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Jacoby Ellsbury has his goals and the 2012 AL MVP might just be one

02.26.12 at 4:42 pm ET


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Speaking publicly to the Boston media for the first time since Detroit’s Justin Verlander narrowly edged him out for the 2011 American League MVP, Jacoby Ellsbury said Sunday that he admits he was a little disappointed that the best year of his career so far didn’t result in winning the award.

“Well, we’re playing against the best competition in the world,” Ellsbury said. “Obviously, I did everything I could, left it all on the field last year. When I found out about the results, I was happy for Justin Verlander but at the same time, being as competitive as I am, I wish I would’ve won. I bet if you ask all those other guys, they would say the same thing, too. That’s how I look at it, we’re playing against the best players in the world, definitely held my head high and finished second.”

Ellsbury hinted that that award might be one of the goals he’s setting for himself this season as he looks to follow up a season in which he batted .321 with 32 homers while driving in 105 runs.

“I went into my workouts how I went about it last year and made goals for this coming season,” Ellsbury said. “I think the biggest thing is to continue what I’ve been doing. Those goals, I always say at the beginning of the year, I revisit them throughout the season. They’re personal goals. I’m just excited for coming into this season.”

In edging out Ellsbury, Verlander became the first starting pitcher in 25 years to be voted Most Valuable Player, adding it to the Cy Young Award he also captured.

Verlander earned the American League MVP honor, receiving 13 of 28 first-place votes and 280 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ellsbury was second with four first-place votes and 242 points, followed by Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista with five first-place votes and 231 points, Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson with 215 and Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera with 193.

Read More: 2011 AL MVP, Boston Red Sox, Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
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