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Albert Pujols fans lower their pitchforks and reflect

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I've never been happier to overreact about something, personally. I was going to say something about how this restores my faith in the MVP—in sportswriters—but like everyone else I spent much of the day collecting and repurposing the steam that poured from my ears after Milwaukee beat writer Tom Haudricourt released his ballot. Truly awe-inspiring, that one, though I can't blame him after Carlos Delgado put all the talk radio hosts in Queens on his back and carried the snakebitten Mets into the World Series. 

The amazing thing, the thing, I think, that made me especially crazy about this season's MVP vote, is that the dumb-sportswriter cliches are no longer even internally consistent. Albert, an intense, focused leadership guy who Does Everything to Win and always plays 100%, even when injured, who just missed the batting title and never struck out, who played incredible defense and carried a team for most of the season, almost lost to a one-dimensional slugger who struck out 199 times and hit .251. Cats and dogs living together.

But it didn't happen, and I can get on with my life, until, say, Brett Wallace loses an MVP circa 2013 because he's a defensive zero who couldn't turn it on until his hot September. 

Anybody have a particularly forceful AL MVP choice? The main thing I'm watching is just how overlooked A-Rod will be, despite having another excellent season. He and El Hombre should consider starting a support group. Musial can lay down a wistful harmonica track and all of the overlooked superstars can sing the how-is-he-underrated? blues. They should have it on TV, so that ESPN can pre-empt it for Texas Hold 'Em. 

Anyway, lately there've been a lot of defensive statistics cited—which makes sense, since it doesn't take a really deep look at the middle infield's offensive numbers to understand what went on there in 2008. I've always had trouble trying to keep them straight in my head and my bookmarks folder, so I figured that in lieu of a Tuesday notes column I'd try to aggregate them here, roster-matrix style. 

Unfortunately, the SBN WYSIWYG editor—WYSIWYG editors will eventually be the one little, insignificant thing that pushes me over the edge—has mangled my table beyond recognition, and I had to go back to the drawing board before the deadline. Watch this space—and if you can think of anything beyond Chris Dial's Zone Rating-derived runs, the Fielding Bible numbers, and the PMR runs to aggregate here, leave them in the comments.