Ultimately Meaningless Accolades, Part I

Tim Brown makes his case for Josh Beckett as this year’s AL Cy Young winner. He also picks Peavy for the NL, as if there was another choice. But here’s how he bends it for Beckett:

A) The Sox made the postseason

B) Beckett’s individual comparative stats are significantly better in several categories

C) He’s got ahelluvalotta wins

He then goes on to cite a bunch of stats to make C.C. look like the obvious choice, but inexplicably he doesn’t make that choice. Let’s be clear; it is hard to argue a strong case against Beckett winning the CY this year, but if writers are going to go down the same road of farcical logic as Brown, I’ll have to chuck the CY on the same pile as the Gold Glove, which is too bad, because I thought this was one award the writers usually get right.

17 comments… add one
  • “I’ll have to chuck the CY on the same pile as the Gold Glove, which is too bad, because I thought this was one award the writers usually get right.”
    I wonder if this is true or if this is a function of the brilliance that was a player like Pedro or Randy Johnson, when it was just too obvious not to vote for the right choice. Recently, there is Bartolo for instance.

    Nick-YF September 27, 2007, 6:07 pm
  • I think most awards are pretty stupid. Joe Crede got the silver slugger award last year over A-Rod. Morneau over Jeter or Mauer for MVP. Bartolo Colon over Rivera or Santana. All those Jeter gold gloves. Back in 2004, Clemens got the Cy Young over the absolutely dominant Randy Johnson, simply because Clemens had 18 wins and Johnson 16. I don’t look too much into awards.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • No, the Cy Young isn’t the one they get right all the time: there isn’t one of those awards. Colon won it a few years ago despite being just a solid, not great pitcher. And Bob Welch won last decade due to a gaudy win total but not much else spectacular. The voters get every award wrong at some point.

    SF September 27, 2007, 6:17 pm
  • I gave up on the relevance of the CY in 2002, when Zito beat out Pedro based on three more wins.
    That said, go Beckett!!

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 6:18 pm
  • > No, the Cy Young isn’t the one they get right all the time
    You go on to make a couple approriate citations, and yet another one of my myths is busted. I am so disillusioned.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 6:20 pm
  • Hey…I am a YF and even I say that Beckett is the best pitcher in MLB. He is really un-hittable. What the stats don’t tell is the intimidation factor. When Pedro lost to Zito, what the numbers didn’t show there was Pedro’s intimidation factor. In his prime, he was a VERY intimidating pitcher. That having been said, 3 wins difference is a lot of wins to ignore.

    Steve September 27, 2007, 6:28 pm
  • > 3 wins difference is a lot of wins to ignore.
    By that logic, Wang gets injected into an argument which he should not be part of. There are far better statistics to weigh than victories, aren’t there? By the articles’ admission, Beckett enjoyed phenomenal run support (didn’t check it for accuracy but…).

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 6:36 pm
  • “3 wins difference”
    Pedro’s ERA+ and WHIP were 192 and .923, versus Zito’s 162 and 1.13. Zito had a very good year, but Pedro was dominant. He still had some lingering arm issues, thus had 5 less starts than Zito, which probably cost him the CY. Personally, I don’t think having more innings/games should be a factor unless the rest of the stats are really close (as they are with Beckett/Sabathia). But Pedro was head and shoulders above Zito.
    But now that I’m thinking it, D. Lowe probably cost Pedro the award that year. Both he and Pedro had better seasons than Zito, and they split the vote.
    Of course, this “splitting the vote” phenomenon is another factor as to why the CY (and MVP) is ultimately a meaningless accolade.
    Dustin’s ROY, on the other hand, is highly imbued with meaning. Just like Cano’s ROY. Oh wait…

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 6:49 pm
  • Beckett’s been excellent this year but let’s not forget that CC Sabathia has pitched 40 more innings than Josh this year. The award should go to Sabathia.

    walein September 27, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • Plus, Josh is not having the best of starts tonight.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • There is more than just stats that decide the CY.
    And in that world Josh is king.
    His value to the SOX is immeasurable. While Schilling went down, while Dice became unreliable, while his bullpen needed innings to last the Gagne experiment, he was there. All season long he has been the most dependable win the SOX have.
    Not only CY but SOX MVP also.

    BostonRAW September 28, 2007, 9:54 am
  • Sabathia has been no less valuable to Cleveland than Beckett has been to Boston. Either is deserving.

    IronHorse (yf) September 28, 2007, 9:59 am
  • Beckett made 30 starts, losing some time to injury, Sabathia 33. Beckett could come out of games because the Sox have a good bullpen; taking Sabathia out risks throwing the game over to closer Joe Borowski (8 blown saves, 5.23 ERA). Innings pitched is a hollow statistic; if we had Joel Pineiro closing, Beckett would almost certainly have more IP. If Beckett hadn’t missed a couple starts to injury, he would also have more IP. IP alone shouldn’t disqualify Beckett.
    K/9: 8.70
    Opponents AVG, OBP, SLG: .245, .286, .377
    K/9: 7.89
    Opponents: .258, .291, .391
    CC leads in K/BB, at 5.69 to 4.85, and in ERA, 3.19 to 3.27.
    Ultimately, I think the award will go to Beckett, who isn’t facing competition from a teammate and who has 20 wins.

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) September 28, 2007, 11:55 am
  • Kei Igawa for the AL CY!!!!
    CC and Beckett are both deserving but my money is on Kei “the Japanese BP Pitcher” Igawa…

    krueg September 28, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • I’ve known CC since he was a kid, so I’m biased, but I think he deserves it. Beckett has had a much better support lineup/bullpen (even though Borowski has an ungodly amt of saves). If JB gets it A) I wouldn’t be surprised and B) it wouldn’t get my panties in a bunch. The stats are close and I don’t have much faith in any of the awards anymore. CC did get the shaft in the ROY though (to Ichiro, but Matsui fell victim to the voters remorse because HE wasn’t a “real rookie”), so seeing him catch a break would be cool. Plus, I could then say I got a hit off a Cy winner…which is nice.

    Nate September 28, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Andrew F–
    I think you answered the question with
    “taking Sabathia out risks throwing the game over to closer Joe Borowski (8 blown saves, 5.23 ERA). Innings pitched is a hollow statistic”
    40 more innings pitched really does mean something if you’re suppossed to be considering the best and most important pitcher in a league over the entire season.

    walein September 28, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • Also, the wins category doesn’t really mean much to me in this contest. Sabathia got a ton of wins in the first half with great run support and then couldn’t get a win through about 7 starts where he had given up 2 or less runs (in a row by the way).

    walein September 28, 2007, 4:44 pm

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