Fighting Urges To Screw Up: The Writers Finally Get One Right

Bill YadlonContributor INovember 12, 2008

The Cy Young Award is given out yearly to the best pitcher in each of the two leagues in Major leave Baseball. It is also an award which frequently carries a lot of controversy with it, because usually a there are a lot of contenders and lot of different ways the judge their performance.

However, even though there were instincts to completely botch the award horrible the writers somehow managed to collect there thoughts and intelligently give the award to the most deserving player, San Francisco Giants Pitcher, Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum, the scrawny, 14-year old-looking flamethrower went 18-5 on a 72 win team, which is impressive in itself. His 2.62 ERA and 265 strikeouts didn't hurt either. However, there are some who question this decision by the voters.

Even thought Lincecum put up nearly identical numbers to last year's unanimous winner, Jake Peavy (19-6, 2.54 ERA 240 K's) some felt it should have gone to Brewers Ace and midseason acquisition CC Sabathia, who ,in a half of a season, put up an amazing 11-2 clip with a 1.62 ERA a 128 K's in 17 starts.

Admittedly those numbers are mind blowing, but it's a shame the MLB doesn't give out half-season awards. You just simply cannot give the award to a guy who only pitches half a season in Milwaukee, despite what he did. The fact that he changed leagues midseason also didn't help.

This also happens to be the same reason Carlos Beltran had such a tough time finding out what All Star game to play for in 2004 and why Mark Teixeira didn't win the gold glove at first this year despite being probably the best fielder in the game at first.

Others felt Brandon Webb deserved the hardware, and I couldn't disagree more. I don't think there is a more overrated stat in the major leagues for judging a pitchers success than wins. Regardless of his 22 wins, Webb, pitched very poorly down the stretch and is partly responsible for his team's absence from these past playoffs.

I put the biggest emphasis on ERA, and  Webb's 3.30 mark is nice but not Cy Young worthy. 

Many unintelligent people like to say it deserved to go to Brad Lidge, whom, if it wasn't for the Phillies winning the World Series woudln't even have been in the conversation. People often forget that these are regular-season awards and should not be impacted by playoff success. Unfortunately, sometimes the writers forget this.

The big thing about the Cy Young as it is with most awards is most people like to give the edge to those players whose teams are in contention. I have preached for years how unfair I think this is.

The reason we have a World Series is to award team success. Personal Regular Season Awards should be strictly statistical based, and playoffs should have no impact in the voting.

For example, this year in the case of Lincecum; he couldn't help it that the Giants weren't very good. He can only do so much being that baseball is the ultimate team game.

Thankfully this year, those  who understand the interpretations of of the regular season awards and how they should be awarded were pleased to find that the voters actually made the right call in choosing Lincecum as the N.L. Cy Young award winner, who undeniably combines the best overall statistical season.

But I do have a piece of advice for Lincecum, Sabathia, Webb, and Lidge. Be thankful for the ineptness of the New York Mets bullpen, or else Johan Santana would be polishing off that award right now.