I can't believe that some people are dismissing Ryan Howard for the 2008 Most Valuable Player Award. I can't think of anyone more deserving. Albert Pujols is an incredible hitter, no doubt about it. But the Cardinals are a .500 team and will not make the playoffs. Manny Ramirez and CC Sabathia have had very productive half-seasons with the Dodgers and Brewers, respectively, but have only been valuable to their club for half the year. The Cubs - my Chicago Cubs - have seen contributions made by a handful of players without one particular player "carrying" the club for a stretch. I've heard people say that Ryan's batting average may hurt him and that he strikes out too much. What? His job is to drive in runs and he has done a better job at that than anyone in baseball. He has 10 more home runs and 20 more RBIs than anyone in baseball. He gets hits when it matters most. The Phillies - who are in first place - are there because Ryan has put this team on his back and carried them through September. Isn't that the definition of valuable?