Rollins nabs NL MVP Award

Redding

Why can't us?
Mar 20, 2005
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Bristol, PA
#1
11/20/2007 2:00 PM ET
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Considering the amazing streaks for the teams whose uniforms they wore, the National League MVP race had to be this close.
There could be no other finish.

But Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins, all 5-foot-8 of him, stood taller than Colorado's Matt Holliday and Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, as the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the results of its final individual award given out this season.

Rollins gives the Phillies their seventh MVP award, joining Chuck Klein (1932), Jim Konstanty (1950), Mike Schmidt (1980, 1981, 1986) and Ryan Howard (2006). With Howard, the Phillies become the first club with back-to-back MVPs since San Francisco's Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds in 2000 and 2001.

Tuesday's announcement should spark debate about which player meant more to his team.

Everything Philadelphia accomplished in 2007 focused on Rollins, starting with his January boast that the Phillies were the "team to beat" in the NL East. That disregarded the Mets, who captured the division the previous season and the Braves, who won it seemingly every year before that.

Despite taking flack after Philadelphia's 4-11 season-opening stumble, Rollins remained at the center of the Phillies' resurgence. He batted .346 (28-for-81) with six homers, 15 RBIs and 15 runs in 18 games against those Mets and started all 162 games at shortstop, playing all but 17 innings. Batting in the leadoff spot for most of the season, he kept the offense churning.

He committed just 11 errors, enough for his first Gold Glove, though his fielding percentage was second to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.

When closer Brett Myers hurled his glove in the air following a called strike three against Washington's Wily Mo Pena -- securing a 13-4 finish that earned the Phillies their first postseason appearance since 1993 -- Rollins' MVP credentials were cemented.

"If Jimmy doesn't win the MVP, there's something wrong with the system," left fielder Pat Burrell said on the final day of the season. "This guy, he took us on his shoulders from Day 1, and did things in this game that never happened."

The 32 voters on the NL Most Valuable Player Award committee, two from each NL city, filed ballots after the regular season, and most took the option of waiting until Rockies' one-game playoff win over the Padres. Each writer could list a top 10 in order. Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, etc.

Rollins became the first player in history to collect at least 200 hits, 25 homers, 15 triples and 25 steals in a season. Overall, the switch-hitter batted .296, with 38 doubles, 20 triples, 30 homers, 94 RBIs, 41 stolen bases, 212 hits and 139 runs scored.

The 139 runs scored and 88 extra-base hits were league records for a shortstop. He also set a Major League record with 716 at-bats, and became the third shortstop in history to have at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season, after Barry Larkin in 1996 and Alex Rodriguez in 1998.

Holliday, meanwhile, captured the league's batting and RBI titles, and led the Rockies into the postseason for the first time since 1995. The left fielder was the focal point of the team's 15-1 run to get there, batting .442 with five homers and 17 RBIs.

Overall, he batted .340, with 50 doubles, 36 homers, 137 RBIs, 216 hits and 120 runs scored. He also led the league in hits, total bases, doubles and extra-base hits.

The statistics only told part of the story. The voters went with the player who backed up a bold prediction. On a team with Howard and Chase Utley, who himself had an MVP campaign despite missing five weeks with a broken hand, Rollins simply was the team's most valuable.

Now, he has the hardware.

"He's the MVP of the National League," manager Charlie Manuel said often in September. "He sets the tone on offense and defense. He plays every day. I've never seen so many hard-hit balls in my life, and he turns them into double plays. He's the guy that got us going ... all year."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
 

mik3

fornicating madly
Mar 29, 2004
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#6
I was simply poking a little fun at the people who complained A-Rod didn't win by a unanimous vote.
Well ARod was unanimously the AL MVP. Rollins or Holliday could have each easily won the award.
 

Redding

Why can't us?
Mar 20, 2005
22,552
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#7
its only a east coast bias when anywhere else has a candidate that doesnt win....im pretty sure barry bonds won alot of MVPs in San Francisco
 

Aizazzle

I always have a plan
Jul 27, 2006
5,000
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#8
I was hoping J-Roll won the MYP, he deserves it for carrying the Phillies on his back.
 

Wilmington WOW

The Emmitt Till of Wackbag
Oct 4, 2004
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#9
heard it in the car a little while ago
outstanding

back to back MVP and a belly to belly
 

hybriddriver

she is ice cream
Feb 20, 2006
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#10
couldn't have done it without those moron mets fans cheering him on all year
 
Jul 26, 2005
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#11
Couldn't have done it without the "moronic" Mets collapsing. If the Phillies don't make the playoffs, Rollins doesn't win MVP.
 

hybriddriver

she is ice cream
Feb 20, 2006
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#12
It sure didn't hurt, but I don't think the two were related.
 

CringeRadioWanted

I got nothin'....
Aug 23, 2003
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#16
Well-deserved...that team had so many chances to collapse, and Rollins was the steadying influence.

That being said, if Utley had been able to stay healthy, I think that J-Roll and Utley split the Philly vote, and Holliday wins MVP. It was that close a year.