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Felix Hernandez wins the American League Cy Young Award

Nov 18, 2010, 2:03 PM EDT

Felix Hernandez crop

The results have been released and Alexander Mendoza was right: Felix Hernandez has won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.  He beat out David Price, who finished second, and CC Sabathia who took third. Jon Lester and Jered Weaver rounded out the top five.  Ultimately — and as I predicted — the voting wasn’t that close:  King Felix won fairly easily, taking 21 of the 28 first place votes.  The most scandalous thing I’ve seen so far is that David Price was left off a ballot.  Given that voters were voting for the top five, that’s a tad curious, though maybe not to backers of Hernandez, Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver and Jon Lester.

For the second year in a row, the Baseball Writers Association of America gave the award to the better pitcher, not the pitcher with a bigger win total.  For as much vitriol as has been thrown at the BBWAA in the past, they should be lauded here for a job well done.  And we should probably acknowledge at this point that, in the run up to the awards, the “old school” writers who say things contrary to the prevalent sabermetric thinking likely aren’t all that representative of the BBWAA voting pool in the first place.  These arguments we have, I’m beginning to realize, are between the wrong people. Even if they are highly enjoyable.

In a nice change from usual practice, the BBWAA has listed which writers voted for which players for first place.  For those of you who must have blood from any who dare oppose the King Felix orthordoxy, know that Mel Antonen, Tony Fabrizio, Phil Rogers and Chris Assenheimer voted Price for first place.  George King, Bob Elliott and Sheldon Ocker had Sabathia first.

Congratulations, King Felix.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    He didn’t get the 1st place vote on 25% of the ballots, and was not even top 2 on almost 10% of them. Somebody voted for him 4th and somebody voted for him 5th. Really? LOL. If this doesn’t cry out for “Get rid of the BBWAA and get a damn computer to come in and figure this out” then I don’t know what does. Ridiculous.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:21 PM

      Yeah, becasue that’s what we need in games. Computers making all the decisons for us. Whether you agree with it or not, what part of ‘choice’ is that you don’t understand? There’s a lot more to what’s good or bad in baseball beyond statistics.

      t’s a game. Played by humans. Watched by humans. Analyzied by humans. With awards voted on by humans. Seems like a good system to me, even if it fails at time. Seriously, he won. Who cares if it wasn’t a unanimous choice?

      By the way, I’m a Royals fan and Hernandez should have won last year, not this year.

      But I guess your point could be valid. After all, it is 2010 and HAL will be turned back on soon.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:31 PM

        It’s not like this is the Academy Awards, where there are 5 films and nothing but subjectivity to grade them on. This is baseball, a game built on stats. The stat people will tell you that King Felix won every stat except wins. The non-stat people will tell you that Wins are all that matters. I say…get them all in a room, hash out which stats are the best, and let the computers decide. It’s the only way to fairly give the award. Anything else is just a NY voter picking his guy, a Tampa voter picking his guy, and the people without a horse in the race picking the winner.

        However, Price was left off a ballot. Not in the top 5? Really? WTF!!! That was obviously done by a guy who voted for CC because he was hoping it would be a close vote and figured him leaving Price off would help his guy. Ridiculous. Anyone who left Price off should lose his/her vote. Same with the boneheads who left off Posey and Heyward. It’s all dumb. The BBWAA enjoys their power and abuses it to the fullest…especially when it comes to the Hall of Very Good. It used to be the Hall of Fame until they let Andre Dawson in. Now, it’s just Very Good.

      • hackerjay - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:38 PM

        Letting Rice in (among others) turned it into the “hall of Just OK” long before letting Dawson in did anything.

    • derosier13 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:54 PM

      yeah – i totally agree. As much as I like Linthicum, i’ve gotta give it up for Hernandez’s performance. Computer or not, his numbers obviously pushed him over the edge. Its an individual effort award – so the right man came out on top.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    This is the stupidest choice ever! I can’t believe it! What the hell?!?!? Oh wait, Felix won, nevermind.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    “George King, New York Post; Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun; Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal”

    Three guys who should not have a vote on the soup of the day at the freaking Olive Garden let alone the American League Cy Young.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:17 PM

      Hey, go figure, a NY guy and a Tampa guy voted for a guy on their team.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:38 PM

        Exactly. They need to do it by computer. Let the stat people and the old school guys go into a room for 72 hours and drink a bunch of beer, eat a bunch of pizza, and hash out an algorithm that will bring out the Cy Young winner every year. This way, we don’t have to wait for a bunch of idiot writers to vote. It’s all a big sham. The shame of it is that King Felix actually won so people will say the current system works, when in fact, it clearly does not. 4th and 5th place votes??? Someone left Price off ballot??? 25% NOT to Felix??? To me, that is clearly from a flawed system.

      • pauleee - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:31 PM

        Beer, pizza and hash? Where do I sign up?

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM

        Paulee Shore?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM

      I can’t handle this new, rational you. Next thing we know you’ll be espousing WAR and UZR, and i’ll have to go hide in a corner waiting for the apocalypse :)

  4. dluxxx - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Nice, maybe if they keep giving awards to good players on bad teams, we’ll see some of them stick around for a few years. That would help a lot with the rebuilding process… *cough Zack Greinke.*

  5. BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Oh puke. 13 wins? That’s ridiculous. Even Greinke had 16 when he won. Double puke.

    • tomemos - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:37 PM

      Pardon me for asking, but are you…serious?

  6. Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Now we have to find something else to fight about, hash, rehash and re-rehash? Man, this place sucks!!

  7. BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Leaving Price off the ballot was a joke. But then again, no one has ever been unanimously elected to the HOF either. The BBWAA guys are clueless.

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:42 PM

      I had Price listed 5th on my Internet Baseball Awards AL Cy Young ballot, so someone else leaving him out of the top 5 doesn’t seem like a joke to me. After Felix Hernandez, there were quite a few worthy candidates in a cluster in my opinion.

    • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:57 PM

      There were at least five viable candidates for second place, and there were about a dozen pitchers as good as or better than Price.

      • BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

        Name me more than 4 in the AL for 2010. Even stretching the limits of insanity I can’t find more than 4. Even though I don’t agree, I could see where people would choose King Felix, Sabathia, Buchholz and maybe in a big stretch of the imagination Jon Lester ahead of Price this past year. But I don’t see anyone else.
        And no, for the sake of this argument, closers don’t count.

      • BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:23 PM

        On second thought, scratch Lester. Price was better. Same goes for Verlander, Price was better. So I’ll give you the 3, King Felix, CC and Buchholz.

      • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:24 PM

        Lester, Verlander, Lee, Weaver, Liriano

      • BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:27 PM

        Weaver? Liriano? Check the numbers.
        Lee? Not in the regular season. 12-9 with a 4.00 ERA in the second half? No way. Not this year.

      • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM

        I don’t rely on ERA or the hyphenated number you posted.

  8. woodenulykteneau - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Did Yasushi Kikuchi vote for Weaver for 2nd place?

    • Lukehart80 - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM

      Don’t knock the season Weaver had, he was great. I think there’s a pretty tight cluster of guys from 2nd to about 8th place, I wouldn’t kill anyone over their particular order of those guys. That also explains why Price could be left off a ballot. He finishes IN 5th for bWAR and something like 9th for fWAR. I don’t think that means he COULDN’T belong in the top 5, but if you’re looking at the “new” stats, it’s reasonable to build a case that puts Felix, Weaver, Lee, Sabathia, Lester, Verlander, and/or Liriano ahead of Price.

  9. diamondduq - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Why doesn’t someone tell Selig that instead of expanding the playoffs we should just eliminate them and crown the team with the best regular season stats the World Series Champions? Wins obviously don’t matter! Actually, why don’t we just stop keeping score and base wins and loses on stats? Oh wait, wins and losses don’t matter! Sorry Herm Edwards, apparently we no longer “play to win the game”!

    • mattraw - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:29 PM

      Great point – they play to win the game, so wins are the most important stat! But why are pitchers the only ones who can get wins? Wouldn’t it be better for an official scorer to watch each game and determine which individual player on each team should be credited with the win (or loss) for that game? Sure, there might be room for argument – say, a homer-robbing catch in the top of the 3rd inning vs. the go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the 6th – but if there’s anything watching years of baseball have taught me, it’s that baseball games are always won or lost by a single player.

    • kellyb9 - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:55 PM

      These are individual awards. Sounds like you’re just upset your guy didn’t win. Either way, judging a pitcher on wins and losses is pointless.

    • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:02 PM

      Hyperbole Guy: Wins do matter, but issuing a “win” to an individual playing a team sport isn’t logical.

  10. twinsfn343 - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    what the hell is this guy talking about?

    • transport1953 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:47 PM

      he’s talking about a guy who pitches 249 innings has an ERA of 2.32 and leads the league in strikeouts, stupid! A guy who doesn’t hit, who must rely on his offense to score runs.

      Maybe this will help, using a computer that so many of you are suggesting the writers need, it means if the Mariners had scored 3 runs in the games Hernandez pitced he’d have won 30 games………..for you I’m sure even that wouldn’t have been enough.

      The worst division in the AL, maybe, but the team who won the division made monkey out of the Rays and Yankees, oh aren’t they in the toughest division?

  11. yanks4ever07 - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    what a joke 13 and 12 wins cy young award whoever voted this should be banned for life of voteing again

    • anythingbutyanks - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM

      What a joke! The second or third best pitcher in baseball should get the INDIVIDUAL award for winning a bunch of games on one of the best TEAMS. yanks4ever07 should be banned from speaking again.

      • welcometothemachine16 - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:03 PM

        Felix 3-0 0.35 ERA 0.92 WHIP vs Yankees

      • BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:25 PM

        All that means is that he was 10-12 against the rest of the league. Which is not good.

    • twinsfn343 - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM

      clearly the guy just doesn’t know how to win

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=300923114

      • zignon - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:32 PM

        Funny.. You state a game where he pitched the complete game. Made 1 mistake in the 1st inning (a home run) and then only gives up 1 additional hit the whole game. It’s not the guys fault that the team behind him could not get runs. This guy pitched like a Cy Young winner and I am a Red Sox fan. He was lights out.

        The game you mentioned here are his complete stats:
        IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
        8.0 2 1 1 4 5 1 110-71 2.31

      • tomemos - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:38 PM

        zignon, think the guy was being sarcastic there.

    • tomemos - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:40 PM

      “whoever voted this should be banned for life of voteing again”

      I’d like to see you banned from typing English sentences.

      • zignon - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:53 PM

        Could’ve been sarcastic. But he did lose the game at no fault of his own. :)

    • transport1953 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:50 PM

      oh yeah, that sow Sabathia should have won it right yanks4ever? He choked, as did the rest of the Yanks

  12. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Pie is too better than cake!

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:23 PM

      Hell no! Cake has icing!

      • BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM

        I had crullers first on my ballot.

      • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:05 PM

        The cake is a lie.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:10 PM

        A bottle of anything…and a donut…TO GO!!!!

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM

        Ice that pie! (I can’t wait to use that line in a bar)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:37 PM

      Icecream Cake > all, and i’ll fight you to the death over it!

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:41 PM

        Ice Cream Cake Pie?

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM

        Ice cream cake is a cop out. Cake AND ice cream…mmmm….

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 5:20 PM

        This is some great dialogue we have going here. Good job everyone.

  13. welcometothemachine16 - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    @BC Felix was 10-12 because the mariners couldn’t hit the baseball if it was on a tee for them. I am pretty sure the mariners finished last in just about every offensive category. The Mariners only averaged something like 3 runs a game for Felix. As a mariner fan this is the only bright spot to a piss poor pathetic season.

  14. dinkydow - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Once again, proof that BBWAA need to not be allowed to vote for anything. What pressure game did Hernandez pitch in this year? He pitches in the worst division in BB and he still just managed to be slightly over 500. As another poster posted, Steve Carlton won 27 games for a team the won just over 50 all year. If all you believed in was statistics than going to strip clubs will make you middle aged and bald.

    • Lukehart80 - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:57 PM

      What are these statistics on strips clubs, age, and baldness you referred to??? What pressure game did Sabathia pitch in during the regular season? “Oh God, if I give up 6 runs, we might only win the Wild Card by 4 games… I can’t take this PRESSURE!” If pressure is your thing, why not vote for some career minor league type who’s going to be pumping gas the rest of his life if he can’t get his curve ball going?

    • welcometothemachine16 - Nov 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM

      Ok you don’t think Felix should have won it. Who is your favorite team? Who do you think should have won it?

    • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 5:48 PM

      The 2010 Mariners scored fewer runs per game than the 1972 Phillies.

    • scatterbrian - Nov 18, 2010 at 5:51 PM

      I’ll let Craig tackle your analogy…

  15. halfthemoney - Nov 18, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    I’m just wondering if anybody on here has ever been turned down for any kind of loan or credit? There’s an example of computer only decisions….and I bet if you were turned down you were damn glad there was a human available to appeal to.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 5:22 PM

      01001110100111000101001101010 [destroy humans]

    • derosier13 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:57 PM

      Nope – never turned down……….

  16. transport1953 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Let’s see ‘most strikeouts’, most innings, best ERA on a team that lost 101 games………………….I wonder how many wins he gets with the Yankees, Red Sox, TB would you cry babies still be whinning, Sabathia shouldn’t be on the ballot, Price got mugged when it counts by the Rangers but Felix showed up every fifth day on a slug of a baseball team…………….and the most funny post is ‘he didn’t get a 1st place vote on 25% of the ballots…………….hey stupid, he got 1st place votes on 75% of the ballots………………………..

    you’re an idiot!!!!!

    Headline should read ‘Hernandez wins award for second straight year’…………

  17. transport1953 - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    dinkydow…………..so a guy with a 5.80 ERA, who pitched 180 innings, and had 110 k’s but won 20 games on a team that won 101 games should win the CYA?

    Ya think?

    And who’s the stupid who said stats don’t mean anything,

    • dinkydow - Nov 19, 2010 at 8:23 AM

      I didn’t say stats don’t mean anything. I said if you can’t just believe in stats alone and # of wins is a stat. Stats can be skewed. There’s more to it than that. Perfect example is Jeter. In 2008, his fielding stats were horrrible. In 2009, he had one of his best fielding years ever. How is that possible for a 35 year old SS? It’s possible because he altered his style of fielding to reflect how you propeler heads keep feilding stats. He wasn’t a better fielder at 35 than he was at 29, he just adjusted his game to how you clowns keep stats. Another case in point was how the stats gurus felt that Nomar was the best feilder in baseball when everyone in baseball knew it was Omar Vizquel.

  18. marinermousse - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Lots of talk about pressure games, but for a pitcher, working in 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, games all year long puts him under enormous pressure. Every pitcher in baseball will tell you that they pitch better with a lead, and especially with a larger lead because they can make the “right” pitch to the batter instead of worrying how one baserunner (on a walk) or one bad pitch knocked out of the park will take the game away from them.

    Felix was sensational for a truly horrible team. Not only was the offense the worst in baseball, but even the defense had quite a few wholes (as opposed to the prior year when the defense was “cleaner.”) You had Ichiro and Gutierrez covering huge amounts of ground in the outfield and making some great plays and Kotchman was super at 1B, but Rob Johnson/Adam Moore are lousy and mediocre respectively at blocking pitches in the dirt (sure, try throwing a splitter with a man on 3rd and a catcher who can’t block pitchers?) Lopez and Figgins were switched and Figgins especially, was just plain terrible at 2B (bailed on the DP, range looked horrible etc.), Josh Wilson played SS most of the season, Jose Lopez was OK at 3rd, and UZR notwithstanding, was not really the kind of 3rd baseman you want with someone bunting up the line and the pitcher hoping to see a barehanded grab and toss across the chest to 3rd. Saunders was learning and showed good promise defensively in LF, but Bradley was hopeless. So…with only 3 good defensive players and a weak catching staff he was still able to put up the ERA and Ratios which is truly amazing. I remember the 72 Phillies and they were a pretty lousy team also (no power, OK defense on average) and Carlton’s feat was superhuman. I would agree that it outshines what Felix did, but that is like saying that Halladay didn’t deserve the NL Cy Young because he didn’t match Koufax’s two top years. Felix was clearly the best pitcher in the AL. If you want to have an MVP (Most Valuable Pitcher) which takes in the team’s accomplishments and the relative contribution….then some of the other pitchers come into play (especially Lester and Weaver who allowed their teams to be respectable midst horrible years.)

    Can’t allow the ghost of a great 1972 season by Carlton, or the ineptitude of the 2010 Mariners to tarnish a truly great pitching season by Felix and the latter actually makes it all the more of an achievement.

  19. brianmatusz17 - Nov 19, 2010 at 3:27 AM

    utleys hair and el bravo i love reading you guys and lets just throw it out there and say guthrie was better than price!!!!! so was matusz and millwood!!!!lol just joking!!!

    just give my a bottle of hennessy and some poon tang pie and well call it even

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

      Woody Guthrie? I didn’t know he was a pitcher.

      But I still say Millwood got jobbed—and not in a good way. The guy may not know how to win (anymore), but he sure as hell knows how to lose, and what’s a Cy Young award winner without losing?

  20. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 19, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    Amazing! Only managers and coaches (in the Silver Slugger and Golden Glove awards) make mistakes. The writers always get some slack.

  21. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 19, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    Quoting Adrian to Rocky, “Just win!”

  22. diamondduq - Nov 19, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    HEADLINE: THE TWINS WERE ROBBED!!!
    Clearly the Twins were robbed of a World Championship. They had the highest combined WAR of pitchers and batters in all of baseball. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t actually win the games on the field, their stats say they should have won and apparently that’s all that matters. Let’s take the trophy away from the Giants and give it to the deserving winner. Congratulations Twins!!!

  23. BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Clapton is God.
    (Just trying to stir things up again)

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM

      brianmatusz17 says Guthrie.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM

      And iced brownies kick ass, too.

      • BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM

        And crullers.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:46 AM

        Mmmm…Cinnabon…

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