Wednesday, September 24, 2003


Seemingly trivial, but wise words from the comedy writer and would-be survivalist, David Dobel.

Sorry, I just saw Anything Else, the latest Woody Allen flick.

It's much better than you've heard.

And Christina Ricci is HOT.

But back to baseball...

...where SI.com's resident naked bus driver, Tom Verducci, offers his insight on the year-end awards, and gives the NL MVP to Barry Bonds. Fair enough. I don't happen to agree with it but it's not like it's a horrendous choice. (Putting Dusty Baker, the man doing his damndest to ruin a trio of the most promising young arms in the majors, third for Mananger of the Year, however, is.)

But let's take a closer look at his reasoning.

In addition to the predictable "Bonds plays for a contender" yammering, Verducci cites Pujols' "own troubles in big games against the Cubs and Astros", implying that it's Pujols' fault the Cards won't make it to October and beyond (like it has nothing to do with, say, LaRussa's bizarre obsession with batting his natural leadoff hitter sixth or their total lack of arms that made Hitchcock look, well, sterling).

That's pretty damning.

But let's check the numbers, shall we?

Pujols 2003 153 G 633 PA .365/.445/.681 (1.126)
vs. CHC 17 G 75 PA .288/.447/.576 (1.024)
vs. HOU 18 G 75 PA .344/.442/.641 (1.082)

So maybe it's just me, but it looks like Pujols has been just as amazing against both the Cubs and the Astros as he's been against everybody else.

He did have a couple of O-fer games against both clubs recently, but still amassed a bunch of walks, which suggests they were pitching to him very carefully. His line over those 11 games? 39 AB, 9 H (3 2B, 1 HR), 10 BB, good for .231/.388/.385 (.773). That's not great, but over a small sample of games it's hardly a nosedive. And he's still hitting very very well overall in September, going .346/.480/.642 (1.122).

I guess it's just a matter of seeing what you want to see. Verducci sees Bonds as the MVP, and thus finds faults with Pujols. I'm trying to understand who has the most value, and thus I see Pujols as the MVP--Verducci's "facts" notwithstanding.

Don't get on that bus.

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