Your 2011 AL MVP: Justin Verlander

Earlier this afternoon, the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed the results of the ballots for AL MVP. When the BBWAA members voted on the Cy Young, Verlander was the unanimous victor and there was a lot of talk about what level of support he would receive on the MVP ballot, and if he would be penalized for being a pitcher. The votes are in and the answer to that question is: apparently not.

When SBN bloggers, including Stacey and yours truly, voted for the MVP, the winner, by a narrow margin, was Jose Bautista, with Jacoby Ellsbury as the runner up and Miguel Cabrera a bit behind that. Verlander only came in 5th with the bloggers, perhaps because some people (like me) forgot to think about voting for a pitcher for MVP.

The last time a pitcher won the AL MVP was Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the last starting pitcher to do so was Roger Clemens in 1986. Full results from the BBWAA follow behind the jump, because that's a lot of names to clog up the screen.

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Justin VerlanderDetroit Tigers 13 3 3 4 1 2 1 280
Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox 4 13 4 1 4 1 1 242
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays 5 7 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 231
Curtis GrandersonNew York Yankees 3 4 4 8 6 1 2 215
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 2 9 5 5 2 4 1 193
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees 2 2 3 6 4 5 1 1 112
Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox 1 1 2 6 8 3 3 1 105
Michael YoungTexas Rangers 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 7 4 2 96
Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox 4 1 4 6 48
Evan LongoriaTampa Bay Rays 2 1 2 3 27
Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers 1 2 1 1 1 25
Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers 1 1 2 2 13
Paul KonerkoChicago White Sox 5 1 11
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees 2 10
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers 2 1 1 9
Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays 1 1 7
Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers 1 1 2 7
James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays 1 5 7
Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees 1 1 5
Asdrubal CabreraCleveland Indians 1 2 4
Alex GordonKansas City Royals 3 3
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers 1 1
David Robertson, New York Yankees 1 1

My first thought when I looked at this chart was, "Wow, who the hell voted for Michael Young in first place?" I am sure that individual had their reasons for that decision, and they are probably not embarrassed to be out on a limb, but I am embarrassed on that person's behalf. Actually, I'm embarrassed on behalf of the whole BBWAA for this Michael Young nonsense, because he appeared on 23 out of 28 ballots, and I mean, come on. He's freaking Michael Young, and there were some insane performances in the AL this season. Who are these people who voted for him in 2nd through 6th?

You really get some weird ballots on these things. I can understand weird 10th place votes, because at that point it's like, who cares? So while I find puzzling one person's decision to proclaim David Robertson the 10th-best player in the AL in 2011, it's not as puzzling as the person who thought there were nine players better than Ellsbury or the four people who thought there were at least five players better than Bautista. What baseball are these people watching? Are they even watching baseball?

For the mainstream voters, Cano was the first also-ran; for the bloggers, this was Pedroia, and Cano only ranked as high as 11th because one blogger gave him a first place vote. Once you get down this far, it doesn't really matter because none of these guys had a chance of winning the big award, but it's curious to see why some rank players ahead of others in the down-ballot spot. Another curiosity is that, while Jered Weaver came in 2nd place in the BBWAA's Cy Young balloting, he did not get any votes for MVP, whereas CC Sabathia (4th in BBWAA Cy voting) got a couple of 6th place votes.

By coming in 4th place in the MVP balloting, the price to the Yankees for Curtis Granderson in 2013 is now $15 million, a $2 million increase. This is actually a club option year, which the Yankees will surely pick up barring some catastrophic occurrence. Miguel Cabrera gets a $50,000 bonus for coming in 5th.

Shockingly, no Orioles received votes.
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