- (Now, the guy who wrote this article, "Mark Newman, enterprise editor of MLB.com," WROTE IT WITHOUT APPROVAL OF MLB OR ITS CLUBS (as it says at the end of the article. BUT NEWMAN IS SPITTING MAD THAT JETER WON.)
- Fans broke tradition with their vote of Jeter. In his best individual season since 1999, the Yankees' captain batted .343 in falling just short of the American League batting title won by Minnesota's Joe Mauer, stole a career-high 34 bases, hit 14 homers, drove in 97 runs and provided an important offensive consistency to a team that wound up with its ninth consecutive American League East title.
There were two phases of fan balloting at MLB.com toward the end of the regular season. In the first phase, fans voted on a ballot that included one representative from each of the 30 clubs, as chosen by Major League Baseball. The fans' vote decided which six players in each league would move on to the final vote. Fans then were asked to choose one player per league from among those six.
Since 1999, the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Ruth's all-time home run record, Major League Baseball has recognized the best offensive performer from each league with this award.
(I'M DESPERATELY TRYING TO GET NEWMAN'S POINT...WHAT DOES HE MEAN BY 'BEST OFFENSIVE'? DOES HE MEAN 'MOST HOMERUNS? IF SO, WHY NOT SAY SO DIRECTLY?sm) Past recipients besides Jones and Ortiz include Barry Bonds (three times), Alex Rodriguez (three times), Manny Ramirez (twice), Albert Pujols, Todd Helton, Sammy Sosa and Carlos Delgado.
- Howard was the choice from among six National League finalists that included Pujols of the Cardinals, David Wright of the Mets, Alfonso Soriano of the Nationals, Nomar Garciaparra of the Dodgers and Lance Berkman of the Astros.
- The other AL finalists were Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels, Travis Hafner of the Indians, Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Justin Morneau of the Twins. Jeter's 14 homers obviously were a drop in the bucket when compared to those of the other five sluggers, but that's not what fans focused on here. This was also about baserunning, a key figure in an increased number of Yankee hit-and-run attempts, hitting the ball the other way through an open hole at second base.