Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Did Bonds Steal MVPs from Pujols?

Backgroud: I was listening to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports on Fitz and Brooks yesterday talk about Albert Pujols and his incredible career thus far. In his nine seasons, Pujols lowest seasonal batting average is .314, lowest number of homeruns is 32 and lowest OPS is .955. Pujols is defining himself as THE player of this generation. Yet, last year Pujols won only his second MVP award. This got me thinking about the number of MVPs Pujols should have. Albert Pujols finished second in MVP voting in 2002 and 2003 and finihsed third in 2004. All three of those MVPs were won by Barry Lamar Bonds. So, I posed the question to RT, Did Barry Bonds steal MVP awards from Albert Pujols? Take it, RT.

No. Bonds only stole one MVP from Pujols and that came in 2004. The Giants failed to make the playoffs and Pujols led the Cardinals to a central division crown. The Cardinals won the division by 13 games over the Astros who won the wild card that year. I have always believed that the MVP should come from a team that has made the playoffs or a guy that has had a season that is far superior to any other player in the league. In 2001, I would argue that the MVP should have gone to Luis Gonzalez and not Bonds or Pujols.

Of course, the steroid issue is the big elephant in the room and everyone wants to cling to Pujols as the only clean guy in the game during the second or third most tainted era in baseball history. (You tell me what’s worse – A) Throwing the World Series, B) Not letting minorities play the game or C) Having players taking performance enhancing drugs beyond the usual greenies and 6 cups of coffee) As long as “the list” remains sealed and biased congressmen conduct reports about performance enhancing drugs and never set foot in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela or Japan, we cannot say with any kind of certainty that a certain player was clean.

As a result, it can be legitimately argued that Bonds might not have been the most deserving candidate for the 2001 and 2004 MVPs but to say he stole multiple MVPs from Pujols is incorrect.

Here's how the numbers compared:



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