Harper winning MVP doesn’t make up for other Phillies’ Snubs
On Thursday evening, the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans got an early holidays gift when it was announced that Bryce Harper was selected as the 2021 National League MVP Award winner after a season that was a rollercoaster ride for everyone playing for and rooting for the Phillies. And there are all kinds of "Good Vibes" with Harper winning the second MVP Award of his MLB career, but this great honor does not make up for the disserve that happened the night before to his teammate Zack Wheeler.
The Phillies should have walked away from the 2021 MLB season with both the Most Valuable Player Award AND the National League Cy Young Award but on Wednesday Night the voters robbed Zack Wheeler of the award. Despite the fact that Wheeler led the NL in Innings Pitched (213.1), Strikeouts (247), Shutouts (2), and Wins Above Replacement (7.7), all of that was not good enough. Wheeler didn't accumulate enough points in the voting and because some anonymous voter had him fifth on their ballot, Wheeler lost the Cy Young Award to Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher Corbin Burnes:
*The voting system gives seven points for each first-place vote, four points for second place votes, three points for third, two points for fourth, and one point for each fifth-place vote*
Burnes who started four fewer games (28) than Wheeler (32) and all of the most important numbers favoring the Phillies All-Star Pitcher, as you can see from the chart above, Wheeler received fewer second-place votes than Burnes, and that one Fifth Place vote hurt in the over Points Totals which determine the Award Winner. Wheeler is 31 Years Old and in the Prime of his career, he had the best season of his Professional Baseball life, but he misses out on winning the prestigious Cy Young Award because of subjective opinions on his performance on the field.
This is not the only bizarre lack of recognition of a Phillies Player this season: remember that Bryce Harper won the NL MVP Award despite NOT being selected to the MLB All-Star game this season. During Harper's seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, he was an MLB All-Star for six of his seven seasons before coming to Philadelphia. But in a Phillies uniform, Harper has been shutout of the All-Star Game despite having two seasons with 35 Home Runs and three seasons with a Slugging Percentage over .500 yet his is named the 2021 NL MVP. Harper joins a dubious club with Jimmy Rollins as the second straight Phillies Player to win MVP but not be an All-Star in that season:
So I ask this question: Are Philadelphia Phillies players being disrespected by people outside of the Philadelphia-Delaware-New Jersey region? During the Phillies' amazing run of success from 2007-2011, Jimmy Rollins averaged 33 Stolen Bases and 154 Hits per season with a cumulative .301 Batting Average but was never selected to the MLB All-Star Game during those years. Both Rollins and his fellow MVP Award winner Ryan Howard were only Three-time All-Stars despite more than three seasons of incredible offensive production.
The last 20 years have been a rollercoaster ride of great highs and depressing lows for Phillies' fans, so Bryce Harper winning the NL MVP Award is definitely a feel-good moment. But it doesn't make up for the injustice done to Zack Wheeler or the lack of respect shown to past Phillies players. Add this "chip on the shoulder" to all the other real and perceived slights given towards Philadelphia and their sports teams. Maybe the Phillies could give Wheeler a Cy Young Award bonus even if though he didn't officially win the award....or maybe I've been watching UFC and MMA for too many years with fighters being rewarded even if the judges botch a decision. Wait, are MMA judges voting for the NL Cy Young Award? Ok, alright, I'm joking about that and being sarcastic....or am I?