Friday, November 19, 2010

My BBA awards picks for AL Cy Young, or why I didn't give a first place vote to King Felix (or CC)

There's a whole to-do over the fact that New York Post writer George King voted AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez fifth on his ballot, and put CC Sabathia first. Now, I didn't vote King Felix fifth, but he did not get a first-place vote from me in my Baseball Bloggers Alliance ballot for the Walter Johnson Award (equivalent to the AL Cy Young Award). Here was my ballot -- we voted for five picks:

1, David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
3. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees
4. Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
5. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Here's why I voted the way I did -- unlike Hernandez, Price actually pitched in pressure-packed, meaningful games in a pennant race, facing tougher competition in the most competitive division in baseball. That should count for something. After all, if we judge the MVP race by such standards, the same should go for the pitchers. (Yes, yes, I know that people will say that it's because of the names of the respective BBWAA awards -- Cy Young Award vs. Most Valuable Player. Well, Cy Young is known for having the most wins in baseball history, but wins are discounted more and more in these awards, despite the name!)

Hernandez got his recognition in the second-place vote for his great season. And as much I love CC, I couldn't bring himself to give him a first or second place vote, especially since Price outdueled him several times.

Tampa Bay Rays beat writer Tony Fabrizio had the same top three as me, and explained himself in a recent piece:
I thought he had the best combination of wins, winning percentage, ERA and a wide variety of other measurables when also factoring in the significance of his contributions.

Anyhow, my fellow Yankee cohorts in our local BBA chapter voted this way in the race:

1st place: CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
2nd place: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
3rd place: David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
4th place: Cliff Lee, Texas Rangers
5th place: Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance as a whole voted like this for our AL Pitcher of the Year:

Felix Hernandez, Seattle (18) 137
CC Sabathia, New York (3) 62
David Price, Tampa Bay (1) 57
Cliff Lee, Seattle/Texas 41
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles 22
Jon Lester, Boston 18
Clay Buchholz, Boston 14
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota 13
Trevor Cahill, Oakland 5
Justin Verlander, Detroit 5

And here's how the BBWAA made their choice for the AL Cy Young winner:

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners    
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays    
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees    
Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox            
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim        
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox            
Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners/Texas Rangers            
Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays                
Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics                
Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals                
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins                    
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers    

What do you think? Tell us about it!


nutballgazette said...

What, No love for Javy Vazquez,

BTW They did a Sabermetric review of the past 2 Years to see who was the Real World Champions of Baseball

Congratulations to the 2 time Defending World Champion New York Mets

Sully said...

I think not only are Hernandez's stats better than anyone elses, but he pitched so well against the Yankees that he may have cost them the Division

Uncle Mike said...

The Cy Young Award is supposed to go to the most valuable pitcher. So, with an average pitcher in place of Felix Hernandez, the Mariners would have... lost 105 games instead of 101?

The pitcher who made the most difference in the American League this season was David Price. Without him, the Rays don't even make the Playoffs; with him, they did, and helped set the Yankees up to lose the Pennant. The Rangers, while having a staff that had a great year as a whole, had no single pitcher that made that much of a difference, especially when you consider they were already solidly leading the AL West when Cliff Lee came in.

Picking Felix Hernandez for this year's AL Cy Young Award is like picking Dave Henderson as the MVP of the 1986 World Series. (Thought I'd toss that in there, for Sully as much as for Squawker Jon.)

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