Well, after writing a little piece on this year’s Cy Young Award, I noticed a discussion already in progress in the diary thread, and it has a MUCH more interesting start than mine did, and it already has a little poll.
I would have thought this article was a joke, although it was on MLB.com, and it was about the Yankees and Red Sox. But...seriously?
But Yankees and Red Sox pitchers have never contested the same Cy Young Award, never finishing in the top two in the vote since the award's inception in 1956.
Well, there is always a first time. Boston's Josh Beckett and New York's Chien-Ming Wang are the respective leaders of their postseason-bound staffs, and both will receive ample support among the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. They are hardly running a match race, but their season-long excellence on the road to 20 wins will be hard to ignore.
Okay...I can see top ten; maybe even top five, but WANG number one?! Here’s the justification:
Wang, Yankees: If Cy Young balloting were like some cell phone plans, Wang would be a shoo-in thanks to rollover votes. He didn't receive a single first-place vote last year, even though he matched winner Johan Santana's 19-6 record. So now he is producing a carbon copy, with no one even close to his two-year record of 37-12 (Santana is 34-17, Justin Verlander 33-14, Roy Halladay 30-12). But what makes Wang truly stand out is his responsibility for the Yankees' contention, through his remarkable consistency. He has not made it to at least the sixth inning only twice in 27 starts.
Where do you even start? Rollover votes? And is he seriously suggesting that anyone in their right mind (and I’m not sure that’s true of all of the Cy Voters in the first place) would have picked Wang over Santana last year?!
Santana: 19-6, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Wang: 19-6, 3.63 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
It isn’t even a contest! All I hear from the paragraph above is: "LOOK AT THE WINS! LOOK AT THE WINS! THEY’RE THE SAME!!!"
I have a very simple explanation for that: Wang has the Yankees offense to back him up. Santana has the Twins. Period. End of story.
This is a frustrating award for me to even talk about, due to the ‘expert panel of judges’ who vote, since in years’ past, it seems as if the only criterion for the Cy is the number of wins. But this year is different. There are enough pitchers with great ERA/WHIPs who also have the wins, that it is likely that someone is chosen who absolutely deserves the award. Until I saw Wang as the ‘front-runner’. I’d expect this kind of behavior from Joe Morgan, but Tom Singer, really?
I think these are my top five contenders for the Cy. No, I do not have Wang on the list. I might only consider him if it means that an Angel doesn’t get the award (or his wings). And no, I don’t have Danny Haren on the list either. Pre-All Star Break, there was no one better. Post-break, I don’t know what happened, but nothing good!
Here are the raw numbers:
Josh Beckett: 18-6, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
Johan Santana: 15-11, 3.09 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
CC Sabathia 17-7, 3.15 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
Kelvim Escobar: 16-7, 3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
John Lackey: 16-8, 3.18 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Just for fun, Wang is 18-6, 3.69 ERA,1.27 WHIP; a pretty good season, but in my opinion, not better than any of the five above.
Right now, I think Escobar and Lackey will cancel each other out; eerily similar numbers on the same team; Santana will be out of it because the Twins are, so that leaves Beckett and Sabathia; the former has one more win, but the latter has the better ERA, and both teams are in contention. Their next few starts will be interesting for the race.
Need some more to read? Fire Joe Morgan takes on an article criticizing Billy Beane.
So feel free to stay in the thread and beat this dead horse, or let’s talk about reasons we are excited for next season. Buck, Barton, and Suzuki for me. Anyone else?
The A’s go for the sweep of Seattle at 7.