There’s been a lot of chatter about the selection of Miguel Cabrera as MVP over Mike Trout. Make no mistake, Trout is and will be the better player. In fact, if his first season is any indication, the dude may be the next Willie Mays or pre-injury Mickey Mantle. That’s solid company. Trout may not have won this year, but I get the feeling he’ll start winning in the years ahead.
What hasn’t gotten as much attention was the voting for the Cy Young award. David Price won in the American League and R.A. Dickey won in the National League. If the baseball writers got it wrong for the MVP, then they at least did a little better on the Cy Young award. Dickey was not the best pitcher in his league. Clayton Kershaw was. But Dickey logged an incredible number of innings – 233.2, more than Kershaw – and had peripherals close to what CC Sabathia did this year. He won partially on his back story and partially because writers love wins, but it is a defensible choice.
The same can be said for David Price in the AL. By most measures Price was the third best pitcher in the AL. Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez both had more innings (stat number 1 for a starter, as far as I’m concerned) and better overall numbers. They lost the award for the same reason Dickey won his: wins. Price had 20; they didn’t. As frustrating as that may be, David Price still put together a solid season.
Long ago I stopped caring about baseball’s awards, or the awards in any sport for that matter. Champions are fun to watch. MVPs are entertaining as well, but a heavy trophy without a ring just takes up a lot of space. Baseball’s awards are particularly frustrating because so many baseball writers are devout know-nothings when it comes to objective analysis. Sometimes they get it right, but most often by accident. Dickey and Price were defensible selections, but my guess is that their win totals pushed them over the top, not something more substantive.