How they voted -- and why

November 20, 1991|By Kent Baker

The AL Most Valuable Player is selected by a committee composed of two beat writers from each city in the league. The ballots, which include space to rank 10 players in order of priority, were submitted before the start of postseason play.

Some voters' comments when asked by The Sun how they had voted:

* Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun (Orioles): "I voted for Cal. I don't necessarily feel a player should be rewarded just because his teammates played better. All things being equal, I vote for a player on a winning club, but this year all things weren't equal."

* Joe Giuliotti, Boston Herald (Red Sox): "I went Joe Carter, then Cecil Fielder. If the award were Player of the Year, Cal Ripken would have been first. I've always voted by people in pennant races first. How valuable are you if your team is going to be fifth, sixth or seventh? I'd like the award changed to Player of the Year."

* Dave Cunningham, Long Beach Independent Press Telegram (Angels): "Ripken got my vote. He had far and away the best year. It really doesn't matter that his team didn't win when you consider he played shortstop every day. I don't think you can even think of anyone else."

* Joe Goddard, Chicago Sun-Times (White Sox): "I voted Ripken first, followed by Fielder. I'm not a thorough believer that you have to help your team win a pennant. I was just impressed by everything Cal did. And he disproved to all of us who thought playing every day was taking its toll on him."

* Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer (Indians): "I voted for Fielder because I feel an MVP has to lift his team to stay in contention. Ripken had a great season, but I thought the Tigers wouldn't have been anywhere close without Fielder in the lineup. Being in the race has a lot to do with it."

* Tom Gage, Detroit News (Tigers): "My vote went to Ripken. What really impressed me was not only a great offensive year, but playing defense every day and making only 11 errors. Fielder should have won last year, but I put him No. 2 this time. What hurts him is the position. A first baseman-designated hitter has to come in second best."

* Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Sentinel (Brewers): "Fielder first, Ripken second. After I voted, I wrote a column saying Ripken would be a good choice, too. I was really torn between them, but it bothered me that the Orioles were never in the pennant race. I wasn't really satisfied either way, but I don't think there's any question Cal had the best year in the league."

* Jeff Lenihan, Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twins): "I voted for Ripken. He had an incredible first half, then leveled off but came back strong. Plus, I have difficulty with guys who don't play in the field every day like Cal does. The other two top candidates don't do that."

* Kit Stier, Oakland Tribune (Athletics): "Ripken first for all th obvious reasons, great offense, very steady defense and playing the toughest position on the field. I don't even think there was a close second. Playing for a bad club might bother me if the guy were a left fielder, but shortstop is so demanding. It's not his fault he was on a poor team. This was one of the easiest votes I've ever had."

* Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News (Rangers): "Rip got my vote. His individual, all-around performance surpassed anything in the league. This year sealed him as a Hall of Famer. He redefined shortstop. Usually, I'm reluctant to vote for a player on a bad team, but the Orioles might have finished in the International League without him."

* Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun (Blue Jays): "I voted for Fielder. There wasn't a dominant player on teams that did win and he put a capital V in valuable. Detroit gave the Blue Jays a scare without much pitching and he carried them. Rip would be a good choice, but I don't think Andre Dawson should have won in 1987 and he's the most respected everyday player I've ever covered. The Cubs finished last and I had trouble with that."

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