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National League Silver Slugger fails to provoke animosity in anybody

Okay, the Silver Slugger I can't get worked up about. We just know too much about evaluating hitters for the awards to do anything for me; let me know who had the highest OPS+ or most batting runs or whatever and allow me to get back to whining about the Gold Gloves, if it's all the same.

Nevertheless, it is an award, and awards exist so that we can be pissed off about them. So far as Albert Pujols goes, he finished 13 points short of Joey Votto for the NL OPS title but played nine more games (52 additional plate appearances), so I think he earned this one. The stats sites are pushing for a mistrial—Baseball-Reference has them at 64 and 61 runs above average, respectively, while Fangraphs calls it 59 to 57 in favor of Votto, presumably because wOBA finds intentional walks distasteful and opposing managers find intentionally walking Albert Pujols distinctly tasteful. 

As dinged up as Pujols has seemed almost every moment of his career, he's now played at least 154 games eight seasons out of 10 in his career, which comes as quite a shock to me. (Random, nicely ordered Cardinal examples: Larry Walker did that zero times; Jim Edmonds once; Scott Rolen four times; Ozzie Smith seven times, counting the 110 games he played in 1981; Stan Musial eight times. Okay, okay, so the season was 154 games long.)

Matt Holliday also picked up a Silver Slugger award, his fourth, and it was well-deserved—only Carlos Gonzalez had a clearly better year among outfielders.

As a guy with a borderline Hall of Fame shot if he plays his cards right (really, really right) accumulating Silver Slugger awards might mean something for him, or at least give his voter base one more stat to rattle off at the appropriate part of the Keltner List. Albert Pujols's Silver Slugger awards will be used to ward off intruders, level shaky tables, stop doors, etc., until such time as A.J. Pujols is ready to swing them in high school ball.

Jayson Werth should have replaced Ryan Braun as the third outfielder, but there's little egregious to complain about on this list—no Derek Jeter, certainly. It seems increasingly clear to me that sportswriters, managers, coaches, and anybody else allowed to vote for an award on the basis of somebody's Innate Greatness or calm eyes or delicate grasp of the intangibles insofar as there are no numbers that can clearly and easily refute it. Shouldn't veteran presence show up just as much on offense as on defense? 

Okay, okay, there's one additional more playing time-related controversy over which to overheat, if you're looking. Despite hitting .364/.375/.527 in 57 plate appearances before being traded, and getting more national press for his hitting since anybody this side of Mike Hampton, Dan Haren was unable to win the Willie McGee 1990-memorial Silver Slugger award. He lost out to Yovani Gallardo, who hit .254/.329/.508 in 72 plate appearances.

Like my favorite Hall of Fame debates, this comes down to how you like your Silver Slugger candidates to accumulate. Baseball-Reference gives Gallardo the narrow edge, 11 runs above a replacement-level hitting pitcher to 10. The catch: in his briefer stay Haren edged Gallardo 3 runs to 2 against an average hitter. There's something interesting in this debate—something seems wrong about giving a pitcher a hitting replacement-level, since that's not the reason for which they're typically replaced—but I say that as someone who would love to know more about punter metrics.