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National League MVP: Howard, Pujols or ??

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In surfing, I found this short commentary which fits in as a campanion with this blog’s All Time Baseball Highlights piece on September 3rd, Howard, Pujols Have 3 Homer Games;

Pujols. Howard. Let’s Get It On!  Kyle Veltrop  (Sporting News)

The senior/inferior circuit can hang its ballcap on its MVP race, a slugout between Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols that not even the almighty AL (Derek Jeter vs. Jermaine Dye?) can match.

Pujols pollsters point to his superior batting and on-base averages. Plus, his Cardinals are bound for the playoffs.

Howard hucksters point to his superior home run and RBI totals. Plus, Howard’s Phillies are respectable despite their phire sale.

Each year, voters wrestle with how much team success should factor into this award. This year, it shouldn’t. The Cards and Phils simply aren’t all that different.

Instead, be swayed by the pure-hitting Pujols, who has struck out a hard-to-believe 116 times fewer than Howard. Or be awed by the power-hitting Howard, whose homers total could surpass 60, again a magical number.

On September 3, Howard hit three homers in a game.

So did Pujols. Hopefully, there’s more of that to come. Maybe Howard will continue to break Citizens Bank, starting Monday with a six-game homestand against the Cubs and the wild-card rival Marlins. Maybe Pujols will seal the deal by ending up in the top three in each of the Triple Crown categories.

This race doesn’t need a front-runner. Its winner will be decided in a furious finish.

On your mark. Get set. Go.

For those baseball history buffs, I found a chart of the all-time top 10 home run hitters for a season (arrow down): check out where Ryan Howard is with 58 homers.

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