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O's Devereaux finishes seventh, is 'honored just to be on ballot'

Orioles center fielder Mike Devereaux finished seventh in yesterday's American League Most Valuable Player voting with one second-place and three third-place votes and was delighted to be among such distinguished company.

"There's no doubt about it," Devereaux said last night. "It's an honor just to be on the ballot -- that's what makes me happy."

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Devereaux, who hit .276, with 24 home runs and 107 RBI -- both career highs -- said he did not have unrealistic expectations for the balloting.

"I didn't think about it, but I knew I'd be on the ballot. I knew I wasn't going to win. Finishing second would have been nice, but nothing beats winning."

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He said he will use this as a jumping-off point for next season. "It gives you confidence for next year. It's like when you're having a good season and just rolling along, you always hope to build on it.

"But you also have to start fresh."


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