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David Brown

NL MVP watch: Will Cincy's Joey Votto win what he deserves?

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Getting worked up over which major leaguers win Gold Gloves is easy in comparison to worrying about other postseason awards.

The Silver Slugger, for example. Just try caring about it for a moment. Almost impossible. Do you even remember who won Silver Sluggers on Thursday? No, you don't. Nobody ever remembers who wins the Silver Slugger, which is awarded by major league managers and coaches to whom they think is the best hitter at each position.

But, it is understandable to concern yourself with the MVP, especially if you follow the Cincinnati Reds and want Joey Votto(notes) to win in the National League.

Only, Votto wasn't even recognized as the best player at his own position in 2010. St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols(notes) won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove for NL first basemen. Votto got shut out.

Logic therefore dictates that Albert wins the MVP for the third straight season, right?

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Not necessarily. Managers and coaches don't vote for MVP — baseball reporters do.

Hopefully, they'll notice Votto led the league in OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) and played in 150 games for a division-winning team. To me, this clearly makes Votto the NL MVP.

The individual seasons for Votto and Pujols were close statistically. Pujols played in a few more games than Votto and accumulated a few more homers and RBIs. Depending on whose WAR (wins above replacement) you prefer — Baseball Reference's or the one used by The Fangraphs — one could argue the case for either guy.

The difference: Votto's season helped result in a playoff berth.

If Votto's name isn't called when they announce the NL MVP on Nov. 22, it wouldn't be a huge miscarriage of justice — not like Derek Jeter(notes) winning a Gold Glove when he showed no defensive range, or some other fanciful notion — but it would be wrong.

Good news for Votto: In 2005, Derrek Lee(notes) of the Cubs won the Gold Glove and Sliver Slugger at first base in the NL. And then, with the Cardinals in the playoffs and the Cubs in third place — Pujols won the MVP.

That's what we need now: A reverse, inverted, upside-down vote for Votto as NL MVP. There's always next year, Albert, and the five years after that.

Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave

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