all hope on the Phils, Howard put them on his back, and basically carried them right back into contention for teh WC.

He is most deserving.

Besides, one can make a case that Beltran may not have been the most valuble on his own team. Reyes, or Wright, anyone?

mbn I do not disagree with any point. I am justing showing the usual flawed logic of the Baseball Writer's Association. Either create a best player award or set some criteria to govern the MVP.

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Pujols did the majority of his damage in April and May, whil Howard did his in August and September-More vital runs to teh pennanat.

In a close race, teh player with teh bigger late numbers will usually get the call.

That is what happened here

its hard to argue against Howard, it really is, but Pujols had more value with just as good numbers in on the season

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Stat time:

Ryan Howards batting average with RISP was .256, which ranked #51 among the National League's 71 batting-title qualifiers. Pujols led the NL with a.397 RISP average.

Howard got to bat with 509 men-on-base in 2006, which led the league. He ended up with 149 RBI. Pujols had 72 fewer men on base (427) than Howard, but still drove in almost as many runs, 137, despite playing in 16 less games than Howard.

Oh well.

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