And here we are with my final Baseball Bloggers Alliance award ballot for the year. This award is the Stan Musial Award, given out to the best player of the year. Think of it as the Most Valuable Player award if you'd like. My Ted Williams Award for top rookie and Walter Johnson Award for top pitcher ballots are also available.
Once again, I'm happy to hear from you where I'm wrong.
Stan Musial Award (Most Valuable Player)
A.L.: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Josh Hamilton batted .359/.411/.633 while playing good defense and leading his team to the postseason. The only knock against Hamilton is that he missed pretty much the entire month of September with a rib injury. Evan Longoria has the next best case, playing an outstanding third base with excellent numbers on the team with the best record in baseball. I'm a sucker for the Rangers' story, though (as a team), and I just don't know see Longoria as number one even after adjusting for his defense and home-park factors.
N.L.: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is the National League version of Josh Hamilton, only without the time-off in September. As the leader of the Reds, Votto led the team to a first-place finish with a .324/.424/.600 line. There were fine seasons from other NL sluggers - Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, even Aubrey Huff - but none were able to overtake Votto.