So now we declare royalty to Felix Hernandez, the kid with such raw talent that he immediately dazzled as the most exhilarating attraction this side of the Gateway to Alaska.
At the age of 14, he already had the essentials to reach the big leagues, and as the world's most talented teenager, he exposed his otherworldly talent in a substandard baseball town that suddenly fostered and became magnetized to his work of art by tossing incredibly.
For a while there, we had a strong feeling he would be handed the monumental award in baseball, given his engagement and knack to inspire an inferior ballclub that was essentially out of the pennant race by early May. There's a reason Seattle devotees appeared at Safeco Field, particularly on the nights or afternoons that Hernandez, who gave the Seattle Mariners life during the regular-season, just to witness a breathless and singular moment as King Felix delivered and clearly negated much of the mediocrity. Much as the population adored him, he made his presence felt on the mound and awed his amazed supporters, generating endless romance in a town that constantly watches raindrops fall from the sky.
As they say to the noble one...
Long live King Felix.
By now, the masses in the Pacific Northwest have fallen in love with Hernandez. Rightfully so, he won the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday, and not by a tight margin, capturing 21 of 28 first-place votes. All along, he was the fruitful ace in the majors, despite that the Mariners were never in contention for winning the American League West division.
By now, in our insatiable society, he represents charmingly a wonderful story for a region that hasn't witnessed enough happiness in a long time, and beyond posing as the most gifted teenager, he is the symbol of Seattle and has simply hypnotized the citizens into watching because of his subtlety and craft. The crazy twist is that Hernandez, after he was advertised as the world's most talented teen, was lazy and complacent until he turned 21-years old and improved his work ethic, performed with diligence, and finally reached a climax by the individual accolades of his flourishing profession.
For once, as of which many were shortsighted of his unforeseen accomplishments, he was distinguished greatly for pitching far more superior in 10 starts. Within all his starts, he was paramount and had either shutouts or held his opponents to a mere run, but had been mostly in oblivion for the Mariners valueless hitting all season.
"This confirms the Cy Young award is a not only for the pitcher with the most wins, but the most dominant," an emotional Hernandez said while he celebrated and gathered with relatives in Venezuela.
Whatever impact was made in Seattle, it was very heartfelt and enough to change the minds of voters, although he finished 13-12 this season for the Mariners. It was a universal discernment, vividly unanimous for voters to end a controversial AL Cy Young Award race in which Hernandez’s candidacy was neck-to-neck with David Price, who finished 19-6 this season and came in runner-up for the award or CC Sabathia, who settled for third place after a masterful season with the New York Yankees.
The beauty of such an exalted award, you might recall, ultimately favors a pitcher who win games and lead its team to the postseason, and Hernandez never had an opportunity to guide the Mariners to a postseason birth, simply for pitching on a mediocre club. To his credit, it is a well-deserving award and he is now rightly honored.
But the argument of the majors lies solely in a worthwhile debate, a nation puzzled as to how various voters can acknowledge Hernandez’s inferior 13 wins streak, brainwashed by his astounding feats and preferred to neglect the Sabathia’s 21-7 season or Price’s convincing year with the Tampa Bay Rays. Still, either way, he deserves the award because of his rare difference on the mound that isn’t seen frequently in the majors, especially from a developing ace.
All season, he led the league in a 2.27 ERA, along with 249 2/3 innings pitched in 34 starts. On worst imports, nonetheless, the Mariners scored merely 513 runs, less than any ballclub in the American League. Within a short span, the discontent front office was unhappy with manager Don Wakamatsu, and wasted no time in firing him as the Mariners began the season poorly and disappointed all believers that were optimistic Seattle could win the division.
Not surprisingly, he won the prize for which he threw more innings than anyone. Also, he finished second in the AL in strikeouts and even pitched better than most pitchers this season, but struggled from the most wretched run support. So, this is why it’s hard for some to make the assessment that he is worthy of the biggest award in baseball.
What we are witnessing here is the archetype of the best pitcher. And after all, he was capable of being given the award even if he didn’t earn plenty of victories, an issue that could have hindered him from winning it surrounded by an ineffective roster and limited depth.
Greater than ever, he received votes on all 28 ballots, an indicator that most of the voters weren’t so oblivious or bias and voted based on the dominance Hernandez exhibited this season. It’s all a prototype of Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young award last year, with just 16 wins and he ranked seventh in the AL. But this time around, Hernandez ranked 18th and still won it. This means anything is possible in the majors.
From my viewpoint, I think he deserves it, and I believe he earned it as well.