The votes are in, and the official media choosing the Most Valuable Oriole for 2014 have a different view of things than Camden Chat readers. Nelson Cruz was selected as the MVO. Maybe the voters were tired of voting for Adam Jones.
Cruz is certainly not an undeserving winner. His 39 home runs continue to lead the majors. That's a career high for Cruz, as are the 105 runs he's batted in. Nice to have a player who puts together his best season of his career in his possibly sole Orioles season. His .269/.334/.527 batting line gives him the team lead in OPS among qualified batters. There's no doubt that Cruz is a big part of why the Orioles have run away with the American League East.
Jones, who would have been named MVO if it was up to CC readers, came in second in the mainstream balloting. He was the only other player to receive first place votes. Though Jones trails trails Cruz in nearly every offensive category, he put together a fine season defensively and also leads the team in division-clinching victory laps taken.
Zach Britton, the Orioles' 1.72 ERA closer, came in third place. His 0.900 WHIP is ridiculous and his 35 saves are impressive for someone who didn't even spend the whole season as closer, and he's gotten a ground ball 76.5% of the time the ball is put in play. That is also ridiculous.
Other players to receive votes were Wei-Yin Chen, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, Darren O'Day, Steve Pearce, and Chris Tillman. Voting was conducted with a 5-3-1 system, with five points for a first place vote, three points for second place, and one point for third.
Who votes and how they voted is not made public, though some individual voters may reveal their choices. Unlike the league's formal postseason awards, this balloting is not limited to members of the BBWAA and can include local TV and radio people who talk about the team. If memory serves, it can even include team broadcasters.