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So who gave Ian Kennedy a first place Cy Young vote?

Nov 17, 2011, 5:34 PM EDT

Ian Kennedy AP

I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.*

But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for the NL Cy Young Award.

Not to slam Kennedy. Not to make a federal case out of it. Just noting that Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee all had, by just about every measure, a better year than Kennedy did and that Kennedy’s lone first place vote certainly seemed like an outlier.  And when you see an outlier like that, it’s natural to want to know who cast it.

An Arizona guy, maybe? A bit of a homer vote?  It’s happened before.

Not this time, though.  The Kennedy voter was John Maffei of the North County Times near San Diego. Maffei doesn’t have a column up explaining his vote — voters certainly aren’t obligated to do so — but it does seem like a strange one.


*Note: this sentence will be deleted prior to the week-to-ten days I spend raging about the Hall of Fame voting. 

  1. bloodysock - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Maffei must have only watched the games against the Padres and Kennedy’s stellar 3-0 record with a 27.00 K/BB ratio (11.8 K/9), 0.87 WHIP and 1.24 ERA.

    • vanmorrissey - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      And that just about reflects every visiting pitcher’s stats against that SD lineup at Petco. But I also like catswithbats below, probably slap in the face to Kershaw who deserved it most.

  2. catswithbats - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    San Diego guy? Probably just didn’t want to give it to Kershaw. (I’m being sarcastic, but you never know.)

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

      Mountain Time Zone bias!

      • Max Power - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        Mountain Standard Time Zone bias!

  3. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Actually, Kennedy was MBL leader in the pitching stat PIAFR (Pitching Independent of All Freaking Reason). The stat (pronounce Pi-a-Fur) is determined the number of decimal places of Pi a pitcher can remember. This is, of course, the most accurate way to determine the best pitcher. All other stats measure stuff about getting hitters out which of is nonsense when trying to determine the best pitcher. I’m just guessing, but it was Keith Law who voted for Kennedy.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      You’re trying too hard, way too nerdy and, the guy who voted for Kennedy is in the post (hint.. NOT Keith Law).

    • Kyle - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      The irony of you assuming it was Keith Law is really pretty great.

  4. scatterbrian - Nov 17, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Kennedy was fourth in voting overall, so it’s not like he isn’t worthy of any recognition. He pitched for a pennant winner, and tied Kershaw for the league lead in wins with one fewer loss…likely much of the basis for his first place vote. This really is not a big deal at all.

  5. dan1111 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Best winning percentage in the league, so he was clearly the best pitcher in the world outside your mother’s basement. Duh. Stop trying to confuse us with your “stats” and your “logical, clear arguments.”

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      I wonder if that would be this writer’s answer if asked about his first place vote for Kennedy. He’d pull a Charlie Sheen and declare: Duh! #Winning!

  6. skids003 - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    This certainly isn’t as outrageous as the guy who didn’t have Ted Williams in his top ten in 1941, when he hit .406, just because he didn’t like him. That guy should have had his vote kicked out and revoked.

  7. lukeslice - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I think the bigger tragedy is who gave Kershaw (pitching triple crown!) 2nd and 3rd place votes? Sure Halladay and Lee had fantastic years, but Kershaw should’ve been unanimous just like Verlander.

    I blame homer Philly writers. Where does it say who voted for who?

    • seattlej - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      I’m a Dodgers fan, and it’s actually pretty easy to argue for Halladay or Lee. I’m certainly not surprised that Kershaw won, but I thought it would be closer (though I probably should have known better). Among the three, I don’t really think there was a wrong answer.

      • dan1111 - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        It’s amazing how close the three are. They were all within one inning pitched, one run, three earned runs, .065 WHIP, .12 ERA, and 3 ERA+ of each other!

        One pitch being placed a couple of inches differently or one ground ball getting past a defender could have changed whose stat line looked the best.

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