FROM THE RED STATES
Well, since the Cardinals magic number is down to 4 a clinch could come as early as Wednesday. Of course for that to happen the Cards will have to win their next two games and of course the Astros lose their next two. That might be the only thing to save an apparent celebration at Wrigley Field this weekend. What will Cub fans think of watching the Cards clinch the their 5th division in the past 6 years on their own home field. The second in a row in such dominating fashion.
On a further note I see where Albert Pujols has now caught Derrek Lee in Batting Average. He currently only trails in HR's by 2. Looks like not only will I not have to buy any tickets for me fellow posters, I may be spared from the Cub hat humiliation. Albert has been resting, only playing usually long enough to get 3 AB's. Last night he got the night off completely. That might help him in his quest for the batting title, but will certainly hurt him in the home run chase.
Look, let's just settle this right now, and you may call me a homer but it is clear that Albert Pujols is the NL MVP. I have heard alot of talk about Jones being more valuable to his team than Pujols, hog wash. I think Rob Neyer of ESPN Insider states it best, with a simple look at the facts...
Braves Team Leaders...
BA Marcus Giles .302
HR Andruw Jones 49
RBI Andruw Jones 118
R Marcus Giles 93
SB Rafeal Furcal 39
OPS Andruw Jones .950
Cardinals Team Leaders
BA Albert Pujols .338
HR Albert Pujols 39
RBI Albert Pujols 107
R Albert Pujols 116
SB Albert Pujols 14 Yes he even leads the team in SB's, and in fact is beating Jones in this stat as well 14-3.
OPS Albert Pujols 1.063
Now let me ask you this, who is more valuable to his team, a player leading his team in 3 of the most important offensive stats, or a player who leads in them all. Clearly if the standard is who is more valuable to his team Pujols win hands down. I f the standard is simply who has the best stats, Lee could stake claim as well as Pujols, because they both are near the top in just about everything. The fact Lee's team is so bad and the fact that Lee has come back down to earth the second half, hitting a more career like .290 since the ASB, hurts Lee's chances.
I gotta think it should be a combination of both, value to ones team, and over all stats. I don't think a player should be over looked simply because of the results of his team. However, I will add that a player on a bad team really has to set himself apart from the rest of the league, or he has to do something that no one else is doing. Lee as solid as his year has been hasn't really done anything more exceptional than Pujols. In other words if all things are pretty much equal, I give it to the player on the best team. It is clear that I think the Cubs could have managed to finish in 4th place with or without Derrek Lee. As good a year as he has had, he hasn't "set him self apart".
When you look at the over all stats, and value to his team Albert Pujols is the best player on the best team, and should hands down win the MVP.