Why so few NL MVP votes for Hanley Ramirez?
November, 17, 2008
It's not as if the Marlins existed in another universe; their 84-77 record was a half-game better than the Dodgers', and they did it in the best division in the National League -- the division with the world champions. Albert Pujols deserved the Most Valuable Player Award. This is not to question anyone's vote for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Manny Ramirez or Lance Berkman. But Hanley Ramirez 11th? Only Pujols and Berkman had more runs created. His OPS of .940 was the best of any NL middle infielder, better than Utley's .915. Ramirez's job wasn't to drive in runs -- it was to create them. He reached base 40 percent of the time, hit 33 homers, stole 35 bases and led the league with 125 runs. And he did it with average defensive skills at a critical defensive position.
The brilliant Rob Tracy of Elias Sports Bureau offers these lists:
Most runners on base when they came to the plate:
558 -- Justin Morneau
515 -- Garrett Atkins
508 -- David Wright
503 -- Mark Teixeira
498 -- Carlos Beltran
494 -- Jeff Francoeur
483 -- Ryan Howard
480 -- Carlos Delgado
Most Runners in Scoring Position:
268 -- Justin Morneau
267 -- James Loney
267 -- David Wright
261 -- Carlos Beltran
259 -- Ryan Howard
Morneau batted .348 with runners in scoring position; Howard .320.
• The Braves' deal for Jake Peavy is not dead. Sending Jose Ceda to Florida lessened the Cubs' chances. The Yankees are not in the running at all. Frank Wren still believes the Braves will get this trade done.
• Interesting how many GMs think that if the Dodgers get CC Sabathia, the Giants will get big into Manny Ramirez, and Billy Beane and the A's will continue to move fast on Rafael Furcal. Also, expect Toronto to make good on its promise to Milton Bradley that he is the Blue Jays' priority.
• One of Boston's priorities is to get young, and don't be surprised if the Red Sox move Coco Crisp for a reliever to allow Justin Masterson to start.
• Brad Penny is so serious about his conditioning that, while he is off hunting in the Midwest, he has taken the trainer he hired from Athletes' Performance Institute with him.
• Brad Mills and Don Wakamatsu seem to be the favorites for the Mariners' managerial job. It's hard to be more qualified or be a better man than Mills.
• I'll bet you didn't know that baseball is the national sport of Finland.
• The Dodgers, understandably, haven't given up on getting Larry Lucchino to go west and bring their business into the 21st century. Frank McCourt has tried to move the franchise past the Industrial Age, but it has been a difficult process.
• Go to the Web site of "Strike 3 Foundation" -- strike3foundation.org -- and see what Twins reliever Craig Breslow does for the rest of his world. His Yale friends want to know how he had a 3.90 ERA at Yale and 1.91 ERA for the Twins. Check it out and be amazed.