What? Ryan Howard, Mr. Phillies, finished fourth in a year when the Phillies won the World Series? Well, yes.
So much is made of what Howard does too much of that sometimes what he does do seems underappreciated. It is appreciated exactly the right amount.
In a two-horse race, Howard finished second in NL MVP voting, well behind Albert Pujols, mainly because Howard, the 2006 MVP, struck out 199 times and hit .251, lower than any MVP winner.
Howard, in his third full season, led the NL in home runs and RBI, but with all the whiffs and the laughable .215 average through June, finishing second was justice served.
So is finishing fourth in this race - behind two pitchers who pitched spectacularly in perhaps the worst pitchers' park in baseball history, and the manager who has mentored Howard to the success he has enjoyed.
- Marcus Hayes