Over the years, I voted for every baseball postseason award controlled by the BBWAA ... except one: MVP. Never got to choose for either league. And now that I'm out of the biz, I guess I never will.
You can stop crying for me now. I'll get over it.
And I'll start by pretend-voting for this year's MVP in each league. I'll choose 10 in the AL and 10 in the NL, just like the grown-up sportswriters do!
10. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays. Team was never in it, but 50 HR earns this much.
9. Carl Crawford, Rays. Catalyst for dynamic club.
8. Paul Konerko, White Sox. On fire when Sox got back in race; wasn't his fault they faded.
7. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. Probably would get vote for Player of the Year, but my definition of "value" requires MVP to at least be on contender.
6. Evan Longoria, Rays. Best hitter on excellent team.
5. Rafael Soriano, Rays. Emerged as true stopper.
4. Vlad Guerrero, Rangers. Little hype even though he had one of his best years.
3. Delmon Young, Twins. Everybody talks about Mauer and Morneau, but check the stats.
2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. MLB OPS leader main reason team led wire-to-wire. But he has sat out September and he faced little division competition all year.
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees. While Hamilton got to switch to cruise control in July, Cano was the main man in battle for best record in baseball. The best player on a team filled with great ones.
10. Ryan Howard, Phillies. 30 HR ... 100 RBI ... first place ... (and 149 K). What else is new?
9. Martin Prado, Braves. Unsung offensive leader for Bobby Cox's crew.
8. Brian Wilson, Giants. Made 9th innings exciting sometimes, but nailed down win after win.
7. Scott Rolen, Reds. Wherever this guy goes, winning seems to follow. Brilliant acquisition by Walt Jocketty ... and both ex-Cards stuck it to their former club.
6. Roy Halladay, Phillies. Did exactly what he was supposed to do - and more.
5. Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Another great season, of course, but slumped when the Reds were leaving his boys in the dust.
4. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. Swaying voters with crazy-good finish, but if he had been there all season, the Rox might not have had to scramble at the end.
3. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. The lone cannon on a team full of BB shooters.
2. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies. Very good first half followed by awesome second half. If his home/road numbers weren't so skewed to the Coors Field bandbox, he'd be the choice.
1. Joey Votto, Reds. Game after game, week after week, month after month, Mr. Steady produced for surprising NL Central winners. Actually has higher OPS than Albert. And unlike Cargo, he did as much damage on road as at home.