In winning the MVP award, Dustin Pedroia was named on 27 of the 28 American League MVP ballots. The one writer to leave Pedroia off? That was Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, a well-respected member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the organization that votes on awards.
Grant voted for Kevin Youkilis first, followed by the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez and the Twins’ Justin Morneau.
“I think the best way for me to sum it up is, in retrospect, obviously I was wrong,” Grant said by phone. “My colleagues all, and people I respect an awful lot, thought Dustin deserved to be in the top 5. I had him on my ballot in some scenarios as high as No. 1 late into September. When I looked at the numbers that to me mattered most, OPS and batting average with runners in scoring position, he just didn’t stack up with Youkilis at all. He was a laggard behind the others who had great years in the American League. Is it an error of omission that he’s left off my ballot entirely? You could say that.”
Here is Grant’s 10-person ballot:
Grant emphasized that there was no anti-Pedroia or anti-Red Sox bias in his vote, especially given that he gave Youkilis the No. 1 spot.
“I just thought that Sizemore and Pena were at least the equal of Dustin,” Grant said. “When it got down to it, the last place on my ballot was Pedroia or Pena, Pedroia or Pena. I don’t have a guy from the Rays on my ballot and they won 97 games. I was going to vote to make sure Carlos Pena got recognized. I’m not afraid to say I was wrong. I have no issue with Dustin winning.”
Grant added that some of the statistical analysis that was factored into his decision included OPS and OBP, which he valued more highly than total hits or batting average. He said, “If there’s an area to me that he came up short, it was in those two areas.”
Pedroia was 17th in the AL in OPS (.869), with Youkilis fourth at .958. Pedroia was 10th in on-base percentage at .376; Youkilis was sixth (.390).