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 Pedroia named AL MVP

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PostSubject: Pedroia named AL MVP   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:05 pm

Pedroia named AL MVP
Boston second baseman did it all in sophomore season

BOSTON -- Just call him Mr. November. Or better yet, refer to Dustin Pedroia as the Most Valuable Player of the American League.

The second baseman of the Boston Red Sox continued his rapid burst into the national spotlight on Tuesday, when he was recognized with that impressive honor.

Though most pundits expected the race for MVP to be agonizingly close, Pedroia won in comfortable fashion, outdistancing a solid field that included, among others, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Following a 2007 season in which Pedroia helped fuel the Red Sox to a World Series championship and won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the right-handed hitting machine staged quite an encore.

Pedroia joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard as the only players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive years.

For his performance in 2008, Pedroia received a Gold Glove Award, a spot on the American League's Silver Slugger team and now the MVP.

By prevailing in the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting, Pedroia became the first Red Sox player to cart home the coveted MVP Award since Mo Vaughn in 1995. But unlike Vaughn, one of the most physically imposing figures in club history, Pedroia will go down as one of the slightest.

Officially listed at 5-foot-9 in the Boston media guide, Pedroia is probably two or three inches shorter than that.

After a grand slam at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 27, a revved-up Pedroia informed his teammates that he was "the strongest 165-pound man in baseball."

It was that type of infectious enthusiasm that earned Pedroia the rare ability to be considered a team leader at the age of 25.

But as much as Pedroia said in the clubhouse and dugout, his bat spoke the loudest.

With 213 hits, Pedroia tied Ichiro Suzuki for the Major League lead. His 54 doubles led the Majors. He led the AL in runs (118) and multihit games (61).

Backed by a .326 average, Pedroia lost the batting title by just four points to Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer. Pedroia finished fourth in total bases (322) and seventh in extra-base hits (73).

An elite tablesetter, Pedroia also chipped in with power (17 homers, 83 RBIs) and speed (20 stolen bases).

From a team standpoint, Pedroia and the Red Sox fell just one win shy of getting back to the World Series after a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to the Rays in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Considering the obstacles the Red Sox faced (David Ortiz missed seven weeks with a left wrist injury, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew missed considerable time, Jason Varitek had a sharp decline at the plate), it's doubtful they could have gotten to the postseason without the performances of Pedroia and Youkilis.

Before Pedroia's final red-hot surge of late August and early September, Youkilis was the Boston player getting a lot of mention in MVP discussions.

And the first baseman, who also played third base when Lowell was injured, had a big year in his own right. Youkilis established career highs in batting average (.312), home runs (29), RBIs (115) and slugging percentage (.569).

As for Pedroia, he became the fifth second baseman in Major League history to have 200 hits, 50 doubles, 100 runs and 15 homers in the same season, joining Charlie Gehringer (1936), Craig Biggio (1998), Jose Vidro (2000) and Alfonso Soriano (2002).


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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:25 pm

Neutral

Nobody really deserved it but I guess he was as deserving as anyone. I'd have rather seen Mauer or Morneau win it, but I can live with this.


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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:26 pm

Miguel Cabrera was 13th!


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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:02 pm

WhoO!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:37 pm

Pedroia wins AL MVP; first 2B to win since '59
Updated: November 18, 2008-
Boston little man Dustin Pedroia won the AL MVP award Tuesday, becoming the first second baseman to earn the honor in nearly a half-century.

AL MVP voting:
Player, Team 1st-2nd-3rd Points

D. Pedroia, BOS 16-6-4 317
J. Morneau, MIN 7-7-6 257
K. Youkilis, BOS 2-4-4 201
J. Mauer, MIN 2-8-1 188
C. Quentin, CHW 0-1-4 160
F. Rodriguez, LAA 1-2-6 143
*Top six vote getters displayed. Points awarded on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Pedroia easily beat out Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau and added to his ever-expanding trophy case generously listed at 5-foot-9, the Red Sox star was the top AL rookie last year while winning a World Series ring.

"I'm not the biggest guy in the world. I don't have that many tools," Pedroia said on a conference call from his home in Arizona. "If you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn't think I'm a baseball player."

Nellie Fox was the previous second baseman to become AL MVP, in 1959 with the White Sox. No position has produced fewer MVPs just 10 overall since the AL and NL awards were first presented in 1931.

Pedroia drew 16 of the 28 first-place votes cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and finished with 317 points.

It was a scattered ballot, with five players receiving first-place votes. Pedroia was even left off one ballot, while Morneau and Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis were listed on every one.

Pedroia and his wife originally planned to leave early this week for a vacation in Mexico. But with the MVP vote looming, a Red Sox official suggested he delay the trip by a day or two, just in case.

"I really didn't know what to expect," Pedroia said. "I wasn't nervous or overly excited."

Pedroia was driving to his daily workout when he got the phone call telling him he'd won. Right away, the calls and text messages from teammates began pouring in.

"It's unbelievable," he said.

Morneau got seven first-place votes and had 257 points, and Youkilis and Twins catcher Joe Mauer each got a pair of first-place votes. Record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels drew the other first-place nod and came in sixth.

Pedroia led the AL in hits, runs and doubles in helping the Red Sox win the AL wild-card berth. He batted .326 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs and also stole 20 bases. Earlier this month, he also won his first Gold Glove.

Pedroia quickly became a fan favorite at Fenway Park with his meaty swings and scrappy approach. In a lineup depleted by injuries to David Ortiz, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew and the midseason trade of Manny Ramirez, Pedroia took his hearty hacks wherever needed while he usually batted second, he also hit leadoff and cleanup.

The 25-year-old Pedroia was the fourth second baseman to win the AL MVP award, along with Fox, Joe Gordon (1942) and Charlie Gehringer (1937). Six second basemen have won the NL honor, with Jeff Kent, Ryne Sandberg and Joe Morgan doing it most recently.

"When I first got called up to the major leagues in 2006, I didn't know what to expect," Pedroia said.

"I had to overcome a lot of things to prove people wrong, and so far I've done that," he said. "I have to find a way to have that edge."

Pedroia became the 10th Red Sox player to take the award and first since Mo Vaughn in 1995. He also is just the third player to become MVP the season after earning the Rookie of the Year award, joining Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard.

Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP winner, hit .300 with 23 home runs and 129 RBIs in helping the Twins reach a one-game playoff for the AL Central, which they lost to Chicago.

Youkilis (.312, 29, 115) was third with 201 points and Mauer (.328, 9, 85) was next with 188 points.

White Sox star Carlos Quentin, who was leading the AL with 36 home runs when he broke his right wrist in an act of frustration, was fifth with 160 points. Rodriguez, who went 62-for-69 in save chances and recently filed for free agency, drew 143 points.

Texas slugger Josh Hamilton, who made a remarkable recovery from drug addiction to resume his career, was seventh and followed by last year's winner, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena came in ninth, the top vote-getter from the AL champions. The Rays beat Boston in Game 7 of the ALCS.

Pedroia, who made just $457,000 last season, didn't have an MVP bonus provision in his contract. Morneau earned $75,000 and Mauer, Youkilis and Pena got $25,000 each.

The AL MVP was the last of the major BBWAA awards presented this year. Albert Pujols won the NL MVP award Monday and last week Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum won Cy Youngs, Joe Maddon and Lou Piniella were picked as Managers of the Year and Evan Longoria and Geovanny Soto were the top rookies.
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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:27 am

catbox_9 wrote:
Miguel Cabrera was 13th!

Miguel should have placed much higher but his slow start really cost him.

Cabrera in 2009!! Vote
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PostSubject: Re: Pedroia named AL MVP   Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:36 am

He needs a heater sewn into his uniform for those first few weeks! Just cause we have an April start this year doesn't mean it will be any warmer than last year!
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