Ortiz, Lowell Among Top Five In MVP Voting

As expected, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was the runaway winner of the American League Most Valuable Player award in voting announced today. Rodriguez, who led the majors with 54 homers and 156 RBI, received 26 of 28 first-place votes—a pair of Detroit writers voted Tigers slugger Magglio Ordonez first—and 382 points overall in winning his third MVP.

The Red Sox placed two players in the top five of the balloting. Designated hitter David Ortiz (.332, 35 homers, 117 RBI) took fourth with 177 points. He received one second-place vote, 11 third-place votes, six fourth-place votes, three fifth-place votes, three seventh-place votes, two eighth-place votes and one ninth-place vote.

For Ortiz, who set a career high this season in batting average and led the AL in extra-base hits, it was the fifth straight season he has finished in the top five of the MVP voting. He took third last year, second in 2005, fourth in 2004 and fifth in 2003.

Mike Lowell (.324, 24 homers, 120 RBI) took fifth with 126 points. Lowell, a free agent who reportedly agreed to a three-year contract with the Sox Monday, received one third-place vote, six fourth-place votes, two fifth-place votes, seven sixth-place votes, four seventh-place votes, three eighth-place votes and two ninth-place votes.

It was the highest MVP finish ever for Lowell, who finished 11th in the National League balloting in 2003.

This marked the 13th straight season in which at least one Sox player has finished in the top 10. Three players—Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra—have five top-10 finishes. The complete list of Sox players to finish in the top 10 in MVP balloting since 1995 is below:

  • David Ortiz: 5 (4th 2007, 3rd 2006, 2nd 2005, 4th 2004, 5th 2003)
  • Manny Ramirez: 5 (4th 2005, 3rd 2004, 6th 2003, 9th 2002, 9th 2001)
  • Nomar Garciaparra: 5 (7th 2003, 9th 2000, 7th 1999, 2nd 1998, 8th 1997)
  • Mo Vaughn: 3 (T4th 1998, 5th 1996, 1st 1995)
  • Pedro Martinez: 2 (5th 2000, 2nd 1999)
  • Mike Lowell: 1 (5th 2007)
  • John Valentin: 1 (9th 1995)

    The MVP voting caps the awards season for Major League Baseball and an impressive run by the Sox, who had a top-five finisher in all four awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and Manager of the Year). Only one other team, the Angels, matched that feat.

    The Sox has the Rookie of the Year in Dustin Pedroia (Daisuke Matsuzaka finished fourth) and the Cy Young runner-up in Josh Beckett. Terry Francona was fourth in the Manager of the Year balloting.

    The Sox are one of just three AL teams to have a player win the three major individual awards since 1995. Vaughn won the MVP in 1995 while Garciaparra won the Rookie of the Year in 1997 before Martinez won consecutive Cy Young Awards in 1999 and 2000. The Athletics and Twins have also had a player win all three awards in the last 13 seasons.

    Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752. To subscribe to Diehard or diehardmagazine.com, please CLICK HERE

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