With all the MVP talk for the potential "non-steroid" single season homerun record holder Ryan Howard, even though he wouldn't really deserve it, I figured it'd be good to redo for the year of the homerun chase, 1998. Mark McGwire would beat out Sammy Sosa for the homerun record that year but it was Sosa who that took home the MVP in a landslide.
Sosa won the MVP over McGwire for one simple reason, the Cubs won the Wild Card and the Cubs making the playoffs is always a big deal. The Cardinals weren't a bad team but at 83 wins were never in the hunt for a postseason birth thus McGwire was never given much of a chance for the award despite his 70 homeruns. Sosa took 30 of the 32 first place votes and not surprisingly the only two first place votes for McGwire were from the St. Louis writers. Although their homerun totals were close when it came to OBP and SLG, it wasn't much of a contest. McGwire's slugging was 105 points higher (.742 to .637) and his on base was 93 points higher (.470 to .377). Now one who argues the case for a player on a playoff team against a player on a non-playoff team is often that the player on the playoff team had more pressure on him to come up with more hits in key situations. Even though McGwire wasn't in a pennant chase he faced more pressure all year than any player in baseball in 1998, even more than Sosa.
Obviously there was no one else who was given any consideration for MVP. Moises Alou was the consensus 3rd place choice while Greg Vaughn, Craig Biggio, Andres Galarraga, and Trevor Hoffman were the only other players to receive over 100 voting points. Despite having his usual great year Barry Bonds only finished 8th.
1) Sammy Sosa 2) Mark McGwire 3) Moises Alou 4) Greg Vaughn 5) Craig Biggio 6) Andres Galarraga 7) Trevor Hoffman 8) Barry Bonds 9t) Chipper Jones 9t) Jeff Kent 11) Vinny Castilla 12) John Olerud 13) Valdimir Guerrero 14) Mike Piazza 15) Tony Gwynn 16) Kevin Brown 17) Larry Walker 18) Rod Beck 19) Jeromy Burnitz 20) Scott Rolen 21t) Dante Bichette 21t) Tom Glavine 21t) Randy Johnson 24t) Javy Lopez 24t) Mickey Morandini
.324/.371/.589, 135 RC, 152 OPS+, .311 EQA, 59.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.272/.363/.597, 123 RC, 158 OPS+, .317 EQA, 61.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.313/.404/.547, 134 RC, 146 OPS+, .317 EQA, 69.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.312/.399/.582, 135 RC, 157 OPS+, .325 EQA, 69.2 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.328/.390/.570, 127 RC, 152 OPS+, .321 EQA, 73.9 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.308/.377/.647, 157 RC, 160 OPS+, .320 EQA, 68.3 VORP, 35 Win Shares
.354/.447/.551, 138 RC, 163 OPS+, .340 EQA, 70.4 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.325/.403/.503, 125 RC, 139 OPS+, .315 EQA, 80.5 VORP, 35 Win Shares
.303/.438/.609, 146 RC, 177 OPS+, .344 EQA, 83.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.299/.470/.752, 179 RC, 217 OPS+, .379 EQA, 104.3 VORP, 41 Win Shares
The Moises Alou card makes me giggle.
See if someone had just told Barry back in 1998 that he had a better year than Sammy maybe he wouldn't have taken steroids. But as for the result, McGwire should have won in a landslie as he completely blows away the competition. Too bad now he's apparantly worse than Hitler for deceiving the nation or something.