Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good to see the Rays get some MVP love

Glad to see Dustin Pedroia win the American League MVP.

I would have voted for Boston’s mighty-mite had I had an MVP vote. I voted this year for the AL Cy Young and placed Cliff Lee first, Roy Halladay second and Francisco Rodriguez third, and, I’m proud to say, that’s how the voting fell.

As glad as I was to see Pedroia receive his first MVP award, I was even happier to see the names of Carlos Peña, Evan Longoria and Jason Bartlett among those who received votes.

Hey, it was hard to ignore the Rays this summer.

Peña received 13 votes and finished ninth. One voter had Peña third on his ballot, which I won’t argue with.

Longoria, who was voted AL rookie of the year, was 11th with 12 votes. His highest was sixth. I’m guessing he would have been in the top-five had he not missed a month with a fractured right wrist.

Bartlett, who was voted team MVP by the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of American, received a fifth-place vote by a writer who values defense and finished 18th.

It’s not easy voting for the league MVPs.

Unlike rookie of the year, Cy Young and manager of the year, BBWAA voters (there are two for each award in each American League and National League city) are asked to list 10 names.

Every baseball fan in American can rattle off four or five deserving candidates. It’s the remaining five or six that makes it tricky.

Who do put on the ballot and where do you place him?

You don’t want to just write down names. You want to have some order to your ballot. So you find yourself arguing the merits of the guy you placed seventh over the guy you placed eighth and his merits over the guy you placed ninth.

The last thing you want to do is put someone 10th only to see everyone else voted the guy in the top-5.

Not as easy as it sounds.

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