Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer finished 2nd and 4th respectively in the voting. I think most of us realized Morneau had lost his chance for MVP with his horrid stretch to end the season, and Mauer has never really gotten the respect from the writers for how well he plays such a tough position. All in all, a good showing from the Twins, but they were outshone by the Red Sox, who had Dustin Pedrioa win the award and Kevin Youkilis finish third.
And one more thing regarding the MVP award. How did Jason Bartlett receive a vote?! And not a tenth-place vote-- a fifth-place vote! That means one writer thought, out of all the players in the AL, Jason Bartlett was the fifth most valuable... ahead of all of the following save four: Pedroia, Youkilis, Morneau, Mauer, Carlos Quentin, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez, Jermaine Dye, Miguel Cabrera, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, Raul Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Pena, Jim Thome, Michael Young, and Torii Hunter. What do all these players have in common? They all played more games, had more runs, home runs, and RBIs, and had higher on-base percentages and slugging percentages (and thus all had a higher OPS) than Jason Bartlett. Every single one of them was better in every single category, and most outdistanced him by a lot. And that list is certainly not all-inclusive. Then there are the players who aren't better in every above stat, but are obviously better choices, such as Milton Bradley (2 fewer games).
A few more notes: only the last five (Sizemore, Pena, Thome, Young, and Hunter) had lower batting averages. A good number of those players were on playoff teams, or on the cusp of the playoffs. And I didn't even consider any pitchers who were more deserving. And this writer must have also ignored his teammate Evan Longoria (he didn't get higher than a sixth-place vote), who clearly had a far superior season.
Oh, what's that? I seem to have excluded a name familiar to Twins fans that would fit the above description, and thus should be on the list: Delmon Young. That's right, Delmon Young. How many votes did he get for MVP?
(This post was not meant to disparage Jason Bartlett; he's a solid player in his own respect. But I would like to know why one writer gave him a fifth place vote for MVP. Perhaps the same one that left Dustin Pedroia off entirely?)
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