National League MVP: How Goldschmidt came second

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

This afternoon, Paul Goldschmidt became the highest-ranked Diamondback ever in MVP voting, finishing second to Andrew McCutchen. Here's how it went down.

"It's a huge honor just to be one of the finalists. There have obviously been a lot of great players, just to be mentioned alongside them is a huge honor. I want to say congratulations to Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera and all of the other winners. It was a good year and hopefully we'll move on and get a little bit better as a team next year and strive towards making the playoffs and winning the World Series."
-- Paul Goldschmidt
Player, Club
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 28 1 1 409
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs 15 9 1 3 2 242
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 2 8 4 6 6 1 2 1 219
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 6 5 4 3 9 1 1 1 194
Freddie Freeman, Braves 5 7 8 8 1 1 154
Joey Votto, Reds 2 8 7 3 4 1 2 149
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 8 4 4 5 4 1 146
Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers 1 1 2 1 2 3 3 3 58
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1 3 6 2 3 43
Jay Bruce, Reds 1 1 3 2 3 30
Craig Kimbrel, Braves 1 1 3 3 27
Shin Soo Choo, Reds 1 1 1 4 3 23
Jayson Werth, Nationals 1 2 2 6 20
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 2 4 14
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers 1 2 10
Hunter Pence, Giants 1 1 2 7
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 2 1 5
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1 1 4
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers 1 1 4
Buster Posey, Giants 1 3
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 1 3
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies 3 3
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1 2
Russell Martin, Pirates 1 1

Looking back at our preview this morning, Goldschmidt did indeed become the highest-ranked Diamondback ever, blowing away the non-playoff competition, and even surpassing the third-place finishes of Matt Williams and Luis Gonzalez, who were both on post-season teams. However, he did not surpass the overall points totals of either man (269 and 261 respectively); while two fewer ballots this year may have played a part in that, the gap was sufficient much that he'd have needed a first-place vote from one of the Houston voters, even to have a chance of catching Gonzalez.

Speaking of which, he also did not become the third Diamondback to receive any first-place votes, after Williams and Justin Upton. While McCutchen did not enjoy a clean sweep, the other two first-place votes went to the Cardinals' catcher, Yadier Molina. Oh, what a surprise. Both of those votes came from writers with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Conversely, both the Arizona writers voted for McCutchen. The Republic's Nick Piecoro picked Goldschmidt second, while USA Today's Bob Nightengale (well-known for his connection to Arizona, apparently!) put Molina ahead of Goldschmidt.

It's also to St. Louis that we turn for the winner of the 2013 "Needs their journalistic license revoked" award. Now, these things are all about opinions, and you know what they saw about those. But there is credible dissent, and then there is Mr. Rick Hummel. He not only voted Molina first, but then Matt Carpenter second. You may be detecting a certain theme here, colored a delicate shade of rampant homerism. Hummel was the only person to put McCutchen below second, in third place, and he also considered Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves as more valuable than Paul Goldschmidt this season.

However, Hummel wasn't the only person with such a low opinion of Goldschmidt's season. Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald in Illinois also said Goldschmidt was only worth a sixth-place ballot, behind not only the expected pairing of McCutchen and Molina, but also Carpenter, Clayton Kershaw and... er, Joey Votto? There were also a trio of fifth-place votes, including Jon Heyman, who should really know better. And while I'm at it, can someone explain why a fairly minor sports-site like got 10% of the votes for National League MVP this year? I know the whole concept of "two from each chapter" is flimsy in these days of dying newspapers, but still...

Nick Piecoro just posted his ballot explanation, something which I feel should be required for every voter. [Rick Hummel: "I was drunk at the time."] It's a measured and well-considered piece, particularly discussing the tightrope that has to be walked between homerism and alienating those with whom he works every day. "What you try to do - the only thing you can do - is make what you believe is the best choice. You don't make your selection based on the team you cover or based on what other's reactions might be. You make your selection based on your convictions." Pity Nick didn't mention why he was the only guy to pick Adam Wainwright though. :)

So, there ends the 2013 awards season - at least for the BBWAA. It's now time to start ramping up the 2013 'Pitties, and we'll be getting into those next week, once I finalize the selection for Play of the Year...

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