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The Evan Grant Interview

11.18.08 at 11:06 pm ET
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Click here to listen to the Big Show’s interview with Rangers beat writer Evan Grant, who left American League MVP Dustin Pedroia out of his Top 10 on his ballot.

Here is a partial transcript of the interview, which aired on Tuesday afternoon:

Evan Grant: Sure, fire away. Before you go into any questions let me say this. I know Red Sox Nation is extremely passionate and I did vote Kevin Youkilis as the AL MVP.

(Where was Dustin Pedroia, 11 or 12?) Grant: He was in different ballots I had cooked up as late as mid-September I was toying around with him as my AL MVP … It was probably before he had some big, big games in late September.

(When did you file the ballot?) Grant: I didn’t file the ballot until after the season was over …

(Did you not say at one point you were viewing him as the AL MVP?) Grant: I did say that and I did say at one point and time I had scenarios where I considered him as my AL MVP … The stats I weighed the heaviest I think when it came down to everything were things like OPS, batting average with runners in scoring position, clutch hitting type situations. And when I looked at Kevin’s numbers compared to Dustin’s numbers, they dwarfed them in those situations.

Grant: What I did want to say was it was completely and totally, based on what my all my colleagues, all of whom I respect very much, have voted today was that my opinion was totally wrong. Dustin Pedroia did belong on the ballot and he did belong in the top five. When it came down to it, again I looked at those numbers and looked at guys individual success. I’ll just go back and look, I’ve wrote this down since I’ve been bombarded today, Pedroia was 18th in OPS in the league, he was 30th in batting average with runners in scoring position, he was 53rd in OBP with runners in scoring position …

(Runs, doubles, hits, multi-hit games …) Grant: It’s entirely acceptable if you don’t agree with my opinion.

(There is no way somebody who watches the game of baseball and say Dustin Pedroia is not in the Top 10 candidates) Grant: I can only tell you as the month of September takes place I constantly put together an MVP ballot. I look at the entire season. After many conversations with players in the past I kind of changed my tune a bit. Most players have told me you shouldn’t value September over everything else because it is a 162-game season and you can’t because Carlos Quentin was hurt in September he can’t be considered …

(Yes you can) Grant: Well, that’s your opinion. I will be happy to tell your listening audience and all of New England that if they feel I was wrong in leaving Dustin off the ballot that opinion is entirely acceptable to me. But to suggest I don’t watch the game or to suggest I don’t know what is going on is a little bit unfair.

(I’m suggesting you didn’t watch Dustin Pedroia) Grant: I don’t cover the Red Sox.

(You cover baseball) Grant: I told you he was a Top 10 candidate. I just didn’t put him in the Top 10.

(How do you feel when your colleagues voted him as the MVP and you don’t put him in the Top 10) Grant: It makes me feel like my opinion is wrong … So I’m wrong, how wrong am I? … This is unproductive. If you wan’t to say I’m really wrong, then I’m really wrong.

(Everybody is entitled to their opinion) Grant: I’m obviously not because the minute I come on the air and do what I did you make me out to be an idiot.

(Reason?) Grant: I’m not going to convince you guys.

(What did Pedroia do or not do to fall out of your Top 10) Grant: He merited all the consideration in the world to be in the Top 10, but on the day after the season when I looked at all the numbers over the course of the entire season the body of numbers suggested that as good as a candidate as he was for the Top 10 I thought in my mind I could be comfortable with the other 10 guys.

(Grady Sizemore at nine?) Grant: I can see where people would … again, everybody else may be right and I may be wrong in retrospect and I will live with being wrong. I will tell you in a number of emails I have responded to people that I got too cute in trying to analyze the final two spots on the ballot. But do not sit here and insinuate Grady Sizemore didn’t have an outstanding season.

(How did things change after Pedroia had such a great August) Grant: Again, it’s based on the entire body of numbers over the course of the season. I know Pedroia won a Gold Glove at second base and Grady Sizemore is considered a Gold Glove defender in the outfield, too. Is Pedroia a better candidate in retrospect? Guys, I’ve acknowledged that time after time after time. I am telling you when I put together the list on the day after the season, ultimately the numbers I came up with all of that stuff led me to think hey wait a minute I don’t want to overvalue Pedroia’s guttiness and grittiness and if anything I may have erred on the side of statistical analysis.

(Did you take into consideration that he struck out only 52 times) Grant: No, I did not … I don’t know why I would take into account the number of strikeouts in an MVP candidate.

(Are you serious) Grant: How far down the list of strikeouts does it have to be to be considered an MVP? Where did Ryan Howard finish in the National League MVP? Where did he finish in the voting?

(I think where our disagreement is is that you don’t understand his game) Grant: What I value is getting on base and producing runs.

(He led the league in runs scored. The answers you’re coming up with ) Grant: I’m glad you guys have that opinion and that’s where you stand on that, but again this is a guy who did not lead his team in on-base percentage his numbers were dwarfed by Kevin Youkilis … I’ve been voting for the MVP for about 10 years now, I know how the ballot works.

(It’s not who is No. 1 or No. 2, it’s who is No. 10) Grant: Guys, all I can do is tell you is you’re right, you’re right and I’m wrong. I admitted I was wrong on my ballot in retrospect. If that’s what you’re trying to get out of me that’s what you’re getting out of me. I do not understand the process of continuing to go back and ask why I left him off the ballot. I just told I left him off the ballot.

(Trying to get answers) Grant: When I gave you my answers you’re not accepting them.

Grant: I’ve told you why I left him off the Top 10, you don’t buy that and I accept that.

(When you submitted your ballot did you think it was going to be controversial?) Grant: I didn’t really concern myself with whether or not it was going to be controversial. I think ’99 was the year when I voted Pedro (Martinez) No. 2 and people were asking why the guy left Pedro entirely off the ballot … It is such a subjective award. It is so full of every year trying to put together what you’re impressions are and no matter what you say you only have a limited amount of exposure to each guy …

(In this day and age it is different) Grant: I’ll tell you this, I do have an opportunity. I cover my club about 12 hours a day, I sleep for about 6 or 7, and then the rest of the time I try to have a life. If you want to question my integrity, or whatever you want to do on that end, I don’t think that’s fair. If you want to disagree with my vote that’s entirely a fair point.

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