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Ken Rosenthal gets it right

Sep 24, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

After my rant earlier this morning, I should make a point to notice when writers do get the awards votes right. Here’s one Ken Rosenthal.

I’m no one, and I have my own, well-known set of biases, so I don’t expect to convince anyone in the BBWAA of anything even if I think I’m on the side of the angels.  But Rosenthal is someone with a track record and who has the respect of awards voters. His column today supporting Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young basically nails it.  It strikes me that any writer with a Cy Young vote who does not cast it for King Felix must first at least try to rebut Rosenthal’s argument.

  1. Nick C - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Please make a better argument than one based solely on his won-loss record. The won-loss record is a function of his team. The Cy Young is an award for an individual pitcher. He can be the best pitcher in the league while having a losing record. The two are not mutually exclusive. The 2010 Seattle Mariners are historically inept on offense. The result is a losing record for the best pitcher in the AL.

  2. ThatGuy - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    They matter for the same reason they matter in award voting, because the writers vote on the awards and the hall of fame and a lot of them have not come around to realize they don’t mean much. The only thing 300 Wins matters is it means the guy was durable, and played a long time and was likely pretty good and on good teams.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    It should also contain a continuous video loop of him throwing down that fat old blowhard Don Zimmer on his ass!!!!!

  4. Old Gator - Sep 24, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    It’s not based solely on won-lost record. It’s based on the acute sense that giving the Cy to a pitcher pasted to the strange attractor would be an embarrassment to an awful lot of people who think wins matter. When they vote, one leading candidate will be pitching in the playoffs. Another will be snoring while he waits for a yellowtail to hit the line he’s got tied around his toe. The voters will have those images, or something like them, in their heads. So it goes.

  5. Nick C - Sep 24, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    I agree with you Jason. Interestingly, it is the same class of voters for both the HOF and the seasonal awards. And, I think that, by and large, the BBWAA has done a very good job of picking both. I also think that just as the “new” stats have infiltrated the seasonal awards, they will also be considered for HOF cases. The difference is that only a subset of writers vote on the seasonal awards (I believe it is 2 writers for each award from each ML city) whereas the entire BBWAA votes on the HOF. In the larger class of voters there are many more of the old guard who are resistant to considering anything new. Thus it will take longer to change the HOF vote. Guys like Murray Chass are a dying breed (literally) and their votes will lose influence as their numbers decrease.

  6. yuazda - Sep 24, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Funny that you state that YOUR opinion is the “right” choice for Cy Young. Felix is 5th in the AL in FIP and 3rd in xFIP, indicating that there are other choices that might be even more sabremetrically-friendly (Liriano for one, 1st in xFIP (3.08) and FIP (a ridiculous 2.44). Claiming that your choice is “right” is no better than the morons who rant and rave about wins.

  7. IdahoMariner - Sep 24, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Felix has to be perfect every time out, whether the games “matter” or not. Perfect. As in shutout. Not one run. He wants to win, every game matters. But if you are talking pressure, having to be perfect in order for the team to win — and that isn’t even enough when his bullpen blows it for him — that’s pressure.
    CC is under no such pressure. He just has to pitch his usual great way (he’s great, he’s just not the best) — his guys will generally find a way to back him up, no matter who they are playing. And, uh, in a game that “mattered”, CC gave up 7 runs.
    Felix went 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA (1 ER, 26.0 IP) in 3 starts against the New York Yankees…threw a 2-hit shutout on June 30, becoming the first pitcher to throw a shutout at new Yankee Stadium…against teams in the playoff hunt (CIN, MIN, NYY, SD, TEX), he has posted a 2.58 ERA (28 ER, 97.2 IP)…in 7 starts vs. the AL East, was 5-1, 0.63 (4 ER, 57.1 IP).
    Also, he is about to become the 7th pitcher since 1980 to record 30 quality starts in a season — and the other 6 all won cy young the year they did it.

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