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Ordonez AL Player of the Month
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08/04/2003  8:30 PM ET 
Ordonez AL Player of the Month
Right fielder earns first monthly award of his career
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CHICAGO -- Jose Valentin didn’t have the July numbers for Magglio Ordonez in front of him when talking about the high level of excellence for the White Sox right fielder.

But Valentin didn’t need a sheet of paper listing Ordonez’s impressive statistics. He witnessed them first-hand.

    Magglio Ordonez   /   OF
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 210
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Hit chart
White Sox site

“Magglio had a great, great month,” Valentin said. “With those numbers, he had in one month what I had all year long.”

With 17 home runs and 47 RBIs of his own, Valentin exaggerated a bit. But Ordonez’s performance was good enough to earn him the American League Pepsi Player of the Month, his first career monthly award. For the month, Ordonez hit .429 (45-for-101) with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 24 RBIs.

Ordonez led the American League in average, hits, total bases (81), doubles, slugging percentage (.771) and extra-base hits (21). He tied teammates Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee with 24 RBIs and was tied for the league-lead with 22 runs scored. The .429 average was the fifth-highest monthly figure in White Sox history.


"If we continue to do what we have been doing and should be doing, (Ordonez) should be a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award."
-- Jerry Manuel

The offensive outburst, which included a 25-for-39 run to close out the month, sparked the rest of the White Sox offense. He also led the team to a 17-9 record, including a 12-2 mark to start the second half.

“I hit well during the month, and I guess everyone was following me, getting hot and playing better,” said the soft-spoken Ordonez with a smile. “It’s my first one and it’s not easy to get Player of the Month with so many good players in the league. It’s an honor.”

Ordonez has been named Player of the Week five times during his career, including three times in 2002. His numbers looked good enough to add another award for the week ending July 24, with a .552 batting average. But Boston’s Manny Ramirez edged him out.

The hits have not been quite as abundant for Ordonez in August, falling into a 0-for-14 slump in the club’s last four games. But Ordonez feels the stroke is still there.

“Hitting is not easy,” Ordonez said. “You have to be focused and have great concentration.”

White Sox manager Jerry Manuel and Ordonez’s teammates don’t seem to be worried about their right fielder. In fact, Manuel had one request for Ordonez after congratulating him on winning the award.

He wants more of the same as July -- if not better numbers.

“I told him, ‘I just need one more month like that. Give me one more month and we will run on through this thing,’” said Manuel with a laugh. “It was a tremendous month and it came at the right time, which is the sign of good player. Like I said, if we continue to do what we have been doing and should be doing, he should be a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award.”

“He carried us, and without his offense, we would not be in the spot we are in right now,” Valentin added. “Hopefully, he doesn’t slow down, but with the way he swung the bat in July, there was no way to give the award to anyone else but Magglio.”

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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