• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

The postseason is fast approaching, and your Umpbump contributors are looking forward to October baseball with the same fervor that Joan and Melissa Rivers reserve for Oscar season. They get botox, we get barbeque chips. They shop for designer gowns, we shop for last minute fantasy trades. They make best picture predictions, we make MVP predictions.

Speaking of MVP predictions, here’s the first in a series of posts written by Umpbumpers Alejandro, Coley, Sarah and Nick, where we guess who will win the MVP in the National and American leagues and why. Just to make it interesting, we’ve listed our top three picks in order.

Well, I’m not much of a National League fan, so I’ll start off with my NL MVP picks.

1. Ryan Howard, 1B Philadelphia Phillies

2. Albert Pujols, 1B St. Louis Cardinals

3. Carlos Beltran, OF New York Mets

I’m going with Ryan Howard. How could I not? Obviously, everyone else is going to vote for Ryan Howard because he’s all over the headlines (and he’s been the fan’s MVP since the beginning of September), and rightly so. Howard will win the HR title as well as lead the league in RBIs come October. Oh and he’s also in the top 10 in BA.

Pujols is the only player to crack top-5 in Triple Crown categories.

I don’t know how controversial my third pick is; frankly, I see no other deserving candidate. I tend to agree with the argument that an MVP candidate must be on a winning team (or at least, a team in contention). So Beltran is my third pick. He leads his team in OBP, OPS, RBI, HR, AND Runs scored. All of which translate to an impact on the Mets’ Win column.

Onto the American League

1. David Ortiz, DH Boston Red Sox

2. Justin Morneau, 1B Minnesota Twins

3. Johan Santana, SP Minnesota Twins

If it were not the case that the Twins can be so gullable at times, this year’s MVP race would’ve been an all-twinkie affair.

But Big Papi is a freak of nature. Ortiz has to win it for the same reasons Howard has to win it in the NL. He’s just monstrous.

Now; if none of you know, I don’t like the Twins, I’m a South Side Sox fan. But as much as I loathe them, I can’t ignore the fact that it is BECAUSE of them that we’re not in the wild card/pennant race (at one point, they had a worse record than the Brewers – and yes, I know it is also the Sox own damn fault they didn’t make it ‘til the end).

With that said, as in my arguments for Beltran, Morneau has had a significant role in the Twins offense, ranking among the top-5 in the league in BA and in RBI (and leading the team in HR), he’s clearly one of the main reasons why the Twins will go on to the post season.

The other main reason is Mr. Santana. Personally, I think he’s overrated; but you can’t argue with results. Nor wins and ERA. He leads both, and as much as an offense can carry a team (Yankees), legend says pitching wins ball games (’05 ChiSox).

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