Morneau second, Mauer fourth in AL MVP voting

Posted on November 18th, 2008 – 1:12 PM
By La Velle

Boston’s Dustin Pedroia has been voted AL MVP, outpointing the Twins’ Justin Morneau 317-257.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer finished fourth, receiving two first-place votes. It’s the highest he’s finished in MVP voting. He was sixth in 2006.

Five different players received first place votes, a reflection of how many voters struggled with the decision – and a reflection of the different criteria used to determined what’s an MVP.

Pedroia received 16 first-place votes, 6 second-place votes and 4 third-place votes. Morneau received seven first place votes.

Here’s how the voting went (it’s the number of first-place votes, followed by second place, and so on):

Player 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Dustin Pedroia 16 6 4 1 317
Justin Morneau 7 7 6 3 3 1 1 257
Kevin Youkilis 2 4 4 9 2 4 1 2 201
Joe Mauer 2 8 1 3 4 3 3 2 1 188
Carlos Quentin 1 4 8 4 4 4 1 1 160
Francisco Rodriguez 1 2 6 1 6 3 2 2 143
Josh Hamilton 2 2 3 7 3 2 4 3 112
Alex Rodriguez 1 1 4 1 4 7 45
Carlos Pena 1 2 2 3 2 3 44
Grady Sizemore 2 1 5 6 1 42
Evan Longoria 2 2 5 2 1 38
Cliff Lee 1 1 1 1 1 24
Miguel Cabrera 1 1 4 1 17
Vladimir Guerrero 2 2 1 16
Jermaine Dye 1 2 2 14
Aubrey Huff 1 2 3 12
Milton Bradley 1 1 9
Jason Bartlett 1 6
Mike Mussina 1 3
Raul Ibanez 1 1
Ian Kinsler 1 1
Ichiro Suzuki 1 1
Mark Teixeira 1 1

If the season had ended on Sept. 13, Morneau probably would have won his second MVP award in three years. But he batted .146 over the final 16 games and failed to come through in some really big situations.

I really struggled with Morneau vs. Pedroia down the stretch. I looked at all kinds of numbers and even reached out to a couple local stat mavens (they know who they are). And there was Joe C.’s awesome post

In the end, I just couldn’t ignore how Morneau finished.

Looking back, I should have voted Mauer a little higher.

My top five included Pedroia first, Morneau second, Kevin Youkilis third and Mauer fifth. You can vote for Mauer anywhere in the top five and feel O.K. about it because of his production at such a demanding position.  But you can argue that he’s a top-three pick. I think I got wound up about RBI at the end, looked at what Morneau did and allowed that to influence where I placed Mauer. I second-guess myself on this vote every year….

By the way, I was the one who gave Aubrey Huff the sixth place vote. Every time I looked up numbers, or asked the Twins to run numbers of league leaders in various categories, Huff was right around Morneau. He quietly had a strong season.

Update: Here’s the Boston Globe story on the award.

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