Pedroia: 'Kind of stinks' Ells finished 2nd

November, 21, 2011
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia believes teammate Jacoby Ellsbury should have won the 2011 American League MVP award.

Ellsbury finished second behind Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who last week was named the AL’s Cy Young winner, too. Pedroia won the AL MVP in 2008.

“Obviously if you ask any of our guys we’re going to be biased to Jacoby because we saw it first-hand what kind of year he had and what he means to our team,” Pedroia said. “Obviously I feel he deserves to win it.”

Verlander received 13 of 28 first-place votes and 280 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Ellsbury was second with 242 points (4 first-place votes, 13 second-place votes), followed by Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista with 231 points.

Verlander went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts to take the AL pitching triple crown. He is the first pitcher to win MVP since Oakland's Dennis Eckerlsley in 1992 and the first starter since Boston's Roger Clemens in 1986.

“We all know Verlander’s year was pretty incredible with his numbers and he deserves the attention he’s getting,” added Pedroia. “He had an unbelievable season, but in my opinion, he pitched 34 games and Ells played 158, so I think if a pitcher should win it he should impact, in those 34 games, in an extraordinary amount of the time and he did that, no question. But Ells impacted a lot more than 34 games for our team.

“But that’s why it’s fun for everybody. Everybody can say, ‘pitchers should win it,’ or ‘pitchers shouldn’t win it.’ It’s fun for the fans, it’s fun for the media and it’s fun for everybody. But it’s pretty difficult to see a guy finish second. It kind of stinks.”

In 2008 Pedroia hit .326 with 17 homers, 83 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. This past season Ellsbury hit .321 with 32 homers, 39 stolen bases and 105 RBI.

“Obviously it’s special (to win an MVP). It means you’re the best player in that league that year,” Pedroia said. “It’s a special, special time. The way I look at this year, Jacoby’s still the best position player in the American League. A pitcher may have won the award, but Jacoby was the best position player and we’re all proud of him for that. He’s dealt with a lot and, in my opinion, he’s the best position player and no one can really take that away from him.”

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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