At least a few people who want you to think they are progressive baseball minds are writing Joey Votto should be the National League MVP.
They are wrong.
Cincinnati Reds fans and Votto himself have every right to celebrate if he does win (he won’t), but that doesn’t mean it would be fair – at least until they change the name of the award.
Arguing the best player on a last-place team is the MOST VALUABLE is just silly.
If Votto were the difference between Cincinnati finishing in third place or last place, there would be an argument.
It’s not his fault the team is bad. The offense was pretty good, and he was a big part of that.
Vottois a great player. A generational player. Doing what he did last year and coming back with an even better season is amazing and to be appreciated not just now but for years to come.
He is valuable to the Reds’ brand as someone who generates headlines and fan goodwill. Those things are important. They just aren’t part of what goes into winning the award in question.
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This is an award that usually goes to the best player on a good team, as it should be.
Votto’s not even clearly the best player on a non-playoff team, though.
Remember that thing about being the difference between last place and third place? Well, Giancarlo Stanton arguably was that for the Marlins, except they finished second in the NL East.
The strange thing about the #VottoMVP movement is that he didn’t even have the top WAR (wins above replacement) in the league according to Baseball Reference (That was Stanton) or Fangraphs (that was Anthony Rendon of the Nationals, who won their division).