In the least unexpected news of all time, the Baseball Writers Association of America has voted unanimously to award Albert Pujols the NL MVP for the second year in a row, and the third time in his career:
Pujols received all 32 first-place votes, good for 448 ballot points. Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez garnered 15 second-place votes and 233 points. First baseman Ryan Howard of the Phillies was a close third with 217 points. He was followed by Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
By some measures 2009 was Pujols' best year at the plate. He batted .327 with a .443 on-base percentage, a .658 slugging percentage, 47 home runs and 135 RBIs. Moreover, he did it for a division champion.
Pujols led the NL in on-base, slugging, homers and runs (124). He ranked second with 45 doubles, third with a career-high 115 walks, third with 135 RBIs and sixth with 186 hits. He won his fifth Silver Slugger Award.
The on-base percentage was the second-best of his career, and the slugging was his third-best mark. Pujols won his first NL home run title, he came two RBIs short of a personal best and equaled his own high of 16 stolen bases.
To summarize, Pujols owned.
While second place is nothing to scoff at, I still feel a little for Hanley, who stood to receive a $500,000 bonus from the Marlins if he won the MVP award. Hanley finished higher in the voting than any Florida Marlin ever, but I guess the team follows the notion that the second place winner is the first loser. And so they awarded him zilch. Then again, it's not as though Hanley's hurting for cash these days. I hereby retract my feelings of pity.