2008 BBWAA National League Cy Young Winner
"I started a joke, which started the whole world crying, but I didn't see that the joke was on me." - Jakob Dylan
It's official, any sliver of credibility the BBWAA owned has been eliminated. It has been ripped to shreds, stamped on, torched, and discarded. While there is an argument to be made that this occurred a very long time ago, the writers have certainly outdone themselves this time.
The National League Cy Young should have come down to two pitchers; Tim Lincecum and Johan Santana. There is an argument that works in the favor of both pitchers. Where Lincecum was marginally more valuable-beating out Santana in WPA, Win Shares, PRC, and SNLVAR-Santana had a substantially more difficult schedule. While Lincecum is my choice, I can respect an individual who makes an intelligent and logical claim for Johan.
What I can't respect is the individual who calls for Brandon Webb to be the best pitcher in the National League. In fact, there is a legitimate argument against Webb being the best pitcher on his own team.
The BBWAA, however, found a way to further discredit the merits of postseason awards. Maybe they did so intentionally. Maybe their voting was out of protest. For whatever reason, we are stuck with a system that simplay has no value to the baseball world.
Today, the 2008 National League Cy Young Award winner was nominated. It was justly given to Tim Lincecum. While Lincecum was rewarded with 23 of 32 first place votes, for some strange reason four writers felt that Brandon Webb was the superior pitcher-hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.
Worse yet, there is a writer who left Lincecum off his ballot altogether. This only strikes a chord with me because there is one writer out of 32 who felt this way. One!
Being someone who traditionally has some obscure ways of drawing conclusions, and a skewed perspective of logic, I typically cannot argue with one person thinking outside the box. The problem is, Lincecum was clearly one of the top two pitchers in the National League this year. If he wasn't in the top two, there is no way he could justly be left off a ballot altogether. In fact, I am eager to hear what sort of skewed logic this writer came to.
While Lincecum winning the award is an impressive accomplishment, how much of it can Lincecum truly feel satisfied with, when the rest of the voting is a joke?
Brandon Webb, while an outstanding pitcher, he's probably one of the top five pitchers whom I would build a team around. However, he did not have the best statistical season of any other pitcher in the National League to warrant the first place votes he received. In fact, between him, Santana, Lincecum, Ryan Dempster, and Cole Hamels, he clearly had the worst statistical season of the bunch.
Thus, handing him second place votes is as much of a joke as the first place votes were (we can assume two of the four first place votes came from Arizona writers, the other two could have come from the morons who voted for Edinson Volquez for Rookie of the Year despite not being eligible for the award).
It is absolutely pathetic that Webb received runner-up votes over Johan Santana. What makes it so pathetic is the fact that the voters are going to turn to Webb's wins and winning percentage as evidence to his superiority.
I'm glad that despite all the information proving that wins and winning percentage are essentially useless statistics for pitchers there are still writers giving pitchers credit for them. I won't even go into the fact that Webb trailed Santana in every other meaningful statistic, but I think you get the point, this is embarrassing.
But let's put this into an analogy. By voting for Webb over Santana based soley on wins and winning percentage, the BBWAA are invariably handing this award to the player PLUS his team. That is, what if Webb received 2 or 3 fewer runs of support a game? Would that mean he pitched any worse?
What can we then say the Cy Young is based on. Value? If that is the case, then who was more valuable then CC Sabathia and Brad Lidge?
I think we can safely predict the American League Cy Young winner now, sorry Drunk Jays Fans.
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