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Awards Season: AL MVP

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First of all, before I commence second-guessing, here's my ballot in the SportsBlogs voting:

  1. Joe Mauer
  2. Derek Jeter
  3. Johan Santana
-substantial gap-
  1. Grady Sizemore
  2. Jermaine Dye
  3. David Ortiz
  4. Justin Morneau
  5. Travis Hafner
  6. Carlos Guillen
  7. Miguel Tejada
As you can see, I like all-around players, and voted accordingly. There wasn't that much difference between the top three, who each have pretty compelling cases. I would have had no problem with Derek Jeter or Johan Santana winning the award. In this case, Jeter was underrated by the sportswriters, something that hasn't happened that often.

This season, it seemed that the voters fixated on the offense only in picking both Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau. Which I don't get, since "pitching and defense" and "doing the little things" are common themes in your average baseball column. Given this general attitude, you would think that either Mauer or Jeter would be a natural pick.

As for Morneau, I don't really see a case. Neither his rate or counting stats were dominating, unless you think RBIs are the ultimate judge of offensive ability. And that's even before you get to positional and defensive adjustments.

For your further amusement, New York Newsday has released the complete ballot of each AL MVP voter. Sheldon Ocker left Mauer completely off his ballot while including Justin Verlander and Paul Konerko. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times  somehow found room on his ballot for AJ Pierzynski. Both Oakland writers placed Frank Thomas second on their ballots.