It seems that baseball fans have spent so much time and energy arguing their player of choice’s case for the American League Most Valuable Player that they’ve neglected to get dizzy with rage over the other big awards that will be handed out after the season. One could easily argue that the competition for the National League MVP, the NL Cy Young and the AL Cy Young is even closer than it is for the award receiving most of our argumentative attention right now.
Let’s move the spotlight off of those myopic view points on behalf of Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout (don’t worry, we can go back to them later), and adjust our sights on a bit more civil discussion centered around who the candidates are for the other main awards.
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According to the salacious revelations found in former Cy Young Award-winning closer Eric Gagne’s new French language autobiography, eighty per cent of his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates used performance enhancing drugs. Eighty per cent!
So shocking. So appalling. I’m having so much difficulty coping with the fact that the large majority of a Major League Baseball team in the early aughties was using performance enhancers, I might need a cortisone shot to get through it; or maybe just a dozen Rockstar engergy drinks and a handful of greenies, while I gnaw on a big piece of tobacco.
The only thing truly startling about this revelation is that it seemingly manages to surprise anyone after Game Of Shadows; after the Mitchell Report; after Juiced; after Victor Conte started tweeting. To be perfectly honest, I imagine that deep down there is absolutely no one the least bit shocked by this news. What we’re witnessing is merely the seizing of an opportunity to feign moral outrage and play the part of the disadvantaged victim who was hoodwinked by those awful professional athletes who care so very little for personal definitions of baseball’s integrity.
However, it’s not all bad. I suppose that Gagne’s book does give us hope for a Mike Piazza tell-all in which he finally admits to having negative feelings toward Roger Clemens.
It’s become customary for serious baseball fans to roll their eyes at the notion that pitching wins should count for anything. However, at the end of every year, once the baseball season is finished, and awards begin getting handed out for accomplishments made over the previous six months, a debate erupts over the merits of such things as a pitcher winning twenty games.
When it comes to Cy Young Award voting, which is done by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (abbreviated BBWAA, without irony), the last few years have seen something of a transformation. Pitchers without high win totals are being considered like they have never been considered before. The best example of this is in 2010, when Felix Hernandez, with a record of 13-12, while pitching for the lowly Seattle Mariners, was voted to be the best pitcher in the American League. This, despite C.C. Sabathia, not an unworthy candidate by any means, finishing the year with a 21-7 record for the New York Yankees.
This season, the debate is appearing to take shape once again, and the main focal points of the likely argument both pitches yesterday, and both pitched quite well.
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