Once again the BBWAA has let me down, or: they have met my depressed expectations of them. Ryan Howard is hardly a poor choice for MVP. The problem is that he wasn't a great choice. He was probably the
fourth fifth best player in the league, behind Pujols, Beltran, Cabrera and Berkman. His team didn't make the playoffs, and wasn;t even that close to making the playoffs, trailing the wild card winning Padres by three games to end the season.
Howard won the MVP because there's one thing that baseball writers may love even more than a winner, one thing that gives them an erection faster than Derek Jeter playing the game the right way: gaudy homerun (58) and RBI (149) numbers.
Beltran finished fourth in the voting, but even with his rough September he still led the league in win shares above bench. Ryan Howard finished 7th (!). For reference, SBNation picked Albert Pujols, who was just a shade behind Beltran in WSAB. Beltran got a huge bump from his gold glove defense in centerfield, Pujols got a little credit for his passable defense at first, and Howard got almost no credit for his woefully inadequate glovework at first.
In the final BBWAA voting, Jose Reyes finished seventh, David Wright ninth and Carlos Delgado 12th. Not a bad showing at all for the boys on orange-and-blue.