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Press Release

10/20/2008 12:18 PM ET
Major League Baseball players name best pitchers in each league

NEW YORK -- San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and Cleveland’s Cliff Lee are the best pitchers of 2008, according to their peers. The announcement of the 2008 Players Choice Award winners for Outstanding Pitcher in the National League and American League was made today on Yahoo! Sports in the first of a series of Internet specials highlighting outstanding performances of Major League baseball players during the 2008 season, both on an off the field. (See remaining webcast schedule below.) The 2008 Players Choice Awards, presented by Playstation ®, benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Additional support for the Players Choice Awards is provided by The Topps Company and The Upper Deck Company.

In 2008, Lincecum established himself as one of the premiere young pitchers in the Majors. In just his first full season, he posted an 18-5 record and an ERA of 2.62, both second best in the NL. His impressive start to the season earned him a spot on the NL All-Star team, and after the break he continued his dominance and finished the season with a Major League-best 265 strikeouts in 227 innings of work.

Lee bounced back from a shaky 2007 season and simply dominated opponents all season long. Going 22-3, he finished tied for most wins in the Majors and posted a full-season, career-best ERA of 2.54. He also totaled career-bests in strikeouts (170) and innings pitched (223.1) while earning the role of starter in his first-ever All-Star game appearance.

Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting of all Major League players for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.

Each 2008 Players Choice Award winner will recommend the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3.25 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.

The 2008 Players Choice Awards finalists are:

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Outstanding Player: Josh Hamilton (Texas), Justin Morneau (Minnesota), Dustin Pedroia (Boston)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Toronto), Cliff Lee (Cleveland), Francisco Rodriguez (LA Angels of Anaheim)
Outstanding Rookie: Mike Aviles (Kansas City), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Alexei Ramirez (Chicago)
Comeback Player of the Year: Josh Hamilton (Texas), Cliff Lee (Cleveland), Troy Percival (Tampa Bay)

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Outstanding Player: Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), Chipper Jones (Atlanta), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
Outstanding Pitcher: Tim Lincecum (San Francisco), CC Sabathia (Milwaukee), Brandon Webb (Arizona)
Outstanding Rookie: Geovany Soto (Chicago), Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta), Joey Voto (Cincinnati)
Comeback Player of the Year: Jorge Cantu (Florida), Fernando Tatis (NY Mets), Kerry Wood (Chicago)

EITHER LEAGUE:

Player of the Year: Cliff Lee (Cleveland), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Manny Ramirez (LA Dodgers)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Michael Young (Texas)

Yahoo! Sports webcast schedule of the 2008 Players Choice Awards:

Monday, Oct. 20 – AL & NL Outstanding Pitchers - Winners: Cliff Lee (AL)/Tim Lincecum (NL)
Tuesday, Oct. 21 – AL & NL Outstanding Players
Wednesday, Oct. 22 – AL & NL Outstanding Rookies
Thursday, Oct. 23 – AL & NL Comeback Players
Friday, Oct. 24 – Player of the Year/Marvin Miller Man of the Year