Votto should end Pujols' MVP reign

Chris Ruddick,
MLB Editor

Rounding Third Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It has been 15 years since a Cincinnati Red was honored as the National League's Most Valuable Player. On Monday, first baseman Joey Votto hopes to change that when the Baseball Writers' Association of America names their 2010 winner.

Unlike last year, though, when St. Louis' Albert Pujols was a unanimous winner, Votto should face some stiff competition for the award. In addition to the two-time reigning MVP Pujols, Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, who received the Outstanding Player of the Year earlier this offseason from the MLB Players Association, should also get some consideration.

All three players flirted with the Triple Crown this season, but it was Votto who guided his team into the postseason.

With all due respect to Gonzalez's great season, the BBWAA will be naming the Most Valuable Player on Monday, not the Most Outstanding and that was Votto. He finished second in average (.324), third in home runs (37) and third in RBI (113).

Joey Votto finished second in average (.324), third in home runs (37) and third in RBI (113).
Bottom line is the Reds don't win the NL Central without Votto. Isn't that the exact definition of what a Most Valuable Player is?

Now Gonzalez was also terrific. In a career-high 145 games this season, he led all National Leaguers in average (.336), hits (197) and total bases (351), and helped keep the Rockies playoff hopes alive up until the last week of the season. He finished second among National Leaguers in RBI (117) and slugging percentage (.598), third in runs (111) and fourth in homers (34).

He probably was the best player in the National League this year, but he wasn't the most valuable.

Then there's Pujols, who had yet another magnificent season. A three-time winner of this award, Pujols led the NL in home runs (42) and RBI (118) and was sixth in batting average (.312). He is trying to become the first player to win three consecutive NL MVPs since Barry Bonds won four in a row from 2001-04.

But how can you give the award to Pujols when it was Votto's Reds who won the National League Central?


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