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 AL CY 2010, predict and/or discuss
rominer
Posted: Nov 19 2010, 06:53 PM


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There's the "who's the best pitcher" side of it, but also the "why did the voters vote they way they did" side of it.

He gave a reasonably explanation of the former, but what I got out of that piece was more in respect to the latter: Felix had an obviously good enough season that everyone but Murray Chass could see past the W-L. It doesn't mean that everyone but Murray Chass is conceding that W-L is relatively meaningless – only that it is in this instance.

I think that if Clay Buccholz hadn't hurt his hamstring,

A. He would have won the Cy Young.
B. The discussion right now would be about some of the finer points, which might still be in Felix's favor.

The guys with the win totals either weren't close enough in ERA (Sabthia), innings (Price), or both (Lester). If Buchholz makes those extra starts, he has 19 or 20 wins, a nearly identical ERA, and I doubt voters would be going for Felix's innings over Clay's wins.

None of which is sour grapes. I'm not complaining about the end result. But I think that what Posnanski illustrates more than anything is that this might have been an "exception to the rule" situation.

I wonder how it would have gone if Price had hit that magic number for wins? Would that one win make up for 40 innings and half a run of ERA? I'm guessing yes.


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Offbase
Posted: Nov 19 2010, 07:16 PM


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QUOTE (rominer @ Nov 19 2010, 07:53 PM)
There's the "who's the best pitcher" side of it, but also the "why did the voters vote they way they did" side of it.

He gave a reasonably explanation of the former, but what I got out of that piece was more in respect to the latter: Felix had an obviously good enough season that everyone but Murray Chass could see past the W-L. It doesn't mean that everyone but Murray Chass is conceding that W-L is relatively meaningless – only that it is in this instance.

I think that if Clay Buccholz hadn't hurt his hamstring,

A. He would have won the Cy Young.
B. The discussion right now would be about some of the finer points, which might still be in Felix's favor.

The guys with the win totals either weren't close enough in ERA (Sabthia), innings (Price), or both (Lester). If Buchholz makes those extra starts, he has 19 or 20 wins, a nearly identical ERA, and I doubt voters would be going for Felix's innings over Clay's wins.

None of which is sour grapes. I'm not complaining about the end result. But I think that what Posnanski illustrates more than anything is that this might have been an "exception to the rule" situation.

I wonder how it would have gone if Price had hit that magic number for wins? Would that one win make up for 40 innings and half a run of ERA? I'm guessing yes.

Good points and I almost wrote something about Buchholz's innings. We can't know what he would have done with the starts he didn't make, but it's certainly possible he could have made the AL CY a closer race.

I'm sticking to my major point though, and that is that you can pick the CY winner without looking at wins. (And if two pitcher's are tied in any given category, I'd use IP as the tie breaker.)


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The young Bill James rather famously wrote that he could not find any evidence that certain types of players could consistently hit better in the clutch – he still has not found that evidence. But unlike his younger self, he will not dismiss the idea of clutch hitting. He has been a consultant for the Red Sox for more than a decade, and he has watched David Ortiz deliver so many big hits in so many big moments, and he finds himself unwilling to deny that Big Papi does have an ability in those situations others don’t have.
Joe Posnanski
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rominer
Posted: Nov 19 2010, 07:41 PM


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QUOTE (Offbase @ Nov 19 2010, 04:16 PM)

I'm sticking to my major point though, and that is that you can pick the CY winner without looking at wins. (And if two pitcher's are tied in any given category, I'd use IP as the tie breaker.)

I agree with that part. I'm just not sure that this year's results necessarily demonstrate that the voters agree with that, even though at first glance it seems like they might.


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Offbase
Posted: Nov 19 2010, 07:57 PM


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QUOTE (rominer @ Nov 19 2010, 08:41 PM)
QUOTE (Offbase @ Nov 19 2010, 04:16 PM)

I'm sticking to my major point though, and that is that you can pick the CY winner without looking at wins. (And if two pitcher's are tied in any given category, I'd use IP as the tie breaker.)

I agree with that part. I'm just not sure that this year's results necessarily demonstrate that the voters agree with that, even though at first glance it seems like they might.

Probably true.

I was looking at it as an extreme example of the non-value of wins that could turn on that cartoon light bulb over the voters heads.

But it could just as easily be an extreme example that simply allowed the voters to pick the right guy under "exceptional" circumstances.

Time will tell.


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The young Bill James rather famously wrote that he could not find any evidence that certain types of players could consistently hit better in the clutch – he still has not found that evidence. But unlike his younger self, he will not dismiss the idea of clutch hitting. He has been a consultant for the Red Sox for more than a decade, and he has watched David Ortiz deliver so many big hits in so many big moments, and he finds himself unwilling to deny that Big Papi does have an ability in those situations others don’t have.
Joe Posnanski
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