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A-Rod is baseball's best -- again
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10/22/2002 1:13 pm ET 
A-Rod is baseball's best -- again
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com

Alex Rodriguez led the Majors in home runs, RBIs and total bases. (Doug Benc/AP)
  • The Sporting News' All-Star Team

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the second time in less than a week, the players have deemed Alex Rodriguez the best in baseball.

    On Tuesday, the Texas Rangers shortstop was named The Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News. Major League players voted for this award.

    Last week, Rodriguez was named the 2002 Player of the Year as voted on by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

    Atlanta's Bobby Cox and Anaheim's Mike Scioscia were named Manager of the Year by The Sporting News. It is the fifth time Cox has won the award, the most by any manager since TSN began giving the award in 1936.

    Rodriguez led the Majors in homers and RBIs with 57 and 142, respectively, and had a Major-League high 389 total bases. He finished among the league leaders in runs scored, slugging percentage, hits, extra-base hits, on-base percentage and multi-hit games. Rodriguez also won Player of the Year award in 1996, when he was with Seattle.

    "Despite a disappointing season by the Rangers, the players couldn't overlook the year A-Rod put together," said John Rawlings, senior vice president and editorial director of The Sporting News. "This is the second time he has won top honors, and we wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't the last. He is an enormously gifted player."

    In a poll of 327 players, Rodriguez received 197 votes. San Francisco's Barry Bonds was second with 48 votes, and Miguel Tejada finished third with 31. Sixteen players also received at least one first-place vote.

    Rodriguez becomes only the seventh Major Leaguer to be named player of the year more than once, joining Ted Williams, who won it five times; and Bonds, Sandy Koufax, Joe Morgan, Stan Musial and Cal Ripken, who each won it twice.

    A-Rod also is the second Rangers player to receive the award. Rafael Palmeiro was the 1999 recipient.

    Cox received 7 1/2 votes, and St. Louis' Tony La Russa received 5 1/2. San Francisco's Dusty Baker, Arizona's Bob Brenly and Los Angeles' Jim Tracy each received one.

    Scioscia is the first Angels manager to win since Bill Rigney did so in the franchise's second season, 40 years ago. Scioscia and Oakland's Art Howe initially received six votes each, so the magazine asked a panel of four American League executives to break the tie.

    Toronto third baseman Eric Hinske, who received 121 votes, was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Baltimore right-hander Rodrigo Lopez and Texas outfielder Kevin Mench tied for second with 14 votes each.

    Montreal outfielder Brad Wilkerson, who received 75 votes, was named the National League Rookie of the Year. Wilkerson received 10 more votes than Cincinnati's Austin Kearns.

    The American League Pitcher of the Year is Oakland's Barry Zito, his teammate, Billy Koch, earned AL Reliever of the Year honors. Zito becomes the fifth Oakland pitcher to win the award, following in the footsteps of Dennis Eckersley (1992), Bob Welch ('90), Catfish Hunter ('74), and Vida Blue ('71). The reliever award is based on saves plus wins.

    The National League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season is Arizona's Curt Schilling. He is the first to win back-to-back honors since Greg Maddux won four in a row from 1992-95. Atlanta's John Smoltz, who was the NL Pitcher of the Year in 1996, is this year's NL Reliever of the Year.

    The Comeback Players of the Year are Anaheim's Tim Salmon and Philadelphia's Mike Lieberthal.

    The Sporting News' award winners:

    American League
    •Manager of the Year: Mike Scioscia, Anaheim
    •Rookie of the Year: Eric Hinske, Toronto
    •Pitcher of the Year: Barry Zito, Oakland
    •Rookie Pitcher of the Year: Rodrigo Lopez, Baltimore
    •Comeback Player of the Year: Tim Salmon, Anaheim
    •Reliever of the Year: Billy Koch, Oakland

    AL All-Star Team
    •1B Jason Giambi, New York (.314 batting average, 41 home runs, 122 RBIs)
    •2B Alfonso Soriano, New York (.300, 39, 102)
    •SS Alex Rodriguez, Texas (.300, 57, 142)
    •3B Eric Chavez, Oakland (.275, 34, 109)
    •OF Torii Hunter, Minnesota (.289, 29, 94)
    •OF Bernie Williams, New York (.333, 19, 102)
    •OF Garret Anderson, Anaheim (.306, 29, 123)
    •C Jorge Posada, New York (.268, 20, 99)
    •DH Manny Ramirez, Boston (.349, 33, 107)
    •RHP Derek Lowe, Boston (21-8, 2.58 ERA)
    •LHP Barry Zito, Oakland (23-5, 2.75)

    National League
    •Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox, Atlanta
    •Rookie of the Year: Brad Wilkerson, Montreal
    •Pitcher of the Year: Curt Schilling, Arizona
    •Rookie Pitcher of the Year: Jason Jennings, Colorado
    •Comeback Player of the Year: Mike Lieberthal, Philadelphia
    •Reliever of the Year: John Smoltz, Atlanta

    NL All-Star Team
    •1B Todd Helton, Colorado (.329 batting average, 30 home runs, 109 RBIs)
    •2B Jeff Kent, San Francisco (.313, 37, 108)
    •SS Edgar Renteria, St. Louis (.305, 11, 83)
    •3B Scott Rolen, St. Louis (.266, 31, 110)
    •OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco (.370, 46, 110)
    •OF Vladimir Guerrero, Montreal (.336, 39, 111)
    •OF Sammy Sosa, Chicago (.288, 49, 108)
    •C Mike Piazza, New York (.280, 33, 98)
    •RHP Curt Schilling, Arizona (23-7, 3.23 ERA)
    •LHP Randy Johnson, Arizona (24-5, 2.32)

    Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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