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Pedroia left off one ballot

Pedroia left off one ballot

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BOSTON -- When it comes to voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, two newspaper writers from all 14 AL cities fill out a ballot with 10 players.

So how was it that Dustin Pedroia, who was named the MVP of the AL on Tuesday, was absent entirely from one ballot?

Evan Grant, the veteran baseball writer for The Dallas Morning News, admits that he made a mistake in judgment in not listing Pedroia as one of the 10 players on his ballot. Grant blogged in detail about his voting process on his newspaper's Web site on Tuesday afternoon.

"Let me first say this to the Red Sox nation: In retrospect, it was a mistake," wrote Grant.

Pedroia was listed in the top four in the 27 other ballots.

Fortunately, it was more of a footnote than a controversy, as Pedroia handily defeated the competition, landing 16 of the 28 first-place votes and finishing with 317 votes, well ahead of runner-up Justin Morneau (257 points).

There definitely was no Red Sox bias in the omission, as Grant had Kevin Youkilis, Boston's first baseman, listed first on his ballot. Youkilis finished third in the voting.

Grant disclosed his voting order on his blog: Youkilis, Francisco Rodriguez, Morneau, Josh Hamilton, Carlos Quentin, Alex Rodriguez, Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Pena.

Why no Pedroia?

"Did I perhaps get too 'cute' at the bottom of the ballot? Yeah, probably," said Grant. "Was that a mistake? Yeah, probably. Was it a mistake to leave him out of the top five; In retrospect, yeah, it was. My colleagues all thought he belonged in the top five. My opinion on this one was obviously wrong. What I'm happiest about is that if my analysis was so wrong, at least it did not cost Pedroia the MVP Award.

"I can assure you I give the MVP vote an awful lot of time. In this case, perhaps I gave it too much time and overanalyzed, particularly at the bottom of the ballot. In retrospect, it's hard to argue that Pedroia wasn't one of the 10 best players in the league."

At the end of his blog, Grant explained his reasoning.

"But I will have you know that Pedroia was 18th in OPS, 27th in RBIs, 30th in batting average with runners in scoring position and 53rd in on-base percentage with runners in scoring percentage," Grant wrote. "I am aware he tied for the league lead in hits, led in runs scored and was second in batting average. But in the stats that to me suggest production and clutch hitting, he was dwarfed by the other players on the list."

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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