Sunday, November 05, 2006

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter would have no identity without his secret awards

"Preliminary polling shows the slugger will lose too many votes to teammates Joe Mauer and Johan Santana.
Joe Christensen, Star Tribune Last update: November 05, 2006

In the spirit of Election Day, the Star Tribune conducted a straw poll this week to help answer that question burning in the minds of Twins followers everywhere: Will Justin Morneau win American League most valuable player honors?

The official announcement won't come until Nov. 21.

Our findings won't spoil the suspense.

Morneau apparently took home enough first-place votes (balloting was completed at the end of the regular season) to make things interesting, but his chances of winning still appear to be 50-50, at best.

We polled 15 of the 28 voters, which include two baseball writers from each of the 14 AL markets.

The Baseball Writers Association of America asks its members not to reveal their votes before the announcements are made, and seven of the 15 abstained from our poll.

Eight anonymously answered our question: Did you have Morneau first on your ballot?

Three said yes. Five said no.

Beyond our straw poll, however, we have heard the results from 12 ballots, and six of those had Morneau listed first.

With 50 percent of the first-place votes, that might sound promising for the Twins first baseman.

But it's more complicated than that.

The favorite to win is still New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Voters rank their top 10 MVP choices, and the guess here is that Jeter probably was picked first or second on most ballots.

Morneau's problem is he played for a team that had three legitimate MVP candidates. Some national media members thought Johan Santana, a virtual lock to win the AL Cy Young award, should win MVP honors as well. Others still say Twins catcher Joe Mauer was the league's true MVP.

Voters who put Mauer or Santana high on their list, probably dropped Morneau down a few pegs.

Jeter was the clear MVP choice among the Yankees, so he won't have that problem.

It's possible that Morneau could get more first-place votes than Jeter and still not win MVP honors. That happened most recently in 1999, when Pedro Martinez received the most first-place votes (eight) but Ivan Rodriguez (seven) took home the award.

Dubious prediction time

OK, the best guess here is that Jeter wins his first MVP award, and Morneau finishes second.
Of course, the last bold prediction in this space was Tigers in four. So Morneau better get his acceptance speech ready."

  • (Honestly, who would even know who Christensen was without awards' voting? Answer: Very few people, which is why guys like him are desperate to keep these phony awards going.)


Post a Comment

<< Home