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by: Brian F. Logush

This afternoon, Albert Pujols' remarkable season was rewarded with his third NL MVP, joining Stan Musial as the only Cardinals to win the award three times. He also became the franchise's 17th MVP winner, only three behind the Yankees' 20 winners.

But the award is bittersweet. This should've been the second press conference held in Busch Stadium this off-season (third if you are still waiting for Mark McGwire to step in-front of the mic). Instead, Cardinal fans stared in disbelief and hatred as Tim Lincecum gave his Cy Young thanks last Thursday.

It took me five days to finally accept that we didn't get completely shafted. Keep this in mind: I think Lincecum is a helluva pitcher. I have no issue with his winning. He absolutely dominated opposing hitters this year. 261 strikeouts don't lie. If I had a vote, he would have been third behind Carpenter and Wainwright, respectively. But I don't have a vote. The Baseball Writers Association of America have the vote. And therein lies the problem.

Baseball is the ultimate statistician's game. Every single aspect that can be measured is measured. But sabermetrics takes things way too far. It's like advanced nuclear physics for baseball fans. Do you think Bob Gibson cared what his VORP was in 1968? Was David Cone aware of his Peripheral ERA in 1994? Doubtful. Looking at these types of numbers is fine and all but... 15 wins? 15 wins merits a Cy Young over a 19-game winner and a 17-game winner? And the 17-game winner missed a month of action. But because the Cardinals had a better defensive team (statistically, of course), it wasn't all Carpenter and Wainwright's doing that they collected a combined 36 wins. Having a good defense behind you leads to some clueless writers leaving you off their ballot completely. Clueless writers like Will Carroll and Keith Law.

I listened to an interview with Law on "The Fast Lane", the afternoon-drive talk show on 101 ESPN. For the first time I can remember, I was actually arguing with someone who couldn't hear my objections. I vividly remember throwing my arms up in disbelief when he said Lincecum had a great September, letting going of the wheel and drifting left for a brief moment. He went 1-3! Since when is 25% great? The next day, Law called the show's producer and asked not to be on the program again.

Apparently, Law doesn't like being asked to explain his views to people who disagree. He also asked never to be on KFNS' then-morning show "The Morning Grind" after arguing with co-host Jim Hayes in 2006. Law said the Cardinals were not a good baseball team. Right after they won the World Series. They differed, and Law refused to come on the show ever again because his feelings were hurt or something.

OK. Enough Law bashing. Even though it's sort of therapeutic.

Pujols' winning the MVP by unanimous decision takes some of the sting away from the Cy Young voting debacle. But it could've been a great five days in November for the team if there were two press conferences.


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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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