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MLB Awards Preview: AL Cy Young


5 comments for “MLB Awards Preview: AL Cy Young”

  1. Sam OrmeSeptember 2, 2010, 8:24 am

    If Rivera were to win it, it would have to be as more of a lifetime achievement award rather than a single season thing (not to discount what he’s done this season, which has been incredible). Fortunately, we have a precedent for that – Eric Gagne won it in 2003 as a dominant closer.

    My money’s on Sabathia, but it would be pretty cool to see Rivera win it.

  2. RyanSeptember 2, 2010, 10:38 am

    It will be a travesty if CC wins it over Felix. The Cy Young Award is simply for the BEST pitcher in the league. It is not for the most valuable pitcher, or the pitcher who wins the most. The BEST pitcher. CC is definitely not the best pitcher in the AL. Look at the stats – besides wins, you can’t find a single one that reflects CC as being the best. Heck, Felix may not be best in the league either – I have a soft spot for Cliff Lee despite his recent struggles and love Liriano, who gets no love for some reason.

    And durability has to be considered – which is why I put Rivera in the same category as Buchholz (though I’d prefer to see Rivera win over CC). Felix has almost 70 innings more than Buchholz, and 170 (!) more than Mariano.

    I just don’t think you can say a reliever is the best pitcher in the league when so many mediocre starters have been turned into lights-out relievers (Mo included). It takes more to excel as a starter than a reliever, not least of all the ability to sustain excellence over a substantially greater workload. What if late-season callups and part-time players were eligible for the batting title?

    Provided things stay the same over the remainder of the season, CC winning would simply reflect old-school thinking, biases, and a lack of understanding of what makes a pitcher great. Why do people not understand that the best pitcher in baseball might be on a crappy team? You’re voting on the Cy Young award, not the MVPitcher.

  3. Geoffrey WoehlkSeptember 2, 2010, 9:20 pm

    Although I agree with you Ryan that a pitcher for a bad team should be just as eligible for the Cy Young as any other pitcher, it’s just not the case. Through the lack of any contender taking the award away from him last year, Zack Greinke won it despite playing for the Royals, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

    As for starters turning into relievers, yes, that happens a lot, and yes, they’re often good. But Rivera is in another class altogether. Although he does have a small sample size, the sheer volume of work shows that he is the best pitcher in the game, regardless of workload, and for that he deserves recognition. The best pitcher in the league might nto be a starter, and this year, it isn’t.

    There is precedent for Mo winning the award. As Sam said, Gagne won it in 2003 for the consecutive saves record, and Rivera has placed in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 5 different times, placing second in 2005 to Bartolo Colon.

    When a man changes the game like Rivera has, you don’t let him go home empty-handed, so why not give him the award for the best pitcher in the league in a year where there is no clear-cut starter to win it, and the year in which Rivera has put up the best numbers of his Hall of Fame career? But the bottom line is, is there any evidence to suggest that Mariano Rivera isn’t the best pitcher in the AL? Every single year, has he ever had anything but unbelievable numbers?

    Of course not. So it should go to him because he may be the greatest pitcher of all time. And guys like that deserve Cy Young Awards.

    • HeinzSeptember 3, 2010, 12:15 pm

      It would be a travesty if Mariano did not win a Cy Young Award before he retires. This is a phenomenal year for him, so I agree with you that he should get it this year. Very well reasoned in your article.

    • MaureenSeptember 5, 2010, 7:12 am

      Your analysis of the candidates is detailed and excellent. Although I am a lifetime national league follower, it sounds like Rivera is due for this recognition.

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