Let me elaborate on that last point a bit. I’m not sure who has votes on the A.L. Cy Young this year, so it’s hard to guess at who is going to win. I seem to think Felix has a better chance than most do, but that’s really neither here nor there. My point is, I think the “old-school” writers made a mistake by even picking this fight, in the long run.
If I had to guess, I’d imagine that a lot of this is an angry response to last year’s Cy Young results, especially since Adam Wainwright would have won in the National League if Keith Law hadn’t voted for Javier Vazquez. I think that caught a lot of people off guard, and there’s been a more conscious effort to get out in front of that in the A.L. voting this year. The problem the anti-Felix crowd is having, though, is that they’ve picked such an absurd hill to plant their flag on, in the long run they’re undermining their goal, no matter if they win this battle. After all, Felix is having a great year by most traditional measures, the only stats that don’t flatter him are his win-loss record.
In another case, that may be compelling, but of course, this isn’t a normal case, as Hernandez is pitching for a team with one of the worst offenses in the history of the game. Writers like Ken Rosenthal recognize that the case against Felix rests on the presumption that he should be penalized for having a bad offense. That’s a pretty tough argument to swallow for anyone who isn’t hell-bent on resisting change to the way we talk about baseball statistics, and the more people like Paul Hoynes dig in on this point, the more obvious it becomes to everyone else that their position is completely vapid.