Sunday, November 13, 2005

Typical Cy Young Absurdity

This is a few days late, but I just wanted to say that the writers who vote for this award are idiots. Rather than voting for the best pitcher of the season, the general trend is to vote for whichever pitcher had the most wins. And if you didn't have at least 18 of those in the season, you stand next to no chance of victory. Occasionally, of course, a reliever will win the award (only twice since 1990), but that requires extraordinary circumstances. So basically, if you win the most games in your league and keep your ERA under 4.00, you have a great chance at the award. This is clearly preposterous and I will now take a quick look at the races in each league this season.

Bartolo Colon took home the American League Cy Young Award in convincing fashion, despite the fact that he had the second-highest ERA of a winner since 1983 (ironically, only Roger Clemens had a higher ERA in 2001, when he won mostly for his win-loss record, something he was robbed for this year...more on this later). In my opinion, last year's winner, Johan Santana clearly should have been the repeat winner. He blew Colon away in every statistical category except for wins. Newsflash to the voters: Wins are almost entirely team-dependent. Santana was the better pitcher this year without a doubt, but the writers were blinded by Colon's 21 wins and perhaps by the Angels' division title. But, unlike the MVP Award, the Cy Young Award is only supposed to reward the BEST pitcher in each league, so team accomplishments should not have mattered. Also, Mariano Rivera was also an excellent candidate for the award this year, putting together arguably the best season of his magnificent career and I think that he should have finished ahead of Colon as well. Amazingly, multiple voters left Rivera off their ballots completely, showing how silly these writers are. Last I checked, relief pitchers were pitchers and pretty important ones at that, especially with starters pitching fewer and fewer innings. Finally, Colon's victory reminded me of Barry Zito's victory over Pedro in 2002, except at least that time Zito had a noticeably good season.

In the National League Cy Young race, Chris Carpenter certainly had an excellent season, as did at least six other starting pitchers who did not win the award (Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt, Willis, Pedro, Peavy). Of course I want to bring your attention to the plight of Roger Clemens, a pitcher whom I do not like, but whom I respect greatly. He was far and away the best pitcher in the National League this season. He led the league in ERA by over half a run with a 1.87 mark! But because the Astros offense struggled when he was on the mound, he only had 13 wins. Not to take anything away from Carpenter, but there is no way he would have won this award if he hadn't played for the best regular season team in baseball. All this said, I am still a little surprised that Dontrelle Willis didn't win the award considering the fact that it was he, not Carpenter, who had the most wins in the National League...and he did it with a lower ERA.

However, in the end, I should stop being petty because these are just silly awards. But isn't it funny to see how little many of the people writing about the game actually know about it?

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