Mike Trout admits that he'll be waiting nervously for his phone to ring tonight.
Trout is cool. He says he doesn't pay much attention to statistics, and he doesn't believe in jinxes.
But the 21-year-old Millville resident can't deny that he wants to be named the American League MVP tonight by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The award will be announced during a 6 p.m. show on MLB Network.
"I'm pretty anxious to see how it's going to turn out," Trout said at a news conference Tuesday at the Thunderbolt Club in Millville.
Trout, the Los Angeles Angels' center fielder who was named AL Rookie of the Year on Monday, is one of five finalists for the AL MVP. The others are Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Robinson Cano of the Yankees, and Rangers teammates Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton.
The vote, which was conducted at the end of the regular season, is widely believed to be a two-man race between Trout and Cabrera.
"I talked to my agent (Craig Landis) and talking to a couple guys, the race is pretty close right now," Trout said. "I know that they selected after the year so the votes are in. But it's going to be fun. I'm anxious, nervous.
"Coming into the year, to have your name in the finalists for the MVP at the end of the year, it makes you feel good."
The case for Trout is that he led the majors with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases, and he also hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs. He was among the best defensive outfielders in baseball and nearly got the Angels (89-73) into the playoffs despite a 6-14 start while Trout was in the minors.
Cabrera, meanwhile, became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, leading the AL in batting average (.330), homers (44) and RBIs (139). He also helped the Tigers (88-74) win the American League Central.
It's the most hotly debated of all the major-league awards being handed out this week, but Trout said he believes he should win.
"I'm always (in the mindset that) I'm not going to vote for anybody else," he said. "I would definitely vote for myself."
Trout said he was focused on helping the team during the season, but he conceded that now he is enjoying the individual accolades. In addition to winning Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote by the BBWAA, on Tuesday night he was honored by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association with the Heart & Hustle Award
"It's definitely all about the team, but once the season's over, all the individual awards you start to think about a little bit," Trout said. "It would definitely mean a lot to me."
While Millville Mayor Tim Shannon has respected Trout's wishes and kept the town's acknowledgements of him low-key, Shannon said there's no doubt that people there are pulling for Trout to win tonight.
"Millville's got Mikey mania," Shannon said.
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