They had an NL MVP vote — but did they have a clue?

The awards for the 2015 season are coming at us fast and furious — the highlight, MLB.com’s Esurance MLB Awards land a week from Friday — but we need a quick timeout,

What the heck were my BBWAA brethren thinking in their votes for National League MVP? The votes came in a long time ago, and were the basis for the three finalists announced on Tuesday.

Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt? And no Andrew McCutchen?

Two thoughts:

  • Bryce Harper, the third finalist, may as well clear mantle space and get his hair ready for the acceptance speech.
  • And did we miss the memo on the award being renamed Most Outstanding Player, versus Valuable?

It is absolutely stunning that two of the top three vote-getters are off losing clubs, considering of the 187 MVP Awards handed out historically, only five went to players off losing teams — none of which had a record as bad as the Votto Reds’ 64-98:

  • Ernie Banks 1958 (Cubs: 72-82)
  • Banks 1959 (Cubs: 74-80)
  • Andrew Dawson 1987 (Cubs: 76-85)
  • Cal Ripken Jr. 1991 (Orioles: 67-95)
  • Alex Rodriguez 2003 (Rangers: 71-91)

With Votto in the lineup, the Reds went 61-95.

With Goldschmidt in the lineup, the Diamondbacks went 77-80.

(With Harper in the lineup, even the Nationals barely broke even (77-76).

The Bucs, with McCutchen in their lineup? 96-58! Pretty valuable, the center fielder, no?

Not to suggest Cutch was the only one dealt a bad hand. The Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzales, the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter? All had outstanding personal credentials on standout teams.

Awards have always been natural fodder for argument and debate, ad nauseum.  Not this one. The voters blew it, inarguably.

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