Based on his 2008 AL MVP ballot, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant didn’t consider Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia to be within the top ten candidates for the award. Presumably after his email inbox blew up yesterday afternoon, Grant attempted to explain his stance :

Here is my full ballot:

Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Morneau, Josh Hamilton, Carlos Quentin, Alex Rodriguez, Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Pena.

Did I perhaps get too “cute” at the bottom of the ballot? Yeah, probably. 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.

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. 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.

For the second time in two days, a national voice has disparaged Pedroia’s credentials without taking into account his defensive performance, which surely must count for something.