Posted at 10:28 AM on November 9, 2005
by Ben Tesch
In case you hadn't noticed, the season is over, and the time has come to dish out the awards for the players. In what will undoubtedly come as an upset in Twins Territory™, Bartolo Colon won the AL Cy Young Award, beating out Mariano Rivera and Johan Santana.
Yes, you heard that right: the pitcher with the most strikeouts and 2nd best ERA in the league got 3rd place. The pitcher in 3rd place in the voting had 80 more strikeouts, 61 points lower ERA, 2 fewer baserunners per game, more innings pitched, more complete games, and more shutouts than the winner. My favorite statistic on this robbery/oddity/travesty comes from Jayson Stark's column on ESPN.com:
Hitters who faced Colon had a batting average of .254 against him. The on-base percentage against Santana was .250. Any more objections, your honor?
Maybe we need to give the voters competency exams before they vote. As much time as they spend around the game, you'd think they'd realize that a pitchers win total can be arbitrary and circumstantial.
Santana was better than Colon, but he did let the team down in the first half when the division was still up for grabs. I'll strip away my hometown bias and give it to Rivera.
That's pretty much what Gammons said on ESPN. Santana was better than Colon, but Rivera should have won the award.
Me? I'm not very incensed by it. I think it's my reaction to the whole "rally 'round the Twins" bit that most fans seem to be displaying.
Ah, C'mon... Johan didn't have an even remotely stellar first half in the '04 season, either... and nobody disputes that he deserved that Cy Young (of course, he had some semblance of run support in the 04 season, as well).
In 2005, he was the better pitcher. It's clear to me as a fan (and therefore should be clear to team management) that Johan is not going to be lights-out in the first half of the year.... AND THAT DOESN'T MATTER. When the guy finishes the year with the stats summarized in this post, he's the ace you want, period.
You're looking to bolster your pitching staff, and both Johan and Riveria are available... who do YOU sign? Another hypothetical... would Riveria have been the guy if the AL East & the AL Central traded Sox, and the Yanks had to struggle to get to the wild card?
It's not home-town bias, it's just good common sense. Gammons has been dogging for a Riveria Cy Young for 4 years... and Mariano is a great pitcher... but Johan was the best in the AL this year.