Nov
18

Felix takes home AL Cy Young Award

By

Felix Hernandez was named the AL Cy Young Award winner today, receiving 21 of a possible 28 first place votes. CC Sabathia received three first place votes and finished third in the overall voting behind Felix and David Price. Hernandez was either first or second in the league in baseball everything, including ERA (2.27) and innings (249.2). He bested Sabathia in FIP (3.04 to 3.54), strikeout rate (8.36 to 7.46), and walk rate (2.52 to 2.80), but not wins (13 to 21). That’s what happens when you play in front of the worst offensive team of the DH era. Congrats to Felix, it’s well deserved.

Categories : Asides
  • Avi

    Dam it!
    Felix pitched better but I was hoping CC would win.

  • MrJigginz

    Congrats to King Felix…They got it right.

  • PaulF

    I think CC should’ve finished higher than Price.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Yeah, not that it matters though. There’s no award for second place.

      • Chris

        But there can be bonuses (I don’t think there are in this case).

      • http://www.repairmycomputer.com Marc

        If you ain’t first, you’re last!

        • Josh S.

          Shake and Bake!!

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            PLEASE BE 18!

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    Does a rarer-used phrase exist than “Good job voting, BBWAA”?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Gotta wait for MVP first.

    • Clay Bellinger

      haha…good question

  • Clay Bellinger

    Congrats to Felix. Of course, I would have loved for CC to win it, but King Hernandez deserved it. The dude is ridiculous.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    One small step for King Felix, one giant step for people who think wins suck as a pitchers stat.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      leap, step, whatever.

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        Neil Armstrong is disappointed in you.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    They should call it the “300 suck club”

  • jsbrendog (returns)

    wow, wait so youre telling me the bbwaa got something right?!

    ::head explodes::

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      They got it partially right. Price wasn’t the second best pitcher in the AL, I’m sorry.

  • Chris

    Yay! Congrats to Felix. Plus, it’s Christmas in November as this will prevent a winter full of saber-whining.

    (and for the record, I would have voted for Felix too).

  • Kit

    The fact that it actually went to Felix is completely awesome. Congrats to Felix, he really deserved it.

  • Granderslam

    Well-deserved for King Felix. Now if only he was on the Yankees, the wins wouldn’t be an issue with our offense.

  • Patrick

    IMO–David Price got screwed.

    4-0 1.64 era in his 6 September starts–clutch. 2 of those September wins vs NYY–including a 1-0 gem vs CC.

    Team made up ground in September and won the pennant.

    He had more wins than Felix. A better ERA than CC.

    CC had the most wins–Felix the best ERA.

    They should have split the difference and given it to Price.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Finishing second to the best pitche rin the AL is getting screwed?

      • Patrick

        What ‘pressure’ was Felix under when he pitched all year?

        ZERO.

        Compare that with Price and CC. They got the other teams best shot.

        Still think Price was the best pitcher in 2010.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Fact: Felix pitched mroe close games than Price due to his sucky offense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

          The pressure argument is the dumbest one of all time. You don’t think the fact that pitching in general has a pressure? The man went out and pitched his best every time, that is what pitchers do and Felix did it better than everyone else.

        • vin

          Constant pressure for King Felix. He knew that if he gave up 2 or more runs his team was going to lose. They needed him to absolutely dominate just to win 61 games.

          I know you’re talking about a different kind of pressure, but don’t discount what King Felix did this year. If you watched him, you knew he was better than CC. And I love what CC did this year. They both dominate, but he’s just a different type of dominator than CC.

        • Thomas

          You could say Hernandez was under a lot of pressure, since if he gave up a run or two his team would likely lose. He was under the pressure to be perfect every game.

          Conversely, Sabathia pitched his worst in games where the Yankees scored 0-2 runs (3.65 ERA, it was 2.85 in 2-5 runs, and 3.23 in 6+ runs), meaning he was at his worst in the most stressful games.

          Price’s ERA was the best in 6+ runs games (2.46). Though it was also excellent in lower scoring games (2.61 for 0-2 runs and 3.25 for 2-5 runs).

    • Kyle Litke

      But how would “splitting the difference” make it right? Felix was better. If you want to count wins as important then give it to CC. If you don’t, then Felix should get it. And it’s not the MVP award…it’s for the best pitcher, not “who was the most valuable pitcher to their team”. September wins or strong pitching performances in September shouldn’t make any difference.

      Not knocking Price, he was great and he shouldn’t have been left off someones ballot. I’m okay with him taking second (also would have been okay with CC taking second, there are arguments for both such as CC’s innings). But I don’t think he should have been above Felix.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      So… because KF led in ERA and CC led in wins, they should have just said “f*ck it, we can’t decide, let’s just give it to the other guy!”…?

      • vin

        LOL, and its not like the writers all get together and pick the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place guys with any sort of consensus.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      CC had the most wins–Felix the best ERA. They should have split the difference and given it to Price.

      That doesn’t make sense.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5-id.....rgundy.jpg

    • pete

      CC had the most wins

      Irrelevant.

      Felix the best ERA

      well, if he leads by a significant margin and his peripherals stand up, then we should give it to him.

      checks

      They do. Sounds good.

  • pat

    This would be unheard of only a few years ago.

    Progress!

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Well Greinke did win it last year over CC depsite having 19 wins.

    • primetime

      progress is NOT always good progress can lead to progressive which leads to “hope and change” How’s that workin’ out for ya by the way?

      • pat

        Unnecessary political commentary will not be tolerated. gfys.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        No politics please. Anything else but that.

      • Slugger27

        dude have you been like sitting around waiting for someone to post the word “progress” so you could finally go off on that mini rant?

  • Uke

    Phuck Felix. He did deserve it though.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

    It’s hilarious that some people are whining about “noooo sabermetrics gone mad!!!!” The sabermetric argument isn’t even for Felix, it’s more for Lee or Liriano or Weaver. This is more of a “pitcher wins are damn useless” argument.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      Yeah I found that funny too. Felix had a better ERA, K/9, BB/9, HR/9 and more innings pitched. Those aren’t sabermetrics.

  • MikeD

    So over the past year, in advance of the awards, there were all these stories outraged that Greinke wouldn’t be recognized as the best pitcher in ’09, the same for Tim Lincecum, or Joe Mauer wouldn’t be recognized as the MVP, or this year that King Felix wouldn’t be recognized as the Cy Young.

    In all cases the attacks on the “traditional media” voters by the sabermetric crowd were wrong.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      2 years right out of what? 100+?

      • MikeD

        …but the most recent two.

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        Yeah but sabermetrics haven’t been around that long. There is incredible opposition to the new stats.

        • MikeD

          Yes, that’s my point. How BBWAA members voted “100 years ago” doesn’t matter since sabermetrics is more recent. So the fact that the last two years the voters got it more right should be taken as a sign of victory by the stats community.

          At the same time, what I was trying to say is that strong supporters of more advanced metrics need to calm down, and not assume failure. I remember having a debate more than a year ago by several people who were sure the baseball writers were going to screw over Greinke, and they were totally bent out of shape, irrational in their language and insulting (not to me since I supported Greinke) because they assumed something that never happened.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Or maybe the sabermetic crowd pressured the BBWAA to you know, actually make good choices? Something they’ve lacked in the past.

      It’s a win for the sabermetric crowd; because it now shows the “tradionalists” are looking past “traditional stats”

      • MikeD

        I believe that’s the case. Even situations where Keith Law was attacked for voting for Javy Vazquez as the second best pitcher in the NL in 2009 opens up a debate. Even if people disagree initially, many will eventually see the point. This has been a long battle. Bill James’ Baseball Abstracts started appearing in the late 70s. That’s a generation.

    • Slugger27

      i do think even the most old school guys are beginning to understand pitcher wins is a lame stat… my dads very old school when it comes to stats and he even points out nolan ryans 1987 season and laughs

      its OPS/wOBA over batting avg that i think will take much, much longer

      • MikeD

        I’ll tell you right now. Certain stats will never go mainstream. wOBA is one of them. WAR is another. They may be acknowledged with greater frequency, but I don’t see them ever replacing more traditional statistics. A kid watching a baseball game will see a batter come up and get a base hit. It resonates with him. He understands it. He can compare it to the BAs of players from past generations. He can talk to his father about it. He can compare it to what he himself does on a baseball field. wOBA or WAR will never provide that base. Advanced metrics don’t need to replace traditional stats. They supplement and help people understand the game better, if they want to that is. If not, they can still have their traditional stats. They both can live side by side.

      • Ed

        its OPS/wOBA over batting avg that i think will take much, much longer

        That argument is really different from the pitcher wins one. Pitcher wins are just flat out a bad stat. Wins are pretty much a crapshoot – there’s just way too much luck and team skill involved for them to give any meaningful evaluation of the pitcher.

        Batting average isn’t a bad stat. You can nitpick over how it handles sacrifices, but that’s really it. It aims to measure one specific skill of a batter and does it well. The problem comes from people using it to determine a batter’s overall ability. If you’re only going to look at one statistic to evaluate a hitter it’s a bad choice, but it works well when looked at as part of a triple slash line.

  • tom

    To play devil’s advocate…are we sure it would have turned out this way had CC not been a Yankee? Even the Prospectus folk have noted a tendency for voters to under-reward Yankees in post-season prizes.

    Not to diminish the conceptual breakthrough here. Just wondering if the push for Hernandez was easier to sell given CC being the main old-criteria opposition.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

      It would have been the same, CC would have had probably less wins which works more in KF’s favor since all of his stats were better.

    • WarriorNYY86

      probably. Can you imagine if Beckett, Lester had Sabbathia’s year leading the Bosox to the playoffs- and then didn’t win? Hide the kids, because the idiots at NESPN & MLB Network would scream for eternity about the stupidity and nonsense advanced baseball stats are.

      How dare they rob this heroic winner of his rightful hardware! But hey CC just pitches for those evil Yanks so who cares, hooray for advanced baseball stats!!

      Thus, no need for an uproar. CC is just expected to pitch like an ace and so need to consider him.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        I think ESPN has at least a minor pro-BoSox bias but you really need to get the tinfoil off your head.

  • vin

    I was hoping to CC would finish 2nd, but Price is a fair pick. He was a bit more dominant, but CC threw more innings. 6 of one, half dozen of another.

    • MikeD

      It appears CC and Price split the vote among those looking to reward wins, or give votes to pitchers involved in the pennant races.

      I wouldn’t have placed Price above CC. Their FIP and xFIP were right in the same range, and I’d give CC credit for 30 additional innings. That’s about four additional starts and that should push him past Price.

      • vin

        And on the other hand, Price had to face the Yankee lineup a handful of times, while CC got to face the much weaker Rays lineup. I personally value innings, so I would’ve went with CC, but I can’t hate someone for voting for Price.

        • MikeD

          Same here. I wouldn’t have had a problem either way.

  • WarriorNYY86

    question… Is there ever a limit to the irrelevancy of victories?

    In other words if a pitcher has CC like numbers and 23 wins, 9 losses but there is another who has an under .500 record (let’s say 7-13) but has King Felix peripherals… what do you do?

    Although, wins are not the primarily stat to judge pitchers, they still hold significant meaning nonetheless. I wonder did it even matter Felix win double digits for some here at River Ave? Wins matter, and I believe CC probably would have won if he got a couple more victories.

    Also, would it matter if, hypothetically, if CC got 24 wins with the same peripherals? Personally, Felix number might have been better but not by enough to supplant two pitchers who pitched magnificently in games of actual relevance.

    I will never understand how CC’s status as the ace on the team with the most pressure, hardest competition, and most responsibility (without CC the Yanks probably fade away completely in 2nd half)doesn’t resonate over a guy whose team was eliminated in May. This is not to say he can’t win no matter what but I think you better put historic numbers up if you’re going supplant legit Cy Young candidates like CC, Price, Lester.

    CC had a legit great year and was not some crappy win compiler- he was an ace on the team that depended on him more than any other. Felix’s biggest games were against us to show off his ability, CC’s biggest games came not only for himself but for the entire team. ‘s goals and challanges

    Personally, I think CC got raw deal. Now, I await your reaction…

    • The Tragically FIP

      Pitching wins don’t matter. They really don’t. It wouldn’t matter if he was under 500 because we know how good he really was, and how little support he had.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Simple as that.

        Repeated for emphasis: Pitching wins don’t matter.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          I believe Mike is one who said “A ‘W’ proves you left after 5 IP with your team winning, that’s it.”

          • JAG

            Agreed. In fact, Felix and CC could have done exactly the same things they did this year, down to # of pitches and what batters they faced, and have completely different win-loss records depending entirely on how their team performed offensively. Felix could have had exactly the same stats and won 0 games if the Mariners had sucked just a little bit more than they already did. That simple fact demonstrates that wins don’t make any difference at all.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I believe Mike is one who said “A ‘W’ proves you left after 5 IP with your team winning, that’s it.”

            It doesn’t even prove that. Many pitchers have left after 5 IP with their team winning and NOT gotten a W. Additionally, many pitchers have gotten a W and not pitched 5 IP at all, or left with their team winning.

            Shit, many pitchers have gotten a W while actively making contributions that made their team’s eventual win LESS likely.

      • primetime

        pitching wins don’t matter ask bert blyleven

      • The Big City of Dreams

        If wins don’t matter then no longer count it as a stat. No longer award relievers to pick up wins when they come in for relief. No longer talk about how many wins this guy had for his career. When discussing what a pitcher does against a certain division leave out the wins. If wins are meaningless as many believe don’t bring them up at all.

        • pete

          Wins are a fun counting stat. That, if you ask me, is a perfectly legitimate reason to continue to talk about them. Just don’t use them as a basis for evaluation.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          That sounds like a wonderful, wonderful, idea. I’m dead serious: let’s just not ever mention them again.

          Because they do, in fact, suck.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      In other words if a pitcher has CC like numbers and 23 wins, 9 losses but there is another who has an under .500 record (let’s say 7-13) but has King Felix peripherals… what do you do?

      I’d vote for the other guy; the award is about who is the best pitcher, not who gets the most wins.

      I will never understand how CC’s status as the ace on the team with the most pressure, hardest competition, and most responsibility (without CC the Yanks probably fade away completely in 2nd half)doesn’t resonate over a guy whose team was eliminated in May.

      Because the guy whose team was eliminated in May pitched better than CC.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Because the guy whose team was eliminated in May pitched better than CC.

        That.

        Ockham’s Razor, yo.

    • Pat D

      “I will never understand how CC’s status as the ace on the team with the most pressure, hardest competition, and most responsibility (without CC the Yanks probably fade away completely in 2nd half)doesn’t resonate over a guy whose team was eliminated in May.”

      Pretty simply, every pitcher is under pressure during every start, and the Cy Young Award is an individual award, not a team award. It was hardly Felix Hernandez’s fault that his team sucked, and so it doesn’t matter when his team was eliminated.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      How does CC have the hardest competition? Wouldn’t any Orioles pitcher have the hardest competition?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      CC did have a legit great year and was indeed no crappy win compiler, but someone else had a better year. This is like Clemens in 2001 or 2004; he was great, just there was someone notably better.

      I can almost understand this argument for MVP even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t understand it for Cy Young, which is supposed to be for the best pitcher.

    • vin

      Pitching wins, like RBIs, just tell a small part of the story of what happened during a game. It says a pitcher went at least 5 innings (for a starter) and left with his team in the lead – a lead they would not give up.

      I have no problem with wins, rbi, runs scored, etc. as simply a matter of record keeping… but they hold no analytical value – nor do they give us any predictive value of the individual player. They’re team-oriented results that have historically given credit to individual players.

    • Thomas

      I’ve said this before, the reason people like wins is because they feel it meant the pitcher did enough for his team to win the game. Meaning players with a lot of wins overall, gave their team a chance to almost every game and player with a lot of losses did not. This is important to consider, you want a player to always give you a chance to win.

      However, wins and losses are not the right statistic to use for this “gave the team a chance to win.” Hernandez went roughly .500 despite always giving the Mariners a chance, which his record wouldn’t adequately reflect. The quality start is the start people that love wins and losses need to look at. The quality start says if a player gave his team a chance to win, not the win statistic.

      Now maybe the QS needs adjustment to really be implemented in place of W/L with more categories (like 4 groupings great start, good, start, average, and bad), but that is a slightly different argument.

      • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

        I like to think that it’s simply because the statistic is called a “Win” and people love the ‘winning is all that matters’ line of thinking. If the stat was instead called a Gold Star (CC had 21 Gold Stars this year!) and still had the exact same criteria, I imagine people would treat it very similarly to quality starts.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          All of that.

          If Pitcher Wins were called something else, people would treat the stat with the indifference and irrelevance that it rightly deserves.

          It’s a stat that’s named for something important, so we think it must be an important stat. It’s not, though.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        However, wins and losses are not the right statistic to use for this “gave the team a chance to win.” Hernandez went roughly .500 despite always giving the Mariners a chance, which his record wouldn’t adequately reflect.

        That.

        Felix Hernandez gave his team a chance to win more often than CC Sabathia did. CC Sabathia’s team was just better at converting those chances to win into actual wins.

  • Patrick

    I alluded to the ‘pressure’ angle in another post.

    I agree with it. CC and Price were in a pennant race and faced much more pressure than King Felix ever faced.

    They also got the others teams best punch. Not so sure you can say that when teams faced Seattle.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I posted this last week, but I’ll say it again since it has something to do with your last two sentences: per Baseball Prospectus and its method, Felix had the highest quality of batter faced in the AL this year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      You mean there’s no pressure when you know that you’re likely to lose if you give up a run or two?

      • Pat D

        Of course not! Because his team was eliminated in May, so it doesn’t matter if he pitches well or not.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          It doesn’t matter to who?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          You tell Felix that and he’ll let you know what he thinks.

          • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

            I think you need to have some maintenance done on your sarcasm detector.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Clearly, Pat D. went 5 strong innings and gave us all a chance to pick up on his sarcasm, but his bullpen blew the sarcasm lead on him and he ended up with a no-sarcasm-decision.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          I’m 99.9% certain Pat D. is being sarcastic here.

    • pat

      They also got the others teams best punch. Not so sure you can say that when teams faced Seattle.

      Makes no sense.

    • Shaun

      That last bit is implying teams NEVER fielded their A line up vs Seattle, and that’s not accurate, not at all.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I watched Felix dominate the Yanks’ A lineup three times this year.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Wait for the – “Yeah because the Yankees didn’t take the Mariners seriously” response.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          I was at the one in August. It was incredible.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

            I was at the one in August. It was incredible so awful.

            • Xstar7

              Thankfully I didn’t see any of the games where Felix wrecked the Yankees. I was busy all those days.

              • Xstar7

                Check that. I saw the one with the Joba meltdown.

              • CBean

                I was at the Lee one the day before.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/GearCity bigjuan

    The problem with this argument is that you have literally no way to prove that teams selectively pass out their “best punch”. It’s baseball folklore.

    And you know what? I can play this game too. I think most teams would give their “best punch” when playing Felix because he’s so good. And we players compete at the highest level, they want to be the best.

    Meaningless speculation. That’s all it is.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/GearCity bigjuan

      Reply fail. This is meant for Patrick.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      FACT: Teams give their best punch on road games in the Pacific Northwest when facing pitchers from Venezuela.

  • primetime

    won’t it be grand when the yanks roll into seattle and sweep them next season with CC WINNING A GAME LEE WINNING A GAME AND JESUS knocking a bomb or 2? polish your trophy Felix…yawn…your team and your accomplishments are irrelevant…you’ll never win a ring in SEATTLE cue Nelson Muntz from the Simpsons HA HA

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      He’s on the crappy Mariners, CC is a Yankee making like a gazillion dollars. I think that’s “payback” enough

    • Guest

      Did this post really just happen at RAB? Or was I in the midst of a strange, strange dream when I read this comment?

      • Slugger27

        i found it amusing… but im easily amused

    • Not Tank the Frank

      Yes, the Yankees/Mariners rivalry is one that lasts a lifetime. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

      • Xstar7

        Damn Edgar Martinez

  • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

    I’m 100% OK with it going to Felix. I’m not OK with the statistical sentiment that it HAD to go to Felix. It just depends on what criteria matters to you. Some people may adjust for park differently (SafeCo is a lot different than YS), some people argue about unquantifiable things like ‘pressure’, some people look at the difficulty of a division (Yes, Felix did well in 7 starts against the east, but CC had 10 total more games against Tampa and Boston than Felix. That’s going to hurt your numbers.)

    I’m glad that voters are realizing that they shouldn’t just give the award to the guy with the most wins, but writers and fans viewing awards as clear cut and indisputable is just as troubling.

    • Xstar7

      I agree.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      “but CC had 10 total more games against Tampa and Boston than Felix.”
      Felix had 6 against TEX, CC had 1
      Felix had 5 against LAA, CC had 0

      CC had 6 games against Baltimore, Felix had 2
      CC had 3 games against Seattle, Felix had 0

      • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

        LAA were below average offensively (probably closer to the O’s than the Rays) while Tampa and Boston probably had the best offenses in the league behind the Yanks. And there’s still the issue of SafeCo.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      Felix pitched 7 games against playoff teams, CC pitched 3.

      But agreed, most years there aren’t clear-cut, indisputable winners. Last year, there was – if anyone but Greinke had won the AL CYA, and if anyone but Mauer had won AL MVP, it would’ve been… not optimal. IMO.

      • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

        Felix pitched 7 games against playoff teams, CC pitched 3.

        Where are you getting these numbers? CC had 5 games against Tampa alone…

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

          You’re right. I read that on Twitter, it’s wrong. He had five against Tampa. Two were excellent, two were fine, one was crappy. And then he had one really good start against Philly, and an excellent (rain-shortened) one against Texas. Never faced Minnesota or the Yankees.

          Felix had six games against Texas, which ranged from pretty bad to excellent, three against the Yankees which were all not just excellent but ludicrously so, and two starts against Minnesota, one of which was excellent and the other which was good. Never faced Tampa.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      To me, the whole point of statistical breakdown of Cy Young candidates is it attempts to normalize and account for factors that are out of the pitcher’s control. A pitcher losing or winning games is largely out of his hands, which is why we tend to discount it.

      And, it isn’t indisputable. Sabr stats like FIP actually say that Liriano was the best pitcher in baseball. Of course, Felix was just so flat out dominating in most statistical categories that most “stathead” people felt he deserved it. It’s an opinion, not any kind of clear cut decision.

      • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

        Exactly. The point is that objectivity almost always breaks down at a certain point and it becomes a case of subjective preferences for certain stats. The cause for celebration here is that the preference for Wins seems to be fading.

  • Yankeescribe

    My only issue with Felix winning this year is the fact that he doesn’t even have 15 wins. Just barely getting to a .500 record sort of stands out.

    CC and Price are in the toughest division in baseball. Felix is arguably in baseball’s weakest division. Pitchers in the AL East have to face the league’s elite offensive teams far more often than their counterparts in AL West.

    I’m not arguing that Felix wouldn’t dominate the AL East if he played for the Yankees. My point is that all the attention paid to his peripheral stats seems to ignore the fact that he didn’t face the league’s best hitters as often as the other runners up.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      If 2010 Felix had played for the Yanks, he would probably have 23-25 wins.

      • Xstar7

        He would if he had put up the same #’s in New York as he did in Seattle. Which he wouldn’t have.

        • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

          So he would pitch to the score in NY?

          • Xstar7

            That too. What I was trying to get across is that he wouldn’t have put up the exact same #’s because of YS dimensions and the tougher teams the Yankees face on a regular basis like the Rays. I think last season he would have been 20-9 with a 2.80 ERA and around 200 strikeouts had he pitched for the Yankees. Which would still have probably won him the Cy Young although it would be a bit closer.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

              But you can’t discredit Felix and give CC/Price/whoever more credit because of what they did in HYPOTHETICAL WORLD! That’s silly.

              • Xstar7

                I’m not discrediting Felix. He did a great job in seattle. And if he pitched for New York last year he would have done great as well. But it’s all a waste of time. Felix never pitched for New York and hypothetically never will

              • Yankeescribe

                It’s not silly to say that the handicap of playing in a pitcher-friendly park in the AL’s weakest division probably benefitted Felix just as much as playing for good teams benefitted CC and Price…

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  You’re right, in the abstract. But the facts disagree.

                  While the ballpark argument has merit, Felix actually faced tougher opposing batters DESPITE being in a generally weaker division.

                  A big reason for that is that the weakest team in his division was the one he pitched on and thus never faced; CC and Price also never faced one of the two toughest teams in their own divisions (since they played for them), and the AL West as a 4 team league has fewer intradivisional games and thus the Mariners played a larger percentage of their games against the other two AL divisions than the Yankees or Rays did (i.e., Felix pitched against AL East teams more often than CC/Price pitched against AL West teams).

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          And he still would have had 23-25 wins. CC had 21 and didn’t pitch nearly as well as Felix did. If Felix were in the East he most likely would have pitched better than CC. Why? Because he’s a better pitcher.

      • Yankeescribe

        His numbers would likely not look as good if he started most of his games at YSIII and against AL East teams…

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

          Again, CC actually had the eighth easiest opponent OPSA in the AL. He never had to face the Yankees, and Felix never got to pitch against the Mariners.

          • Yankeescribe

            How many times did Felix face the Oakland A’s?

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

              Three times, as many times as he faced the Yankees. Two starts were okay, one was dominant. He was actually better versus the Yankees. Which should probably go to show that for all the talking everyone, myself included, does about facing certain teams, it’s really about what pitches are working for you on a given day and etc.

              • Yankeescribe

                And then there’s the Angels. They had the 3rd worst OPS behind Seattle.

                Whereas CC and Price had to face 3 of the top 8 OPS teams far more often than pitchers from other divisions.

                Granted, these are probably not major statistical factors but they should be acknowledged just as one would acknowledge that the Yankees’ 114 win season was an expansion year…

      • MikeD

        Possibly, although it’s really, really difficult to get up to 25 wins nowadays, even when pitching as well as Felix. Maybe 23 wins. More likely, assuming King Felix replaced CC in the rotation, he might have been winning the same games CC was winning, where CC was winning the games 6-3, Hernandez might have won them 6-1, or something similar. He probably would have pitched a few less innings for the Yankees than he did for the Mariners.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      This “CC had to play in the AL East and face the elite offensive teams” ignores that CC never faced the Yankees and only had to face the Blue Jays once in a basically meaningless game (since the people that usually make this argument like to argue that Felix had no pressure)

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        AND that CC got to face the worst lineup in baseball (the Mariners) and Felix never got to.

    • theyankeewarrior

      Felix faced tougher lineups and hitters than CC did. We’ve been over this. He literally faced better batters than his competition for the Cy did.

  • AndrewYF

    Just imagine how truly awful that Seattle team would have been without Felix.

    We could have seen a record-breaking suck.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    It really, really is a shame that we haven’t and probably won’t get to see Felix pitch for a good team in his prime. I’d love to see the wins he’d pile up and I’d love to see him in the postseason. It was a pleasure to get to finally watch Halladay and Lincecum.

    I know he’ll be 27 (or 29?) when he hits free agency but he’s going to have a shit ton of innings on his arm by then. I don’t it’s fair to expect him to be the same pitcher.

  • Reggie C.

    Michael Kay must be PISSED.

    Wins are all that matter in his ledger.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Did he announce “Cy Young race is over” once CC hit 20?

      • Reggie C.

        Kay would’ve voted for CC, Price, and Lester before Felix. I think Kay led the “vote-for-CC” parade.

        Kay’s ranting right now of an anti-Yankees bias held by the BBWA.

      • Xstar7

        Damn Michael Kay and his erroneous foreshadowing.

      • MikeD

        Yes, probably a week or two before he announced that the Rangers were done after losing the first game to the Yankees in the ALCS. He’s probably on the air right now ranting.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    Imagine if Felix had to face Seattle’s lineup?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Imagine if Felix had was lucky enough to face Seattle’s lineup?

      FTFY.

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    The idea that Felix never had to pitch under pressure is laughable to me. Baseball rewards players based on performance, do you think Felix has no incentive to pitch to his maximum capabilities? He’s locked into a deal with the Mariners right now, yes, but he still has an enormous free agency pay day ahead of him if he keeps pitching like this. He has the pressure of performing well enough to maximize his earnings and support himself and his family for the rest of their lifetimes.

    “No pressure” indeed.

    • All Star Carl

      Yeah that 78 million dollar extension just isn’t enough for his family.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        He’s from Venezuela, who knows how much family he has to support back home? You’re talking about this money lasting for his lifetime and the life of his children.

        • Xstar7

          That’s profiling

    • Xstar7

      If you want to look at it from another perspective Felix has no pressure on him because even if he does give up more runs to his opponent than the Mariners lousy offense could muster, It’s not like the Mariners were in the middle of the race for the AL West last season. And either way Felix still gets paid hundreds of thousands or millions (I don’t know what his payroll is) of dollars a year so I don’t think suppporting his family is an issue.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        My point is he still has another payday in front of him, if he is seen as lazy and not pitching to his potential it will hurt his future earnings value.

        • Xstar7

          The minimum payroll an MLB player can earn a year is $400,000. That’s how much the president makes. I think he’d be alright. Still, more money is better.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Yes, because baseball players always think “Meh, it doesn’t matter how much I suck for the next few years, because I’ll still get to get a minimum salary contract, and that’s more than the president makes.”

            Baseball players totally compare their earning power to that of U.S. government employees. They do that shit all the time.

            Cashman: Derek, we’re prepared to offer you a three year, 63M deal.
            Jeter: Wait, is that more than what Harry Reid makes as Senate Majority Leader?
            Cashman: It is. I doublechecked.
            Jeter: Okay, then, I’m on board. But I want 5 free all expenses paid press junkets to the battleground districts of my choice every 6 years, or there’s no deal.
            Cashman: We can do that. Coach, though, not first class.
            Jeter: Where do I sign?

            • Xstar7

              I don’t think that’s what goes through players minds at all. I’m just stating the facts. And there’s no way Jeter would settle for anything less than first class.

    • Mike HC

      Exactly. Especially in the modern day, motivation and “pressure” to pitch well is more internal than anything. Sad to say, but wins and losses in the age of free agency take a back seat to money, personal legacy and individual stats.

  • It’sATarp

    For everyone talking about “pressure”, you really think a pitcher of King Felix’s quality is going to shed under “pressure” or something? When pitchers of his level pitch, regardless of pressure, standings and etc, they pitch to win and not give up runs. I mean having moving from a losing team to a pennant team didn’t exactly cause halladay to pitch worse under more “pressure” now did it? same with Lee last year, CC going to the brewers the year before. Good pitchers do as well under “pressure” as they do normally. You can even argue under pressure these guys might actually pitch better.

    • All Star Carl

      What pitcher pitches to win? Win’s don’t mean shit.

      • Xstar7

        Hey that’s Felix Hernandez talk!

      • It’sATarp

        Win in the give up the least amount of runs sense. Which is what Felix did which is why he should win over CC. I’m not arguing about wins as a statistic, since it’s useless.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Wins mean everything.

        PITCHER WINS don’t mean shit, because that stat is bass-ackwards.

        • It’sATarp

          Yep…exactly what I meant

    • Mike HC

      Pressure is having to face Felix. Not the other way around.

  • Mike HC

    This was a no brainer really. Felix is in a league of his own.

    • Xstar7

      Felix should switch to an NL team like Roy Halladay did so he can dominate even more. Too bad he’s stuck with Mariners for the forseeable future.

    • Yankeescribe

      Pedro in his prime was in a league of his own. Felix plays in the AL West

      • Mike HC

        You did watch him pitch against the Yanks, right? I mean, I am the first one to bring that argument to the table, but in this case, it is just not warranted.

      • Xstar7

        I know he plays in the AL West and it’s a shame. Imagine if he played in the NL west.

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    Based on the New Baseball Math, Cy Young wouldn’t have won this award. Now they’ll add another wild card team. One season, a team with a barely .500 won/loss will win the World Series. Will all the “wins” don’t matter morons turn around and cheer? Wins matter. When it counts. Not to satisfy number spinning. King Felix? King of what?

    • Mike HC

      King of getting guys out. Which is all he has control over. Wins mean something on the team level, not as much on the individual level because of lack of control by individual players.

    • Xstar7

      If the Yankees could win the WS in 2000, any mediocre barely above .500 team could do it.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      One season, a team with a barely .500 won/loss will win the World Series. Will all the “wins” don’t matter morons turn around and cheer? Wins matter. When it counts.

      TEAM WINS and PITCHER WINS are not remotely the same fucking thing.

      Team wins matter. Pitcher wins don’t. Team wins reliably tell you what teams won more games than other teams. Pitcher wins don’t reliably tell you anything.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      A pitcher controls not even 1/2 of the game.

      You win baseball games by scoring more runs than your opponent. You can do this by creating runs or preventing runs. They’re equal. I don’t think there’s any disputing this.

      Offense creates runs. Pitching and defense prevent runs. So how, then, can we equate pitcher wins with team wins when the pitcher is responsible for less than 1/2 of a team win?

      That’s about as simply as I can put it for you.

  • AJ

    I can’t believe Michael Kay is ranting against the decision. “I can’t believe when you win 13 games, that you can be the best pitcher in baseball?”, I’m very disappointed in him.

    • Xstar7

      Who is he disappointed in?

      • AJ

        Sorry, I meant I’m disappointed in Kay.

        • Xstar7

          Oh. Me too I guess I expect more insight out of him.

          • ROBTEN

            It’s about the level of insight I’d expect from someone who regularly states he’s never eaten soup as if it’s a matter of pride.

            • Mike HC

              hahaha

  • AJ

    What is up with the anti-sabermetrics?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      People hate changing the way they view things and people hate math.

      • AJ

        I’m dying to know what Francesa said about it.

        • ROBTEN

          Francesa’s sharp wit/
          of little, it does consist/
          “Where’s my Diet Coke!”

      • Mike HC

        The thing is, you don’t have to do any math to understand the concepts. Walks are more valuable and more of a repeatable skill than originally thought. Pitchers have very limited control over whether they earn the “win” stat. Pitchers have more control over strikeouts and preventing homers than when the ball is put in play. Homeruns are very good. Defense is a major factor in a players value. etc … The math just tries to quantify that because everyone needs a specific number and can’t handle any vagueness. But in reality, you can evaluate a player using those same concepts just fine without any math.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          100% on board. See my comment above: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1324149

          I think that speaks to your point. We’re just trying to figure out things on those terms.

          • Mike HC

            Yea, exactly. I think it helps to try to distance the mathematics part from just good old baseball analysis like that. It might be easier for people to see that “sabermetrics” (not a fan of that word either like you) is not really all that foreign.

  • AJ

    OMG, Now Kay is reading his game log. “During May, Felix Hernandez should have pitched shutouts to get those wins.” Then he complains that despite the low amount of runs given up he gave up a lot of hits. Then he’s rambling off the runs he gave up but is ignoring the number of EARNED runs. OK…enough…turning off ESPN radio..

    • Mike HC

      Sports Radio? Intentionally trying to be inflammatory? Noooooo. I don’t believe it. That is why I love RAB. Although you get some of that, especially in the comments, it is limited.

  • jbkx

    Too bad Felix is pissing away the best years of his career in baseball void that is the Mariners. Hopefully he gets a chance in his prime to play on a good team, be it in Seattle or somewhere else (Yanks!!!). The man-child needs some October innings.

  • YankFanDave

    Fellas, wins matter. A pitcher that had a record (13-12) with one game over .500 won a Cy Young Award, that is not OK.

    Felix had a very good season, not great but very good. To win that award with his record he should have had a great season. We should be talking about a great year like Bob Gibson’s, Doc Gooden’s or Sandy Koufax’s great year.

    We are indeed in the age of exotic stats and performance hyperbole. To keep it real, he was very, very good. But great, no.

    • http://www.twitter.com/astrophunq Dax J.

      And that’s because of his W-L record? He has no control of the team’s offense (which was crap, BTW). How is he going to get those wins? By pitching a shutout every time out? C’mon! That’s stupid. The stats that were use to determine if he was indeed the best pitcher in the AL were not the “new age” ones. It was ERA, K/9, B/9, WHIP and innings pitched.

      These “pitcher wins” are ultimately dependent on how the team is able to maintain the lead the pitcher left behind after he was taken out of the game, either by scoring more runs or preventing the other team from scoring any.