Wins aren't all that matter when it comes to pitching. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners had 13 this past season, eight less than the New York Yankees' CC Sabathia. But the voters looked past his 13-12 record and paid close attention to the statistics that showed his true worth.
Hernandez led Major League Baseball with a 2.27 ERA, was first in the American League with 249.2 innings pitched, ranked second in the A.L. with 232 strikeouts and had six complete games to his credit. As a result, the Cy Young Award was deservedly given to the 24-year-old Venezuelan right-hander.
The Mariners were the worst team in the American League and had the worst offense in baseball. Only 513 runs were scored, an average of three per game. They only gave him three on average over the course of his 34 starts, and pushed across only seven in his 12 losses. Seven. With that support, how did Hernandez even win 13 games? He just routinely allowed less, many times none at all.
Hernandez was 7-4 against playoff teams and dominated Sabathia’s Yankees in particular, holding their stacked lineup to one run over 26 innings while striking out 31. The Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price was solid as their ace, and so was Sabathia, but Hernandez was in a league of his own. He was simply remarkable in every start against any opponent.
He wasn’t shy in making his case to win the award, and all he did was speak the truth. He said he was the best pitcher in the American League. He was. He said the numbers speak for themselves. They do.
“I didn’t have the wins,” Hernandez said. “But if you look at all the numbers...wow!”
Yankees Make Much-Anticipated Offer to Jeter
When Derek Jeter became a free agent for the first time, it was clear where he would end up: back in the Bronx. But, his notable decline at the plate raised some questions that made his situation worth paying close attention to. How many years would New York offer the 36 year old? How much money would they offer annually? Would he balk if he found the offer to be insulting?
I don’t think three years for $45 million is disrespectful by any means, but I am not a celebrated athlete used to making over $20 million per. Baseball is a business, as they all say. But if Jeter turns down this proposal, something is terribly wrong with the business. I find it hard to believe that the Yankee captain will balk. Yet, with all the egotistical behavior in sports, who knows is not enough money is talking.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post referred to Jeter and the Yankees as “are a married couple that knows the soft spots with which to hurt each other. Yet they know the marriage must go on.” Sounds about right.