Monday, November 17, 2008

¡El Hombre!

Not to interrupt the great discussions we've had on the blog in the past couple weeks, but there is some important news coming out of The Lou.

Albert Pujols (aka Prince Albert aka Phat Albert aka The Machine aka El Hombre) has been named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 2008. Albert received 18 of the 32 first place votes, his 369 total points in the ballot edging out Ryan Howard's 308. That Pujols did not receive the other 14 first place votes is incomprehensible, and can only be explained by a federal redistribution of first place votes.

Pujols finished the season with a .357 Batting Average, a .462 On Base Percentage and a .653 Slugging Percentage. Amazingly, only the OBP was a career high. Despite missing 14 games, Pujols still managed to clobber 37 HR, drive in 116 and touch the plate 100 times. His 1.92 ratio of BB/K (104/54) was nearly the inverse of the MLB average (0.48). Albert Pujols' career can perhaps be characterized by two words: dominance and consistency. His 99 Runs in 2007 marked the only time in his career he failed to reach the 30/100/100 HR, R, RBI mark. And oh yeah, he's known for his work ethic in the field, too.

The question that invariably comes up is, can he really be only 28? Whatever his age is, his consistency throughout his career leads one to believe that we could expect many more years like those which he has already put up. A statement like this should of course be followed up by a list of disclaimers about health and his "age" and dead-ball eras and performance enhancing jock-straps, but let's just have some fun with this. After 8 years of watching this guy mash year in and year out (the nickname The Machine is so fitting), it's OK to speculate about Albert finishing among the game's greats (with absolute reverence, of course).

I'm one to argue that the rate stats such as OBP and SLG are better ways to evaluate a player than the typical HR and RBI, but when trying to place someone amongst the billions of players to have played this game, one inevitably turns to the counting stats. (And just so it's noted, Albert's career BA is .334 (23rd All-Time), OBP is .425 (13th All-Time), and SLG is .624 (4th(!) All-Time).

Albert's current HR, R and RBI totals are 319, 947 and 977, respectively. Let's say he doubles those totals. He finishes with 638 HR (good for 5th All-Time), 1894 R (good for 10th All-Time (just behind Stan)) and 1954 RBI (good for 6th All-Time (just ahead of Stan)). Of course these are against the current totals, which will be slightly more crowded with some of today's stars...

Nevertheless, doubling Pujols' stats is not inconceivable. It's not even outlandish to think he could do better. (I've knocked on wood about 18 times while writing this post.)


Ryan said...

Dude, a free market would have given Pujols all the votes.

I'm psyched for The Great One. He's the best hitter I"ve ever seen play the game and the best Cardinal I've ever seen. He should really have 4 MVPs by now if it weren't for Bonds.

You forgot to mention his redonkulously low Ks.

Gene said...

Well stated, Matthew.

Good time for a rah-rah, home team. But we're still short a good starting pitcher, a left-handed reliever, and at least one good middle infielder.

Johnny, that manifesto have any ideas for the Birdos? We need some help if we're going to tackle Coovo's Cubbies.

Roller said...

Here's a funny ballot. To each his own, I guess.

Rye, if you re-read my post you'll clearly see my position on Pujols' redonkulousness. (Just joshin).

As far as the Cards' current needs... the Cubs' signing of Dempster puts them out of the market for Peavy. Supposedly the Braves are the favorite, but I think this is something the Cards have to make happen.

Ryan said...

Rollz, I showed vanessa your post last night, which then forced me to explain what SLG was. In that time, I realized you had not only mentioned his redonkulousness but had proven via contradiction that he was so rekonkulous, that he was the inverse of the whole league, which I think means he wears his shoes on the wrong feets.

That guy's ballot was *really* weird. He loooooooooves the playoffs. And I get it, I think you have to show the MVP was good enough to make his team better. Whether that is as clean as saying the playoffs, I don't know, but the MVP can't be on a bad team.

Usually, I think the MVP is pretty much the best player in the league for that year, then the other factors come in.

P.S. Vanessa asked me if we got Matt as well. I said Matt? She said Matt Holliday. I was impressed with her memory, but sadly i said no. so she said, well then who did you get? No one yet, honey, no one yet. We hugged each other to stay warm through this uncertain Cardinal winter.

Austin said...

Yeah Pujols. MLB should change the name of this award to most outstanding player. Then, a player will get a little boost for making the playoffs, but there wouldn't be much debate in a year like this. And it would shut up all those Philadelphia media jerks who want to take things away from St. Louis. Like the Arch.

Coovo said...

No kidding. It was bad enough the Cardinals had to give away Timlin, Bud Smith and Polanco to get Rolen, but they wanted the Arch too. Not without Doug Nickle and the Liberty Bell coming back. Oh wait, they did get Doug Nickle. Nevermind.

John Hanrahan said...

The communist manifesto specifically states that wasting valuable resources like Albert Pujols is unacceptable. They suggests signing Jake Peavey.

G. Smith said...

If I'm not mistaken, Austin, the Arch is a National Historic Landmark, operated by the National Park Service - which means it belongs to the Phillies too. And BTW, I'll be in STL over Christmas to pick up my share.

Gene said...

G, you are indeed mistaken. The Arch belongs to me and Austin. We purchased it in one of those mass foreclosure auction deals. Cost a pretty penny, but it's been worth it. The museum came with the purchase.

I often sleep next to the buffalo.

Ryan said...

Coovo, I like your idea. In fact, I can think of no better way to celebrate Christmas this year than with several loud "gongs" from the liberty bell, hanging like our ornament under the top of the arch, where it belongs. With Gene and Austin's permission, of course.

G, you would get a share, but Johnny would have to hurry it through his manifesto committees in time for Christmas. Johnny, nothing greases a committee like a homemade gooey butter cake.

Coovo said...

Ryan, you make posts upon comments about free markets and political intrigue that shakes this nation to the core.

Yet you fail to realize that the Liberty bell is cracked. A sound coming from that would not only be bad but would probably destroy the bell. This would put St. Louis to shame.

Instead, St. Louis should build a duplicate arch next to the current arch and give away happy meals for the next decade. That will show those Rocky Balboa lovers.

G. Smith said...

The liberty bell can suck it.