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AL Cy Young Award on tap today

Nov 17, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

This should be a no-brainer.  The only reason — and it’s not a good reason — that anyone would not have Zack Greinke listed #1 on their ballot is because they don’t think his 16 wins for an awful team are worth the 19 wins CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander posted for good teams.

Such a vote would have to come despite Greinke’s better ERA and better ratios. Such a vote would also have to ignore the fact that Greinke had four starts in which he got no decisions despite allowing zero runs or one run. Indeed, overall, Greinke averaged seven innings and an ERA of 2.35 in his nine no-decisions. He’d easily have 20 wins — and probably more — if he played for even a merely crappy team instead of that train wreck in Kansas City.  The upshot:  if Greinke doesn’t win the Cy Young Award today, we’ll be witnessing one of the larger miscarriages of justice in postseason awards history.

Beyond Greinke I put them in this order:  Felix Hernandez (great season, but behind Greinke everywhere that matters), Roy Halladay (ditto, but behind Hernandez), Justin Verlander (ERA too high for serious consideration) and CC Sabathia (a win for CC would be to give the CY Young to the Yankees lineup).

  1. bigfun - Nov 17, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    It should be Greinke, but it’s not quite a no-brainer – there’s some reasonable arguments for Hernandez and Verlander. Verlander’s ERA may be higher but his xFIP is almost identical to Greinke’s. This article does a great job of demonstrating that Halladay, Hernandez, and Verlander all had things in their favor (Sabathia is great but not really in this conversation).

  2. daryl gilman - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    How about Mariano Rivera for the Cy Young?

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    How about no:

  4. Kendall - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    I wonder if not giving Greinke the Cy Young would even be the largest miscarriage of justice of the postseason awards THIS season. Franklin Guitierez had a historically outstanding defensive season playing centerfield and he didn’t win a gold glove. He was likely the best defensive player in baseball this year, and he has nothing to show for it. I guess the difference is that his award wasn’t a BBWA award, and we are used to the gold gloves going to undeserving players. That stuff never happens with things like the Cy Young, right Johann Santana?

  5. Aaron - Nov 17, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    I think Greinke deserves the award, but citing his no-decisions doesn’t really help his case. King Felix had 10 no-decisions and averaged 6 2/3 innings with a 2.17 ERA in them, so in theory, he should have won a lot more games than he did too…
    Greinke was way better in his losses than Felix, but Felix had more solid starts overall (most QS in the AL).

  6. Andy L - Nov 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    I’d just like to echo Kendall’s comments about Franklin Gutierrez. His defensive season was every bit as historic as Greinke’s season pitching was.

  7. YankeesfanLen - Nov 17, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Greinke should get the Cy Young for enduring being in the dugout for any length of time with Farnsworthless.
    Besides, CC was just doing his job as expected (with obvious run support). That performance is merely the reason CC was signed, Zack was dealing with- to-put-it-nicely- adversity.

  8. Rob G -- Omaha - Nov 17, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    I am a KC Fan ( I am slowly putting a paper bag over my head to cover my face), Greinke not winning the Cy Young Award would be a travesty, he plays on a miserable team and clearly was the only bright spot. To penalize him, and give it to someone else is flat out wrong.

  9. Anaconda - Nov 17, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    The award goes usually to the pitcher with more wins and best ERA. If nobody win both then it goes to the one that get closer to that criteria. So, taking that in consideration, Felix Hernandez is the one. As a Yankee fan I would like to see Sabathia get the honor but Hernandez beats him in ERA.

  10. EvilEmpireE2009 - Nov 17, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    The YANKEES won the only TROPHY that matter’s ………..

  11. psanf - Nov 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    I’m just happy to hear that someone feels Felix’s 19 wins were for a “good team”. Haven’t hear that in awhile about the Mariners. Go M’s!
    And Franklin Gutierrez should have won a Gold Glove. Period.

  12. Conner Jade - Nov 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    While it is true that the Royals were bad this year, are we seriously going to say that the Mariners were actually good? Both Hernandez and Greinke were pitching for teams that provided almost no run support, and Felix happened to get more wins out of the deal. Technically, the M’s hit (slightly) worse than the royals. They had a worse batting average, On base percentage, and produced fewer runs per game. And Felix still won with that.
    I’m not saying that Felix necessarily deserves the award, I’m simply saying that you can’t call it an open and shut case.

  13. BahstonSuxEternal - Nov 17, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    How about you are just another JEALOUS LOSER?
    And your team ISN’T. Ha ha!

  14. SayWhat - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:14 PM


  15. darryl s - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:23 PM


  16. SayWhat - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Greinke pitches in the extremely weak AL Central. He doesn’t have to face prolific offenses like the Anaheim Angels 4x in a season (yeah the team batted .285 for the season). On top of all that Seattle was DEAD LAST (that’s right, behind even KC in runs scored and batting average. Typically when you don’t score runs it makes it hard to win games. Thus, Felix and Zack had the same type of adversity to overcome. In Greinke’s division he regularly faced teams with the following BA’S and runs scored:
    Indians .264 team batting average, 8th (AL) in runs scored with 724
    White Sox. 258 team batting average, 12th (AL) runs with 773
    Tigers .269, 10th in the AL with 743 runs scored
    the only decent offense is the Twins .274 4th in the AL with 827 runs scored and Felix faced them 3x giving up 7 earned runs in 19 innings of work. The second time he faced them he gave up 5 ER in four innings, which shows just how impressive the other two outings were. Greinke faced Minnesota only twice last season and gave up five earned runs in 13 innings.
    Greinke never faced the Yankees murderous lineup all season, whereas King Felix pitched a complete game giving up one earned run netting him his 16th victory of the season.
    King Felix regularly faced:
    the Angels .285 team batting average 1st in the AL, and 2nd in runs scored with 883
    the Rangers .260 team batting average, but 7th in runs scored in the AL with 784
    the Athletics — .262 team BA, 9th in the AL with 759 runs scored — are the only “bad” run scoring offense in the AL West – save the Mariners last place finish in both categories – but Felix faced them only twice.
    This is a no-brainer! King Felix is far and away the best pitcher in the AL this season! To the winner go the spoils!

  17. HUH? - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:46 PM


  18. W. - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    All I have to say is ‘Rarely is the question asked, IS our children learning?’

  19. flyhi - Nov 17, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Yankees spending 500 million dollars is buying a pennant, not winning it. the fact that they have spend hundreds of millions in the past trying and failing does not alter the fact that they simply bought it this year. the trophy has lost it’s shine when a team merely outspends others to win it. hey, not knocking the players, who can turn down 170 million? not me for sure, but it was out and out bought, not won in a sporting fashion.

  20. RichardInDallas - Nov 17, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    All these awards should be put to the George Bailey test. How much worse would the player’s team have been without him? The one with the greatest differential wins. This works for any award (Cy Young, MVP, ROY, etc…).

  21. Oldtimer - Nov 17, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    While, on the surface, your arguments are compelling, you must realize that the Seattle Mariners are a far better team than the Royals, both offensively and defensively. I believe they finished at 85-77. Don’t even ask what the Royals record was (they barely escaped another 100 loss season). Their defense is, by far, the worse phase of their game and makes many of Zack’s records even more amazing. Kansas City doesn’t field, what could be remotely considered, a Major League team. Hernandez at least didn’t have a team, that he played for, working against him. Zack, more often than not, did. All of your statistics aside, Felix got to pitch against K.C., whereas Zack did not. Ask yourself how well Felix would have done, had he played for the Royals. Occasionally, one of his team mates made a run saving play behind him, Zack seldom, if ever, did. More often than not, he was pitching to a batter who should never have come up to bat because of some bone head play made, or unmade, behind him. He pitched his absolute best in that one inning in the All Star game, because for one brief moment, he had a team behind him that didn’t require that he be so incredibly fine with every pitch.
    Pride in ones team, and its players often makes us lean in favor of them. Hernandez is great, and I expect will get even better. However, he may have come to pitching maturity at a time when Zack may be the best pitcher in baseball, and for some years to come.

  22. M. - Nov 17, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    I wouldn’t call the Royals a train wreck. I’d put them somewhere below the Titanic and the Hindenberg, but just slightly above Dukakis ’88.

  23. Nydia Straube - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Between my wife and I we’ve attempted more ways over the years than I can remember, such as high fertility positions, hormone improvements, various times of the month, etc. But, the last couple of years I’ve pinned it down to one kind of treatment. Why? Because I was happy to discover how effective the results were.

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