While all that rational analysis the other day was all well and good, the Cy Young winner is rarely decided by rational analysis.The only things that matter are W-L, ERA, and team performance, and two thirds of those things are largely out of a pitcher’s control.
The Cy Young winner is somewhat decided by rational analysis relative to what those voters know and utilize. To expect everyone to suddenly use VORP, BRAA, WPA/LI etc is just unrealistic. I would prefer some more mainstream stats were used other than ERA or W-L, such as K/BB, WHIP, K/9, etc, but I’m not going to get supremely upset over it because the awards are not true barometers of quality.
One thing that does annoy me, however, is the idea that you need to be a playoff team to get an award, or “deserve” one.
To me, it doesn’t matter if you made the playoffs, so long as you kept your team competitive. For instance, I think Pujols should have won the 2006 MVP over my man Ryan Howard, but it has NOTHING to do with the Cards making the playoffs and the Phillies not. The Phillies were a better team and the Cardinals barely snuck in. Pujols was more deserving because a lot of his numbers were better.
Ultimately, like I said, though, I don’t care. I would just like us all to realize that these who should vs. who will arguments are kind of useless.
I pretty much feel the same way about the voting. Just another part of baseball that just doesn’t make much sense. I guess this helps keep the tradition of getting things wrong alive. After all, isn’t that what baseball is all about?
“I guess my point here is that those of us who understand how to evaluate a player better shouldnâ€™t care so much about the awards and should leave it to the people who care more about impact on the game from what they see rather than what some numbers may suggest.”
I vehemently disagree with this statement. If you are discontent with mainstream media using improper modes of evaluation then the best way to change it is by showing them that you disagree with their conclusion. You really think that BP alumns like Keith Law would have ever been picked up by ESPN had it not been for some public outcry of some sort. i believe that the best way to change their conclusions is by criticism of outside sources like fan graphs or others. Yes, it might cost you a job but does it not make the sport that you love better?
Trench, I think he is saying that although the voters get it wrong nearly every single time, he doesn’t give it too much thought because those awards don’t help him come to his conclusions as to who are the best in the game at their respective positions. If somehow he was forced to accept their CY Young and MVP award winners as the best in the game, then he would voice his discontent, but since that isn’t the case he doesn’t. He can make his own judgments using more accurate metrics so the voters’ collective ignorance isn’t an issue.
Isaac, yes, exactly. The point is that for those of us who understand that the Cy Young isn’t truly a measure of the best pitcher in a league, we shouldn’t care who wins or get upset because we know that the award is essentially meaningless in evaluative terms.
But it still matters to some people, and it’s got to be frustrating for fans of Santana (or Rivera) who felt that their man was jobbed out of a Cy Young in 2005, and it’s for those fans that the voters should be more conscientious than just saying “Well, Santana’s ERA is better but Colon has five more wins and only one more loss so he was worth four more wins than Santana” or whatever twisted logic they use.
1996 was even more egregious when Kevin Brown and his sparkling 1.89 ERA lost out to John Smoltz and his less-sparkling 2.94 by virtue of Smoltz’s 24-8 record against Brown’s 17-11. Of course it helped that the Braves won 16 more games than Florida and the division, but you know the voting would have been the same had the two teams been even. Since the Braves took the division by 8 games over Montreal and Smoltz was 8 games above average at 16 games over .500, it would not surprise me one bit if someone, somewhere, maybe even a professional sportswriter, employed the logic that if Smoltz had been replaced by an average pitcher, the Braves would have finished tied with Montreal and that Smoltz single-handedly won them the division.