Alex Rodriguez wins 2nd MVP in 3 years

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who set a league record for home runs in a season by a third baseman and broke a 68-year-old club mark for home runs in a season by a right-handed batter, was named the American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Rodriguez, 30, was listed first on 16 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers from each league city, second on 11 and third on one for a total of 331 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th. Rodriguez became the 23rd multiple MVP winner and only the fourth to win at two positions and with two clubs. He was a shortstop with the Texas Rangers when he was the AL MVP in 2003. Rodriguez has also been the runner-up twice, in 2002 with the Rangers to the Oakland Athletics’ Miguel Tejada and in 1996 with the Seattle Mariners to Texas’ Juan Gonzalez.

In his second season with the Yankees, Rodriguez led the league in home runs (48), runs (124) and slugging percentage (.610) and was second in batting average (.321), on-base percentage (.421) and total bases (369). His 130 RBI, fourth in the league, included 10 in one game April 26 at Yankee Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels, one shy of the league and club record owned by Tony Lazzeri.

Rodriguez’s home-run total broke the previous league mark by a third baseman of 46 by the Angels’ Troy Glaus in 2000 and the prior Yankees mark for a righty hitter of 46 by Joe DiMaggio in 1937.

Finishing a close second in the voting was Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, the league’s RBI leader with 148 while batting .300 with 47 home runs. Ortiz was first on 11 ballots and second on the other 17 for 307 points. The other first-place vote went to last year’s winner, Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero (.317, 32 HR, 107 RBI), who was third overall with 196 points. Rodriguez, Ortiz and Guerrero were the only players named to every ballot.

Rounding out the top 10 were Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez (.292, 45 HR, 144 RBI, 112 R), Cleveland Indians DH Travis Hafner (.305, 33 HR, 108 RBI), Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (.283, 40 HR, 100 RBI), Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira (.301, 43 HR, 144 RBI, 112 R), Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield (.291, 34 HR, 123 RBI), Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (7-4, 1.38 ERA, 43 SV) and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (.309, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 202 H, 122 R). In all, 28 players received votes.

It marked the 19th time a Yankees player has been honored but the first since the 1985 victory by Don Mattingly, now their batting coach. Over the past 20 years, three Yankees players finished second in the balloting: Mattingly in 1986, Tino Martinez in 1997 and Sheffield last year.
The Yankees have the most MVP awards for one team. The St. Louis Cardinals are second with 14. DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle won three MVPs apiece and Roger Maris two. Other Yankees winners were Lou Gehrig, Joe Gordon, Spud Chandler, Phil Rizzuto, Elston Howard and Thurman Munson.

Of multiple winners, Rodriguez became the 15th two-time winner. Seven players have won three. The all-time leader with seven is Barry Bonds, five with the San Francisco Giants and two with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In addition to Rodriguez and Bonds, the other players to win with two teams were Jimmie Foxx (two with the Philadelphia Athletics and one with the Red Sox) and Frank Robinson (Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles).

Rodriguez is only the fourth third baseman to win in the AL, joining the Indians’ Al Rosen in 1953, the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson in 1964 and the Kansas City Royals’ George Brett in 1980. The other AL players to win at two positions were the Detroit Tigers’ Hank Greenberg as a first baseman in 1935 and as a left fielder in 1940 and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Robin Yount as a shortstop in 1982 and as a center fielder in 1989. The only National League player to do it was three-time winner Stan Musial with the Cardinals as an outfielder in 1943 and 1948 and as a first baseman in 1946.

The vote:

2005 AL MVP

Alex RodriguezNew York Yankees16111331
David OrtizBoston Red Sox1117307
Vladimir GuerreroLos Angeles Angels1987111196
Manny RamirezBoston Red Sox9162621156
Travis HafnerCleveland Indians5644332151
Paul KonerkoChicago White Sox2465135128
Mark TeixeiraTexas Rangers1537424106
Gary SheffieldNew York Yankees326223184
Mariano RiveraNew York Yankees1113313259
Derek JeterNew York Yankees131123
Michael YoungTexas Rangers221220
Scott PodsednikChicago White Sox111115
Johnny DamonBoston Red Sox112112
Hideki MatsuiNew York Yankees218
Richie SexsonSeattle Mariners217
Miguel TejadaBaltimore Orioles237
Chone FigginsLos Angeles Angels146
Victor MartinezCleveland Indians15
Jason GiambiNew York Yankees115
Brian RobertsBaltimore Orioles125
Jason VaritekBoston Red Sox14
Eric ChavezOakland Athletics124
Huston StreetOakland Athletics13
Bartolo ColonLos Angeles Angels113
Grady SizemoreCleveland Indians113
Bob WickmanCleveland Indians12
Jorge CantuTampa Bay Devil Rays11
Jose ContrerasChicago White Sox11