Joey Votto won the National League MVP award this afternoon in a landslide over Albert Pujols. Votto got a staggering 31 of 32 first-place votes by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, with Pujols getting the other one.
Hard to complain with the line of thinking displayed by my fellow scribes. You could make a legitimate case for Pujols every single year and no one would find fault with that, but Votto really was the best player in the NL this season, having led the league in on-base percentage (.424), slugging (.600) and OPS (1.024). Throw in the fact he helped lead a Reds club to its first NL Central title in 15 years (while Pujols' Cardinals finished five games back) and there's a pretty rock-solid case for Votto.
The rest of the top 10: Carlos Gonzalez, Adrian Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Roy Halladay, Aubrey Huff, Jayson Werth, Martin Prado and Ryan Howard.
As for the Nationals ... well, two players did get Top 10 votes but finished way back in the pack. Ryan Zimmerman finished 16th, with only eight of 32 voters including him on the ballot. And Adam Dunn finished in a tie for 21st, with only five of 32 voters including him on the ballot.
I don't have a problem with Dunn finished where he did, though I could probably make a case he deserved to be ranked ahead of Dan Uggla, who actually tied for 17th place.
I am disappointed Zimmerman didn't get more respect from the baseball-writing community. Personally, I would have ranked him around eighth in the NL (behind Votto, Pujols, both Gonzalezes, Tulowitzki, Roy Halladay and Matt Holliday) but I didn't expect the majority of BBWAA members to do that. Such is life when you play for perennial last-place club.
You can see the complete voting results here on the BBWAA's official website.
Since all of the NL awards have now been handed out (all that's left is the AL MVP tomorrow) I suppose it's safe for me to now reveal the one award I did actually vote for: NL Manager of the Year. I voted for Bud Black, who did win. You could certainly make cases for Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy and Bobby Cox, and I considered them all before submitting my ballot on the final day of the regular season. In the end, though, I just had to give credit to Black for managing a Padres team with one of the smallest payrolls in baseball and no hope of even finishing .500 and keeping that club alive until Game 162.