Albert Pujols commented that the baseball MVP winners should be from a team that made the playoffs. This is basically because he didn't win the award....but non-playoff bound Ryan Howard did.
He couldn't be more wrong.
First off, Howard's Phillies actually finished the regular season with TWO MORE WINS than Pujols' Cardinals.....won became the worst team [record wise] to win the World Series. In the wacky world of baseball's playoff rules, stuff like that happens. Heck, the Cards had the 13th best record in the entire major leagues. They made the playoffs because they played in a division where the rest of the clubs finished a combined 70 games under .500. Hey, Albert....is that fair??
Second, we all know that the voting for the MVP award is as controversial as any award is because the word "valuable" is in the title. What determines value....and how can you measure it? Some view it as stat driven.....which Howard was better. Some view all the intangables like leadership, drive and determination to be great. Some play the "well, if you took this guy off his team" game. Then have a couple hundred of those opinions thrown into a pot and try to figure it out.
When I think of how odd MVP voting is...I always hark back to 2000 when Shaquille O'Neal won the NBA MVP award near unanimously. The one decenting vote was made for Allen Iverson because, it was thought, without him the Sixers would be horrid.
Guys like Cal Ripken, Barry Bonds and Andre Dawson won MVP awards on teams that weren't that good.
So to throw a blanket statement that the MVP should come off a playoff team is dumb. The MVP is a personal award; the playoffs are a team goal. If the best player having the best season plays with a bunch of garbage....does that make his season worthless?? Ask Steve Carlton.
Steve Carlton won the 1972 Cy Young award [as well as finishing 5th in the MVP race] on one of the worst teams in the last 50 years. The '72 Phillies went 59-97 and were dead last in the NL East. But Carlton went 27-10 that season, with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts. He also had an amazing 30 complete games...a number unheard of now. Because his team stunk...should he have suffered??
Despite doubling the playoff teams with the introduction of the six divisions and wildcard berths over the last 12 years....baseball still sends just 26% of it's teams to the playoffs. Compare that to 37% of NFL teams and 53% of NHL and NBA teams. In baseball, you have just a 1-in-4 chance of making the playoffs...so there are a ton of great seasons from players that would get swept under the rug by leaving them out of playoff voting.
Since baseball did expand, only FIVE MVP winners came from non-playoff teams. Bonds did it twice; Alex Rodriguez, Larry Walker and now Howard. It happens.
Just enjoy your World Series, Albert, and let it go.