It’s a rare case when the baseball writers vote unanimously to give one player the Cy Young or MVP awards. An example of this happened in 2011 when Justin Verlander deservedly received all 28 first place votes for the AL Cy Young. However most years the writers split their first place votes; and while most times the majority makes the correct pick, sometimes they don’t. This is one of those times.
For years there has been a debate about whether the MVP Award should go to the best player in the league or the most “valuable” player on a post-season reaching team. That debate rarely applies to the Cy Young Award though. Almost always the award goes to the best pitcher that season regardless of his teams overall success. 2005 seemed to be different though when Bartolo Colon (17 first place votes) won the award over Johan Santana (3 firsts).
During the ’05 season the Twins were never in the division race and finished 16 games behind the eventual World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. The Angels on the other hand were in a tight race all year before finally pulling away from the Oakland Athletics and winning the AL West. It was this sprint to the finish and Bartolo Colon’s key role in that finish that probably won him the award. Over his final 14 starts, Colon was 10-2. The award shouldn’t be given for a third of a season’s performance though. Especially when that performance wasn’t as dominating as people think.
First let’s look at those final 14 starts. Yes Colon was 10-2, but his ERA was 3.26 and he only pitched more than 7 innings 3 times during that stretch. In fact, Colon only pitched 5 innings in four of his last five starts. The credit for Colon’s great season ending run should probably go to the Angels offense. During those last 14 games Bartolo was supported by 88 runs, that’s 6.29 per game.
You can’t just take the award away from one pitcher however, another has to win it, and Johan Santana did.
Here are each pitchers season totals.
Pitcher G Record ERA Inn K WHiP ERA+
Colon 33 21-8 3.48 222.2 157 1.159 122
Santana 33 16-7 2.87 231.2 238 0.971 155
Santana easily beats Colon in each stat other than wins. Colon picked up 21 wins in his 33 starts and had 29 decisions overall. Santana on the other hand had “just” 16 wins and 23 decisions. So what happened in the other 10 games? The Twins were 8-2 in those games. Santana threw 71 innings (7.1/gm) with a 3.04 era. Clearly Santana was keeping his team in these games, but for one reason or another he just didn’t collect the win. In four of his 7 loses, the Twins scored 2 runs or less.
It seems to me that the writers were blinded by Colon’s 21 wins, which did lead the league, and his “great” stretch run. The real winner though should have been Johan Santana.
So Congratulations Johan Santana! You are……
Wrigley Regulars 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner
Could the Brewers receive worse news? First they are gonna lose their all-star first baseman Prince Fielder to free agency, and now they get word that their 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for PED’s.
I don’t know if Braun is guilty of the charge against him, he is claiming it’s a false positive, but I do know that no player has successfully appealed a possible suspension (50 games) after a positive test has been announced by the league.
As bad as this news is for Brewer fans, I think it’s really worse for the league as a whole.
MLB has had a great three months.
It began in late September when we had one of the most exciting nights in baseball history when Tampa overtook Boston to reach the AL playoffs after two crucial games ended within minutes of each other in walk-off fashion.
October saw several fine playoff series, and then we had a great 7 game World Series that included the best Game 6 since 1975 (Yes I know, there have been other great game 6’s since, but I still love the Red Sox-Reds game the most).
November has been no less interesting. The owners and players agreed to a new CBA which extends the years of labor peace, which is currently the longest of the four major professional sports. One of the center pieces of this new agreement is the addition of blood testing. Blood work is needed to test for HGH.
Then comes the winter meeting in Dallas where the best hitter in the game, Albert Pujols, decides to leave the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals and signs a new free agent contract with the LA Angels. One player like Pujols can go a long way to making west coast baseball relevant again. Even though the Giants won the WS in 2010, they were 1 of only 2 west coast teams to make it to the WS in the last 10 years.
But now all of that goes away……..
NL MVP Ryan Braun Tests Positive for PED’s ………………………..will be the only headline to dominate the baseball news until the start of spring training.
It’s a bad day for baseball.