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Rollins wins MVP

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As you've probably heard by now, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins narrowly edged Colorado outfielder Matt Holiday to win National League Most Valuable Player honors. Rollins got 16 first-place votes and 353 in all, besting Holliday's 336 votes (11 first-place). Brewers slugger Prince Fielder was third. Two other Phillies--defending MVP Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley--also finished in the top 10, at fifth and eighth respectively.

It has been, can be and will be argued at great length whether or not Rollins "deserves" the award. My feeling is that he does, but the  important thing to remember is that "value" is a subjective concept. You get to define it however you like; stats are a crucial part of constructing that definition, unless you're a willfully ignorant idiot. But it's not the entirety; the award isn't "Most Win Shares" or "Best OPS+."

Rollins gave an outstanding on-field performance with bat and glove, but what put him over the top was his endurance (162 games), consistency (other than May, he hit at an all-star level every month this season), and above all the perception of his leadership. The "team to beat" remark looked really, really stupid and intemperate for five and a half months; he never backed off from it, and consistently represented his faith in himself and his teammates. Sportswriters love that stuff, and I suspect that--coupled with the efforts of his teammates to prove his statement--explains why Jimmy hoists the hardware today.