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Pedroia garners Sporting News honor

Pedroia garners Sporting News honor

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CLEVELAND -- It won't be until Nov. 12 when Dustin Pedroia finds out if he has been voted in as the American League Rookie of the Year, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

But Pedroia has already won that honor in ballots cast by his peers. The Sporting News announced their annual Major League Baseball awards on Monday, and Pedroia was selected as the magazine's AL Rookie of the Year. The votes were submitted by players from around the American League. Players on the Red Sox were not eligible to vote for Pedroia.

The second baseman was a force for the Red Sox all year, hitting .317 with 86 runs, 39 doubles, eight homers and 50 RBIs. He also played superb defense, making just six errors and posting a .990 fielding percentage.

"I'm just trying to do things to help us win," Pedroia said recently. "I don't really care what I hit or what I do. I just want to make a couple of plays, get on base and help us."

He's done that all year, while earning the respect of his teammates. Despite his diminutive stature, Pedroia has all kinds of confidence.

"I think when you look at Dustin," third baseman Mike Lowell said, "he's played with a lot of consistency. He's done everything we've expected him to."

Pedroia isn't alone on the Sporting News team. Sox slugger David Ortiz was voted in as the top designated hitter in the AL. In his fifth season with the Red Sox, Ortiz again put up monster numbers. The left-handed slugger batted a career-high .332 with 116 runs, 52 doubles, 35 homers, 117 RBIs and a .621 slugging percentage.

Ortiz's season has been even more impressive when you consider he played the entire year with pain in his right knee.

"I would say personally this is one of my best offensive years here in Boston, all the way around," Ortiz said. "People just focus on 40 or 50 homers. If I go to the plate and I want to swing for a homer every time, I will. Now, let's see the results. You know what I mean? What happens if I end up with 60 homers and I end up with a .320 on-base percentage and a .240 batting average and 70 runs scored? Did I help my team?

"I think you look at my numbers this year, I think I put it together more than some of the other seasons when people think I had a good season. I'm happy with my season, that's all I have to say."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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