Vlad finishes third in MVP voting
Slugger hit .325 with 27 homers and 125 RBIs for Halos
Vladimir Guerrero's superlative 2007 season was recognized by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Monday when the Angels right fielder placed third in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez won in a runaway, his third MVP distinction in five seasons. Detroit outfielder Magglio Ordonez finished second, preventing a unanimous selection of A-Rod, by taking two of the 28 first-place votes.
Three of Guerrero's teammates with the AL West champion Angels -- Orlando Cabrera, John Lackey and Chone Figgins -- also drew support with two beat writers given votes in each league city.
Cabrera, who learned on Monday that he'd been dealt to the Chicago White Sox for starting pitcher Jon Garland, tied Minnesota's Torii Hunter for 15th in the balloting. Lackey tied for 17th, and Figgins tied for 20th place.
Guerrero, the AL's 2004 MVP in his debut season with the Angels, claimed three second-place votes, 10 for third place and nine for fourth to pick up 203 total points. Ordonez had 258 points, with A-Rod claiming 382 points.
A Rawlings Gold Glove winner for the second time in his career, Cabrera, who had career bests in average (.301), runs scored (101) and hits (192), collected five points with two eighth-place votes and one for 10th.
Lackey, the AL's ERA leader and 19-game winner, picked up a seventh-place vote worth four points. Figgins, who hit a career-high .330 after overcoming two broken fingers to start the season, was named ninth on one ballot and No. 10 on another for three points.
The strong MVP finish put the finishing touches to yet another spectacular year for Guerrero, who, for the fourth year in a row, claimed a Silver Slugger award, matching Boston DH and good buddy David Ortiz for the longest running streak in the Majors.Guerrero has earned seven Silver Slugger citations in his career, having made the National League honor roll in 1999, 2000 and 2002 with the Montreal Expos. Guerrero batted .324 with 27 homers and 125 RBIs as the driving force behind an Angels offense that finished fourth in the American League in runs scored. Leading the league with 28 intentional walks, Guerrero had a .547 slugging percentage and .403 on-base percentage while playing in 150 games. "He's one of the elite hitters in the game, just an amazing hitter," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he's locked in, Vlad's capable of doing things not many players can do." Guerrero reached the 25-homer barrier for the 10th consecutive season and is one of four players in the past 50 years -- joining Rod Carew, Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn -- to hit .300 for 10 consecutive seasons. Battling through hand, elbow and shoulder injuries that robbed him of power at times, he remained a steady, clutch force in the Angels' run to their third AL West title in four seasons. Selected to the AL starting lineup for the All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive year, finishing behind only A-Rod and Derek Jeter in the fans' balloting, Guerrero was joined in San Francisco by teammates Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez.
"I couldn't imagine a better teammate than Vlad," Lackey said. "He's an authentic superstar who doesn't act it. He's just having a good time. He'd be at home in the Dominican [Republic] playing on the streets if he wasn't here -- and he'd be having just as much fun.
"It would be hard for me to imagine anyone who has a bigger impact on his team than Vlad does."
Guerrero demonstrated his stunning power when he caught fire and claimed the Home Run Derby title. He launched the longest shot of the night, a 503-foot blast just beneath the giant mitt in left field, averaging 434.5 feet with his 17 homers.
Rodriguez, who batted .314 and led the league in home runs (54), RBIs (156), runs (143), total bases (376) and slugging (.645) and was tied for first in grand slams (3), also was the AL MVP in 2003 with Texas and in 2005 with the Yankees.
Ordonez led the league in doubles (54) and was second in RBIs (139), hits (216), total bases (354) and on-base percentage (.434). The only player other than Rodriguez and Ordonez to be named on every ballot was Guerrero.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.